August 27, 2015

Caribou LegsThe Council of Canadians is supporting a run by Caribou Legs across the country to highlight the need to protect water.

He has now run 3,391 kilometres from Vancouver to White River, Ontario with this message.

This morning he witnessed the Barrick Gold Hemlo/ Williams underground and open pit mine, which is located about 350 kilometres east of Thunder Bay.

A CorpWatch report has noted, "The Hemlo Gold Camp is located on the north shore of Lake Superior near Manitouwadge. ...Workers at the mines have reported numerous cases of lung ailments at these mines, including some cases of silicosis and sarcoidosis. The company has fought worker compensation claims for these ailments ferociously."

August 27, 2015

Turbidity exceeded limit by 120x, uranium and possible carcinogens found in samples

Today the Grassy Narrows First Nation declared a state of emergency over unsafe drinking water conditions in the community.  The community has started delivering bottled water door to door to ensure that their families, many of which have already been impacted by mercury poisoning, have safe drinking water. 

Drinking water tests done by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment found turbidity at a level 120 times the safety limit.  Chemicals that are possible human carcinogens were also present at elevated levels. 

Parts of the community have been on a “Do Not Consume” water order for over 2 years due to elevated levels of uranium, while the entire community has been on a “Boil Water” order for over a year. However, boiling water does not remove the chemicals that are a possible carcinogen

August 27, 2015

Fracking protest in BCThe Council of Canadians has long opposed fracking.

Now the Globe and Mail reports, "At least two earthquakes in British Columbia over the past year – including one last week – are among the largest ever caused by natural gas fracking in North America and were both strong enough to force temporary shutdowns of operations."

The article adds, "Progress Energy, which is owned by Malaysia’s Petronas, paused its operations on Aug. 17 after an [4.6 magnitude] earthquake that occurred 114 kilometres from Fort St. John. The B.C. Oil and Gas Commission says hydraulic fracturing by the same company triggered a 4.4-magnitude earthquake that was felt in Fort St. John and Fort Nelson in August, 2014."

August 25, 2015

TransCanada's has inked a deal with natural gas distributors. This ends a high profile conflict standing in the way of TransCanada's Energy East ambitions. Natural gas distributors in Ontario and Quebec say the deal insulates consumers from increased costs associated with converting the up to 40 year old natural gas pipeline set to carry oil from Saskatchewan through to Ontario. 

But there's something TransCanada and natural gas distributors aren't telling us.

Energy East still means paying more for natural gas bills in Ontario and Quebec.

While we are being told the deal addresses the concern of taxpayers subsidizing the costs of conversion, and increases the new pipe's capacity to feed natural gas to Ontario and Quebec, it says little about the source of the new gas. 

August 24, 2015

Three weeks into the 42nd federal election. At least 10 social media fails. It's not yet clear whether the Conservatives can keep up this blistering pace, but if they do we can expect at least 29 more #fails between now and Election Day. And no doubt, they will be spectacular.

While social media fails don’t necessarily determine the outcome of an election, there are cases like Alberta where a growing number of them certainly didn’t help the incumbent government. But who’s counting. After all, #mathishard.

1. The mysterious case of the teleporting salmon

After decimating protections for fish and aquatic ecosystem, Harper hoped to make some waves with an announcement in BC about new protections for Pacific salmon. Using a photo of an Atlantic salmon. From the UK. If only those pesky fisheries scientists hadn’t been muzzled someone might have been able to tell them.