August 28, 2015

Drilling in Bay of Fundy

Opposition is mounting as TransCanada is on the verge of drilling boreholes on the floor of the Bay of Fundy for its proposed Energy East export terminal in Saint John.

CBC explains, "The company is preparing to gather soil and rock samples through a series of test bores that will be undertaken from a rig mounted on a barge. The rig is currently being assembled on Port of Saint John property near the Diamond Jubilee cruise ship terminal. The test samples are required to complete engineering and design work for the company's application to the National Energy Board for the proposed Energy East Pipeline marine terminal."

August 28, 2015

The North Atlantic Right Whale is a symbol of the biodiversity and fragility of the Bay of Fundy.  It is a magnificent marine mammal and it is also the most endangered whale in the world. August and September are the months when these and other whales come into the Bay of Fundy in the largest numbers, attracted to the rich biodiversity of the Bay of Fundy that rivals the Great Barrier Reef and the Amazon rainforest.

It is also a critical feeding stopover area along the eastern seaboard of North America for 34 species of fall migrating birds on their way to Central and South America, including hundreds of thousands of sandpipers and plovers, making it one of 6 Canadian sites in the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network.  These birds come to the salt marshes, and vast stretches of mudflats of the Bay of Fundy exposed twice a day during low tide.

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."