March 12, 2009

In a letter to the editor published in the National Post on Monday, Nestle executive John Challinor writes in response to an article about bottled water bans that, "Relying on information from the Council of Canadians, this article states that '27 municipalities across the country are phasing out or restricting the sale and purchase of bottled water in municipal buildings and at city events.' This is incorrect. Eleven municipalities and two school boards have banned the sale of bottled water on their properties over the last three years and 36 local governments have rejected calls for bans over the last eight months. Another 17 jurisdictions are currently reviewing their options."

March 12, 2009

The Globe and Mail reports this morning that, "The world faces a bleak future over its dwindling water supplies, with pollution, climate change and rapidly growing populations raising the possibility of widespread shortages, a new report compiled by 24 agencies of the United Nations says."

"The warning from the UN is based on one of the most comprehensive assessments the global body has undertaken on the state of the world's fresh water and was commissioned for use at a major international water conference being held next week in Istanbul."

The World Water Assessment Programme website adds, "The United Nations World Water Development Report, released every three years in conjunction with the World Water Forum, is the UN’s flagship report on water. It is a comprehensive review that gives an overall picture of the state of the world's freshwater resources and aims to provide decision-makers with the tools to implement sustainable use of our water."

March 11, 2009

CBC reports today that, “oilsands giant Suncor and two of its contractors have been charged with 90 counts of dumping undertreated waste water into the Athabasca River and providing false or misleading information to the province about it, CBC News has learned. The charges, which were laid more than a year ago in February 2008 under Alberta's Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, relate to the monitoring of waste water from a Suncor-owned work camp that houses up to 3,500 people at the company's operations north of Fort McMurray, Alta. Suncor, camp operator the Compass Group of Canada, and treatment plant operator Rodney McCabe and his company R&D McCabe Ltd. have all been charged.”

March 11, 2009

The National Post reports this morning that, "The Harper government is proposing to relax its oversight of foreign takeovers..."

$312 MILLION THRESHOLD TO BE RAISED TO $1 BILLION "Under amendments to the Investment Canada Act contained in the budget bill, the Conservatives have proposed raising the threshold under which foreign takeovers by companies from WTO-member countries come under review to $1-billion in enterprise value. The current threshold is $312-million in asset value."

RECOMMENDATION OF THE COMPETITIVENESS PANEL "In raising the review limit, the government is following recommendations made last June by a panel, chaired by former BCE chairman Lynton 'Red' Wilson, that reviewed Canada's foreign-investment and competition regimes. The government has also followed the panel's recommendation to insert a provision into the law that would allow the minister to reject foreign takeovers if they present a threat to 'national security.'"

March 10, 2009

The National Post reports this morning that, "The world economy is likely to shrink to 'below zero' this year, in what many are now referring to as the 'Great Recession', the head of the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday."

IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn told African political and financial leaders that, "This is not only about protecting economic growth and household incomes -- it is also about containing the threat of civil unrest, perhaps even war. It is about people and their futures."

Additionally, the article reports that, "Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete said the crisis poses the greatest danger to Africa in recent history and threatens to reverse, even wipe out, hard won social-economic gains."