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DEFENDING OUR OCEANS PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 05 April 2018 11:19

DEFENDING OUR OCEANS

 

By Murray Rankin, MP. Victoria

First published in Oak Bay News, April 4

Image result for images of the salish sea

http://www.orcanetwork.org/nathist/salishorcas1.html

 

Article continued

Spanning three oceans, Canada’s coastline is the longest in the world. Sadly, our oceans are increasingly threatened by rising temperatures, acidification and pollution. The impacts on humans, wildlife and the environment could be disastrous. 

 

The University of Victoria’s  Ocean NetworksCanada monitorsthe country’s coaststo gather real-time data for scientific research.  This research helps communities, governments and industries make informed, evidence-based decisions to promotebetter ocean management, disaster mitigation and environmental protection.

 

While we know that human activity has already caused significant changes in our oceans, important questions remain unanswered. How will marine ecosystems respond to increasing ocean acidification? How does the depletion of oxygen in coastal waters affect ecosystem services? What are the long-term effects of marine plastic pollution? These are of the questions Canadians need to address. Thankfully, organizations like ONC are working to answer them.

 

One concern right here at home is plastic pollution. A recent report by UVic's Environmental Law Centre revealed that there are over 3,000 particles of plastics per cubic metre of seawater in the Strait of Georgia.  It’s estimated that 90 percent of seabirds have plastic in their stomachs. Research like this has a big impact. In 2015, one of my NDP colleagues, Brian Masse, introduced a motion to ban harmful plastic microbeads in consumer products. I'm pleased to say that after years of effort that ban will go into effect on July 1 this year.

 

Plastic microbeads are just one of many pollutants that find their way into our oceans, but they're a good example of how scientific research and evidence-based decision making can yield progress.

 

Unfortunately, a larger threat is looming. Despite the risks and against public opposition, thePrime Ministeris still championing theKinder MorganTrans Mountain oil  pipeline and tanker project as being in the “national interest.” I fail to see how it can be in the national interest to retain the Harper government's emissions targets, refuse to adequately consider the project's upstream and downstream impacts, and dismiss the environmental and economic disaster that our coast would suffer in the wake of a major spill from a bitumen tanker.

Last Updated on Thursday, 05 April 2018 11:45
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14-point rebuttal to Keith Baldrey after he praises John Horgan for kicking Site C dam critics to the curb PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Saturday, 13 January 2018 12:20

by Charlie Smith on January 13th, 2018 at 9:08 AM

https://www.straight.com/news/1018766/14-point-rebuttal-keith-baldrey-after-he-praised-john-horgan-kicking-site-c-dam-critics

 

 

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  • Keith Baldrey is not only a political journalist with Global B.C., he's also a syndicated columnist for Glacier Media and a commentator on CKNW Radio.KEITH BALDREY

Baldreydash.

That's probably what some opponents of the Site C dam are thinking after reading a tweet from Global B.C. reporter Keith Baldrey defending Premier John Horgan's decision to complete the $10.7-billion Site C dam.

The man with the most Twitter followers in the B.C. press gallery chortled "Oh boo hoo. Boo hoo hoo" to those who believe media coverage was a factor in the government's evaluation on whether to proceed.

 

"Media coverage had VERY LITTLE to do with final decision," Baldrey declared to critics of the massive hydroelectric project. "Horgan has kicked you to the curbside, which is smart politics (given your tiny constituency)."

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NDP Government’s Site C Math a Flunk, Say Project Financing Experts PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Sunday, 17 December 2017 10:37

By Sarah Cox • Friday, December 15, 2017 - 12:01 Desmog

https://www.desmog.ca/2017/12/15/ndp-government-s-site-c-math-flunk-say-project-financing-experts

Site C dam John Horgan Bad Math

The NDP government’s arithmetic on Site C cancellation costs is “deeply flawed,” has “no logic at all,” and is “appalling,” according to three project financing experts.  

Eoin Finn, a retired partner of KPMG, one of the world’s largest auditing firms, said Premier John Horgan’s claim that terminating Site C would result in an almost immediate 12 per cent hydro rate hike is the “worst rationale I’ve heard since ‘the dog ate my homework’” excuse.  

I expected better when the new government came in,” said Finn. “They’ve just continued what [former premier] Christy Clark did to hide the true costs of Site C and hope that they get re-elected before the next generation finds out.”

This is the stupidest capital decision ever made by a B.C. premier. I don’t know who is giving them accounting advice.”

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Herbicide illegally sprayed along CN rail lines throughout BC, wild salmon at risk PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 14 December 2017 07:36

by Erica Stahl, Staff Lawyer

Plants sprayed with herbacide along the Skeena River

Luanne asked the Province to investigate, and she hired an independent environmental consultant to analyze the sprayed area. Her environmental consultant found evidence of glyphosate on plants directly overhanging salmon habitat. BC’s Pest Management Regulation states that generally, a 2- to 5-metre pesticide-free zone must be maintained when spraying glyphosate close to a fish-bearing river or stream.

Last Updated on Saturday, 16 December 2017 15:25
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Kamloops group seeks water-protection order over proposed Ajax mine PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 14 August 2017 11:55

Derrick Penner DERRICK PENNER More from Derrick Penner

http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/kamloops-group-seeks-water-protection-order-over-proposed-ajax-minePublished on: August 14, 2017

| Last Updated: August 14, 2017 6:00 AM PDT Inks Lake south of Kamloops would be used for storage water collected from a tailings facility at the proposed Ajax copper-gold mine at Kamloops. The open-pit Ajax copper-gold mine is proposed for a site near Inks Lake south of Kamloops. TBA / PROVINCE A Kamloops community group opposed to mining firm KGHM’s proposed Ajax mine wants the Interior Health Authority to issue a protection order preventing possible water contamination from the facility on the argument an environmental assessment of the project was inadequate. The University of Victoria Environmental Law Centre plans to file filing an application with the Kamloops Public Health Unit Monday requesting the unit’s drinking water officer issue a prevention order regarding potential hazards from the project on behalf of the Kamloops Area Preservation Association.

 

Last Updated on Monday, 14 August 2017 12:09
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Wildlife-management reform is long overdue PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Friday, 11 August 2017 12:56

By Chris Genovali is executive director of Raincoast Conservation Foundation. Large-carnivore expert Paul C. Paquet is Raincoast’s senior scientist.

AUGUST 11, 2017 08:17 AM

The underpinnings of contemporary wildlife management are political and ideological, largely at the expense of wildlife for the presumed benefit of people.

Unsurprisingly, wildlife management in British Columbia is marked by an outdated mindset that primarily views wild animals as a “resource” to be exploited by recreational hunting or as troublesome creatures that need to be killed because their existence conflicts with human endeavours. Saddled by a myopic adherence to the debunked and inaptly named North American model of wildlife conservation, wildlife policy in B.C. is mired in a philosophically and structurally faulty approach.

Simply, wildlife policies are focused on consumption and control, rather than conservation.

As ethicist Michael Nelson and wildlife ecologists John Vucetich, Paul C. Paquet and Joseph Bump note in their critique, North American Model: What’s Flawed, What’s Missing, What’s Needed, the model’s primary tenet, i.e. recreational hunting being central to wildlife conservation, is based upon an inadequate account of history and an inadequate ethic.

Largely ignoring the biology and intrinsic value of all species, the model reinforces the narrow idea that nature is a commodity — a “resource” — owned and used by humans in pursuit of personal interests. This “management” perspective draws its support from — and sustains — the view that humans exist outside of nature, and that other species, apart from their utility for humans, are of little importance in the larger scheme of things. Human dominion and domination over nature are deemed to be the natural order.

Predominantly driven by a recreational hunting agenda, the North American model is informed largely by values, attitudes and atavistic beliefs entrenched in the self-serving fallacy that killing wild animals for sport and control is essential to wildlife conservation.

As explained in the critique, the model relies on a misinterpretation of history in which recreational hunting is disproportionately, and inaccurately, seen as the driver of North American wildlife conservation, while downplaying the contributions of monumental figures such as John Muir and Aldo Leopold, who pioneered broad-based approaches to conservation without focusing on hunting as its primary tool.

The province’s recent proposal to privatize wildlife management illustrates the pernicious effect of the North American model on the mindset of government bureaucrats and politicians. In the run-up to the election, the B.C. Liberals announced plans to implement an extra-governmental agency that would be controlled by recreational hunting groups.

This perverse scheme is the culmination of decades of undue influence by the recreational hunting lobby on the B.C. government; it was also inevitable under the model, where science and ethics are ignored in favour of self-perpetuating myth and anecdote.

With its philosophical roots in the model, the grizzly-bear hunt is an egregious and persistent example of how B.C. wildlife management fails to address ecological, economic and ethical considerations. Using the province’s kill data to determine if B.C.’s grizzly management meets its own objectives, Raincoast Conservation Foundation scientists have found that total kills commonly exceed limits determined by provincial policy. Financial analyses have shown that grizzlies are worth far more alive than dead, and poll after poll indicates a clear majority of British Columbians have judged the recreational hunting of these large carnivores an abhorrent activity.

Considering centuries of human privilege over the needs of the environment, what we need to manage is not wildlife but ourselves. Recognizing that many human activities have damaging effects on biodiversity and ecological communities, what should wildlife management in B.C. look like?

Briefly, Raincoast envisions a compassionate conservation policy based on management for wildlife, as opposed to management of wildlife — a policy that takes into account the health and well-being of individuals and populations. Furthermore, we envision substantially more consideration given to maintaining the integrity of ecological systems upon which species depend.

Although species might continue to exist and suffer long after natural ecological relationships have been altered or destroyed, such impoverished conditions are not sustainable and do not typify healthy environments. Finally, wildlife management needs to emerge from the shadows and adopt practices in keeping with modern science, as well as principles regarding the ethical treatment of animals.

Without a significant shift in how we relate to and interact with wildlife, future generations will look back with stunned dismay at how our society could be so divorced from reality and morality. The hopeful news in B.C. is that with a new government there is the opportunity for positive change and a much more ecologically and ethically informed approach to wildlife management.

Chris Genovali is executive director of Raincoast Conservation Foundation. Large-carnivore expert Paul C. Paquet is Raincoast’s senior scientist.

Last Updated on Sunday, 13 August 2017 01:26
 
Heroes Rising by alexandra Morton PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 07 August 2017 10:13

Heroes Rising

As I continued to document the viruses spreading from salmon farms like an oil spill, fighting the Minister of Fisheries, Marine Harvest and Cermaq in court for mandatory farm salmon testing for the highly-contagious piscine orthoreovirus, as well defending myself against Marine Harvest’s lawsuit against me for touching their farm with a teaspoon to collect a sample, I got welcome news.

Paul Watson contacted me to say, he was sending research vessel Martin Sheen and crew to work with me again this summer.

Last year we documented the sad state of health of farm salmon and supported the Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw who served the industry with eviction notices.

I feel my fight to protect wild salmon would be hopeless without the strong First Nation leadership I serve and the incredible help of the crew of the RV Martin Sheen. In my darkest moments I despair at how incredibly hard it is to keep anything alive on this planet and in particular creatures we claim to love.

David Suzuki and Martin Sheen himself turned out to support Traditional Leader Willie Moon and help launch Virus Hunter II the 2017 voyage of the Martin Sheen. On July 30, we set forth.

I believe the only reason salmon farms are still allowed to pollute the waters of BC is because no one can see what is going on in them. Salmon farms operate in remote areas of the coast and they openly resistant to anyone getting close enough see the fish in the pens.

Screen Shot 2017-08-05 at 4.01.01 PM

We have now passed through the Discovery Islands, a region that Justice Bruce Cohen earmarked as particular sensitive habitat for the beleaguered Fraser River sockeye salmon. In 2016 the Fraser sockeye collapsed to the lowest levels since non-indigenous record keeping began. Fisheries and Oceans’ management of these fish is not working. Justice Cohen recommended that the industry cease to operate in the Discovery Islands in 2010 years unless they can prove they are not having greater than minimal impact on the sockeye.

Last Updated on Sunday, 13 August 2017 01:51
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Coalition urges banks to deny financing for Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 12 June 2017 11:17

Indigenous and environmental groups urge governments to divest from banks that ignore opposition to pipeline

The Canadian Press Last Updated: Jun 12, 2017 7:59 AM MT

Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project is the target of a coalition of interest groups is calling on Canada's six biggest banks and others to back away from funding it.

Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project is the target of a coalition of interest groups is calling on Canada's 

 

A coalition of interest groups is calling on Canada's six biggest banks and others to back away from providing funding for Kinder Morgan Canada's controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

The coalition of 20 Indigenous and environmental groups says in an open letter that it will use its influence to urge local and foreign governments to divest from banks that ignore its opposition to the pipeline.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 July 2017 23:04
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B.C. FIRST NATIONS HAVE CLEANER, CHEAPER SUBSTITUTE FOR SITE C HYDRO PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 08 June 2017 08:55

 

British Columbia’s First Nations have a plan ready to make up the 1,100 megawatts of generating capacity that may be withdrawn from the province’s forecast supply if the Green and New Democratic Parties succeed in taking office and, as promised, refer the contentious Site C hydro project for review by the BC Utilities Commission, leading to its cancellation.

 

The plan, drafted with First Nations input by Clean Energy BC back in 2014, may need a bit of updating to reflect the plummeting cost of renewable generation. But even back then, said Executive Director Paul Kariya, “we told the B.C. government we think we can do it cheaper.”

Last Updated on Thursday, 08 June 2017 09:00
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Site C Must Be Canceled And A Fair And Just Transition Instituted For Those Jobs Affected By The Cancellation PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Saturday, 03 June 2017 20:57

BY Joan Russow PhD

Global Compliance Research Project

SITE C

 

 

 

The evidence based UBC Report said:

 

We came to the conclusion, looking over 10 different scenarios, that it makes the most economic sense to suspend or cancel Site C while the project is referred to the BC Utilities Commission.”

 “Our analysis indicates that cancelling the Site C project as   of June 30, 2017, would save between $500-million and $1.65-billion, depending on future conditions"

Last Updated on Friday, 09 June 2017 09:15
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