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GTA’s top doctors join forces to encourage cities to plan for built-in exercise PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Sunday, 18 May 2014 05:47

Urban planning should encourage walking, cycling and use of public transit to battle chronic disease, public health doctors say.

By  Health,  Toronto Star  

http://www.thestar.com/life/health_wellness/2014/05/14/better_and_integrated_transit_will_save_lives_doctors_say.htmlon Wed May 14 2014

Toronto Star File Photo

A group of medical officers of health are encouraging governments to spend more money on integrated transit to get people out of their cars to save lives.

The top doctors for Toronto, Peel, Hamilton and Simcoe- Muskoka have joined forces to urge all levels of government to change the way communities are planned, to encourage more physical activity.

When it comes to land-use and transportation planning, more consideration must be given to encouraging residents to walk, cycle and use public transit, they told a news conference at Union Station on Wednesday.

“This really is the big public health concern of our time, of our generation. How our communities are shaped, how we move around and the impact it has on the leading causes of death and illness in our society is something that all health organizations are coming to grips with,” said Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. David McKeown.

Last Updated on Sunday, 18 May 2014 05:57
Big mammals vs. Big Oil: New pipeline puts humpback whales at risk PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Saturday, 17 May 2014 06:57

By Michael Patrick O'Neill / Alamy


Canada says humpback whales aren’t endangered, which allows a proposed oil pipeline to cut across their feeding grounds

In a deep fjord in British Columbia called the Douglas Channel, where the Kitimat River pours runs of Chinook salmon into the Pacific Ocean, fishermen see singing humpback whales fling themselves into the air.

These barnacled, 40-ton whales with long, ridged flippers were harpooned to the brink of extinction in the 1900s. Only through intense conservation efforts have they found safety in ancient migration routes. Mothers birth a single calf in tropical seas and fast for months as it nurses, before migrating thousands of miles up to the North Pacific. There, in enclaves like the Douglas Channel — a critical feeding ground — the whales nourish themselves on krill.

Last Updated on Saturday, 17 May 2014 07:04
Ottawa removing North Pacific humpback whales from list of ‘threatened’ species PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 18:12

Ottawa removing North Pacific humpback whales from list of ‘threatened’ species

By Peter O'Neil, Vancouver Sun

April 22, 2014

Ottawa removing North Pacific humpback whales from list of threatened species

A humpback whale breaches the surface outside of Hartley Bay along the Great Bear Rainforest, B.C. Sept, 17, 2013. The Harper government is downgrading the protection of the North Pacific humpback whale despite objections from a clear majority of groups that were consulted. Critics say the whales could face greater danger if two major oilsands pipeline projects get the go-ahead, since both would result in a sharp increase in movement of large vessels on the West Coast that occasionally collide with, and kill, whales like the humpback.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 April 2014 18:36
Métis suit claims B.C. dams cause 'irreversible' harm PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 18:01

Ryan Cormier, Edmonton Journal, Canadian Press

Published: Tuesday, December 10 2013

The Métis Nation of Alberta Association has launched a $3-billion lawsuit against B.C. Hydro and the Government of Canada for damage to the Lake Athabasca delta created by two dams on British Columbia stretches of the Peace River.

The suit, launched by the Fort Chipewyan chapter of the association, claims that the Bennett and Peace Canyon Dams have had disastrous effects on the Lake Athabasca delta created by the meeting of the Peace and Athabasca Rivers in northeastern Alberta.

The dams have substantially reduced the flow of the Peace River and dried the delta by "virtually eliminating" the spring flooding. That lack of flow has had "irreversible" debilitating effects on wildlife and plants that the Métis rely upon to continue their way of life, the suit states. The reduced flow also infringes upon entrenched Métis water rights.

Erosion of Canada's parkland: The loss of the last sanctuaries PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 14 April 2014 17:57
By Bob McDonald, Quirks & Quarks
Canada's Parks are being slowly eroded by changing regulations that could turn our last wild refuges over to developers and resource extraction.
Parks Canada is currently considering a proposal to build a hotel on the shores of Maligne Lake in Alberta's Jasper National Park. This type of development in a wilderness area goes against Park policy, but as more and more visitors come through the gates each year, the parks are under pressure to provide more accommodation and services. 
But building more hotels destroys the very wilderness people have come to see. 
In British Columbia, the Legislature recently passed the controversial Bill 4 - Park Amendment Act that allows "research" and "feasibility studies" in Provincial Parks for projects such as oil and gas pipelines, along with structures related to that work. Until now, research in parks was limited to only those activities that led to the betterment of the park itself. But now, the definition of the term has been softened, so research by industry interested in park resources can take place.
The amendment also allows for a park boundary to be moved if a pipeline route or other development infringes on a park area. Once the boundary is moved out of the way, the project can go through more easily because the land is no longer a park
Last Updated on Monday, 14 April 2014 18:05
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