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Archive for ‘Environment’

Naomi Klein on climate change

Can social movements save us?

Naomi Klein on climate change, Ed Kashi photo

Naomi Klein has done it again with her new book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate. She challenges the existing ignorance and denial on climate change and …

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Light for Lima

Faith groups call for action on climate change

Faith groups hold climate change vigil in Ottawa

Faith groups continue to call for an international agreement that addresses climate change.  On Dec. 7, groups in nine Canadian cities held vigils that coincided with the latest round …

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Global cry of the people

Canadian mining industry criticized by civil society

Jennifer Henry, KAIROS, says partners asking about Canadian mining

Recently, I attended a Saint Paul University symposium dealing with environmental and human rights abuses committed by Canadian mining companies — with the knowledge and …

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Climate Summit 2014   

Faith groups asked to get involved

80% of carbon reserves should stay in the ground

In April 2014, scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued their fourth report, which said more clearly than ever that climate change is occurring …

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Peoples' Social Forum

Indigenous, environmental issues predominate

Drumming ceremony at 2014 Peoples’ Social Forum. Dennis Gruending photo.

Thousands of Canadians converged upon Ottawa earlier in August for a Peoples’ Social Forum that attracted a diverse group of individuals from the Indigenous, labour …

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2014 Peoples’ Social Forum comes to Ottawa

2014 Peoples’ Social Forum, Ottawa

A Peoples’ Social Forum (PSF) which has been several years in the planning will occur at the University of Ottawa on August 21-24 and organizers are expecting thousands of people to attend. There will be …

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CRA audits of charities politically driven

Conservatives creating 'advocacy chill'

Canada Revenue Agency headquarters in Ottawa

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is auditing at least a dozen environmental, poverty reduction and human rights organizations in what is a thinly-disguised attack by the Conservatives against groups that have dared to oppose …

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No to fracking in New Brunswick

Citizens launch “peoples” lawsuit

Anti-fracking protest in New Brunswick, 2013

People in New Brunswick have launched two lawsuits in an attempt to stop shale gas development, commonly known as fracking, in their province. One of the actions was launched against the Crown in the persons of the Health Minister and the Attorney General by individuals who belong to the New Brunswick Anti-shale Gas Alliance (NBASGA), an organization which represents 22 non-profit and community groups.

The second suit is against the provincial and federal governments and Houston-based Southwestern Energy Resources, a company involved in the exploration for shale gas. Popularly called the “peoples lawsuit” involves a group of 18 individuals, including an organic farmer who once lived and worked in Alberta, a Mi’kmaq woman and her Acadian husband, a sound technician, a Maliseet Grand Council leader, and 59-year-old Lorraine Clair, a Mi’kmaq woman who said she was arrested for protesting against SWN and ordered by the courts not to participate in any further demonstrations. Larry Kowalchuk, a lawyer based in Regina, Saskatchewan, is representing both of the New Brunswick groups.

Fracking is the short hand description for a process in which fractures in rocks below the earth’s surface are opened and widened by injecting chemicals and liquids at high pressure. Hydraulic fracking is the only way in which shale gas can be mined. The NBASGA argues in its statement of claim that chemicals used in fracking will permanently contaminate the water supply and fresh water aquifers with carcinogens and cause other environmental damage, including air pollution. The group says fracking poses such an extreme threat to human health and the environment that it violates Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees all Canadians the right to security of their person.

The NBASGA points to a long list of organizations in New Brunswick — including doctors and nurses, local governments, First Nations,  environmental, union and church groups — who are calling for a moratorium on fracking until such a time as there is incontrovertible proof that it can be done safely.

The statement of claim says as well that Nova Scotia, Quebec, Newfoundland, the American states of New York and Vermont, as well as several nations including France, have all imposed a moratorium on the process of unconventional exploration for shale oil and gas.

CBC News also cites a recent report by 14 international experts commissioned by Environment Canada, which concluded that “data about potential environmental impacts [of hydraulic fracking] are neither sufficient nor conclusive.”

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