James Wilt's blog

Implementing UNDRIP is a Big Deal for Canada. Here’s What You Need to Know.

Justin Trudeau UNDRIP Canada

First opposed, then endorsed. It’s now pledged, but called “unworkable.”

In Canada the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) is not ratified, nor from a legal perspective even really understood.

The history of Canada’s relationship with Indigenous rights has been a sordid one. But all that was supposed to change with the nation’s latecomer adoption of the declaration. After years of federal Conservative inaction on the file, Justin Trudeau took to the campaign trail with a promise to restore Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples.

What Does The Peel Watershed Ruling Mean for the Yukon – and Canada?

Peel Wateshed Peter Mather

The long-awaited Supreme Court verdict on the Peel Watershed case is finally here.

In a unanimous ruling, the highest court in the country decided that three Yukon First Nations and two environmental organizations were correct in their push for a lengthy land-use planning process to be maintained and only rewound to the point where the government can conduct final consultations.

It’s been a lengthy and complex case. So what does today's decision really mean?

Q&A: Why the Fate of Canada’s Peel Watershed Rests in the Supreme Court’s Hands

Hart River, Peel Watershed Yukon

The fate of the Yukon’s Peel Watershed — one of the most pristine wilderness areas in Canada and home to four First Nations — will be decided by the Supreme Court of Canada on Dec. 1.

What lies in store for the Peel will be determined by future land-use planning in the territory and whether and how those plans grant industry access to the undeveloped region.

Canada Tells NAFTA Leaky Oilsands Tailings Ponds a ‘Challenge’ to Prove, Despite Existing Federal Study

There’s no telling if the 220 square-kilometres of unlined tailings ponds in the Alberta oilsands are leaking contaminated waste into nearby water sources, according to the government of Canada.

That claim was made in an official response to NAFTA’s Commission for Environmental Cooperation despite strong scientific evidence suggesting a clear linkage between the oilsands’ 1.3 trillion litres of fluid tailings and the contamination of local waterways.

The response comes after a June 2017 submission by two environmental organizations and a Dene man alleging the federal government was failing to enforce a section of the Fisheries Act that prohibits the release of a “deleterious substance” into fish-frequented waters.

Enbridge, TransCanada Among 11 Canadian Oil and Gas Firms Using Tax Havens

oilsands Kris Krug

Eleven of Canada’s largest oil and gas companies have dozens of subsidiaries and related companies in known tax haven jurisdictions, according to a new report from the Ottawa-based non-profit Canadians for Tax Fairness.

Those companies include Suncor, Enbridge, CNRL, TransCanada, Imperial Oil, Cenovus and Husky.

The report, titled “Bay Street and Tax Havens: Curbing Corporate Canada’s Addiction,” examined the largest 60 companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and found that just four didn’t have a publicly listed subsidiary in a known low-tax or no-tax haven.

If you can afford the lawyers and accountants and it’s legal to do, you’ll do it,” report author Diana Gibson, told DeSmog Canada.

Six Simple Ways Canada Can Make Oil-By-Rail Way Safer

Gogama oil train accident

In recent months, there’s been a re-emergence of one of the oil industry’s most adored tropes: that without new pipelines, companies will ship oil by rail and threaten entire communities with derailments, explosions and spills.

The jury’s still very much out on whether shipments will actually increase by much more than what we’ve seen in the past. Regardless, there’s one thing that strangely never gets mentioned by proponents of the argument.

Transporting oil by rail doesn’t have to be nearly as dangerous as it currently is.

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