Carol Linnitt

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Carol Linnitt is Managing Editor and Director of Research for DeSmog Canada. Carol is a writer and researcher focusing on energy development, environmental policy and wildlife. She joined DeSmog in June 2010 as a researcher, focusing much of her time on the natural gas industry and hydraulic fracturing.

Carol is the lead author of DeSmog's original report Fracking the Future: How Unconventional Gas Threatens Our Water, Health & Climate. Her work also led to the DeSmog micro-documentary CRY WOLF: An Unethical Oil Story and the Cry Wolf investigative series.

Carol began her environmental career writing and performing interviews for The Canada Expedition, a non-governmental sustainability initiative, and while working in dispute resolution with communities affected by resource scarcity.

Carol has a Master's in English Literature from York University where she studied political theory, natural resource conflicts and Aboriginal rights. She also has a Master's in Philosophy in the field of phenomenology and environmental ethics and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Victoria in the English and Cultural, Social and Political Thought programs.

Five Reasons Canada’s Environment Commissioner Gave Ottawa a Failing Grade on Climate

BC wildfire

Reading Environment Commissioner Julie Gelfand’s report on Canada’s climate action, we’d have to say that the woman sounds … ticked.

Here are five reasons Gelfand is wagging a disappointed finger at Canada’s environment officials.

B.C. Coal Mine Company Teck Fined $1.4 Million for Polluting B.C. River

Elk Valley coal mine

Teck Resources pled guilty Thursday to three violations of the federal Fisheries Act for polluting a tributary of the Elk River and was sentenced to pay a $1,425,000 penalty into the federal Environmental Damages Fund, which will help restore fish habitat in British Columbia’s Elk Valley.

On October 16, 2014, 45 dead fish were found in Line Creek near one of Teck’s five coal mines in the region. The following day, Environment Canada investigators found waste water from a Teck water treatment plant, put in place to deal with selenium pollution, was entering Line Creek, a tributary of Elk River.

Selenium is a naturally occurring chemical element, but it can be harmful in even very tiny amounts. Selenium pollution is produced by coal, uranium and bitumen extraction and is of growing concern in Canada.

The dead fish found by Environment Canada investigators included bull trout, a species of special concern in the region. The Fisheries Act  prohibits the deposit of deleterious substances into water frequented by fish.

Federal Freedom of Information in Canada Worse Now Than Under Harper: New Report

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Freedom of Information Canada

The federal government received a failing grade in a new national audit of freedom of information regimes across Canada.

The vast majority of federal departments under the Liberal government, which campaigned on a promise to increase information disclosure and transparency in Canada, failed to fulfill requests within the legal timeframe, the audit found.

I was surprised at the depth of the how poor the federal performance in the audit was,” Fred Vallance-Jones, audit lead author and associate professor at University of King’s College, told DeSmog Canada. “That wasn’t expected.”

Christy Clark’s Secret Consultations with Oil and Gas Donors Revealed As B.C. Introduces Bill to Ban Big Money in Politics

 Christy Clark Oil and Gas Climate Consultations

Documents released on Monday reveal that B.C.’s climate plan under the previous Liberal government was drafted by the oil and gas industry in a Calgary boardroom, just as the province’s new NDP government moves to ban corporate and union donations to B.C. political parties.

The documents speak to long-standing concerns over the influence of political donations in B.C.’s political process. B.C. has long been considered the ‘wild west’ of political cash for placing no limits on corporate, union or foreign donations.

I think this is deeply corrosive to our democracy and it encourages cynicism about politics,” Max Cameron, political science professor and director of the Study of Democratic Institutions at the University of British Columbia, told DeSmog Canada.

Is Trudeau Quietly Turning His Back On Fixing Canada’s Environmental Laws?

Justin Trudeau Environmental Reform DeSmog Canada

Scientists and environmental groups breathed a sigh of relief when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau quickly followed through on a campaign promise to modernize Canada’s environmental laws.

Within a year of being elected, the Liberals initiated four parallel reviews of key environmental legislation weakened or eliminated under former prime minister Stephen Harper.

But now, as that review process is coming to a close, experts are back to holding their breath.

Invisible Horseman: An Interview with Photographer Troy Moth

Invisible Horseman. Troy Moth

Troy Moth is an artist and photographer living on Vancouver Island. Moth’s iconic images are featured on art gallery walls and trendy t-shirts alike, famed for their stark, smoky portrayals of landscapes and creatures, of both the human and non-human variety.

Moth recently published a provocative photo of a wild bear slouched in the smouldering landfill of a remote Canadian community. We asked him if he’d speak to us about the image, why it elicits such strong reaction in its viewers and what the apocalypse has got to do with it.

Letter from Former B.C. Premier Calls for Halt to Site C Dam

Former B.C. Premier Mike Harcourt

The Site C dam is an “economic, fiscal, environmental and aboriginal treaty rights disaster,” according to former B.C. Premier Mike Harcourt.

In a letter submitted to the B.C. Utilities Commission, which is currently reviewing the $8.8 billion project, Harcourt said Site C will “severely damage BC Hydro and B.C. credit ratings” and lead to increases for ratepayers across the province.

Harcourt, who first voiced opposition against Site C in late 2016, said a recent study from Oxford University that found worldwide hydro projects see average cost overruns of 90 per cent should be a warning to B.C.

Disturbing New Footage Shows Diseased, Deformed Salmon in B.C. Fish Farms

 Diseased Deformed Farmed Salmon BC

New footage released to DeSmog Canada shows deformed and disfigured salmon at two salmon farms on the B.C. coast — just as British Columbia reels from news of the escape of up to 305,000 Atlantic farmed salmon from a Washington salmon pen.

Wild salmon advocate and fisheries biologist Alexandra Morton said she was shocked by the footage.

I was shocked and frankly disgusted,” Morton told DeSmog Canada. “These fish have open sores, sea lice, blisters all over their skin and a disturbing number of them are going blind.”

Morton said the footage also gives an indication of what is now travelling through Pacific waters after the escape of potentially hundreds of thousands of farmed Atlantic salmon in the San Juan Islands just east of Victoria. Atlantic salmon are considered invasive in Pacific waters.

Amid Closure of B.C. Salmon Fisheries, Study Finds Feds Failed to Monitor Stocks

Adams River sockeye, A.S. Wright

Canada has failed to monitor and gather data on 50 per cent of all managed salmon populations on B.C.’s north and central coasts, according to a study released Monday in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.

Researchers from Simon Fraser University found the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is monitoring fewer streams now than before the introduction of a wild salmon policy in 2005 that was designed to assess the health of wild salmon populations and aid those deemed at risk.

Our knowledge of salmon populations in B.C. is eroding,” study co-author and Simon Fraser University researcher Michael Price told DeSmog Canada. “And it’s really frustrating.”

A number of salmon fisheries, including the Fraser and Skeena River sockeye fisheries, closed due to low salmon runs this summer.

Price and co-researcher John Reynolds found that since the 1980s, annual counts of spawning streams have declined by 70 per cent.

Kamloops City Council Urge B.C., Ottawa to Re-Think Ajax Mine Environmental Assessment

Ajax mine location

A group of Kamloops city councilors are asking the provincial and federal governments to consider concerns about the Ajax Mine they say were unaddressed by B.C.’s environmental assessment.  

The proposal for the gold and copper mine by the Polish firm KGHM Polska Miedz has been controversial, with concerns including mining dust, air quality impacts, tailings pond management, slope stability and watershed safety.

We feel our concerns as a city, as councilors and staff, have been completely ignored and it feels like the Environmental Assessment Office has been in bed with KGHM,” Kamloops city councilor Tina Lange told DeSmog Canada.

City council has voted to send an itemized list of concerns to elected officials before the final project decision is made.

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