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.

B.C. First Nations Call For Injunction on Site C as They Prepare Civil Suit

 First Nations Injunction Site C dam

The West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations will seek an injunction against the Site C dam, which received a green-light from the B.C. government Monday.

The project, which will now cost an estimated $10.7 billion, has been vigorously fought by both nations, whose traditional territory will be flooded by the Site C reservoir.

In addition to a court-sponsored injunction, the nations also announced they will pursue a civil case against the project for treaty infringement.

Site C Given Green Light

The B.C. government announced they will complete the Site C dam at a press conference Monday morning, revealing a new estimated cost of the project at $10.7 billion. The decision was made with the full approval of cabinet, reporters were told at a technical briefing at the B.C. Legislature. 

“This has been a difficult decision,” Premier John Horgan said. “I've talked to many British Columbians and I can say this is a very divisive issue. We have not taken this decision lightly.”

What DeSmog Canada’s 5-Star Transparency Rating Means

DeSmog Canada

This week DeSmog Canada received a 5-star ranking from the international watchdog initiative Transparify for our commitment to donor transparency.  

We’re excited about our Transparify ranking but even moreso about the importance of promoting transparency among media-makers.

The production of fearless public-interest journalism in Canada is a rarity. And in our incredibly monopolized media landscape, there is an urgently growing need for in-depth journalism that holds the public’s right to know as a guiding principle.

Reviewing Farmed-Salmon ‘Bloodwater’ Discharge Permits Not Enough to Protect B.C.’s Wild Salmon: Critics

 blood water bc fish farms Tavish Campbell

Footage of bloody discharge being released into B.C.’s coastal waters from farmed-fish processing plants by photographer Tavish Campbell has made international headlines and prompted the promise of further investigation from both provincial and federal governments.

But critics say that while governments are eager to stem a wave of concerns arising from the footage, not enough is being done to protect B.C.’s threatened wild salmon populations from the threats of the farmed-salmon industry that stem from the use of open net pens.

In addition to the footage, Campbell collected samples of the discharge that laboratory testing found contained Piscene Reovirus, a disease carried in an estimated 80 per cent of Atlantic farmed salmon on the B.C. coast. The virus is linked to the presence of heart and skeletal muscle inflammation, a deadly condition found in B.C. wild salmon stocks.

VIDEO: B.C. Farmed-Salmon Processing Plant Captured Releasing Bloody Effluent into Coastal Waters

Bloodwater Salmon Farm Tavish Campbell

Underwater footage shows farmed-salmon processing plants releasing untreated effluent directly into B.C. coastal waters in Campbell River and Tofino.

The footage, recorded by photographer and filmmaker Tavish Campbell, shows the bloody discharge billowing into ocean waters via underwater pipes.

The Atlantic Veterinary College confirmed samples of the effluent contained Piscine reovirus, a virus first found in B.C. farmed Atlantic salmon in 2011 but has since been detected in wild Cutthroat and Steelhead trout as well as wild Chinook, Sockeye Coho and Chum salmon.

B.C. Using Kitimat Smelter Workers as ‘Guinea Pigs’ for Air Pollution Monitoring, Union Says

Premier John Horgan Rio Tinto Alcan Smelter

In October, B.C. Premier John Horgan made a visit to the Rio Tinto Alcan smelter on the banks of the Douglas Channel in Kitimat.

He praised the facility for being “a great example of how companies can improve conditions for workers and reduce pollution all while improving their bottom line.”

What he didn’t mention was the ongoing battle at Rio Tinto Alcan over a provincial permit that allowed the company to increase sulphur dioxide pollution by more than 50 per cent, or the union representing 800 workers at the smelter that appealed that permit, saying the increase in pollution was a direct threat to their health.

Exposure to sulphur dioxide aggravates the respiratory systems of asthmatics and is known to negatively affect the respiratory systems of children and the elderly.

Kinder Morgan At Risk of Violating NEB Condition With Premature 300,000-Tonne Pipeline Order

Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline

Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain may be in violation of a condition laid out by the National Energy Board, Canada’s federal pipeline regulator, after ordering nearly 300,000 tonnes of pipeline for the expansion project without submitting a quality management plan.

According to regulatory documents filed by the National Energy Board in September, Trans Mountain was required to file a quality management plan “at least four months prior to manufacturing any pipe and major components for the project.”

The quality management plan requires Trans Mountain to supply documentation regarding the qualifications of pipeline contractors, vendors and suppliers, quality auditing of manufactured pipe and the preservation of pipe during shipping and storage.

Yet in documents submitted to the NEB, Trans Mountain confirmed pipeline manufacturing contracts were awarded between May and July of 2017 and manufacturing of the pipeline began in October with no plan in place.

‘Disingenuous’ Forest Industry Campaign Tries to Undermine Protection of Endangered Caribou

CariboutFacts Forest Products Association of Canada Screenshot DeSmog Canada

A forestry industry lobby group is working to undermine Canada’s plans to protect endangered caribou, according to several experts.

The campaign, ‘Caribou Facts,’ launched by the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), is designed to cast doubt on the science of caribou conservation.

Several caribou populations in Canada are listed as threatened or endangered under the Species At Risk Act, which means provincial and federal governments are legally required to protect habitat and develop recovery plans to avoid localized extinction.

Scientists have pinpointed habitat fragmentation, caused by things like oil and gas activity, seismic lines, forestry and hydroelectric development, as the leading cause of caribou declines.

We know more about caribou than almost any other species in Canada,” says Mark Hebblewhite, associate professor of ungulate habitat biology at the University of Montana.

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.

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