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Ottawa's Mandate to Promote Fish Farming at Odds with Tough Regulation

The Government Should Stop Pretending There's a Scientific Debate About Salmon Farming

Does Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s (DFOs) science advisory process have integrity when tasked with answering questions on salmon farming?

B.C.’s Narrow Fracking Review Doesn’t Serve the Public Interest

Horgan, BC fracking scientific inquiry,

By Amy Lubik, Ben Parfitt and Grand Chief Stewart Phillip

Just two days before B.C. Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announced a completely inadequate “independent scientific review” of fracking in our province, an international team of scientists issued a stark warning about the human health risks associated with the natural gas industry's rampant use of this brute force technology.

“Our examination…uncovered no evidence that fracking can be practiced in a manner that does not threaten human health,” concluded the scientists, who were affiliated either with the Concerned Health Professionals of New York or the Nobel Peace Prize-winning group, Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Tellingly, the scientific review just announced by the B.C. government will expressly not investigate the human health impacts of fracking.

The Myth of the Echo Chamber

Myth of the Echo Chamber

Elizabeth Dubois, University of Ottawa and Grant Blank, University of Oxford

Information warfare” may be a top concern in the next Canadian election cycle, as a report on a workshop by CSIS suggests, but some fears about how people get their political information and the impact of social media are overstated.

In a recently published study, we show that fears about an “echo chamber” in which people encounter only information that confirms their existing political views are blown out of proportion. In fact, most people already have media habits that help them avoid echo chambers.

Violence Against the Land Begets Violence Against Women

Melina Laboucan-Massimo

By Melina Laboucan-Massimo, David Suzuki Foundation Indigenous Knowledge and Climate Change Fellow. This piece originally appeared on the David Suzuki Foundation website.

On International Women’s Day, I doubt industrial projects like Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline are top of mind for most. But there is a direct link between natural resource extraction and violence against largely Indigenous women and girls, which serves as an important reminder: violence against the land begets violence against women.

Along with pipelines and the extractive economic engines they support — like Alberta’s oilsands — come so-called “man camps.” Located near extraction sites, these are where mostly male workers live in close quarters for weeks or months at a time.

How the Media Failed Colten Bushie


By Candis Callison, Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Journalism, University of British Columbia and Mary-Lynn Young, Associate professor, Graduate School of Journalism, University of British Columbia

What can the events surrounding Colten Boushie’s death, the trial verdict and its media coverage tell us about the role of journalism and journalists in relation to Indigenous concerns in Canada? All too much.

There is a well-documented history of Canadian newspapers’ complicity with colonialism and state-sponsored violence against Indigenous people from pre-Confederation forward. And despite the last several decades of front-page coverage that includes the uprising in Oka to Idle No More and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, mainstream media are only doing marginally better than they have before.

The Pitfalls of Short-Circuited Project Reviews

Early Site C construction in 2016. Photo: Garth Lenz

Mark Winfield is professor of environmental studies at York University and co-chair of the university’s Sustainable Energy Initiative. This piece originally appeared on Policy Options.

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball announced in late November a public inquiry into how the economically disastrous Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project was approved.

In reality, there is little mystery.

We Exposed Sockeye Salmon to Diluted Bitumen. Here's What We Found.

David Seibold Sockeye Salmon Contamination Illustration

Amid continued controversy, Kinder Morgan is poised to break ground on its $7.4 billion Trans Mountain Expansion Project. When the pipeline is complete, it will triple the volume of diluted bitumen, or Dilbit, that reaches Canada’s Pacific shoreline to 890,000 barrels per day.

The Trans Mountain pipeline has been in operation since 1953. It crosses numerous waterways as it snakes its way from Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C., including the lower portions of the Fraser River — North America’s primary salmon-producing river system. The pipeline expansion has raised concerns about how its failure might have an impact on these fish.

Canada's North Needs Many Things, But Oil and Gas Drilling Isn't One of Them

The Norman Wells pipeline connects oil fields in the Northwest Territories to Alberta

By Edward Struzik

This article was originally published on The Conversation Canada.

Northwest Territories Premier Bob McLeod was right when he issued a “red alert” in November and called for an urgent national debate on the future of the Northwest Territories. His peers, the premiers of Nunavut and the Yukon Territory, would be justified in calling for the same thing.

How Legal Is the “Bloodwater” Dump in B.C.?

blood water bc fish farms Tavish Campbell

By Maryann Watson, Marine Scientist and Stephanie Hewson, Staff Counsel at West Coast Environmental Law

Clouds of blood pumped straight from a fish plant in B.C. made worldwide headlines last week after diver Tavish Campbell published a shocking video revealing the practice. Since then, people from all over the province have asked us at West Coast Environmental Law about its legality.

The short answer is that the practice of discharging bloodwater from fish plants is legal for now, even if the blood contains instances of PRV. Currently, the federal government regulates fish farms and animal health, while the province regulates fish processing facilities. This has created two separate systems that are not clearly linked, leaving regulatory gaps that threaten the health and habitat of wild salmon and other marine organisms.

Catherine McKenna Says Canada Has a Climate Plan. Prove It.

Catherine McKenna, COP23, climate plan

By Ross Belot for iPolitics.

The first thing you have to do is have a plan; you have to implement your plan, and then you have to ratchet up ambition. That’s part of the Paris agreement, and that’s what we’re absolutely committed to doing.”

That’s Environment Minister Catherine McKenna in an interview she gave to the Globe and Mail before heading to Bonn for the COP23 climate talks.

Let’s just start by saying it’s really good to hear that McKenna understands she needs a plan. Two years into her mandate, she hasn’t shown us one. An actual plan would include numbers that add up to the stated goal. McKenna has offered no such thing.