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The Canadian Environmental Protection Act is Canada's most important environmental law. And yet, in the likely event that you are not an environmental lawyer, you have probably never heard of it.
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Recently it came to light that Clark and her government officials have a bad habit of triple deleting emails and records that should be protected under the Freedom of Information Act. This isn't the first time this problem has come up during Clark's time in office.
On Saturday, September 19, more than 35,000 Canadians will be out in full force to clean up a shoreline in their community for the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup -- It's part of the International Coastal Cleanup Day, making it one of the biggest cleanup events in the world.
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You wouldn't believe the looks of disbelief that we get. When my dive buddy Chris and I decide to spend a morning in Humber Bay, people are apt to ask whether we're serious about swimming in that part of Lake Ontario. One person questioned our sanity.
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The approved EA measures are very complex, and will include freezing in place the huge underground dumps of arsenic trioxide which pose the greatest health risk. It is likely to take 25 years to freeze it all. The freezing system will have to be actively operated, forever. The arsenic will stay poisonous -- it does not improve with time.
Politicians are free to ignore the science, safety and history of hydraulic fracturing. But if the incoming New Brunswick government sticks with its election promise, it will outlaw (temporarily, at least) one of the more innovative ways to extract oil and gas in the 21st century. The science and risk-reward ratio are both on the side of hydraulic fracturing. The potential for a more dynamic economy is staring New Brunswick politicians in the face.
Small pieces of plastic are capable of absorbing other forms of pollution in seawater. Mercury, PCBs, DDT and oily pollutants attach to plastic, so when animals consume plastic, the pollutants attached to them enter their bodies and move up the food chain, ultimately to the humans who eat seafood.
The biggest learning lesson from our trip down the Ganges is that even the holiest and most worshipped river on Earth is still vulnerable to the same threats that currently face every other major river system in the world today. How can we accept this unprecedented rate of destruction?
Thousands of us undoubtedly spent this Canada Day weekend playing in or simply lounging by our abundant oceans, lakes and rivers. Water is part of our national identity. Canada contains as much as 20 per cent of the entire world's fresh water supply. It's our birthright and our national treasure. But we might not be as rich as we think. The granddaughter of oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau told us we're headed for a water crisis because we're not taking care of our inheritance.
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Canada is well-positioned to be a global leader in water management with a significant portion of the world's freshwater supply. In order for Canada to lead, we need to approach water challenges from a new perspective -- one that recognizes sustainable water management as a value, not as a cost.
Lake Simcoe's water quality has improved since the 1990s due to a huge amount of work and restoration, but we are no longer seeing much in the way of improvement. We have already picked the low-hanging fruit -- the work we need to do in the future is going to be more expensive and harder to do.