Congratulations to Peter Kent on his appointment as Federal Environment Minister

OTTAWA - Sierra Club Canada extends its congratulations to the Hon. Peter Kent on his appointment as Federal Minister of Environment today.

“Ministers Ambrose, Baird and Prentice clearly took Canadian environmental policy two-steps backwards in their tenures as Federal Environment Minister,” says John Bennett, Executive Director of the Sierra Club Canada. “Will Peter Kent be any different? We hope so but aren’t holding our breath,” said Bennett.

With so many pressing environmental issues, not least of which is climate change, Canada desperately needs Kent to show leadership and be effective in his new job.

Sierra Club Canada is hoping Prime Minister Stephen Harper will stop treating the environment as a junior portfolio and allow Kent to give it the attention it deserves. Future generations are depending on it.

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Feds should clean up energy sector, poll says

OTTAWA — A majority of Canadians believe the energy sector is one of the most important parts of Canada's economy, and the federal government should lead the way in "cleaning" it up by finding alternatives to oil, says a newly released internal report.

The study, produced for Natural Resources Canada by Decima Research, found that 88 per cent of Canadians were either "very concerned" (47 per cent) or somewhat concerned (41 per cent) about the environmental impact of energy use and that 87 per cent were "very concerned" (46 per cent) or "somewhat concerned" (41 per cent) about the impact of energy production.... Read more »

Prentice was ready to curb oilsands: WikiLeaks

Former environment minister Jim Prentice told U.S. Ambassador David Jacobson that he was prepared to step in and impose tougher regulations on the oilsands if the industry damaged Canada's green reputation, according to a cable released by WikiLeaks.

"[Prentice] noted that if industry did not take voluntary measures and if the provincial government did not set more stringent regulations, he would step in and press federal environmental legislation," according to the cable, apparently written by Jacobson.

The cable indicates that Prentice felt the federal government was "too slow" to react to the dirty oil label and "and failed to grasp the magnitude of the situation."

Read the entire article at the link below.

Fluoride in Water Linked to Lower IQ in Children

NEW YORK, Dec. 21, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Exposure to fluoride may lower children's intelligence says a study pre-published in Environmental Health Perspectives, a publication of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (online December 17, 2010). 

Fluoride is added to 70% of U.S. public drinking water supplies.

According to Paul Connett, Ph.D., director of the Fluoride Action Network, "This is the 24th study that has found this association, but this study is stronger than the rest because the authors have controlled for key confounding variables and in addition to correlating lowered IQ with levels of fluoride in the water, the authors found a correlation between lowered IQ and fluoride levels in children's blood. This brings us closer to a cause and effect relationship between fluoride exposure and brain damage in children."... Read more »

Oilsands panel recommends critical fixes

A high-level scientific panel has sharply criticized the water quality monitoring system in Alberta's oilsands, going so far as to say “there is no system.”

The Oilsands Advisory Panel, appointed by former federal environment minister Jim Prentice, made its findings public in Ottawa on Tuesday in a joint news conference with current Environment Minister John Baird, who promised to act on the panel’s recommendations.

The panel’s chair, Elizabeth Dowdeswell, was critical of a piecemeal approach to water quality monitoring, saying the system is fragmented with no links between data on water quality — including ground water — and air quality.

She also said there is no reliable longitudinal data that would give a solid understanding of the environmental impact of the oilsands.... Read more »


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