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reeves report: Can Elizabeth May Unmuzzle Canada’s Scientists?

Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May.

The success rate of private member’s bills in the federal parliament is abysmal. In the 100-plus years since 1910, Ottawa has passed just 271 of them. For comparison, more than 1,600 PMB’s were tabled between 1997 and 2015, and the rate at which they’re being drawn . . . → Read More: reeves report: Can Elizabeth May Unmuzzle Canada’s Scientists?

reeves report: Ontario Anti-Fracking Bill Passes Second Reading

NDP MPP Peter Tabuns speaking with reporters at Queen’s Park. (CBC News Image.)

A PRIVATE MEMBER’S BILL from Toronto-area NDP MPP Peter Tabuns to ban fracking in the province passed second reading Thursday by a 29-18 vote with support from the governing Liberals.

“Water or gas — that’s our choice,” Tabuns . . . → Read More: reeves report: Ontario Anti-Fracking Bill Passes Second Reading

reeves report: What’s Worth More: Your Time or the Planet?

WAITING FOR THE BUS one morning on your way to work, you realize your reusable travel mug is at home. You’d rather not use another single-use plastic cup, but if you run back to grab it you’ll miss the next bus and be five minutes late for work.

Do you go back for your . . . → Read More: reeves report: What’s Worth More: Your Time or the Planet?

reeves report: Cost of Great Lakes Plastic Clean-Up Could Top $486 Million

SHOULD THE FINANCIAL BURDEN of removing all plastic debris from the Great Lakes fall on the shoulders of the 36 million people within the basin, researchers now have an estimate of the cleanup costs: $486-million (US).

Findings from the Ecohydrology Research Group at the University of Waterloo published this month in the Journal . . . → Read More: reeves report: Cost of Great Lakes Plastic Clean-Up Could Top $486 Million

reeves report: Toronto Fish Health Improving – But You Can’t Eat Them Yet

Local man fishing in Toronto Harbour.

THE LATEST STUDY from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and the University of Toronto analyzed government data on mercury, dioxin/furans and polychlorinated biphenyl(PCB) in local and migratory fish populations from 1975 to 2011.

What they found was not surprising, per se, but it . . . → Read More: reeves report: Toronto Fish Health Improving – But You Can’t Eat Them Yet

reeves report: Waste Mismanagement Leads to Plastic-Filled Oceans

Up to 12.7 million tonnes of plastic waste enter the world’s oceans every year, partly due to litter and inadequate waste management.

Plastic particles sit in sieves ready for sorting. Photo by Malin Jacob.

ROUGHLY 9.1 MILLION tonnes of plastic waste will head from land to sea this year alone in 192 coastal countries . . . → Read More: reeves report: Waste Mismanagement Leads to Plastic-Filled Oceans

reeves report: Ontario’s endangered species get their day in court

Endangered American Eel.

LAWYERS ACTING ON BEHALF of the Ontario government told the courts last month that Ontario’s endangered species legislation is now only concerned with the most dire of species listed under the law.

The Woodland Caribou; the American Eel; the Blanding’s Turtle — these and more than 150 other species currently . . . → Read More: reeves report: Ontario’s endangered species get their day in court

reeves report: Melting Glaciers to Release Billions of Kilograms of CO₂ by 2050

A new study finds sea-level rise isn’t the only thing to fear about melting glaciers.

Antarctic Ice Shelf Loss Comes From Underneath by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center \ CC BY 2.0 via Flickr

WE KNOW SEA levels are rising as climate change causes glaciers to melt. But it turns out rising seas may . . . → Read More: reeves report: Melting Glaciers to Release Billions of Kilograms of CO₂ by 2050

reeves report: 2014 — Canada’s Year of the Pipeline

Keystone XL wasn’t the only pipeline project to rankle Canadians in 2014.

WIDESPREAD PUBLIC DEBATE on building vast networks of snaking energy pipelines throughout Canada dominated the country’s environmental newsreel in 2014, and will continue making headlines in the year ahead.

A collection of Canada’s top environmental NGOs told Reeves Report . . . → Read More: reeves report: 2014 — Canada’s Year of the Pipeline

reeves report: Historic dam latest line of defence against invasive Asian carp

Carp over Barge. (Photo: Dan O’Keefe, Michigan Sea Grant)

THE NEXT LINE OF DEFENCE against keeping invasive Asian carp out of the Great Lakes will come at an 81-year-old lock and dam in Joliet, Illinois, 65 kilometres south of Chicago on the shores of Lake Michigan.

The Brandon Road dam, listed . . . → Read More: reeves report: Historic dam latest line of defence against invasive Asian carp

reeves report: Loopholes threaten Ontario Greenbelt

The Greenbelt Alliance wants better protection for the ecologically sensitive area, which remains at risk from sprawl, mega-highways and contaminated soil.

Map of Greenbelt and other protected lands in Southern Ontario.

SOUTHERN ONTARIO’S 7,200 square kilometre Greenbelt and the prime farmland and headwaters it contains remain at significant risk from expanding urban . . . → Read More: reeves report: Loopholes threaten Ontario Greenbelt

reeves report: New ‘Tipping Point’ Model Could Help Predict Species Extinction

Snowshoe hares are facing increasing challenges as snow patterns shift dramatically as a result of climate change.

ENVIRONMENTAL “TIPPING POINTS” can provide researchers with valuable clues to detect when species . . . → Read More: reeves report: New ‘Tipping Point’ Model Could Help Predict Species Extinction

reeves report: NDP to refuse support for Rouge National Urban Park bill

Everyone wants the 10,500 acres in the Rouge Valley to be made into a national urban park, yet few but the Harper Tories think their plan for the green space is the best path forward.

Rouge Park at Sunrise. (Flickr Photo Courtesy of Snuffy.)

ON A MEDIA TOUR this week of the proposed park . . . → Read More: reeves report: NDP to refuse support for Rouge National Urban Park bill

reeves report: Ocean Warming and Acidification will Crash Crabs’ Metabolism

Porcelain crab. (Image courtesy of Stillman’s Lab)

BASED ON FUTURE CLIMATE SCENARIOS, researchers believe coastal ecosystems will see increased extremes in low tide temperature fluctuations and drops in pH levels associated with ocean acidification. This particular study looked at what impacts, if any, warmer water and higher acidity levels will have on . . . → Read More: reeves report: Ocean Warming and Acidification will Crash Crabs’ Metabolism

reeves report: Ontario Invasive Species Act gets second chance

A control test site for invasive plant phragmites at Wasaga Beach on Lake Huron.

LIBERAL NATURAL RESOURCE MINISTER Bill Mauro reintroduced the Invasive Species Act Wednesday, the first standalone legislation in Canada geared towards stopping the spread of invasives into the province

There is currently a patchwork of more than 20 . . . → Read More: reeves report: Ontario Invasive Species Act gets second chance

reeves report: Ontario and Ottawa face off over fate of Rouge Park lands

A STANDOFF IS BREWING east of Toronto in the Rouge Valley between Queen’s Park and the federal government over the proposed Rouge National Urban Park.

Ontario Infrastructure Minister Brad Duguid made it clear to federal Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq that the province would not hand 5,400 acres of land it owns, stretching from Lake Ontario . . . → Read More: reeves report: Ontario and Ottawa face off over fate of Rouge Park lands

reeves report: ECO urges province to create new climate action plan

SO MUCH OF THE THINKING around climate change has evolved since 2007 that Ontario’s seven-year-old climate action plan is now “irrelevant” according to Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller.

In releasing Looking for Leadership: The Costs of Climate Inaction this morning, Miller said the province has been a leader in the climate file but has not kept . . . → Read More: reeves report: ECO urges province to create new climate action plan

reeves report: Ontario adds Climate Change to MOE Portfolio

IN ANNOUNCING her new cabinet last week, Premier Kathleen Wynne has charged former Transportation Minister Glen Murray with taking over Ontario’s newly revamped environment ministry.

Murray, the sitting MPP for Toronto Centre and former mayor of Winnipeg, assumed command of the environment ministry from veteran MPP Jim Bradley who is Ontario’s longest-serving environment minister after . . . → Read More: reeves report: Ontario adds Climate Change to MOE Portfolio

reeves report: Ottawa approves $5.5 billion Northern Gateway pipeline

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT has approved the $5.5-billion Northern Gateway pipeline project from Enbridge, to carry 525,000 barrels of crude oil each day from Bruderheim in northern Alberta to the port town of Kitimat along British Columbia’s rugged Pacific Coast.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper signalled his approval for the project late Thursday after the controversial . . . → Read More: reeves report: Ottawa approves $5.5 billion Northern Gateway pipeline

reeves report: MNR lacks real-time data on controversial spring bear hunt

Black bear. (Flickr photo by Casey Brown)

JUST OVER HALFWAY through the reintroduced six-week spring bear hunt, which runs from May 1 to June 15, the province of Ontario has issued close to 2,300 licenses for black bears.

Unfortunately, the Ministry of Natural Resources has no idea how many of those licences will . . . → Read More: reeves report: MNR lacks real-time data on controversial spring bear hunt

reeves report: Environmental Legislation Killed by the Ontario Election

Environment Minister Jim Bradley and Natural Resources Minister David Orazietti speak with reporters at Queen’s Park. June, 2013. (Photo by Andrew Reeves)

SO WE KEEP WAITING.

Ontario’s environmental community had reason for optimism when Kathleen Wynne assumed leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party in January 2013, knowing the new premier was more . . . → Read More: reeves report: Environmental Legislation Killed by the Ontario Election

reeves report: Swimming against the odds

Few of the hundreds of thousands of Chinook salmon introduced into Lake Ontario each year survive to maturity, but the Ministry of Natural Resources is still betting on them to help to improve the health of the Great Lakes.

Finance Minister Charles Sousa with MNR staff and representatives from the Port Credit Salmon and . . . → Read More: reeves report: Swimming against the odds

reeves report: Rebuilding ‘science team’ at ELA a tough task

Researchers at the Experimental Lakes Area in northern Ontario.

When Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced on May 17, 2012 that funding for the Experimental Lakes Area would no longer be renewed by . . . → Read More: reeves report: Rebuilding ‘science team’ at ELA a tough task

reeves report: Toronto offering on-bill financing for home energy retrofits

A homeowner installing fiberglass insulation as part of Penticton, B.C.’s energy retrofit loan program.

It might be time to replace that aging water heater in the basement. Or that thinning insulation in the attic.

The City of Toronto is here to help, announcing last week that it’s taking steps to make it easier . . . → Read More: reeves report: Toronto offering on-bill financing for home energy retrofits

the reeves report: Reports question NEB’s approval process for Northern Gateway and Line 9 pipelines

Enbridge under fire as opponents of controversial pipeline projects worry the Canadian energy giant will be ill-prepared to handle potential ruptures throughout Southern Ontario and on B.C.’s rugged coast.

Opponents of Enbridge’s Line 9B pipeline in Southern Ontario are scrambling in the wake of its tentative approval earlier this month by the National Energy . . . → Read More: the reeves report: Reports question NEB’s approval process for Northern Gateway and Line 9 pipelines