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the reeves report: Deal reached to save Experimental Lakes Area

Ontario’s Experimental Lakes Area.

After months of negotiation, Queen’s Park announced Tuesday morning a deal has been struck to transfer ownership of the Experimental Lakes Area living laboratory in northern Ontario to the International Institute for Sustainable Development.

As part of the deal to keep the freshwater research facility alive, Ottawa—which abruptly cancelled its funding for ELA in early 2012 to save $2 million annually—has committed $250,000 a year for four years in surplus assets and operational funding to help cover transition costs.

Ontario, meanwhile, has earmarked $2 million a year towards keeping the 58-lake research facility going since opening (Read more…)

the reeves report: Time running out on ELA interim agreement

Researchers working at one of 58 lakes in the Experimental Lakes Area in northern Ontario.

Only three days remain to finalize the interim agreement to find a new operator for the Experimental Lakes Area laboratory in northern Ontario, but the province’s resource minister is “optimistic” things will work out.

“We are optimistic that we’ll have some positive news very shortly,” said Natural Resources Minister David Orazietti Thursday.

It’s possible all parties may agree to an interim continuation of the already interim agreement if no permanent arrangement can be found, he said, but currently the Liberals don’t believe more time will be (Read more…)

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 Board to highlight just how dangerous overhauling the 38-year-old, 639-kilometre pipeline could be for flora and fauna alike.

Approximately 100 protesters, First Nations members, students and concerned citizens gathered on the front lawn of Queen’s Park in Toronto the day after the NEB’s ruling (Read more…)

the reeves report: Ontario strengthens tools to combat invasives

MNR Minister David Orazietti introduces the Invasives Species Act at Queen’s Park.

Groundbreaking legislation a first of its kind in Canada – aims to fill in legislative gaps in combatting invasive species in Ontario.

Ontario is attempting to clear away some of the regulatory red tape and overlap that keeps Ministry of Natural Resources officials from moving quickly to combat invasive species with a new Invasive Species Act introduced late last month.

The bill, which MNR staff began working on in earnest last summer, would give Ontario greater authority over banning particular species and their transportation into and within the (Read more…)

the reeves report: Separate Great Lakes from Mississippi River to contain Asian carp: study

A recent study led by the University of Notre Dame and the U.S. Forest Service confirmed that hydrologically separating the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River watershed would be 95 to 100 per cent effective at containing Asian carp.

“Our study goes beyond just presenting barrier options by putting numbers to how effective various barriers will be, including hydrologic separation and the currently operating electric barrier system,” said report author Marion Wittmann of the University of Notre Dame.

“Authors have theorized that invasive species prevention is more cost-effective than control in protecting ecosystem services,” the report states.

The human (Read more…)

the reeves report: Indirect Impacts of Pipelines Should Be Included in Assessments

If oil and gas pipeline proponents can talk about indirect economic benefits stemming from new pipeline infrastructure, opponents should be able to consider the environmental impacts of those indirect actions when arguing against them, according to the Pembina Institute’s federal policy director.

Fair is fair, according to Clare Demerse, and if oil and natural gas companies tout the economic benefits of upstream oil sands production and downstream refining when making the case for new pipeline infrastructure, organizations like Pembina should be able to include the environmental and climatic impacts associated from such activities in the national discussion about our (Read more…)

the reeves report: Enbridge’s GTA pipeline project gets greenlight

The Ontario Energy Board gave approval late Thursday afternoon to Enbridge Gas Distribution’s $686.5 million GTA Project aiming to carry natural gas across the top of Toronto.

The project, consisting of two segments of pipeline stretching 50 kilometres from a compressor station in Milton into Scarborough where it will link up with other Enbridge pipelines, was touted by the company as an “upgrade to the backbone of its natural gas system in the Greater Toronto Area.”

“We are pleased with the OEB’s decision today as we believe this project will provide significant benefit to Enbridge Gas Distribution customers,” (Read more…)

the reeves report: Canada must help U.S. pay to contain Asian carp

Canada has an obligation to help the United States pay for physically separating Lake Michigan and the entire Great Lakes basin from the Mississippi River watershed to contain the spread of Asian carp, though the cost may reach $18 billion or more.

The latest report from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released Monday found preventing the aquatic invasive species Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes could cost upwards of $18 billion over 25 years if the most expensive control option is chosen by American lawmakers.

After having spent years studying the growing problem of controlling the aquatic (Read more…)

the reeves report: Great Lakes nuclear map shows troubling hot spots

Original Production by Irene Kock. Updated by Anna Tilman, April 2013, International Institute of Concern for Public Health

Ontarians may have no idea of the volume of nuclear-related facilities in the Great Lakes basin, but a new map offers a clear picture. The Great Lakes Nuclear Hot Spots Map recently created by Great Lakes United and the International Institute of Concern for Public Health is a comprehensive depiction of all facilities related to nuclear power production in the region. And it is intended to get our attention.

“The objective was to wake people up,” said John Jackson, program director (Read more…)

the reeves report: National Energy Board commenting rules ‘undemocratic’

Enbridge buried pipeline marker – east Toronto. Credit: Adam Scott/Environmental Defence.

Federal opposition MPs and environmental groups are crying foul over what they see as the government’s attempt to curtail public comment on Enbridge’s proposed 639-km Line 9 reversal pipeline route through southern Ontario and into Quebec.

Tucked away in last spring’s Bill C-38 omnibus budget bill from Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government is a requirement that any member of the public or other stakeholders wishing to comment through the National Energy Board on Enbridge’s proposed pipeline must apply for permission to comment on the project by filling out (Read more…)

Boreal Citizen: Boreal greenwashing: Mill-town politics in Northern Ontario

Every extractive capitalist economy needs a mechanism that allows corporate heavyweights to snuggle up with elected officials. In the US, there’s American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and if you haven’t yet been horrified by Bill Moyers’ piece on how ALEC essentially enables corporations to write state laws, you’re in for a treat.

Where I live, we have the seemingly innocuous Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA). Made up of municipal leaders and business partners, NOMA has been an outspoken advocate for the forestry industry, butting heads with the province over issues like the Endangered Species Act. Quite open about its allegiances,

. . . → Read More: Boreal Citizen: Boreal greenwashing: Mill-town politics in Northern Ontario

Boreal Citizen: From the mouths of Muppets: Why climate solutions are “simply not done”

Last month, while reading and reviewing Too Much Magic, I came across a line in the latter half of the book that really stung: “Not even people who are preoccupied with climate change like to think about it anymore.” It hurts because it’s true. I’m tired, and disheartened by the snail’s pace of climate progress. Meanwhile, the malaise of a feverish planet is rapidly intensifying, each drought or extreme weather event unfurling a new set of problems, foreshadowing our own undoing.

Kunstler goes on to write,

The more you explore the problem, the worse it seems and the

. . . → Read More: Boreal Citizen: From the mouths of Muppets: Why climate solutions are “simply not done”

Boreal Citizen: Nonsense Alert: When Canadian journalists succumb to climate denial folly

I don’t want to be one of those grandpas who spoils the grandkids with a habitable planet. It’s the same reason I will not buy life insurance. I get hit by a bus and my family gets rich? Sorry, I don’t want anybody happy at my funeral. –Stephen Colbert’s facetious bit about President Obama’s “radical pro-survival agenda,” January 28, 2013

Sticks and stones can break my bones but “alarmist” doesn’t hurt me. I do find it irritating, however, and exhausting. In Terrance Corcoran’s Financial Post article, Extreme media alert, he trots out the over-used “alarmist” and “extremist” insults countless

. . . → Read More: Boreal Citizen: Nonsense Alert: When Canadian journalists succumb to climate denial folly

Boreal Citizen: Occupy the MP Party / A Harper Year in Review

Parliament is winding down, and it’s getting close to Christmas…do you know where your politicians are? Most likely they’re boarding a plane and heading back home to sip egg nog with their constituents. Which has me thinking, why should Conservative MPs enjoy such a festive holiday when we citizens are still reeling from another year with the Harper government? Policy was rammed through without debate. We watched our democracy erode as our leaders bent to the will of industry, removing crucial environmental protections. Scientists were muzzled and dissenters were labeled “radicals”.

My MP’s annual party is scheduled for December 20

. . . → Read More: Boreal Citizen: Occupy the MP Party / A Harper Year in Review

the reeves report: Cleaning up the Niagara River

Niagara River © RokaB – Fotolia.com

The Niagara River has come a long way since the 1980s. One would still be advised not to drink the water, swim in some of the public beaches or eat the fish you reel in, but the latest report on the remediation plan reveals a river recovering from decades of abuse.

To mark the 25th anniversary of the Niagara River Remedial Action Plan, first agreed to in 1987, a report from Niagara College engineering professor Anne Michaud outlines the steps taken to improve the river on both sides of the border.

The action

. . . → Read More: the reeves report: Cleaning up the Niagara River

the woodshed: Plus ca change, plus ca meme chose

Last weekend @TheBrazman was all over twitter challenging reporters to step into the ring with him and demanding to know how much they were paid and generally making an obnoxious ass of himself. Having seen last night’s fight, I believe Nelson Muntz said it best for all of us: Once again a Conservative let his mouth write cheques his ass could not cash and reality is shown to have a liberal bias. Trash-tweeting Sen. Patrick Brazeau and his karate black belt talked his way to being a 3-1 favorite in the “Showdown in O-town”. He even bragged that he thought

. . . → Read More: the woodshed: Plus ca change, plus ca meme chose

the woodshed: He’s cheesy and he’s greasy

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the woodshed: Smug, okay maybe a little, but I think it’s justified

with a tip of the beaver hat to the esteemed Mr. Otter, who reads & comments but does not blogTweet The Rev. Paperboy Feed

the reeves report: Photo Gallery: Liberal Biennial Convention 2012

Now that the Liberal Biennial Convention has wrapped up and people have headed home to regroup and figure out how best to build on the ideas and momentum that so energized them in frigid Ottawa, a look back on the weekend that was — in photo’s!

Enjoy!

Media Stage at LPC 2012

Liberal Party President Mike Crawley rallies the troops in the lead up to the vote.

Candidate literature at LPC 2012.

Party volunteers reshuffling stage props between speeches.

Mike Crawley volunteer keeping a Crawley Shark afloat.

Creative fundraising. Anonymously domate upwards of $20 (at a time) to "Hot Button"

. . . → Read More: the reeves report: Photo Gallery: Liberal Biennial Convention 2012

the woodshed: Street curling

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the reeves report: Liberals opt to tread cautiously into the future

Stage in Canada Hall at the Liberal Biennial Convention.

Canada’s die-hard Liberals are wrapping up their Biennial Convention in Ottawa this afternoon. It has been an enthusiastic affair, despite the fact that it is not a leadership convention. (Although the Liberals have had enough of those in the past decade to last a generation.)

Turnout has been much larger than anticipated which everyone takes as a welcome sign of the party’s future prospects, especially when you factor in that by most accounts, over 1/3 of the delegates are likely under 26. So interim leader Bob Rae was not far

. . . → Read More: the reeves report: Liberals opt to tread cautiously into the future

the reeves report: The cautious politics of choosing a leader

NDP leadership candidates at the first debate held in December, 2011.

As the race to replace Jack Layton heats up, it was only a matter of time before the candidates began taking significant steps to differentiate themselves from their fellow candidates. Eight candidates remain in the race to lead the NDP and Her Majesty’s Official Opposition, and the New Democrats should be proud of the field that vies to lead them.

It represents an engaging and representative swath of the population, increasing the likelihood that Canada’s New Democratic Party members will be able to identify with more leadership candidates than

. . . → Read More: the reeves report: The cautious politics of choosing a leader

the reeves report: Laureen Harper’s Big Opportunity

Laureen and Stephen Harper.

Even though it has been Ottawa’s worst kept secret for years, the rumour (which in all likelihood has some truth to it) that Laureen Harper has moved out of 24 Sussex Drive and into the Chateau Laurier has been making the rounds yet again. The rumour also suggests not only that the Prime Minister’s wife has moved out because of marital difficulties, but insinuates that Laureen has also taken up with a female RCMP officer, and that her (rumoured) homosexuality forms the bulk of their marital discord.

Though it might seem a silly question to any

. . . → Read More: the reeves report: Laureen Harper’s Big Opportunity

the reeves report: Fighting the deficit by defunding the Catholic school system

St. Boniface Catholic School in Toronto.

The question of funding for Catholic education in Ontario is similar to the question of reforming the first-past-the-post system we employ for electing members of parliament – any rudimentary thinking on the issue would show it to be egregiously undemocratic and discriminatory, yet politicians are consistently able to hide behind a perceived public distaste for altering the status quo.

Which may have been the case for much of the past century and a half that separate schools have existed in this province. But as Ontario’s deficit tops $16B, difficult choices will be made across

. . . → Read More: the reeves report: Fighting the deficit by defunding the Catholic school system

the reeves report: UPDATED: Federal Court rules Agriculture Minister violated the Wheat Board charter

Agriculture Minister Gary Ritz on 'Marketing Freedom'

Judge Douglas R. Campbell has ruled that Agriculture Minister Gary Ritz violated the Canada Wheat Board charter and the law with regards to making fundamental changes to the structure of the organization and “must be held accountable.”

“Had a meaningful consultative process been engaged to find a solution which meets the concerns of the majority, the present legal action might not have been necessary,” thus exonerating the head of the CWB, Allen Oberg, whose decision it was to take the Minister to court.

Campbell argued in his ruling that Ritz demonstrated “disregard

. . . → Read More: the reeves report: UPDATED: Federal Court rules Agriculture Minister violated the Wheat Board charter