Environmental Issues in Canada

With its abundant forests, natural resources and surrounding oceans, environmental issues in Canada are a hot topic.

Here is a summary of our coverage on environmental issues in Canada:


environmental issues canada

Study Finds no Evidence of Federal Environmental Assessment Backlog

A new study has found that there is no evidence of the delays in the federal environmental review process that lead to the sweeping changes the Harper government introduced in last year’s omnibus budget bill C38.

environmental issues canada

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Average 250 Pipeline Accidents Each Year, Billions Spent on Property Damage

If only this were milk there would be no need to cry. Cleanup efforts are currently underway in four separate oil spills that have occurred in the last ten days.

environmental issues canada

French gas giant pulls out of Suncor partnership

French oil and gas giant Total SA is pulling out of its tar sands partnership with Suncor. Total purchased its 49% stake in the Voyageur upgrader project in 2010, saying they were making a “long-term bet” on the profitability of the Alberta tar sands. Now they’re selling their shares back to Suncor at a $1.65 billion loss, rather than spending the $5 billion required to keep the project going.

environmental issues canada

Alberta Govt Hires Bipartisan Team of Lobbyists to Woo Washington on Risky KXL Tar Sands Pipeline

The Alberta government has hired a team of “foreign special interest groups“ to lobby the U.S. Congress and the White House in a desperate attempt to garner support for the risky Keystone XL pipeline that would carry (and certainly spilltar sands crude through the heartland of America to the Gulf Coast and on to export markets overseas.

environmental issues canada

The Department of Wild Salmon? New Documentary Salmon Confidential Exposes Government Muzzling of Scientists, Calls Locals to Action

British Columbia’s Fraser River was once the most productive sockeye salmon river in the world. In recent history, hundreds of millions of salmon would return to its tributaries, spawning along the thousands of kilometers of rivers and streams that serve as nesting grounds for this keystone species.

environmental issues canada

Information Commissioner launches “muzzling” probe

Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault hasannounced that she is launching an investigation into the “muzzling” of scientists. The announcement comes in response to a lettersent by the non-partisan citizen advocacy groupDemocracy Watch and The Environmental Law Centre (ELC) at the University of Victoria earlier this year.

UBC New Economy Summit to Develop Real Economic Action Plans for BC

For those who sense that something isn’t quite right with endless growth as an economic model, developing alternatives can be an isolated task. The evening news rarely leads with a story extolling the virtues of co-ops and community currencies, and the language of sustainability has been coopted by the status quo.

Report: Canada Could be a Green Energy Goliath

Canada has many times more energy in untapped wind, solar and hydro resources than it ever will from the Alberta tar sands a new report released today finds.

Leaked: National Roundtable on the Environment and Economy's Final Farewell Report

It is being reported today that Canada's Minister of the Environment, Peter Kent, would not allow the public posting of a final report by the now-defunct National Roundtable on Energy and Environment (NRTEE), a 25-year old government funded project that brought together Canada's brightest minds to work on the convergence of environmental sustainability and economic prosperity. 

Talking Trash: Edmonton Breaks Ground on Waste-to-Biofuels Plant

While the Alberta government remains hopelessly hooked on oil revenue, the province’s capital city is quietly leading a green revolution. This January, Edmonton became the first city to break ground on its own fully integrated waste-to-biofuel facility.

Budget 2013 Low on Substance, Silent on Climate Change

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s 2013 federal budget might be heavy on jobs, but critics say it’s light on detail and almost silent on climate change.

The only real mention of the issue of climate change in the 450-page Economic Action Plan comes in the form of a grant of $325 million over eight years to Sustainable Development Technology Canada “to continue support for the development and demonstration of new, clean technologies that create efficiencies for businesses and contribute to sustainable economic development.”

Future of Experimental Lakes Area Still Uncertain

The future of Ontario’s Experimental Lakes Area is still up in the air, but the Conservative government has already begun dismantling the cabins that house the scientists who come to study at the world-renowned research facility.

International Scientific Association Drops Tar Sands Research Project Over 'Reputational Problems'

The Helmholtz Association of Research Centres, a major German scientific body with more than 30,000 researchers and US$4.4 billion in annual funding, has dropped out of a joint Alberta tar sands project over fears that the project was damaging the institution's reputation. 

Algonquins of Barriere Lake Fight Copper Mine

The Algonquins of Barriere Lake, Quebec have once again voiced their objection to copper mining in their area. According to a statement released through Mining Watch Canada, the First Nations community objects to the continued efforts of the junior mining company Copper One to develop their Rivière Doré property on unceded Algonquin territory. 

You Can't Be For Canada and Against Keystone, Says Minister Oliver

Yesterday Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver held a press conference to respond to NDP leader Tom Mulcair’s open objection to the Keystone XL pipeline. Oliver, who has recently returned from a US tour to advertise Canada’s tar sands as green, finds Mulcair’s recent trip to Washington, D.C. somewhat disconcerting. 

environmental issues canada

Pipeline Company Shows “Bias Toward Inaction” in Rainbow Spill, Says ERCB

Alberta’s Energy Resources Conservation Board has released its findings following the investigation of the Rainbow pipeline spill in April 2011, and the results highlight longstanding issues both with Alberta oil companies and the bodies that monitor them.

Fueling the Future: Is BC to become a Global Frack Zone?

On day one of the two-day LNG conference titledFueling the Future: Global Opportunities for LNG in BC, Premier Christy Clark announced in her keynote address that BC would lead the world in transitioning “to the cleanest fossil fuel on the planet.”

Tar Sands Monitoring a Mystery One Year In

One year after plans were announced for a new system to monitor the environmental effects of the Alberta tar sands, there is still no sign of any formal data.

In February of 2012, the federal government, in partnership with the government of Alberta, announced plans for a new three-year environmental monitoring system to collect information on the Alberta tar sands. Touted as world-class by environment ministers at both the federal and provincial levels, the three-year plan is meant to track data on water, air, land and wildlife, and provide annual reports for the first three years, followed by a comprehensive peer review in 2015.

Federal Ads Aim To Convince Canadians of Progress Where None Has Been Made

The Harper government has been using taxpayer money to sharpen its marketing toolkit in the debate over natural resource development. According to a recent report from Léger Marketing, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) commissioned the company to perform pre- and post-testing of their $9 millionResponsible Resource Development advertising campaign.