Is democracy still alive? Can ordinary citizens still make their voices heard? A look at initiatives in recent decades here in Northwestern Ontario strongly suggests that the answer is yes.
In 1980, when Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., proposed a high-level nuclear waste storage facility in Atikokan, Environment North and other citizen organizations studied the proposal and believed that not enough was known about the safe transport and storage of the waste to justify the risk it posed.
A petition that called for public hearings had 24,000 signatories. Test-drilling was halted and the hearings were eventually held in the 1990s. More »
Lately I’ve been asked a lot about why I decided to march with over 300,000 people in New York City as part of the People’s Climate March that coincided with the UN’s Climate Change Summit.
“Do you really think it’s going to change anything?”
“China’s not going. India’s not going. So what’s the point of a climate change summit if two of the world’s largest carbon emitters are sitting it out?” More »
On Friday, there was a National Day of Honour and the opening of the Afghanistan casualty memorial in the beautiful setting of Waverley Park. This was a moving day for me since my oldest son is a major in the Royal 22nd Regiment (“Van Doos”) and served two tours in Afghanistan.
Our soldiers’ struggle was to fight al-Qaida and the Taliban, and to establish some freedom for especially the children and women of Afghanistan. But what about our kids here? More »
I am writing in response to Barry Beaupre’s letter of April 26 (Will of People Saved ELA).
We are very grateful to note that Mr. Beaupre credited the local Chapter of the Council of Canadians as one of the citizen movements that helped save the Experimental Lakes Area. More »
After any online story about the environment, Internet trolls love to suggest that environmentalists are hypocrites – that you can’t, for example, be against new oil pipelines if you drive a car. While the trolls almost certainly failed their logic class in high school, I think a lot of people intuitively feel that way – that you can’t push for change if you’re not ‘perfect.’ This slows the change we so desperately need. More »
Shocking news from Alberta: the Wildrose opposition party has announced that it now believes in climate change, and humans’ influence on it. What’s next? Official recognition that the Earth is round and orbits the Sun?
But you have to hand it to Wildrose party leader Danielle Smith. In response to Alberta Environment Minister Diana McQueen’s quip that Ms. Smith would never be taken seriously on the global stage if she didn’t acknowledge climate change, Ms. Smith retorted “I don’t accept a lecture from a do-nothing environment minister like Diana McQueen.” More »
As our prime minister prorogues Parliament (again), environmental advocates are suing the federal government over new rules restricting public participation in hearings conducted by the National Energy Board (NEB) on major energy projects, including Enbridge’s proposed reversal of its Line 9B pipeline.
Some background: In 2008 the government passed the Federal Sustainable Development Act. The unobjectionable purpose of this legislation is to make environmental decision-making more transparent and accountable. In passing the act, the government acknowledged the “need to integrate environmental, economic and social factors in the making of all decisions by government.” More »
I am a loyal reader of Gwynne Dyer’s column, World View, published regularly by The Chronicle-Journal. I was particularly struck by the disheartening conclusion to his article of Dec. 11, entitled Climate Talks: Coasting Towards Disaster.
I don’t dispute his history chronicling the sad tale of failed effort after failed effort to arrive at an honourable and committed global consensus on dealing with the urgent need to meet the challenge of Climate Change before it is too late.
But, I do take issue with Dyer’s conclusion that it appears all is lost More »