Archive for the ‘Sustainable Development’ Category

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Canadian Environment Law Assc. Publishes Report About CETA Negative Environmental Effects

14/10/2011

Improve the Canadian and European-Union trade agreement to better protect the environment, says Canadian Environmental Law Association

TORONTO, Oct. 14, 2011 /CNW/ -Today, the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) published a report about the negative environmental effects that could result from the Canadian and European-Union trade agreement, currently in its final stages of negotiations. The proposed trade agreement is the most comprehensive trade agreement to which Canada has ever been a party. It is set to be negotiated in Ottawa from October 17 – 21; its 10th and likely final round. According to CELA’s report, if major drafting changes are not made, the ability of government, both national and local, to enact public interest environmental measures could be compromised.

TOP 10 REASONS WHY CETA IS BAD

Theresa McClenaghan, CELA’s Executive Director, says “it is critical that trade agreements to which Canada is a party are carefully drafted so that public interest environmental laws are protected. Otherwise, economic arguments can be used against enacting or enforcing strong environmental laws.”

Some of the most controversial elements potentially proposed for the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) include the unprecedented liberalization of essential public services, such as water, and the inclusion of a controversial investor-state dispute settlement clause. The narrow definition of ‘environmental laws’ and narrow exceptions for those ‘environmental laws’ from stringent liberalization provisions are also of concern. All of these proposals would restrict national and sub-national levels of Canadian government from enacting environmental laws in the public interest.

CETA is only the second time in Canadian history where parties to a trade agreement include provinces, and the first time that municipalities are bound. These cause CELA further concern because CETA, as presently drafted, will open up local regulations and policies of provinces and municipalities to direct competition and challenge from European corporations.

CETA’s impact on future economic, social, and environmental development in Canada and the EU will be considerable. For these reasons, the Canadian Environmental Law Association’s report insists that this agreement presents a critical opportunity for the inclusion of clear and strong environmental safeguards to ensure sustainable economic development in Canada and improve on environmental standards established in pre-existing trade agreements.

For the CELA analysis and drafting recommendations, see the report at
http://www.cela.ca/publications/report-environmental-impact-canadian-european-union-comprehensiveeconomic-
and-trade-ag.

For further information:Theresa McClenaghan, Canadian Environmental Law Association, 416-960-2284 ext. 219, c: (416) 662-8341

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Japan Legal Action Against Ontario Green Energy Act “Concern” for WTO – International Institute Sustainable Development

11/10/2011

IISD convenes meeting at WTO – international trade/investment laws

GENEVA—October 11, 2011—The International Institute for Sustainable Development has convened a one-day meeting of specialists from the climate change and the international trade law communities aimed at developing a better framework to address unilateral trade-related action on climate change, at the World Trade Organization headquarters in Geneva on Thursday.

“Several high profile measures have already sparked legal challenges in the WTO, a clear sign of things to come,” said IISD senior advisor and associate Aaron Cosbey.

The most prominent case is the action Japan has brought against Canada over Ontario’s Green Energy Act, which provides preferential incentives to green energy (solar and wind), but only if it uses components manufactured by local manufacturers. If Japan succeeds, it could mean lost jobs and a roadblock to Ontario’s ambitions to be a clean energy exporter.

“This is a major concern to all members of the WTO, as the uncertainty has stalled critical and urgent investments in clean energy infrastructure and other climate change-related investments,” said Cosbey.

Despite the urgency, Cosbey said it will still take years to establish a framework to deal with the complex issues. “This meeting is just the beginning, but the issues are so important we expect a lively and productive discussion at the very least.”

He said the aim is to foster greater international cooperation in an effort to keep investment flowing in the direction of initiatives that help countries develop the infrastructure needed for climate change adaptations and mitigation.

The meeting will also look at issues around border carbon adjustment, which pose serious challenges for international cooperation on trade and investment, as well as in the ongoing climate change negotiations.

Please see the agenda for a full list of presenters at the conference: Trade, Investment and Climate Change: Searching for Progress on Key Issues,on October 13, 2011.

source: IISD

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The British Are Coming! Future Policy: Canada Cracked Open – Business, Environment, Laws

29/09/2011

One of Canadian Newswire’s headlines read: Ties Between UK & Canada Show Plenty of Potential.

It obviously points to the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy as clearly touted throughout the release, along with the interesting video attached as well. Go read and see it here, however, it pointed towards something else that seems to have surfaced in an underlying way.

A lean towards influencing students towards a future of ‘sustainable’ oil & gas. It’s no secret how the Feds want to double oil production in the next 10 years or so.

Feds want to double production. How can that be? POLICY. or (PC OILY)

The School of Public Policy website [indicated quite clearly in the background throughout the video] leads one to all the wonderful descriptions of enrolling and educating oneself to public policy and its intricacies and how to deal.  But as you delve deeper into who’s behind it, it makes one wonder how these students will be taught, and what they will believe is “for the better of the public interest” policy.

The credits listed for the professors are extensive and glare back of a more ominous tone that tends to lean towards a future of big business, oil & gas and re-affirming within the minds of these students that, as defined under the Canadian Federal Sustainable Development Act, these not so green and not so environmentally friendly types of energy, are sustainable.  Sustainability & Sustainable Development are such interesting definitions under that Act (OIL & GAS INCLUDED!!!) and carry such broad scope of argument that always out-shadows the precautionary principle, which is the only written terminology (as a definition) that eludes to the environment.

Here are the cracks. A list of the course Instructors, Lecturers & Supervisors.

SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:

“Director of the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies”

“… coauthor of a book on the regulation of natural gas pipelines in Canada, a text in industrial organization …”

“co-author, or co-editor of a number of books, including Human Rights and Social Technology: The New War on Discrimination (with T. E. Flanagan), … Current projects include Courting Controversy, a book that explores the rhetorical strategies used by courts to manage highly contentious public issues.”

“published extensively on Metis lands, Louis Riel, Native land rights and self determination, game theory and on recent political movements in Canada (such as the Reform party and the Conservative rise to power)”

or how about this choice credit:

“on the Energy Strategy Advisory Committee for the Government of Alberta; as an advisor to the Government of Canada on the Mackenzie Gas Pipeline Project; on the Canadian Academy of Engineering Energy Pathways Taskforce; on the Council of Canadian Academies Study on Hydrates; and, on the Boards of Directors of the Alberta Chamber of Resources, the Alberta Energy Research Institute, the Canadian Energy Research Institute, and the Alberta Ingenuity Centre for In Situ Energy. ”

“research associate at Cornell University and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy.”

These professors are merely knowledge testers and gatherers and regurgitators.  They provide all this information back to our government.  The government in turn, gets the bigger picture. Information technology is surely one of the highest forms of power in the world.

The lean here seems to be towards, energy, economy, business, sustainability (always a questionable Act) that rings of oil & gas, amongst others and it just so happens to be in Alberta.

The question here should not be what credentials are being demonstrated, but the real lack of truly important credentials = any and all the ones that have to do with social issues. Are they any Dr. David Suzuki’s on the list? Since this blog leans more towards green & science & technology, let’s just go there.

No.

Cracked open, these students are most likely in for a future of believing that oil & gas are sustainable or in the worst case scenario, understand that in order to play the money and power game, they will regurgitate what their leaders are saying, and the best demonstration or acting skills always win.

This blogger understands that transition from forms of fuel that are truly not environmentally friendly or friendly to our health is not easily accomplished, but it is very possible.  This type of undue policy influence perpetuates a future of oil & gas, when we all know there are solutions, that many Canadians in fact have created/designed, exist.

The atmosphere that has been created, with our Federal Government cancelling the Oceans Management program a few weeks ago (see here) or kicking out 700 Environment Canada people (who cares what they think if they don’t do as “taught”) and keeping up a pretense that oil, gas & nuclear can somehow be sustained environmentally.

Again, it is very important to understand the real meanings, definitions and the actual laws that have been laid out in the Federal Sustainable Development Act. It is not quite what it seems to be.

And as far as the British tie, if you pay attention to the video, you will here many references to gas, business, economy etc.

This blogger just wanted to point out the possible one-sided influence at the school. Where students are taught. That run the future later. From Alberta.

As for the Military credit, one must consider all the activists, who only want to truly protect the environment and make non-violent civil dissent (which is absolutely necessary to the health of a society).  We are being ruled by a bunch of corporate oligarchs in cultural hegemony.

#NoKXL #NoTarSands

But what do I know?

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World’s Largest Green Building Conference & Expo in Toronto October 4 – 7

28/09/2011

[from Author: I will be at the Green Building Expo. I have signed up for many educational sessions with some amazing speakers, but I think I am most looking forward to the discussion I get to attend with Steve Zornetzer Associate Director for Research – NASA HQ! Please connect with me via Twitter & perhaps we will see eachother there! Profile: TheVillageGreen]

Greenbuild’s economic impact on local economy an expected $26 million CAD with 25,000 delegates

TORONTO, Sept. 28, 2011 /CNW/ — The U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) annual conference and expo is making its way to Toronto next week to celebrate “what’s next” in green building. Greenbuild is the world’s largest green building conference and expo and is expected to make an economic impact of $26 million CAD, bringing 25,000 delegates from over 115 countries to the event. A release from the Metro Toronto Convention Centre earlier this week also stated that Greenbuild will generate a positive impact on the local economy of over $58 million from delegate spending.

Toronto was selected by USGBC as the host city for the conference for several reasons, including its growth in the green building movement with nearly 300 building projects registered and seeking LEED certification and 44 green building projects already LEED-certified in the Toronto area.

“Toronto and the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) have been a tremendous force in the recent growth of the green building movement in Canada,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO and Founding Chair, USGBC. “Toronto’s building market has continued to boom and prosper and it’s the perfect backdrop for the 10th anniversary of Greenbuild.”

Held in conjunction with the Canada Green Building Council, Greenbuild promises to inspire and educate with hundreds of educational sessions; dozens of master speakers; one and two day summits focused on green jobs, residential and affordable green building, and the international green building marketplace; more than 1,000 companies showcasing the most innovative green building products and services in the world’s largest expo hall dedicated to green building; and top-notch plenary speakers that include New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, former Prime Minister of Canada Kim Campbell, ABC News political commentator Cokie Roberts, medical anthropologist and physician Dr. Paul Farmer and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The opening plenary event will also feature Grammy award-winning band, Maroon 5.

“It’s appropriate that the first Greenbuild outside of the United States is being held in Canada because it demonstrates the huge impact LEED, and the close partnership between the USGBC and CaGBC, have had on green building in Canada,” said Thomas Mueller, President and CEO, CaGBC. “There is no doubt that Greenbuild will be a game changer for Toronto and for Canada by taking green building to the next level in terms of industry and government recognition and international trade.”

About U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) The U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. With a community comprising 79 local affiliates, nearly 16,000 member organizations, and more than 168,000 LEED Professional Credential holders, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. GDP from 2009-2013. USGBC leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students. For more information, visit www.usgbc.org, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

About Greenbuild The U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenbuild International Conference & Expo convenes the industry’s largest gathering of representatives from all sectors of the green building movement. Three days of extensive educational programming, workshops, a vast exhibition floor and ample networking events provide unrivaled opportunities to learn about the latest technological innovations, explore new products, and exchange ideas with other professionals. Greenbuild is the three time recipient of IMEX Green Meetings Award and the 2011 show will be held on Oct. 4-7, 2011, in Toronto, Canada. This past year’s conference in Chicago, Ill. drew more than 28,000 attendees and featured more than 1,800 exhibit booths. Visit www.greenbuildexpo.org for more information.

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Traceability Technology Introduced in Canada For Tracking Sustainable Food – Ocean to Plate

21/09/2011

Sobeys Inc. launches traceability system to track seafood from ocean to plate

Customers can now trace the journey of their seafood purchases back to the fisherman who caught it, where and how

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Sept. 21, 2011 via /CNW/ – Sobeys Inc. is launching a sustainable seafood traceability system today to provide Canadians with unprecedented visibility into the quality and sustainability of the seafood they eat. Through a partnership with Ecotrust Canada’s Thisfish™ traceability program, customers can now trace a variety of fresh seafood products and frozen Sensations by Compliments seafood right back to the fisherman who caught it, the boat it was caught from, the fishing area where the catch took place and the fishing method used.

Traceability Technology for Food“Sobeys Inc. is proud to be the first Canadian grocery retailer to offer an innovative and comprehensive seafood traceability system that focuses on more sustainable sources and allows customers to verify the authenticity and quality of their seafood purchases,” says David Smith, Vice President, Retail Strategy and Sustainability. “It not only provides Canadians with a robust set of information about the source of their seafood, it directly connects them to the fishermen that catch their fish.”

Through the transparency that seafood traceability provides, customers are able to understand where their seafood comes from, make informed decisions about their seafood purchases and be confident in knowing that the products they buy were caught and handled using responsible fishing practices and processes.

Tracking Food From Ocean to Plate

From oceans to dinner plates, traceable seafood products are uniquely coded and tracked from the time they are caught through to their journey to Sobeys Inc. stores to give customers a behind-the-scenes, full-access look into their seafood purchase: its origin, preparation tips and delicious recipes, photos of the boat and crew, the captain’s logbook, as well as information about Sobeys Inc.’s sustainability initiatives. Customers even have the option to send a note directly to the fisherman that caught their fish.

Traceable seafood products are available at Sobeys stores across the country, as well as Thrifty Foods and IGA stores in Western Canada.

The traceable frozen Sensations by Compliments lineup includes sustainable seafood products certified by the Marine Stewardship Council:

  • Sensations by Compliments Wild Sockeye Salmon Fillets
  • Sensations by Compliments Wild Pacific Halibut Fillets
  • Sensations by Compliments Wild Albacore Tuna Portions
  • Sensations by Compliments Wild Black Cod Fillets

The assortment of traceable fresh seafood varies by store based on regional and seasonal availability.

Powered by and in partnership with Ecotrust Canada, customers can trace their fresh seafood by inputting a unique code found on the product packaging on www.thisfish.info. On traceable Sensations by Compliments seafood, customers will find a unique code to input on www.compliments.ca/madewithcare and a QR code to scan using a smartphone.

In addition to its consumer benefits, the fishermen who proudly stand behind their seafood products are encouraged by the opportunities that this traceability system provides and are inspired to take even greater measures to ensure the sustainability of their fishing practices.

“As fishermen, it’s great for my crew and me to realize that somebody around the world is buying our fish, and that they can look at who we are and where we come from,” says Vic Amos, B.C. Fisherman. “Traceability goes back to high quality and sustainability goes back to accountability, so it’s important for me to ensure that I fish sustainably and deliver a high-quality product, too.”

“Sobeys is committed to helping to ensure the long-term viability of seafood and will continue to look for opportunities to provide customers with the information they need to make informed purchase decisions and to further the cause of responsible seafood sourcing,” adds Smith.

Sobeys Inc.’s sustainable seafood traceability system is part of a larger effort the Company is undertaking in actively promoting seafood sustainability. For more information about Sobeys’ Sustainable Seafood Policy, please visit www.sobeyscorporate.com/sustainability.

via CanNewsWire

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Landmark Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement – Mark on Land of Sustainability

15/09/2011

An Agreement Making Its Mark on the Land of Sustainability

The Forest Products Association of Canada announced today that on the occasion of the International Year of the Forests and Canada’s National Forest Week, The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and the Royal Geographic Society of Canada will hold a panel discussion on the landmark Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement. Info further in post about this landmark agreement that united big forest companies and staunch environmentalists and perhaps gives us an opportunity to learn about the challenges ahead.

The panel includes Avrim Lazar, President and CEO of FPAC, Richard Brooks, Forest Campaign Director, Greenpeace Canada and Tim Gray, Program Director, the Ivey Foundation. The panel discussion will be held at the Canadian Museum of Nature, 240 McLeod St. in Ottawa on September 19th.

In past posts, I have discussed some of the difficulties with language and interpretation of sustainability and sustainable development under the law in Canada.  Forest & property management has been a very large focal point of the UN’s Agenda 21, the model for sustainability throughout the world.  I can only stress the value of becoming familiar with the agreement and the positions taken by all the parties that have been working on it.

It is being billed as a “landmark” agreement.  I stress, that means important.

Here is the link to the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement website:

http://canadianborealforestagreement.com/

Here is the link to the actual Agreement itself in .PDF format:

http://canadianborealforestagreement.com/media-kit/Boreal-Agreement-Full.pdf

I encourage all to really try to appreciate the language that has been placed into the document.  Irregardless of anything you may believe in, have seen, read or heard, it is still very important to see for yourselves, engage and communicate.  Please take the time to watch over our beautiful land here in Canada.

But what do I know?

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Sustainable Environment in Canada: Coming Down the Pipelines

12/09/2011

I have suggested in several of my past posts, here & here, that sustainability in Canada is a really slippery slope, especially when it comes to the law.  And right now, it most certainly appears that oil & gas pipelines are higher on the sustainability agenda than the actual environment & truly erring on the side of caution.  It was announced in the media that the Harper government has backed off a very good initiative for properly managing the oceans in British Columbia a few days ago.

There are a few important things to note about this article and what it points to:

1) “environmental groups are using U.S. money to try to thwart development projects including Enbridge Inc’s $5.5-billion proposal to pump Alberta bitumen crude by pipeline to the West Coast for Asia-bound tankers”

What is sustainability in Canada?Anyone else find it aggravating that to keep on producing & expanding the oil & gas industry does not seem to align itself with what many believe to be a more sustainably developed world? Electric cars & solar power (along with a slew of other truly eco-saving energies) can easily be made available.  But hey, its always about the money almost everywhere seems.

Oh ya, and don’t forget about how it seems to be of great concern that environmental groups are thwarting (gas, oil) development projects. Holy human waste, batman but isn’t it effectively the agenda of environmental groups to save the environment? I am losing my mind here. Are we such oil & gas addicts that we cannot use fantastic alternatives & solutions right out of nature? We know this continued use of oil & gas & its development kills nature.  I’m smelling some human waste issues here that point to a certain kind of green – called greenbacks.

2) “The federal government’s letter, dated Sept. 1, 2011, declared that Ottawa is walking away from the $8.3-million funding agreement because it wants an oceans plan for the north coast based on a more “focused” and “sustainable and effective” process.”

Four words. “Focused”. “Sustainable”. “Effective”. “Process”.

Again, I will stress, that if one “FOCUSES”, it can be seen in the Federal Sustainable Development Act of Canada, the terms ‘sustainable’ & ‘sustainability’ are purely about “the capacity of a thing, action, activity, or process to be maintained indefinitely“.  In our government’s point of view & under the law, because the oil & gas industry are actions or activities or processes (that have already been around & will be for future generations!) to be maintained indefinitely. I will also stress that the precautionary principle is again, just a principle and/or a guide.  It is not specifically written into the legislation. I encourage you to look it up for yourself & read the Act.  Google it. Bing it. Share it. But make sure you don’t just take my word for granted.

Also, please view PNCIMA’s website.  Familiarize yourself with it. This plan has a steering committee comprised of government officials as well as First Nations & others.  First Nations are important & they comprise a large number of the population in BC. We also cannot forget that irregardless of any stereotypes, First Nations people understand nature & its circle, of that I have not doubt.  I have worked with First Nations in Ontario, talked to them.  I know what is going on.  This type of support withdrawal is nothing new to First Nations, but it is a big slap & direspect to them here as far as their involvement & it is indicative of control over their future involvement.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.

If we really want to save our beautiful environment in Canada, let’s use some logic here.  It is not unreasonable for us to want to wean ourselves off of oil & gas & other dirty methods of energy production & to start the stoppage of these kinds of developments.  There are alternatives.  Are they at the top of the sustainable list in Canada?  I’m just not seeing that really.

What is coming is a lot more of oil, gas etc. developments unless we do something.

Roman historian & poet Juvenal posed this question:

“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Translation:  Who will guard the guards themselves?

It is up to up to us to work within the system & fight for the proper wording & defense of our environment, animals, food, water etc. because sustainable seems somewhat a Trojan horse.

We hope & want & believe sustainability will save our environment. In global political economical terms, its all really about money, technology & resources.

But what do I know?

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