National Newswatch

U.S. museum given ‘cultural repatriation’ award for returning Inuit bodies

Sep 20 2017 — Bob Weber — A renowned American museum and an Inuit government have received an award for returning Inuit bodies that had been dug up and taken for scientific study. Chicago's Field Museum and the Nunatsiavut government in Labrador have been given the first Cultural Repatriation Award by Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Canada's national Inuit group. "In this discussion of reconciliation and […]

Public trust job one for head of Alberta environmental monitoring program

Sep 17 2017 — Bob Weber — EDMONTON — Fred Wrona really, really wants you to trust him. "The main piece that I'm working on is rebuilding public trust and confidence," says the man charged with keeping track of Alberta's land, water and sky. As the province's chief scientist, it's his job to oversee the province's much-maligned environmental monitoring program. Since it was formed […]

‘Exceptionally serious:’ Report says half of Canadian wildlife declining

Sep 14 2017 — Bob Weber — An extensive survey of 903 species of Canadian birds, fish, mammals, reptiles and amphibians over more than four decades has found that half of them are in serious population decline. Declining species lost a total of 83 per cent of their numbers between 1970 and 2014, says the report released Thursday by the World Wildlife Fund. Species protected by […]

Ottawa urged to release historic data on Inuit tuberculosis treatment

Sep 12 2017 — Bob Weber — One of the country's strongest international voices in the fight against AIDS says Canada owes the Inuit a full explanation of what happened to relatives removed from their homes to be treated for tuberculosis in the 1950s and '60s. "It was something that continues to complicate the entire response to tuberculosis now," Stephen Lewis, co-director of AIDS-Free World and former […]

Poll suggests Albertans want tighter methane rules for energy industry

Aug 23 2017 — Bob Weber — EDMONTON — As governments and regulators consider new rules for methane, a poll suggests nearly three-quarters of Albertans want tighter controls on the release of a potent greenhouse gas from oil and gas facilities. The poll, done by EKOS research and funded by Environmental Defence, says 71 per cent of those surveyed want regulations on methane release to be at least […]

Group says long-awaited high Arctic research station is nearly complete

Jul 30 2017 — Bob Weber — A decade after it was first promised, Canada's new High Arctic Research Station is nearly complete and already giving scientists access to a vast new section of ice and tundra. "We're trying to come up with a long-term, systematic, multi-disciplinary view of this part of the world, which is really understudied," said David Scott, president of […]

Federal caribou plan doesn’t meet legal requirements: environmentalists

Jul 28 2017 — Bob Weber — Ottawa's new caribou recovery plan won't tell Canadians what the federal government is doing to conserve the many unprotected herds of the threatened species, says an environmental group. The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society says it will continue its legal action to force greater transparency from the federal government despite the release of Thursday's plan, which lays […]

Indigenous groups won’t meet provinces under current rules: Inuit leader

Jul 18 2017 — Bob Weber — EDMONTON — Canada's national Inuit leader says Indigenous groups are unlikely to appear at future provincial and territorial meetings under rules the premiers have developed. "If nothing changes, we would not participate next year," Natan Obed of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami said Tuesday. Three of Canada's main aboriginal organizations chose not to attend a meeting with the premiers on […]

‘Whole lot of questions:’ Alberta considers contaminated site for park

Jul 11 2017 — Bob Weber — EDMONTON — The Alberta government is thinking about cleaning up a former wood-preserving site along one of the province's biggest lakes by capping it off and turning the adjacent land into a park. The contaminated site contains toxins including arsenic, dioxins and PCP at levels above Alberta guidelines for natural areas. Government officials were to speak […]

Oilsands showdown coming over cleanup of tailings ponds: report

Mar 30 2017 — Bob Weber — EDMONTON — Alberta's oilsands could be heading for another showdown over tailings ponds after an independent assessment found that the cleanup plans of six major operators don't meet new rules. Suncor's intentions have been rejected by the Alberta Energy Regulator and a clean-energy think tank says its analysis has concluded plans by other producers have similar shortcomings. "All companies have submitted plans […]

New head of Energy Efficiency Alberta promises agency will have real impact

Mar 29 2017 — Bob Weber — EDMONTON — The newly appointed head of Alberta's first energy efficiency agency says it has enough resources to make a big difference. "We can have real impact in terms of both job creation and energy efficiency, ensuring savings for businesses and households," Monica Curtis said Tuesday. Energy Efficiency Alberta is funded by the province's carbon tax and is aimed […]

Unhappy trails? Parks documents show concerns with Icefields Highway bike path

Mar 29 2017 — Bob Weber — It sounds like a no-brainer — a bike trail alongside a world-famous scenic highway through two of Canada's best-loved national parks. But Parks Canada documents show the proposed trail down the Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper raises a host of complications, from damage to wildlife habitat to safety concerns and increased development pressure. "It […]

Arctic sea ice at record low for third straight year

Mar 22 2017 — Bob Weber — Arctic sea ice is at a record low for the third straight year. The measurements from the U.S.-based National Snow and Ice Data Center say the ice reached its maximum extent on March 7. It was the lowest level in the 38-year history of satellite record-keeping. "I have been looking at Arctic weather patterns for 35 years […]

Liam Neeson film blocked from Alberta national park to shoot in B.C.

Mar 15 2017 — Bob Weber — A movie denied permission to film in Alberta's mountain national parks is now on location in British Columbia. "We have moved four to five days into B.C. for now," said Mark Voyce, unit manager for the film "Hard Powder."  Voyce said staff for the movie are looking for extras for several days of filming in Fernie and Cranbrook. "Hard […]

Ottawa’s recovery plan for West Coast’s endangered orcas criticized as too weak

Mar 14 2017 — Bob Weber — The federal government has released a recovery plan for an endangered population of killer whales likely to be in the path of increased oil tanker traffic off British Columbia's southern coast. But environmental groups say the plan doesn't have enough concrete measures to bring orca numbers in the southern Georgia Strait back to healthy levels. "There needs to […]