National Newswatch

Scientists criticize Alberta’s monitoring suspension, lack of consultation

Jun 16 2020 — Bob Weber, The Canadian Press — EDMONTON — Shutting down a broad range of Alberta's environmental monitoring over pandemic fears wasn't necessary, says the head of a group responsible for such work. Most monitoring could have been done safely, says Jay White, president of the licence-granting Alberta Society of Professional Biologists. "We're trained to deal with dangerous, toxic biological hazards in our […]

Letter asks Ottawa to force Alberta to reinstate oilpatch monitoring

Jun 10 2020 — Bob Weber, The Canadian Press — EDMONTON — A dozen conservation and Indigenous groups have written federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson asking him to force the Alberta government to reinstate environmental monitoring in the province's oilpatch. "We feel the federal government does have something at risk here," said Gillian Chow-Fraser of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, one of the groups […]

Alberta First Nations appeal suspension of environmental monitoring in oilpatch

Jun 8 2020 — Bob Weber, The Canadian Press — EDMONTON — Three northern Alberta First Nations are asking to appeal the province's suspension of environmental monitoring in the oilpatch because it "fails to come close" to being a reasonable decision. Alberta's Opposition leader called on Monday for the head of the province's energy regulator to resign over the suspensions. "They should end (Laurie) Pushor's contract," Rachel Notley […]

N.W.T. First Nations community gets UN award for work on new national park

Jun 5 2020 — Bob Weber, The Canadian Press — A remote community in Canada's North has been awarded a major United Nations prize for decades of work to help create a new national park and vast protected area. The Equator Prize recognizes innovative solutions to tackle biodiversity loss, climate change and economic resiliency. The Lutsel K'e Dene in the Northwest Territories are one of 10 winners worldwide, the first […]

First Nations, environmentalists ask for restart of oilpatch monitoring

Jun 4 2020 — Bob Weber, The Canadian Press — EDMONTON — Seven environmental and Indigenous groups have asked the Alberta government to restart oilpatch monitoring as soon as possible given that other activities are coming out of the COVID-19 shutdown. In a letter delivered to the Energy and Environment departments Wednesday, the signatories also urge the government to make public its decision-making criteria for when that work will […]

Fermenting ferns? Rare dinosaur stomach fossil opens door to ancient world

Jun 2 2020 — Bob Weber, The Canadian Press — Fresh ferns, loaded with spores, lightly dusted with leaves and twigs and perfectly seasoned with locally sourced charcoal. Sound good? It did to an ankylosaur about 110 million years ago, as evidenced by amazingly complete fossils of what was certainly the tank-like dinosaur's last meal. "It's pretty exciting," said Caleb Brown, a curator at the Royal Tyrrell Museum […]

Climate change behind increases in extreme rain danger: scientists

Jun 1 2020 — Bob Weber, The Canadian Press — The rains soaked southern Alberta for days, unrelenting, saturating soil already sodden with melting snow — and before long Calgary was awash as rivers overflowed their banks. The province described the 2013 flood as the worst in its history, but it might not be for long. Research from Environment Canada shows that climate change is behind more extreme […]

‘It is dire:’ Study finds B.C. logging continues on critical caribou habitat

May 29 2020 — Bob Weber, The Canadian Press — The British Columbia government has permitted logging on more than 900 square kilometres of land despite its being listed as critical caribou habitat, says newly released research. The authors of the study, published in Conservation Science and Practice, say it's an example of poor co-ordination between governments that has led to Canada's ongoing failure to protect habitat for […]

Gathering limits make it a ‘great time to be building a pipeline:’ Alberta minister

May 25 2020 — Bob Weber, The Canadian Press — EDMONTON — Alberta's energy minister says it's a good time to build a pipeline because public health restrictions limit protests against them. Sonya Savage made the comment Friday on a podcast hosted by the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors. She was asked about progress of the Trans Mountain Expansion project, which is under construction on its […]

Reverse job-killing oilpatch monitoring suspensions: Alberta Opposition leader

May 22 2020 — Bob Weber, The Canadian Press — EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney should step in to reverse a decision by the province's energy regulator to suspend most environmental monitoring in the oilpatch, says the province's Opposition leader. The NDP's Rachel Notley says if the United Conservative premier doesn't reverse the decision — which the regulator says was made because of the COVID-19 pandemic — […]