National Newswatch

Culling cutlines, not wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

Jun 19 2021 — Bob Weber — New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. The recently published study adds to the debate over whether governments should depend on shooting and poisoning wolves to protect caribou, said lead author Jonah Keim. […]

Ottawa to review new steelmaking coal projects in Alberta’s foothills for selenium

Jun 16 2021 — Bob Weber — The federal government will step in to conduct an environmental review of any new coal project that could possibly release the contaminant selenium. The decision, announced Wednesday, will capture any proposals that emerge from the eight steelmaking coal exploration projects in Alberta's Rocky Mountain foothills, said federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson. "For those projects that […]

Study warns Alberta has failed to consider damage to foothills from coal mining

Jun 15 2021 — Bob Weber — New coal mines in Alberta's Rocky Mountain foothills would create more environmental problems than economic benefits, a lengthy new study has concluded. "The best available information indicates that the magnitude of long-term liabilities to water resources ... are likely to exceed any short-term economic benefits," says the report from the Alces Group, an ecological consulting […]

‘Unacceptable environmental effects:’ New federal policy restricts thermal coal

Jun 11 2021 — Bob Weber — The federal government is making it more difficult to develop thermal coal in Canada with a new policy that says all such mines create "unacceptable environmental effects." The move erects another roadblock for Coalspur Mines and its Vista mine expansion in Alberta, the only such mine in Canada currently before regulators.  Federal Environment Minister Jonathon […]

Auditor scolds Alberta over mine cleanup fund, how province handles polluted sites

Jun 10 2021 — Bob Weber — EDMONTON — Alberta's auditor general is criticizing the government for failing to fix problems pointed out six years ago in a program that's supposed to guarantee coal and oilsands mines clean up after themselves.  Doug Wylie says there's so much confusion over who's responsible for the government's own contaminated sites that there's no stable funding […]

Canada, Alberta sign deal for $1.3B hydrogen plant in Edmonton

Jun 10 2021 — Bob Weber — EDMONTON — The federal and Alberta governments have signed an agreement with a company that could lead to a $1.3 billion hydrogen plant being built in Edmonton. Two federal ministers, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Edmonton mayor Don Iveson announced Wednesday a memorandum of understanding with Air Products Canada to build the plant, which would […]

Climate change health costs to top $100B by mid-century: report

Jun 2 2021 — Bob Weber — Climate change is likely to add more than $100 billion a year to Canada's health-care costs by mid-century, says a report by a federally funded research group. The Canadian Institute for Climate Choices says effects on health are likely to be heaviest among those who are already disadvantaged. "Heat waves, air pollution — we see […]

Fracking likely to create stronger, more common earthquakes in B. C: study

May 26 2021 — Bob Weber — More damaging earthquakes can be expected more often in northern British Columbia as fracking oil and gas wells increases pressure underground, says newly published research. "It makes earthquakes more common and it makes larger ones more common," said Allan Chapman, an independent researcher and formerly senior scientist with the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission. "There […]

Coal company asks court to quash order for federal environmental review of expansion

May 19 2021 — Bob Weber — A coal company is asking Federal Court this week to toss out a decision by Canada's environment minister that a proposed Alberta mine expansion should get a full federal environmental review. Coalspur Mines argues the decision was based on an unfair assumption that two separate projects are related and should be considered together. It says […]

Alberta eases security payment burden for oilsands companies

May 7 2021 — Bob Weber — EDMONTON — Last year's dive in oil prices has caused Alberta to change how it calculates the payments oilsands mines make to ensure there's enough money to clean up the mess they leave behind. "The interim solution we're putting in place addresses the impact of this temporary drop," said Lisa Fairweather of Alberta Environment and […]