National Newswatch

Inuit want free travel over international waters between Canada, Greenland

Nov 23 2017 — Bob Weber — Inuit from Canada and Greenland hope to convince at least four governments to let them manage and travel freely over an international stretch of Arctic ocean that's one of the most productive environments in the North. "We have to educate governments as to what's up there," said Okalik Eegeesiak, a member of an Inuit commission considering […]

‘These things are costing us:’ Arctic climate change affecting the south

Nov 19 2017 — Bob Weber — An international summary of five year's worth of research on Arctic climate change concludes the top of the world is getting warmer faster than anyone thought. And if it all sounds interesting but a little far removed from southern concerns, David Barber has news for you. "There are very clear linkages there and they've been occurring consistently […]

Pine beetles from Jasper National Park moving into commercial forest

Nov 17 2017 — Bob Weber — EDMONTON — A massive and uncontrollable buildup of mountain pine beetles in Jasper National Park is starting to explode into commercially valuable forests along its boundaries. Foresters along the park's edge have seen a tenfold increase in beetle infestation in just months, and some scientists wonder if Parks Canada could have done more to control the […]

Canada’s biggest national park among most threatened: international scientists

Nov 16 2017 — Bob Weber — EDMONTON — One of the world's largest groups of conservation scientists says Canada's biggest national park is among the most threatened World Heritage Sites in North America. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature says Wood Buffalo National Park, which straddles the Alberta-Northwest Territories boundary, is significantly threatened by hydroelectric and oilsands development. "This is quite embarrassing," said […]

Caribou herds and habitat continue to decline: federal report

Oct 31 2017 — Bob Weber — Canada's woodland caribou herds and the habitat they need continue to decline five years after the provinces agreed to develop strategies to preserve them, a federal study has concluded. And all provinces and territories are on a six-month deadline to lay out plans showing how they will keep the animal that's featured on the back of […]

Oilpatch wants ‘flexibility’ on coming methane cuts; says jobs at risk otherwise

Oct 30 2017 — Bob Weber — EDMONTON — Thousands of jobs in the oil patch are at risk if governments try to impose the wrong approach to cutting back a highly potent greenhouse gas, says an industry lobby group. "Let's take the best opportunities as opposed to being very prescriptive," Tim McMillan, head of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said Monday. The […]

Industry may face new costs over methane cuts after high emissions reading

Oct 18 2017 — Bob Weber — EDMONTON — Canada's energy producers say they remain committed to targeted cuts of a potent greenhouse gas, even after a study suggesting those reductions may have to be much larger than previously thought. But Patrick McDonald of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers said additional cuts will come on top of costs already estimated in the billions […]

‘If we thought it was bad, it’s worse:’ Alberta methane releases underestimated

Oct 17 2017 — Bob Weber — EDMONTON — New research suggests industry and government are badly underestimating Alberta's emissions of one of the most potent greenhouse gases. The difference between official estimates and the measured results suggests the province's energy industry could have to double its planned methane emission cuts if Alberta is to meet its promised 45 per cent reduction. "A lot of […]

Ottawa expresses concern to Europe over toxic rocket splashdown

Oct 12 2017 — Bob Weber — Ottawa has told the European Space Agency it's unhappy about plans to launch a satellite that would drop a rocket stage likely to contain highly toxic fuel in some of the most ecologically productive waters of the Canadian Arctic. "Canada is in the process of engaging the European Space Agency to express concerns regarding potential […]

‘It is scary:’ Researchers say rocket splashdown in Arctic could be toxic

Oct 6 2017 — Bob Weber — Europe's space agency is defending plans to launch two satellites that would drop a rocket stage likely to contain highly toxic fuel in some of the most ecologically sensitive waters of the Canadian Arctic. Inuit have said those plans treat seas teeming with life as a garbage dump. But the agency said Friday that next week's […]

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 […]