National Newswatch

Governments’ COVID response must include effective risk messaging

Nov 23 2020 — Cathy Slavik — We appear to have a problem with risk communication in Canada. Last Monday, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health was widely quoted as having said: “I would like to think everybody would be in green, especially for the time of Christmas,” referring to that province’s least stringent set of COVID-19 public health restrictions, according to […]

Bill lays groundwork for possible court enforcement of climate law, says Amos

Nov 20 2020 — Carl Meyer — Next story Newly tabled federal legislation would give the public the opportunity to seek court orders forcing governments to abide by their climate commitments, says a Liberal parliamentary secretary. Will Amos, an environmental lawyer who is the MP for Pontiac and parliamentary secretary to the industry minister, told Canada’s National Observer on Thursday that Bill […]

Critics condemn Ford’s environmental record after blistering auditor general reports

Nov 19 2020 — — After Ontario’s auditor general released a blistering set of reports Wednesday on the state of the environment, opposition parties slammed the provincial government’s failure to act on the file. “The government is ignoring the law,” said Ontario NDP climate critic Peter Tabuns, calling the reports a “very disturbing picture.” “I would be embarrassed to be […]

U.S. companies threaten to use CUSMA to fight Canada’s plastics ban

Nov 6 2020 — — A group of more than 60 major American industry associations are trying to stop Canada’s efforts to reduce plastic pollution. In a letter to Canada’s International Trade Minister Mary Ng, the group threatened to use novel provisions in the new NAFTA agreement (CUSMA) to delay proposed plastics legislation. The letter was sent as a warning […]

What will the U.S. election do to hate in Canada?

Nov 3 2020 — — Long before Donald Trump was elected president of the United States — after a campaign kickstarted by xenophobia and racism — hate crime was already on the rise in Canada. More hate groups were active in Canada than researchers had previously thought, a study found in September 2016, two months before the presidential election. And […]

Transport Canada failed to follow up on dangerous goods violations: report

Oct 28 2020 — — Transport Canada did not follow up on a number of violations made by companies transporting dangerous items like crude oil, according to the latest audit by Canada’s federal environment commissioner. The report, tabled Tuesday in Parliament, showed that the department had still not addressed all the recommendations from a 2011 audit of the transportation of […]

What’s a forest worth?

Oct 26 2020 — — Forests have historically been valued on an industrial scale, managed to maximize the amount of timber cut. But when they aren’t clearcut, they also offer other valuable resources that advocates say should be recognized as well. Wild mushrooms — morels, chanterelles, pine mushrooms — grow thick in the B.C. backwoods. Prized by chefs around the […]

New building codes under review not tough enough on energy efficiency, report warns

Oct 20 2020 — — New Canadian building codes under review by a National Research Council committee would allow for designs that are not as energy-efficient as they could be, according to one university study. The provinces and territories are responsible for regulating the design and construction of buildings, and historically, they have adopted Canada’s national building codes or amended […]