Current Problems: Environment

Exploring Theme: "Environmental Impacts"

Updates on this page: 63
 

February 22, 2024


Treaty One Nations shocked they weren’t notified when raw sewage spilled into Red River

“Our land and our water has spirit, just like a living being that we need to protect… They can’t speak for themselves and we have to be the ones that do that.” — Treaty One Nations Chairperson Gordon BlueSky Treaty One Nations Chairperson Gordon BlueSky Updated Feb. 22 with statements from Minister Tracy Schmidt and...

July 5, 2023


UNESCO report on Wood Buffalo National Park shows urgent need to fix problems, First Nation says

Document reaffirms threats from dams, oilsands development and climate change. But of 14 objectives for the park, UNESCO says only two are improving, with five stable and seven deteriorating. CBC News: A report from a United Nations body on environmental threats to Canada’s largest national park shows the urgency of the problems, says a spokesperson...

May 17, 2023


New hope for flood-prone Peguis First Nation means evacuees could come home

Nearly a third of the ‘refugees’ from last spring’s flood still haven’t returned to the community. The Nation hopes a new collaboration will help it better prepare for future natural disasters The Narwhal: A year after a historic flood ravaged Peguis First Nation, there’s hope on the horizon. The spring thaw passed without incident this...

May 11, 2023


More needs to be done to involve First Nations in emergency management, says Indigenous leader

Province says it is working to modernize emergency management legislation CBC News: Provincial and local authorities need to do more to involve First Nations in their emergency management plans, says Stó:lo Tribal Council Chief Tyrone McNeil.  McNeil says the B.C. government is not providing enough direction to local and regional governments on how to work...

May 4, 2023


Federal Government’s Failure to Fix Dikes Sees Fort Albany Evacuated Due to Flooding Threat

NationTalk: FORT ALBANY FIRST NATION: The Chief and Council of Fort Albany First Nation have been forced to declare a community-wide evacuation as rising water from the winter break-up on the Albany River threatens to breach the community’s aging dike system. “The dikes that protect our community have failed twice over the years, and there...

April 26, 2023


To Protect Water, Bring Together Indigenous and Western Knowledge: U of G Expert Report

NationTalk: To restore and protect vulnerable freshwater systems in North America, start by interweaving Indigenous and Western values, worldviews and knowledge systems. So says a comprehensive report by University of Guelph researchers released last month by the Global Commission on the Economics of Water (GCEW) urging collaboration and braiding of viewpoints in looking after threatened water systems. “Freshwater ecosystems...

March 8, 2023


‘If we lose this fight, we lose everything’: Naskapi, Innu nations oppose Quebec mining project

‘This area is what’s left for us to find peace,’ says resident of Kawawachikamach CBC News: A mining company wants to set up a large operation in Labrador, producing 2.5 million tonnes of iron annually and building a transportation corridor to help get the material from northern Quebec to Sept-Îles. Century Global says its venture,...

March 6, 2023


A First Nation’s Quest to Know Why Their Cemetery Was Flooded

After water invaded Kwikwetlem burial grounds, the long journey towards a solution. A Tyee special report. The Tyee: George Chaffee walked to the burial site with his brother and a pair of shovels. Their choices for where to make the grave were limited, given the sprawling traditional territory of the Kwikwetlem First Nation had been...

February 27, 2023


Federal government has resumed talks with Ontario about the Ring of Fire: document

Internal emails obtained by The Narwhal appear to show a shift in relations between the two governments on the Ring of Fire. But some First Nations leaders say they’re still being left out The Narwhal: After a years-long stalemate over the far northern Ring of Fire, the federal government appears to have extended an olive...

February 15, 2023


A new approach to flood mapping could be on the way for Manitoba First Nations

With floods affecting almost 90 per cent of Manitoba First Nations, new flood management could put Traditional Knowledge first The Narwhal: Before the flood waters overwhelmed Peguis First Nation last spring, local trappers noticed the beehives had been built much higher than in years past. The beaver dams looked different; the foxes and raccoons they usually snared...

February 6, 2023


‘I don’t have a home to go to’: Peguis First Nation evacuees left in limbo 9 months after flooding

More than 900 evacuees still not able to return home, chief says CBC News: More than 900 evacuees from Peguis First Nation still can’t return to their community nearly nine months after floodwaters ravaged the reserve. Nearly 300 homes are uninhabitable and many have been given no timeline for when they may be able to go...

February 4, 2023


Pacific Coast Indigenous nations see a glimmer of hope for the future of salmon

Habitat loss decimated salmon populations. Indigenous communities are working to bring them back CBC News: Brook Thompson grew up along the shores of the Klamath River in Northern California, where her family would spend their summers camping and catching salmon.  “It’s where I got a lot of connection about my culture and my family history,”...

January 26, 2023


First Nations say Alberta’s oil sands mine security reform unlikely to fix problems

The Globe and Mail: Alberta is preparing to change how it ensures oil sands companies are able to pay for the mammoth job of cleaning up their operations, but critics fear a year of consultations hasn’t been enough to avoid repeating past mistakes. “There’s no signal to me from this government that they are going...

January 25, 2023


Caribou summit asks a burning question: What’s the future of the Porcupine herd?

The Porcupine is ‘one of the biggest herds in the world.’ Will it stay that way? CBC News: The Porcupine caribou is one of the few barren-ground herds in the circumpolar world that remains strong and healthy — and the communities who rely on it want to make sure it stays that way.  This was...

January 20, 2023


B.C. announces cumulative impact agreements with Treaty 8 First Nations

LANDMARK DEAL WITH TREATY 8 NationTalk: Castanet – The B.C. government has reached four new agreements with Treaty 8 First Nations to address the cumulative impacts and future planning of industrial development in the northeast. The agreements provide hundreds of millions of dollars for land restoration and resource revenue sharing, and lays the groundwork to...

January 20, 2023


‘Crush you like a bug’: BC Hydro’s Site C lawsuit targets farmers, First Nations

The suit brought against peaceful opponents of the most expensive hydro dam in Canadian history has the hallmarks of a strategic lawsuit meant to silence and intimidate critics, according to experts The Narwhal: In the basement of Yvonne Tupper’s home, in northeast B.C., sits a banker’s box filled with papers from a Site C dam civil lawsuit...

January 17, 2023


Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and Na-Cho Nyäk Dun First Nation express disappointment in the Yukon Government’s policy for the stewardship of wetlands

Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and Na-Cho Nyäk Dun are discouraged by the Yukon Government’s policy for the stewardship of wetlands, released January 10, 2023, which fails to address First Nation’s concerns. The traditional territories of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and Na-Cho Nyäk Dun are home to some of the most vulnerable and rare wetland types in the Yukon....

January 16, 2023


Federal fisheries officers investigate Coastal GasLink pipeline project

The Globe and Mail: Work on the contentious Coastal GasLink pipeline is under investigation by federal fisheries officers, as construction pushes through sensitive salmon-bearing rivers. The B.C. Environmental Assessment Office has already issued dozens of regulatory warnings and orders, as well as fines, for the 670-kilometre-long, $11.2-billion project. Dan Bate, spokesman for the Department of...

January 4, 2023


The Sacred Balance: Learning from Indigenous Peoples

We are no more removed from nature than any other creature, even in the midst of a large city. Our animal nature dictates our essential needs: clean air, clean water, clean soil, clean energy. NationTalk: Rabble.ca. David Suzikii The following is adapted from the prologue to the 25th anniversary edition of The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our...

December 13, 2022


Documents raise concerns feds backing off commitment to phase out fish farms in B.C. by 2025

Critics say they fear an ongoing public consultation about open-net pen fish farms has a ‘foregone conclusion’ to leave fish farms in the water, to the detriment of wild salmon The Narwhal: Biologist Stan Proboszcz remembers Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s 2019 election campaign commitment clearly: to develop a plan to get fish farms out of...

November 2, 2022


Tensions rise as Coastal GasLink blasts a creek near a Wet’suwet’en camp

Questions and concerns about salmon, steelhead and the health of the river remain unaddressed as TC Energy continues construction of its gas pipeline The Coastal GasLink pipeline crosses more than 700 watercourses on its 670-kilometre-route. The crossing of Ts’elkay Kwe (Lamprey Creek) involves blasting to clear a path and excavating a trench directly through the...

October 25, 2022


Federal government moving closer to funding Ring of Fire mining roads: document

An internal briefing document obtained by The Narwhal shows that Ottawa has flagged Ring of Fire development as a possible ‘priority.’ Without Indigenous consent, it’s unclear what will happen next The Narwhal: The federal government has quietly marked the Ring of Fire region of northern Ontario as a potential “priority” mineral deposit, signalling it may be...

October 23, 2022


Coastal GasLink in hot water over pipeline environmental violations

Vancouver SUN: TC Energy’s Coastal GasLink pipeline project is in hot water with British Columbia’s environmental regulator for failing to meet the conditions of a compliance agreement that was supposed to correct a lengthening history of violations of the project’s environmental permit. The Environmental Assessment Office posted an order to its website late Friday, issued...

October 21, 2022


First Nations angered by delays in joint probe of cross-border contamination from coal mines

Globe News: First Nations and environmentalists say they are angry the federal and British Columbia governments continue to stonewall American requests for a joint investigation of cross-border contamination from coal mining as meetings of the panel that mediates such issues wrap up. “They can sit on every fence they want, but at the end of the day,...

October 7, 2022


Moose conservation in Eeyou Istchee and proposed Cree guidelines respecting the allowable harvest limit in Zone 17

NationTalk: Nemaska, Eeyou Istchee  – Following the alarming results of the moose aerial survey conducted in February 2021 through collaborative efforts between the Cree Nation Government, the Cree Nation of Waswanipi and the Ministère des Forêt, Faune et Parcs (MFFP) confirming the decline of the moose population, a number of efforts have been set forth...

September 28, 2022


Indigenous Leaders: First Nation partnerships will lead the way north

Marten Falls and Webequie pursue their socio-economic development goals in shepherding Northern Road Link environmental impact process NationTalk: Soontoday.com: If your First Nation community harbours great ambitions to become a major project proponent, Gordon Wabasse offers some sage and simple advice. “Be prepared.” Wabasse, the lands and resources director of Webequie First Nation, participated in...

September 6, 2022


First Nation suing Alberta government over cumulative environmental effects

Toronto Star: EDMONTON – A northern Alberta First Nation has filed what experts say is the province’s first lawsuit claiming cumulative effects from industry, agriculture and settlement are so pervasive, they violate the band’s treaty rights.  Duncan’s First Nation, southwest of Peace River, alleges the province has permitted so much activity and sold off so...

August 30, 2022


‘Trying to save our fish’: B.C. First Nations appeal a court ruling in an attempt to restore the Nechako River

Saik’uz and Stellat’en First Nations have been fighting for the health of the watershed for over a decade. A dam operated by Rio Tinto Alcan and regulated by the province continues to devastate sturgeon and salmon populations The Narwhal: Seventy years ago, B.C. approved a hydroelectric project that would irreversibly alter an entire watershed and...

August 25, 2022


Minister Guilbeault is visiting regions in Quebec to discuss protection of the caribou

Environment and Climate Change Canada: The caribou is an iconic species for Canadians. It is at the heart of the boreal forest ecosystem and plays an important role in the culture and history of Indigenous Peoples. The Government of Canada is determined to work in collaboration with the provinces, Indigenous Peoples, and all stakeholders to...

August 23, 2022


Multiple Threats to Pacific Salmon Fishery: Canada and BC double funding and extend pacific salmon program

Vancouver, BC – Improving the health of Pacific salmon and ensuring a sustainable fishing sector is a priority for both the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia. Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Joyce Murray and the BC Minister of Land, Water, and Resource Stewardship,...

August 18, 2022


Ontario is resisting Canada’s plans for Indigenous-led conservation areas

The federal government is starting to fund Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas. An internal document shows Ontario has ‘concerns’ The Narwhal: In the face of provincial resistance, the federal government is urging Ontario to cooperate with plans to establish Indigenous-led conservation areas, according to an internal briefing. The document from Natural Resources Canada, obtained by...

August 17, 2022


UNESCO team in Alberta to judge if Wood Buffalo Park should go on endangered list

CityNews Everywhere Ottawa: A United Nations body that monitors some of the world’s greatest natural glories is in Canada again to assess government responses to ongoing threats to the country’s largest national park, including plans to release treated oilsands tailiBob Weber, The Canadian Press a day ago EDMONTON — A United Nations body that monitors some...

June 29, 2022


Enforcement operation near Lake Cowichan

NationTalk: Since early June 2022, the BC RCMP, through the Community-Industry Response Group (C-IRG) and Division Liaison Team (DLT), have been involved in ongoing discussions with the impacted First Nations communities – Ditidaht, Huu-ay-aht and Pacheedaht – regarding their concerns over a protest camp that has been placed across Haddon Main and Carrmanah Mainline Forest...

June 23, 2022


Protesters Ordered to Remove Illegal Camp and Respect Indigenous Sovereignty and Provincial Authorizations

Nitinaht, Traditional Ditidaht First Nation Territory, B.C. – Indigenous leaders from the Ditidaht, Huu-ay-aht and Pacheedaht First Nations met with protesters today to give final notice to immediately dismantle an illegal camp built across a main logging road on Ditidaht Traditional Territory in Tree Farm Licence (TFL) 44 on Vancouver Island. The Nations’ elected and hereditary...

April 18, 2022


Multiple Threats to Pacific Salmon Fishery

NationTalk: The First Nation Wild Salmon Alliance (“FNWSA”) is deeply troubled with the revelations set out in an article featured on the front page of today’s Globe and Mail which identifies that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (“DFO”), under the Harper administration, withheld critical science related to the existence of a highly transmissible...

December 14, 2021


Tailings Pond release in Athabaska River

Fort McMurray Today – First Nation, Métis leaders raise concerns about plans to release treated tailings into Athabasca River. The federal government is developing protocols for when treated tailings water can be released into the Athabasca River. A first draft is scheduled to be finished by 2024 and a final draft will be published in...

November 22, 2021


Canadian Banks invest in oil and gas exploration in Arctic Wildlife Refuge

US Congress passed “Build Back Better Act”, which restores protections to Iizhik Gwats’an Gwandaii Goodlit (The Sacred Place Where Life Begins), also known as the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. When more than 400,000 acres of the Coastal Plain were leased by the Trump Administration, not a single acre was leased by...

March 4, 2021


The Narwhal – Response to the Milburn review

The Narwhal as flagged the following as major problems: 50 per cent of the $5B increase to $16B in project costs are due to geotechnical issues relating to the unstable valley prone to large landslides and the COVID-19 pandemic. But the other 50 per cent of the cost increase was not revealed. Every single independent...

February 26, 2021


Milburn Review of Site C Dam

BC Government – The Province has released the Milburn review (Oct. 10, 2020), with 17 recommendations aimed at improving oversight and governance. Government and BC Hydro have accepted all the recommendations. The review focused on four areas: Governance and Oversight Geotechnical issues Risk Construction Supervision and Claims Management https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Milburn_Summary_Review.pdf...

January 29, 2021


Multiple threats to Pacific salmon fishery

The Province – K̓áwáziɫ Marilyn Slett — Chief Councillor of the Heiltsuk Nation, President of Coastal First Nations and co-chair of the Wild Salmon Advisory Council to British Columbia — describes the urgency of the salmon crisis and the immediate need for collective action. The importance of healthy salmon populations for coastal First Nations cannot...

January 13, 2021


Opposition to Imperial Metals Mining permit in the Skagit Watershed

NationTalk – An international coalition of more than 200 conservation, recreation and wildlife groups as well as local elected officials, businesses and Tribes and First Nations opposing a pending mining permit by Imperial Metals in the headwaters of the Skagit River continues to grow. Letter to British Columbia Premier John Horgan signed by 108 U.S....

December 16, 2020


Canadian Banks invest in oil and gas exploration in Arctic Wildlife Refuge: Scotiabank, CIBC, TDBFG

Yukon News – Scotiabank is the latest of five Canadian banks to reject drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. “Scotiabank will not provide direct financing or project-specific financial and advisory services for activities that are directly related to the exploration, development or production of oil and gas within the Arctic Circle, including the Arctic...

November 18, 2020


DFO cancels consultation with Mi’kmaw over fish passage in Avon River

Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office (KMKNO),– this week the Consultation Department received notice – without explanation – from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) that a Ministerial Order (MO) that DFO developed to address concerns with the Avon River was no longer being issued. This MO was to be implemented weeks ago and instead...

October 22, 2020


Canadian Banks invest in oil and gas exploration in Arctic Wildlife Refuge: BMO, RBC

Vuntut Gwitchin Government and Gwich’in Tribal Council – are celebrating news that the Bank of Montreal (BMO) has prohibited financing for oil and gas exploration and development activities in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. BMO has confirmed this new policy in an update to their Responsible Lending webpage. The move from BMO follows a similar action...

September 28, 2020


Attawapiskat First Nation opposes DeBeers Land Fill site

Attawapiskat First Nation – DeBeers Canada (DBC) is seeking Ontario Government approval for a third landfill waste site to be built and filled up at the Victor Mine Site, located in a vulnerable James Bay wetlands area, and in a place of critical importance to Attawapiskat. The Victor Mine is now in the closure phase,...

August 10, 2020


Omnibus Bill 197 violates Environmental Bill of Rights

The Timmins Daily Press – Mushkegowuk Council is calling on the province to honour the treaty it signed 115 years ago. Treaty 9 was signed between First Nations leaders and Canadian political figures to establish guidelines around resources and projects on First Nations land. Grand Chief Jonathan Solomon called Bill 197 a “major step back”...

August 10, 2020


Mount Polley Mine Tailings disaster

“Safety First” a new report by Earthworks and MiningWatch Canada recommends that all new mine tailing ponds be constructed using filtered tailings storage, otherwise known as dry-stack tailings. When filtered tailings are not an option, at the very least better dam construction needs to be required by regulators, Safety First states. The reports notes the...

July 24, 2020


Omnibus Bill 197 violates Environmental Bill of Rights

NationTalk – Bill 197 (COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, 2019), an omnibus bill introduced on July 8 and passed just 13 days later on July 23 with little legislative debate and no Standing Committee consideration, and without public consultation on the changes to the Environmental Assessment Act (EAA) despite warnings from Ontario’s Auditor General that this...

July 24, 2020


Coastal GasLink ignores Environmental Assessment Act

Unist’ot’en – BC’s Environmental Assessment Office (BCEAO) has issued a non-compliance after Coastal GasLink clears pipeline Right of Way through hundreds of wetlands without environmental fieldwork. There are nearly 300 of these protected wetlands along the pipeline route, and Coastal GasLink’s “Qualified Professionals” have neglected to develop site-specific mitigation for any of them. Nearly 80%...

June 5, 2020


Suspension of Environmental Monitoring in Oil Sands

Three First Nations in northeast Alberta – Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Fort McKay First Nation and Mikisew Cree First Nation – have jointly filed an appeal related to recent Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) decisions to suspend key aspects of environmental monitoring in the oil sands. The First Nations were not consulted on decisions that clearly impact...

April 28, 2020


Canadian Banks invest in oil and gas exploration in Arctic Wildlife Refuge

Vuntut Gwitchin Government (VGG) and Gwich’in Tribal Council (GTC) – Despite movement by the majority of major U.S. banks – five of the top 6 – there has yet to be similar action from their Canadian peers to rule out financing new oil and gas exploration and development in the Arctic, including the Arctic National...

April 6, 2020


Suspension of Environmental Monitoring in Oil Sands

Canadian Manufacturing – The Alberta Government has suspended all environmental reporting requirements for industry under emergency powers the province has enacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The move effectively suspends environmental regulation in the province. Later, on May 6, 2020, the Alberta Energy Regulator suspended a wide array of environmental monitoring requirements for oil sands...

March 6, 2020


Lack of Inuit consultation on Muskrat Falls

Release of the report on the Muskrat Falls Inquiry from the Honourable Justice Richard D. LeBlanc, Commissioner: “Muskrat Falls, A Misguided Project”. The Muskrat Falls project has had a profound impact on ratepayers and the financial situation in Newfoundland and Labrador. The report makes findings and recommendations related to the inquiry’s terms of reference, as...

February 13, 2020


Criticisms of Federal Impact Assessment Act

FACETS – “Indigenous knowledge and federal environmental assessments in Canada: applying past lessons to the 2019 impact assessment act”. Even the most contemporary federal Environmental Assessment framework in Canada ultimately fails to ensure the engagement of the critically important knowledge of Indigenous peoples in environmental decision-making. While we identify that Impact Assessment Act fails to...

August 12, 2019


Lack of Inuit consultation on Muskrat Falls

The Nunatsiavut Government – The Nunatsiavut Government is extremely disappointed with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador with the way it has handled the whole Muskrat Falls fiasco. The Premier has repeatedly betrayed our trust by neglecting to respond, in writing or publicly, to our concerns and/or questions. (i.e. Ignoring 5 of 7 recommendations from...

August 9, 2019


Multiple threats to Pacific salmon fishery

BC Assembly of First Nations – Failure to issue a closure to all marine and recreational Fraser River salmon fishing due to the Big Bar Landslide near Lillooet. On June 21, 2019 a large land slide was discovered in a remote part of the Fraser River, which is considered one of the most sacred rivers...

August 1, 2019


Mount Polley Mine Tailings disaster

BC First Nations Energy and Mining Council – released “Reducing the Risks of Mining Disasters in BC: How Financial Assurance can Help”. Based on the analysis presented in this report, we make one overarching recommendation to British Columbia policy-makers and two supporting ones. 6.1 Main recommendation Require hard financial assurance against the risk of mining...

January 31, 2019


Redwater Energy avoids liability for orphaned wells

Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) – Supreme Court of Canada decision 2019 SCC 5 ruled in favour of the AER and Orphan Well Association’s (OWA’s) appeal of the Redwater decision. From the May 2016 Redwater decision until January 30, 2019, receivers and trustees involved in 28 insolvencies renounced their interest in more than 10 000 AER-licensed...

December 30, 2018


Redwater Energy avoids liability for orphaned wells

Macleans -Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act: requires owners of contaminated land – including oil and gas sites – seeking remediation certificates to report “new information” as well as meet specific timelines and instructions to remediate land and prevent future adverse effects....

December 1, 2018


Failure to protect Woodland Cariboo

Government of Canada – “Progress Report on Steps Taken to Protect Critical Habitat for the Woodland Caribou” indicates little progress is being made toward conservation. Meanwhile, provinces continue to issue permits for energy and forestry developments that do not comply with Species At Risk Act (SARA) , placing caribou at even greater risk. (David Suzuki...

July 4, 2017


Redwater Energy avoids liability for orphaned wells

Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) – The May 19, 2016, decision by the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta in the matter of Redwater Energy Corp. allows receivers and trustees to disclaim Alberta Energy Regulator licensed assets and avoid their abandonment and reclamation obligations. Disclaiming unprofitable sites allows a company to reap the benefits of producing...

July 14, 2016


Mercury poisoning at Grassy Narrows

Toronto Star – Ontario’s former environment minister called for a clean-up of mercury contaminating Grassy Narrows First Nation, historical cabinet memos obtained by the Star show. But nothing was done by the government of the day to clean up the polluted river and lakes, and more than 30 years later the fish that feed the...

August 14, 2014


Mount Polley Mine Tailings disaster

The Mount Polley mine tailings dam collapsed, releasing 25 million cubic metres of contaminated mining waste. The massive spill destroyed or affected over 2.6 million square meters of aquatic and riparian habitats over a 10-km distance. Imperial Metals did not even pay the full cost of the clean-up. British Columbians and Canadians picked up a...

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