The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically increased reliance on single-use plastics, resulting in a plastics pollution crisis faced by many countries around the world. A French environmental nongovernmental organization recently released a video showing masks and gloves littering the seabed of the Mediterranean Sea.
On February 4, Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal ruled against four challenges by First Nations groups against the controversial expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline.
On June 18, Canada passed a new law banning the import and export of shark fins. Called the Fisheries Act, the new law also requires depleted fish populations to be rebuilt. Canada, which is the largest importer of shark fins outside of Asia, is the first G20 country to ban the export and import of shark fins. For the full story, see https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-canada-fisheries/canada-becomes-first….
Canada's top court has ruled that energy companies must fulfill their environmental obligations before paying back creditors in cases of insolvency and bankruptcy, effectively requiring companies to clean up old oil and gas wells rather than leaving them for others to clean up.
Canada's Syncrude has pleaded guilty to the deaths of 31 blue herons at its oil sands mine in northern Alberta and fined C$2.75 million. According to Alberta's energy regulator, the birds died after becoming oiled in an abandoned sump that was built to collect process-affected water containing residual bitumen from a storage site at the mine. Syncrude was previously fined C$3 million for negligence in the 2008 deaths of 1,600 ducks in a toxic tailings pond.
On October 23, Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced a plan to tax industrial emitters and fuels in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and New Brunswick. The fuel surcharge is expected to raise about 2.3 billion Canadian dollars in revenue next year, much of which will be sent out as benefits to individuals. The tax on large industrial emitters will begin in January, and the fuel tax will take effect in April. For the full story, see https://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2018/10/25/stories/1060104259.
After 10 North Atlantic right whales were killed in Canada's Gulf of St. Lawrence over the past two months, the Canadian government is ordering certain ships to reduce speeds to prevent more deaths. 2017 has been the deadliest year for the endangered mammal since scientists began tracking their numbers in the 1980's. Vessels that are 20 meters or longer are temporarily restricted to a maximum speed of 10 knots in the western portion of the Gulf. For the full story see http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-canada-whales-idUKKBN1AR20O.
Canada announced that it planned to impose a cap on pollution in provinces that refuse to adopt a national price on carbon. Last December, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reached a deal with 8 of the 10 provinces to introduce a carbon price to curb emissions of greenhouse gases, and threatened to impose it on holdout provinces. Thursday, the government proposed a tax on fossil fuels that would increase annually. Under Trudeau's plan, carbon pollution would cost $10 a ton in 2018, rising by $10 a year until it reaches $50 in 2022.
As countries around the world begin to implement their nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement, there is a demonstrable rift between liberal and conservative governments. As of Friday, Canada’s government, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and 10 provinces were set to agree on a national price for carbon. The plan allows provinces to implement either a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade market; those provinces not willing to choose will have a carbon tax imposed by the national government.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will have to decide on the $5.4 billion Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, balancing the demands of Native American groups and the need for growth. Whispering Pines Indian Band is in favor of the expansion, as they will receive economic support from the company following years of negotiations. But located closer to the pipeline’s end is, the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation is against the expansion, contending that it will lead to oil spills on their land and into Canada’s waters.