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CWN Appoints New Scientific Director

Posted on November 1, 2013
The Waterloo-based Canadian Water Network (CWN) announced the appointment of Dr. Simon Courtenay as Scientific Director on October 30. The appointment came into effect at the start of November. Courtenay will head a network of researchers, practitioners, and implementers focused on clean, safe, and sustainable water across Canada and internationally. Dr. Simon Courtenay Previous to his appointment, Courtenay was involved with CWN in a number of capacities, including serving on the management committee of the Canadian Watershed Research Consortium and as one of the network’s principal researchers. He also spent 24 years as a [...]

Federal Government Reintroduces Safeguarding Canada’s Seas and Skies Act

Posted on October 23, 2013
Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt reintroduced the proposed Safeguarding Canada’s Seas and Skies Act on October 18, a piece of legislation first tabled March 18 as part of the government’s plan to establish a tanker safety system off the east and west coasts of the country. Proposed amendments to the Marine Liability Act aim to fill a gap in the current liability and compensation regime, and establish an international standard covering incidents involving hazardous and noxious substances transported by ships. Proposed amendments to the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 will strengthen current requirements for spill prevention and preparedness [...]

Ontario Bill to Protect Great Lakes Passes Second Reading

Posted on October 10, 2013
Yesterday, Bill 6, the proposed Great Lakes Protection Act 2013 passed its second reading in the Ontario Legislature. The proposed act, if passed, would would provide new tools to restore and protect the lakes and create a Great Lakes Guardians' Council to identify priorities and recommend actions to address them. Bill 6 has now been referred to the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills and public hearings on the bill are anticipated to occur later this fall.   [...]

TD Economics Report Proposes New Method of Measuring Environmental Performance

Posted on October 7, 2013
A new TD Economics report (PDF) has proposed a "new, holistic approach" to measuring the progress being made by Canadian businesses in achieving economic growth while benefitting the environment. The report seeks to illustrate progress through qualitative--rather than quantitative--analysis. “We contend that a more useful approach is to put aside the notion of ‘the green economy’ and instead focus on the ‘the greening of the economy,’” the report reads. It contends that the term ‘green economy’ lacks the necessary standardized definition to effectively assess progress, and as such can lead to and underestimation of [...]

June Alberta Floods Costliest Insured Natural Disaster in Canadian History

Posted on September 24, 2013
The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has reported that the latest Property Claim Services Canada (PCS-Canada) estimate of the insured property damage caused by last June's southern Alberta floods now exceeds $1.7 billion.  It is the costliest natural disaster in Canadian history. "It's a staggering number that we expect will go even higher," said Bill Adams, IBC VP, Western and Pacific.  "While the monetary cost of the floods is huge, the emotional toll on Albertans is incalculable. Insurers and IBC are committed to helping Albertans through the claims process as they clean up and rebuild their lives and communities." Flooding [...]

Fluoridation Debate in Lethbridge

Posted on September 23, 2013
The Lethbridge Herald released an open letter from the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA) on September 18, expressing the organization’s support for community water fluoridation. The letter, written by CDHA's executive director, Ondina Love, notes that access to oral health care is not universal, and that water fluoridation is “a proven, safe, effective and inexpensive alternative strategy to reduce the burden of tooth decay among all residents, including those most economically disadvantaged for whom regular oral health visits are not affordable.” The letter also cites a Wellesley Institute report which recommends [...]

Canada Announces Investments in First Nations’ Water Systems

Posted on September 23, 2013
The federal government has announced investments in water and wastewater treatment system improvements in five British Columbia First Nation communities – Metlakatla First Nation, Esk’etemc First Nation, Little Shuswap First Nation, Splats’in First Nation, and Toosey First Nation. Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. “Access to safe drinking water and the effective treatment of wastewater for First Nations communities, and to all Canadians, continues to be a priority for our government,” said Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Bernard Valcourt, who announced [...]

Stantec Unveils New Brand

Posted on September 20, 2013
Edmonton-based professional services company Stantec Inc. unveiled a new brand on September 10, with a goal to reinforce the company’s “design with community in mind” promise. Stantec's new logo. "We have evolved our brand to better reflect who we are and what our clients and employees believe about us," president and CEO Bob Gomes said in a press release. "Our new positioning-focusing on community, creativity, and client relationships-differentiates us in our many market sectors." Employees from offices in several countries participated in volunteer events on September 11 to mark the company’s new image. Teams in New [...]

Anti-Fluoridation Rally Set for September 21

Posted on September 20, 2013
End Fluoride Toronto, a group “fighting to get fluoride medication out of Toronto’s water supply,” according to its website, is holding a peaceful assembly outside of City Hall this Saturday, September 21. The gathering will protest the fluoridation of Toronto’s drinking water. In the past, the group has called for supporters to contact their city councillors to ask for an end to fluoridation, and is currently seeking signatures for an online petition demanding a stop to the fluoridation of Toronto’s tap water. “Forcing us the consume fluoridated water as a medical treatment,” the petition reads, “infringes [...]

New Report Explores Overland Flooding Insurance Policies

Posted on September 17, 2013
The Co-operators Group Limited has released a report looking into issues of insurance coverage against flooding in Canada. While some homeowners may be eligible for relief from the federal government’s Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA), Canada is the only G8 country in which insurance against overland flooding is not available. Toronto's Dufferin underpass during a storm event. Photo: Eastmain The Co-operators commissioned Dr. Jason Thistlethwaite and Dr. Blair Feltmate of the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo to perform the study that informs Assessing the Viability of Overland Flood Insurance: [...]

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