Friday, July 13, 2012

Discovery of Hundreds of Dead Fish in P.E.I. Brook Spawns Pesticide Concerns

Winnipeg Free Press....
COLEMAN, P.E.I. - The discovery of hundreds of dead fish in Prince Edward Island is spawning concerns from environmentalists about the use of pesticides in the province's agriculture industry. Details here.

NEW Urgent Warning to all Cell Phone Users (Video)

Hang the Bankers
If you think the jury’s still out on whether cell phones can be dangerous to your health, then you might want to take the time to listen to this video. Watch video here.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Rural Municipality of Shell River, Manitoba, Scraps Plans for a New Sewage Lagoon at a Controversial Location

But the RM's plan to press ahead with a lagoon somewhere else, does not bode well for those who would like to shed such antiquated technology in favour of something better. 
- by Larry Powell
According to an informed source, four members of the 6-member RM Council met in special session this week and voted to scrap the site originally proposed, north of Highway Five and a few kilometres east of Lake of the Prairies. It would have been just over 1K upwind from my country residence, on land owned by the Reeve, Albert Nabe. The source, who asked not to be publicly identified, says only four of the six councillors were present at the meeting. (The other two, Reeve Nabe and Councillor Jack Lenderbeck, have not been voting because of a conflict-of-interest in the issue....Reeve Nabe because he owns the land and Councillor Lenderbeck because he rents land from the Reeve.) 

The vote to abandon the original site means the hunt is now on for another which does not need a $1.5 million liner to prevent leakage. (I reported earlier that the drill truck had struck water on at least one occasion at the original site. I have now learned that this actually happened more than once.) 

Despite this rather damning evidence that a lagoon at that location would have been a mistake, two councillors are still said to have voted to proceed to build there!

In any event, my local government has now given up completely on the possibility of considering  technology other than a hole in the ground in which to treat human waste. It will not be persuing a proposal by Blue Diamond Technologies, a Manitoba company which had asked council to consider its chemical treatment system, instead. The RM seems to have rejected the company's contention that it could do the job cheaper and better.

My application to require the RM to make the original soil test results available to the public, something it has refused to do from the outset , has now gone to the provincial Ombudsman. Despite this latest development, I intend to see this process through, because the public ought to know all the details. Secrecy and lack of accountability by this government are way too pervasive.

To me, this was never about the "NIMBY Syndrome" (not in my backyard), only. While nothing focuses the mind quite like the spectre of sewage odours wafting over one's own property, I can't understand why our politicians seem so stuck in the past they'd rather cling to the decades-old technology of lagoons, which often leak, contaminate groundwater or fail to meet pollution regulations. 

Sadly, this project will be going ahead in someone else's backyard, somewhere else in this jurisdiction. And that's too bad.

Larry Powell, concerned citizen, resident and ratepayer/RM of Shell River and publisher of "Paths Less Traveled."

Please also read:  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

U.S. Oil Spill Report Adds Fuel to Opposition to Enbridge Pipeline in B.C.

Victoria Times-Colonist
VANCOUVER — Opponents of Enbridge’s controversial Northern Gateway pipeline are pointing to a scathing report into a spill in the United States to bolster their argument that the company’s proposal to transport oil over remote areas of British Columbia is too risky.       
Workers clean the Kalamazoo River on Tuesday above the Ceresco dam.  / JOHN GRAP/BATTLE CREEK ENQUIRER

Monday, July 9, 2012

Bird Population Report Not All Beak....I Mean, Bleak

 Winnipeg Free Press...
A recently released report shows that on average, Canadian breeding bird populations have decreased 12 per cent....Full story here.
Northern Oriole. PLT photo

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Queen of the Sun – What are the Bees Telling us?

A film and book review - by Sam Burcher
The Queen of the Sun documentary film is a slow-paced and beautifully shot travelogue of the best and the worst habitats for bees survival. The best habitats are the seamless tracts of wildflower meadows and the sanctuary gardens specifically created for bees that provide food all year round.  The worst habitats are the endless rows of monocultures that provide food for only three weeks of the year during flowering season.

On this soulful journey we meet the biodynamic, organic, urban garden and rooftop beekeepers intent on pulling the honey bee back from the brink of disaster. We see the wonder of the snow white wax that brings the light of the bee and the sun in the winter. We watch the patient beekeepers with their hives reflecting on what was,  until 2006 and the emergence of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) 10,000 years of productive co-operation between humans and bees.

As Parliament Rises for the Summer…

Elizabeth May, Leader, Green Party of Canada

The appalling 420 page so-called omnibus budget implementation bill, C-38, will likely clear the Senate before you read this. Full story here

"…the contempt that the Tories have shown for the democratic process is unacceptable, and inexplicable. Such a hardball tactic might have been justifiable when the Conservatives held only a minority, but now, it seems simply like a bad habit the Conservatives are in need of shaking." - National Post, June 18, 2012

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Will the Government of Manitoba Protect the Little Saskatchewan River?

Canadian Centre for Policy Ruth Pryzner
The beautiful Little Saskatchewan River (LSR), recognized as a unique habitat for endangered, at-risk and common species, winds its way through Keesekoowenin First Nation and the towns of Minnedosa....Details here.
Minnedosa's ethanol plant with the LSR in foreground. (PLT photo.) 

Searing Sun and Drought Shrivel Corn in US Midwest

New York Times
HARTFORD CITY, Ind. — Across a wide stretch of the Midwest, sweltering temperatures and a lack of rain are threatening what had been expected to be the nation’s largest corn crop in generations. Details here.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Greenland Ice Sheet Melt Nearing Critical ‘Tipping Point’

By Andrew Freedman - Climate Central
The Greenland ice sheet is poised for another record melt this year, and is approaching a "tipping point" into a new and more dangerous melt regime in which the summer melt area covers the entire land mass, according to new findings from polar researchers.
Full story here.

Massive B.C. coal mines are about to get a new owner. Why some are worried about Glencore’s record

THE NARWHAL Coal mine at Tumbler Ridge, B.C.  Jeffrey Wynne ,      If the sale goes through, the company will inherit a contamination proble...