Can the threat of personal liability stop fluoridation?

by Dianne Saxe on September 18, 2014

The excessively broad risk of personal liability for municipal councillors and staff in the Ontario Safe Drinking Water Act was supposed to improve public health and safety, but could it do the opposite, by frightening individuals into making poor public policy decisions? Opponents of fluoridation have started to threaten councillors with personal liability for fluoridated water, in the hope of changing municipal policy on water treatment.  The province created this problem, and they should fix it. [click to continue…]


Class Action for Harming Bees with Neonicotinoids

by Jennifer Kalnins Temple on September 16, 2014

Last week, Ontario beekeepers filed a lawsuit in Ontario Superior Court (Windsor) against two massive chemical companies, Bayer AG and Syngenta AG, for over $400 million dollars in losses allegedly caused by neonicotinoid pesticides.

This is the first Canadian class action lawsuit filed for harm caused by the pesticides which have been identified as potentially responsible for the worldwide phenomenon and mystery known as “Colony Collapse Disorder.” Since the 1970s, but reaching obvious and disturbing levels in 2006, honeybees have been dropping like flies prompting scientists around the world to research potential causes which include cell phone radiation, parasites, and the thinning ozone layer. After 8 years, the conversation has focused on neonicotinoids.

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Dianne is quoted in the Globe on Green Bonds

September 15, 2014

See Richard Blackwell’s interesting story about Solarshare and Green Bonds in today’s Globe and Mail.

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Crowdfunding to defend anti-fracking bylaw

September 12, 2014

The tiny Québec village of Ristigouche-Sud-Est, population 168, is crowdfunding to pay for the defence of its anti-fracking by-law, intended to protect municipal drinking water.

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Privacy Commissioner: must disclose sources of fill

September 11, 2014

The Township of Scugog refused to disclose the sources of the fill it had purchased, on the basis that this was confidential third party information, exempted from disclosure under section 10(1) of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. In Township of Scugog (Re), 2014 CanLII 50835 (ON IPC), the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) ordered: […]

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Innovative illustration of the climate change consensus

September 9, 2014

In its Fifth Assessment Report,  the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded: “It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.” Skeptical Science, a website dedicating to explaining “what peer reviewed science has to say about global warming”, has launched an innovative project to demonstrate this near total consensus among […]

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Convictions for not reporting natural gas?

September 8, 2014

Just as we predicted after R. v. Castonguay, the Ministry of the Environment is aggressively prosecuting in new areas of the economy, for not reporting events that are far from conventional “pollution”. This time, it was a natural gas leak.

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Municipal Anti-Wind By-Laws Inoperative

September 3, 2014

Another Ontario municipality’s attempts to block wind energy development have been thrown out by the courts. Municipalities cannot use anti-wind by-laws to frustrate Renewable Energy Approvals (REA), under the Green Energy Act, S.O. 2009, c. 12 (“Green Energy Act”).

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Should Energy Board consider climate before approving pipelines?

September 2, 2014

Can, and should, the National Energy Board consider climate impacts before approving oil pipelines? The federal government says no, objectors say yes. Now the courts must decide.

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Removing Locked Bikes From Public Property: Bad Idea, But Not Theft.

August 29, 2014

Earlier this month, Torontonians learned that Brookfield Property Group was cutting the locks off of bikes parked outside their Hudson’s Bay Centre Building.  Knowing that we are devoted cyclists, a number of readers have asked us whether their actions constitute theft.

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2014 Pesticide Prosecution “Roundup”

August 27, 2014

Earlier this summer we reported that Ontario Pesticide Act prosecutions have become infrequent since the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOE) stopped having specialized pesticide enforcement staff. Now that the season is soon to change over, we decided to take a look at the year’s violation reports to see if MOE’s intentions with […]

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Should Children Have a Right to a Healthy Environment?

August 22, 2014

On June 17, 2014, several environmental groups in New Brunswick circulated for comment a draft environmental bill of rights for children. Called “A Bill of Rights to Protect Children’s Health from Environmental Hazards,” it is the first of its kind in Canada. If passed, the law would confer on every child “the right to protection […]

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Millions for offsite gasoline contamination

August 21, 2014

The Ontario Superior Court has awarded millions to a neighbouring property owner for historic offsite gasoline contamination. The decision in Canadian Tire Real Estate Ltd. v. Huron Concrete Supply Ltd. illustrates, and will perpetuate, the continuing confusion over liability for off site groundwater plumes. Justice Leitch never explains how her decision can be reconciled with the landmark Smith v. […]

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Wind opponents lose health challenges around the world

August 19, 2014

A recent report  by the Energy and Policy Institute documents the rejection of anti-wind health claims by 48 courts and tribunals in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the US. In one anomalous US case,  two turbines which had had a known problem were ordered to be shut down 12 hours a day, four hours […]

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Toronto zoning change to promote Tower Renewal

August 18, 2014

Toronto contains the second largest concentration of high-rise apartments in North America. Most were built half a century ago, during the City’s post-war expansion. The Tower Renewal Project is a major initiative to update these buildings, and make them part of green and equitable future Toronto. Improved energy efficiency, reduced car dependence, increased recycling, more usable green space […]

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