Tag Archives | Canada

First Nations Oppose Tar Sands Pipeline

Keystone XLNative Activists have been on the front lines opposing the Alberta Tar Sands for years. Native Canadians have frequently borne the brunt of industrial pollution, particularly in Northern Canada. How will the new proposed Keystone XL pipeline affect Native communities both in the US and Canada? Colorlines explains:

In hopes that action would discourage President Barack Obama from permitting an extension to the Canadian Keystone pipeline — also known as the “Keystone XL” — a group of First Nations and American Indian activists protested in front of the White House on Friday.

Before being arrested, the protesters insisted that the extension — which will run from Alberta Canada to Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas — will harm ancestral homelands.

“Our Lakota people oppose this pipeline because of the potential contamination of the surface water and of the Oglala aquifer,” said Deb White Plume, a Lakota activist. “We have thousands of ancient and historical cultural resources that would be destroyed across our treaty lands.”

Even the New York Times’ editorial board came out against the pipeline, writing that it was concerned about oil spills along the route and carbon emissions.

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Human Foot Found On Vancouver Beach For 11th Time In Four Years

severed-footIt seems something strange is “afoot” in the Pacific Northwest. Also: why do gristly, unexplained crimes always seem to involve running gear? Via the New York Daily News:

For the eleventh time in four years, a human foot washed ashore near Vancouver – baffling investigators who are at a loss to explain the grisly trend.

The foot, which was inside a running shoe, turned up along the British Columbia coast late Tuesday, according to police. It spotted by a passerby near the Vancouver’s False Creek.

Police have no theories as to how the foot ended up in the water – but have not suggested that foul play is suspected. Since 2007, nearly a dozen feet encased in shoes have appeared on beaches in the area, including a few over the border in Washington state. The bizarre discoveries have attracted international attention – and spawned fears of a serial killer.

But cops have steadfastly denied that anything sinister is behind the gruesome discoveries, suggesting that the deaths were drownings or suicides and that the decaying feet separated from corpses naturally in the water.

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Norway Wants Ship Back 80 Years After Sinking In Canadian Arctic

B&AShip

Photo: Ansgar Walk (CC)

Via Discovery News:

Eighty years after it sank in the Canadian Arctic, explorer Roald Amundsen’s three-mast ship Maud may once again sail across the Atlantic to become the centerpiece of a new museum in Norway.

Canada, however, must still agree to the repatriation plan hatched by Norwegian investors, amid strong opposition from locals in the Canadian territory of Nunavut who want the ship to stay for tourists to admire from shore.

The wreck now sits at the bottom of Cambridge Bay in Nunavut, but its hulk is partly visible above the frigid waters that preserved it for decades.

“The incredibly strong-built oak ship has been helped by the Arctic cold and clean water to be kept in a reasonably good shape,” said Jan Wanggaard, a Norwegian who recently visited the wreck to sort out technical problems with raising the ship as well as to survey the views from locals and officials.

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Canadian Meteorite Has All the Building Blocks for Life

MeteorInteresting article from Tim Barribeau on io9.com:

The argument that life on Earth may have been seeded from the stars just received a major boost, as scientists have found the building blocks of life inside a meteorite that landed in British Columbia in 2000.

The Tagish Lake meteorite landed in January of that year, a streaking fireball that burst into more than 500 fragments which rained down on the lake. In its trip from the outer reaches of the asteroid belt it burned down from 56 tonnes to 1.3, and deep inside the fragments there are the basic building blocks of life, including the amino acids, sugars and hydrocarbons that could have jump started life on our planet.

This meteorite is the only uncontaminated example we’ve ever found, thanks to the quick actions of the people who spotted it. What the researchers have found is that the organic compounds in the rock date back to the early days of the solar system, or possible predate it.

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Wikileaks Cables Show Race To Carve Up Arctic

ArcticBBC News reports:

Secret US embassy cables released by Wikileaks show nations are racing to “carve up” Arctic resources — oil, gas and even rubies — as the ice retreats.

They suggest that Arctic states, including the US and Russia, are all pushing to stake a claim.

The opportunity to exploit resources has come because of a dramatic fall in the amount of ice in the Arctic.

The US Geological Survey estimates oil reserves off Greenland are as big as those in the North Sea.

The cables were released by the Wikileaks whistleblower website as foreign ministers from the eight Arctic Council member states – Russia, the United States, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Iceland – met in Nuuk, Greenland on Thursday to sign a treaty on international search-and-rescue in the Arctic and discuss the region’s future challenges.

The cables claim the Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller joked with the Americans saying “if you stay out, then the rest of us will have more to carve up in the Arctic”.

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Ruling Opens the Door to Legalize Marijuana in Canada

Pot Friendly CanadaSandro Contenta writes on GlobalPost:

TORONTO— Pot lovers are dreaming of July 10, the day Canada’s dope laws go up in smoke.

An Ontario judge has struck down key aspects of Canada’s marijuana laws, triggering a 90-day countdown when growing, possessing or smoking pot will become legal.

The April 11 court ruling gives the federal government three months to either reform the laws or appeal the ruling to a higher court.

At issue is a 2001 law that allows seriously ill Canadians to access marijuana for medicinal purposes. But Justice Donald Taliano found that the vast majority of doctors refuse to prescribe the drug. Patients are therefore forced to break the law, either by growing their own or buying it on the black market.

“Seriously ill persons who need marihuana to treat their symptoms are forced to choose between their health and their liberty,” Taliano, of the Ontario Superior Court, wrote in his ruling.

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Endangered Sea Turtles To Be Killed After Experiment

Green sea turtle. Photo: Wilfried Wittkowsky (CC)

Green sea turtle. Photo: Wilfried Wittkowsky (CC)

Controversial news that’s causing an uproar. The Vancouver Sun reports:

Endangered green sea turtles that have been part of a University of B.C. research project for more than 10 years will be killed sometime this spring.

Bill Milsom, head of UBC’s zoology department, said seven turtles will be killed in order to complete a study into turtle diving depths. The turtles are at least 10 years old and can live to be 30.

The study was designed to measure the impacts of climate change on the animals and to help countries develop policies around fishing.

More than 85,000 green sea turtles died as “bycatch in the fishing industry” between 1990 and 2008, Milsom said. By studying diving depths, researchers could recommend how deep fish nets should be placed to avoid catching the turtles.

Asked why kill an endangered species, Milsom said “they were brought in for these experiments [at UBC] and as part of those experiments, it requires harvesting the tissues.”

As the research progressed, he said, the studies became more invasive.

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