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Environment

Canada’s climate plan not enough, entire G7 must do more report says

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Justin Trudeau

OTTAWA — The wealthiest countries in the world — including Canada — are lagging instead of leading in the fight against global warming, a new report says.

The Climate Action Network, a global association of more than 1,300 climate groups, issued a report card on the climate plans of the G7 nations ahead of the leaders’ summit in France this weekend. The groups hope to pressure the world’s wealthiest nations to step up their climate game, noting none of them is doing enough.

There is also a hope expressed in the report that the upcoming federal election in Canada might stimulate more ambitious action. Canada, the report says, is among the worst of the already bad G7 bunch.

“It’s depressing,” said Catherine Abreu, executive director of Climate Action Network Canada. “The richest countries in the world are delivering the poorest performance and some of the smallest and poorest are leading the way.”

The report card says Canada’s current policies are consistent with global warming exceeding 4 C compared to pre-industrial levels, more than twice the stated goal of the Paris agreement of staying as close to 1.5 C as possible. The United States and Japan are also both in the 4 C category, while the other four G7 members, France, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom, have policies consistent with more than 3 C in warming.

A spokeswoman for Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said Canada is leading internationally with its initiative to wean the world off coal power, and financing projects in developing nations to mitigate or adapt to climate change.

“Over the past three and a half years, our government has delivered on an ambitious, affordable plan that is doing more to cut carbon pollution than any other federal government in Canada’s history,” Sabrina Kim said in a written statement.

But the Climate Action Network ranks Canada’s climate plan as having the same impact on global warming as the policies of the United States, where President Donald Trump has rejected the Paris agreement.

The report applauds Canada’s plan to eliminate coal as a source of electricity by 2030, the national price on pollution and the goal to stop selling combustion-engine cars by 2040. But it says all of the government plans “remain insufficient to meet Canada’s targets and the Paris Agreement.”

Canada’s current targets were developed by the Conservatives in the spring of 2015, and maintained by the Liberals six months later when they signed on to the Paris agreement a few weeks after winning the election. The goal by 2030 is to cut emissions 30 per cent below what they were in 2005.

Last December, the Liberals said computer modelling suggested Canada will get just over halfway there — 16 per cent below 2005 levels — under current plans.

Many scientists also say Canada must cut more than twice as many emissions than planned if it is to pull its weight in the war on climate change.

Climate plans are proving to be a major part of most party platforms, with the NDP, Green and Conservatives already releasing at least the broad strokes of their environment promises. The Liberals are expected to release their climate platform next month. McKenna has said several times that Canada will increase its emissions targets in 2020, when the Paris agreement requires it, but she hasn’t indicated how much more she will aim to cut.

The Conservative plan doesn’t specifically put a number on the goal, but does describe itself as “Canada’s best chance to meet the Paris targets.” The NDP aim to increase emissions cuts in line with what scientists demand. The Green Party promises to cut emissions by 2030 to 60 per cent below 2005 levels.

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press


Alberta

Homes by 3Leafs showcases the first single family, shipping container home built in Calgary.

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Homes by 3Leafs showcases the first single family, shipping container home built in Calgary. The Alberta based company is changing how homes are constructed by transforming recycled steel containers into high performance, energy efficient homes with net zero capabilities.

September 19, 2019, Calgary, AB ​Homes by 3Leafs gave media an exclusive inside look into the sleek, elegant modern two-storey home made from four recycled shipping containers. The home is nestled in the eco-friendly community, Echohaven, in northwest Calgary.

Som Sourachit, C.E.O. of Homes by 3Leafs describes this moment as pivotal. “Our high performance, energy efficient houses reduce waste in landfills by repurposing steel shipping containers into dream homes. The houses have net zero capabilities and are the new blueprint for how we should build while protecting our environment. “

It’s estimated there are millions of shipping containers piling up in landfills worldwide. The repurposed containers make the perfect envelope for a home, and reduce the heavy reliance on trees used for construction. The steel means shipping container homes are sturdier and will last for generations with fewer repairs than traditional stick builds over time.

The homeowner, Jaime Turner, added “This is a teaching moment for my young daughter. We wanted to build a legacy for her. This is our forever home and we know because it’s made of steel it will last for generations, and an added bonus is, we are being good to our environment!”

Homes by 3Leafs is proud to be leading the way in new home construction. Currently, 6 building projects are underway.

About Homes by 3Leafs

Homes by 3Leafs is a global company based in Edmonton and is comprised of a team of architects, construction experts, designers, and engineers with years of experience developing stunning homes. By using shipping containers to build, Homes by 3Leafs is committed to saving the environment. Thousands of containers pile up in landfills unused while forests can’t be cut down fast enough to support the robust construction industry. The company leads the way with cutting edge technology and new innovations to help the world build beautiful sustainable homes to last hundreds of years.

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Environment

Court allows six Trans Mountain appeals focusing on Indigenous consultation

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Trans Mountain Pipeline

VANCOUVER — The Federal Court of Appeal says it will hear six challenges of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion focusing on Indigenous consultation, while dismissing several claims centred on environmental concerns.

The decision calls for narrowly focused, expedited court proceedings that will only examine the calibre of the federal government’s consultation with Indigenous communities between August 2018 and June 2019.

“Many of the Indigenous and First Nation applicants now allege that the poor quality and hurried nature of this further consultation rendered it inadequate,” says Justice David Stratas in the decision released Wednesday.

The government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has twice approved a plan to triple the capacity of an existing pipeline from Alberta’s oilpatch to a terminal in Burnaby, B.C.

The Federal Court of Appeal tore up the original approval last year, citing both an insufficient environmental review and inadequate Indigenous consultations. The Liberals said they fixed both problems and approved the expansion a second time in June.

Three environmental groups, eight First Nations and the City of Vancouver sought leave to appeal. Conservation groups argued there were inadequate protections for endangered species affected by increased tanker traffic, while several First Nations said the government came into the most recent discussions having predetermined the outcome.

The court has allowed requests to appeal by the Coldwater Indian Band, Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Upper Nicola Band, the Stk’emlupsemc Te Secwepemc and a coalition of First Nations in B.C.’s Fraser Valley.

Stratas explains in his ruling that decisions to grant leave to appeal are based on whether arguments are “fairly arguable,” meaning any claims with fatal legal errors must be dismissed.

Two sets of arguments advanced by First Nations didn’t meet that standard, including any assertions of a right to veto as well as issues already decided by the court’s first ruling last August, Stratas says.

However, the federal government engaged in additional consultations after the ruling and the court should decide whether those talks were adequate, he says.

At the same time, Stratas says applicants’ arguments on environmental issues aren’t fairly arguable. Many were already dealt with or could have been raised during the court’s first hearing on the project, he says.

In its first ruling, the court called for a new National Energy Board review focusing on marine impacts and the review was completed in February. The board submitted a “comprehensive, detail-laden, 678-page report” to the government, Stratas notes.

Though many applicants say the new report is deeply flawed, this argument “cannot possibly succeed” based on the degree of examination and study of marine shipping and related environmental issues in the document, he says.

The federal government bought the existing pipeline and the unfinished expansion work for $4.5 billion last year, promising to get it past the political opposition that had scared off Kinder Morgan Canada from proceeding.

Stratas rejected arguments that alleged the government made a biased decision to approve the project because it is the owner.

He says the governor-in-council, which represents the Crown and acts on the advice of cabinet, is actually the decision-maker, not the federal government. Furthermore, he says the governor-in-council is required to make decisions regardless of who owns a project.

Stratas says short and strict deadlines for litigation will be set. He directed the parties to file their notices of application for judicial review within seven days.

The Tsleil-Waututh Nation said in a statement that it felt confident the government’s approval will once again be quashed.

“Canada continued to do the legal minimum (in consultations) and in our view, fell well below the mark again,” said Chief Leah George-Wilson. “They approached it with a closed mind, and were in a conflict of interest.”

Ecojustice, which had brought a case on behalf of Raincoast Conservation Foundation and Living Oceans Society, said it will not rule out taking its fight to the Supreme Court of Canada.

“Going to the country’s highest court may seem like a drastic measure, but — in the midst of a climate emergency and biodiversity crisis — these are drastic times,” it said.

The City of Vancouver also said it’s considering its next steps.

Alexandre Deslongchamps, a spokesman for Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi, said the federal government is confident it took the necessary steps to get the approval right and is prepared to defend its decision in court.

“We fulfilled our duty to consult with Indigenous communities by engaging in meaningful, two-way dialogue, which allowed us to co-develop eight new accommodation measures that are responsive to the concerns raised,” he said.

Conservative MP Michelle Rempel criticized the government for not submitting a defence against 11 of the 12 motions seeking leave to appeal. The court decision says the government did so because it considered the threshold for leave to be quite low.

“Today we found out Justin Trudeau rolled over and refused to stand up for the Trans Mountain pipeline in court,” Rempel said.

— Follow @ellekane on Twitter.

Laura Kane, The Canadian Press




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september, 2019

tue06augAll Daysun29sepHot Mess - Erin Boake featured at Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery(All Day)

sun22sep2:00 pm4:00 pmVinyasa with a View2:00 pm - 4:00 pm MT Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, 120 College Circle Event Organized By: Lululemon Red Deer

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