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Environment

Canada’s emissions target gets further away as 2017 report shows increase

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  • OTTAWA — Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions edged up for the first time in three years in 2017, pushing the country even further away from its international climate change commitments.

    The 2017 national inventory report shows the total amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions produced in Canada hit 716 million tonnes, up from 708 million tonnes a year earlier.

    It was the first substantial increase in overall greenhouse gas emissions from Canada since 2014, and the bulk of the increase came from oil and gas production.

    Small increases were also seen in manufacturing, residential energy use and agriculture. 

    The emissions report follows one released two weeks ago that said Canada is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, which was made public under the backdrop of a pitched political battle over the new federal carbon tax.

    Canada is aiming to get its emissions to 511 million tonnes by 2030 to meet its international commitment under the Paris climate change agreement, but international experts say that is far shy of what the country needs to do.

    The Canadian Press


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    Environment

    Sandbagging efforts in high gear in Quebec, New Brunswick flood zones

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  • MONTREAL — More than 600 Canadian soldiers have fanned out across Quebec, filling and stacking sandbags as officials warn that flood waters are likely to keep rising this week due to warming temperatures that contribute to snowmelt and ice movement.

    Urgence Quebec said yesterday that five major floods were threatening thousands of Quebecers, that 1,280 residences across the province had been flooded and that more than 1,500 people had left their homes.

    As he toured a flood zone in the Laval area Sunday Premier Francois Legault noted that many home owners were still repairing damage caused by record flooding in 2017. He also suggested that Quebecers whose homes are repeatedly flooded may eventually be forced to move.

    Meanwhile, about 120 Canadian soldiers have been deployed across western New Brunswick where 15 communities remain on flood alert.

    Rising water has forced the closure of at least 35 roads in the province and Premier Blaine Higgs has urged residents to do what they can to protect their families and property.

    Officials said flooding is expected this week in an area between Fredericton and Saint John as the Saint John River breaches its banks.

    Residents have been warned to stay away from the river because the water is very cold, the current is strong and there is plenty of debris scattered among the ice chunks.

     

    The Canadian Press


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    Environment

    Hundreds of Canadian troops deployed to flood zones in Quebec and N.B.

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  • MONTREAL — Quebec Premier Francois Legault is visiting flood-damaged regions north of Montreal today, as warm temperatures and rising water levels threaten to worsen the spring flooding already wreaking havoc across a wide region.

    Legault was set to visit a community centre and flooded homes on an island in the Laval region, where Canadian Forces troops are expected to join the efforts to limit the damage. The city says it could receive another 20 to 40 millimetres of rain in the coming days.

    Many people across Quebec and New Brunswick have been filling sandbags in an effort to protect their homes. Officials say water levels are expected to rise in many regions due to warming temperatures that contribute to snowmelt and ice movement.

    About 200 soldiers started filling sandbags and carrying out evacuations in Quebec’s Outaouais and Mauricie regions overnight, with an additional 400 troops standing ready to deploy there and in Laval on Sunday.

    Urgence Quebec says that as of Sunday morning, 980 residences across the province had been flooded and more than 1,200 people had left their homes.

    Several major floods have been identified as threatening thousands of Quebecers, and so far one death has been blamed on the high water.

    Police say 72-year-old Louise Seguin Lortie died Saturday morning after driving her car into a sinkhole caused by flooding in the Pontiac area, about 30 kilometres northwest of Ottawa.

    Some of the worst flooding has been in the Beauce region south of Quebec City, where 883 homes were swamped and 765 people evacuated, up from 94 on Saturday.

    Quebec’s public safety minister has urged citizens in affected areas to avoid unnecessary risks and to leave their homes if necessary.

    On Ile Bigras, off the southeast edge of Laval, about two dozen soldiers unloaded a truck full of sandbags on Sunday as they worked to reinforce a concrete barrier only metres from the rushing river.

    Public affairs officer Pierre Leblanc said the army’s priority would be filling and stacking sandbags and protecting critical infrastructure near the river, which he said was rising about one centimetre each hour.

    He said some 600 soldiers had been deployed across the province, including about 200 in the Laval area.

    Near the entrance to the island, several roads were closed due to flooding and one home appeared partially surrounded by water, as small waves lapped at a picnic bench and a “For Sale” sign on the lawn.

    Meanwhile, about 120 Canadian soldiers are being deployed across western New Brunswick to help residents threatened by rising floodwaters.

    Fifteen communities in that province have been warned to remain on high alert.

     

    The Canadian Press


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