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Environment

Victoria should have sought provincial approval before plastic bag ban: court

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VICTORIA — British Columbia’s top court has quashed a bylaw prohibiting single-use plastic bags in Victoria, saying the city failed to get the approval of the province’s environment minister.

The B.C. Court of Appeal said in its written ruling Thursday that the bylaw is intended to regulate businesses from providing plastic checkout bags but its aim was to protect the environment, and the effects of the bylaw are felt by businesses.

The Canadian Plastic Bag Association, which represents manufacturers and distributors of plastic bags, fought the bylaw, arguing municipalities in B.C. don’t have the authority to regulate the environment or the right to block a product and financially impact manufacturers.

Under the bylaw, which went into effect a year ago, businesses are prohibited from offering or selling plastic bags to consumers and must charge at least 15 cents for paper bags and at least $1 for reusable bags.

In an earlier decision, a B.C. Supreme Court judge upheld the bylaw, ruling that cities have the power to regulate business transactions as part of their responsibility to manage waste.

The Appeal Court ruling said the environment minister’s approval will “now presumably be sought” by the city, which passed a bylaw with “reasonable” intentions involving environmental issues that concern British Columbians.

“One can understand that the province might wish to have the right to approve, or withhold approval of, municipal bylaws relating to environmental protection in order to ensure that a patchwork of different municipal laws does not hamper provincial environmental programs,” Justice Mary Newbury said in the ruling.

Montreal also banned plastic bags last July while other cities, including Vancouver and Halifax, have been mulling similar bylaws.

The Township of Esquimalt, near Victoria, has also committed to a ban on single-use plastic bags but said Thursday in a statement it will consider its next steps in keeping with the ruling.

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said the city will review its options as it continues efforts to phase out single-use items and eliminate unnecessary waste.

“The court decision doesn’t undermine the soundness of the bylaw itself, it only deals with the process required for its adoption,” Helps said in a statement, adding the bylaw was developed after extensive input over two years from businesses and the community.

“Victorians care deeply about this issue and they told us that single-use plastic bags do not align with their values. Businesses and residents have embraced the transition to reusable bags. It’s been a tremendous success,” she said.

“We are inspired by other municipalities’ efforts to phase out single-use checkout bags and plastic waste and we must work together to take this issue forward to provincial and national leaders to develop common, high and shared standards. This issue affects us all locally, regionally and globally.”

More than 17 million plastic bags that would have “choked the landfill for hundreds of years” have been eliminated from the community and nearby beaches, the city said in a statement.

A spokesperson for the Canadian Plastic Bag Association was not immediately available for comment.

— By Camille Bains in Vancouver; follow @CamilleBains1 on Twitter.

 

 

 

The Canadian Press

Alberta

Are Americans to blame for all this animosity between environmentalists and supporters of Canada’s oil and gas industries?

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As Canada’s election campaign heats up, so does the debate over energy and the environment.   Instead of talking about how Canada can export both energy and environmental technology related to energy, federal leaders like Elizabeth May and Jagmeet Singh are promoting a growing chasm between energy and the environment.  Both would refuse to complete the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.  For his part, Prime Minister Trudeau is promising a substantial overhaul of energy production to make the nation a “net-zero” producer of Carbon Dioxide by the year 2050.   Meanwhile Jason Kenney and hundreds of thousands of Western Canadians are convinced oil and gas production, including Alberta’s Oil Sands are a great solution for both the world’s energy and environmental concerns.  But communicating this message to Canadians and people around the world has been an uphill battle.

In the midst of the growing anger and mistrust a new documentary has been produced about the work of Vivian Krause.  Krause spent years gathering evidence of a secret campaign funded by American groups to provoke exactly this type of battle in Canada.   The film is called “Over a Barrel” and the following description and trailer come from the website overabarreldoc.com.  The film is screening in Edmonton and Calgary in early October.

Over a Barrel is a short political documentary about the work of Vivian Krause, and evidence she discovered showing U.S foundations are funding activism against the Canadian oil and gas industry. The supposed goal of this “Tar Sands Campaign”, funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and other U.S. charitable foundations, is to fight pipeline approvals in Canada and stop Canadian oil from reaching overseas markets. We focus on the negative consequences this has had on the Alberta economy, First Nations communities and the rising threat of western separatism.

UPCOMING SCREENINGS

October 5, 2019

Edmonton

Metro Cinema @ 3:30pm

October 7, 2019

Calgary

Globe Cinema @ 7:30pm

October 8, 2019

Calgary

Plaza Theatre @ 7:00PM

 

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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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october, 2019

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