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U.S. Bans Microbeads, Canada Could Follow

Posted on January 6, 2016
The U.S. has joined the battle against polyethylene microbeads by banning the use of the tiny plastic pellets commonly used as exfoliants in cosmetic care products. President Barack Obama signed a bill December 28, 2015 prohibiting companies from manufacturing or using microbeads (tiny pieces of polymers between 0.1 micrometres and 5 mm) in common personal care products like soap, face wash, and toothpaste. Many politicians, researchers, and environmental groups in Canada and the U.S. oppose the use of microbeads because of the potential damage they serve to marine environments once they flow down the drain and into waterways. The [...]

Pilley's Island, Newfoundland Declares Water State of Emergency

Posted on January 5, 2016
Pilley's Island, a small town in Newfoundland and Labrador east of Cornerbrook, has declared a state of emergency due to a problem with the main valve in the water pump system. Town Clerk, Heather Ivany, posted a notice on the town’s Facebook page at noon today asking residents to conserve water. The post said that the town council anticipates that the municipal water supply will run dry later today. There was no indication as to when the problem would be resolved.  CBC news reported that the town has water stored in its water tower, but this water is insufficient to meet normal demands in light of the need for repairs that [...]

Ontario Government Releases 2014-15 Chief Drinking Water Inspector’s Annual Report

Posted on December 18, 2015
Ontario's drinking water remains among the best protected in the world, according to the 2014-15 Chief Drinking Water Inspector's Annual Report. In the forward message of the report, Susan Lo, Chief Drinking Water Inspector for the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change wrote, "Ninety-nine-point-four per cent of inspections of municipal residential drinking water systems resulted in inspection ratings higher than 80 per cent, and 67 per cent scored 100 per cent." The Chief Drinking Water Inspector's report includes a summary of information and performance results for municipal drinking water systems. Highlights included [...]

Government of Canada Commits to Partnership to Construct Shoal Lake Freedom Road

Posted on December 18, 2015
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, announced this week that the Government of Canada will be an equal partner with the Province of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg to ensure Shoal Lake No. 40 First Nation constructs Freedom Road. Minister Bennett aid that Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada will match the Province of Manitoba's and the City of Winnipeg's commitments to fund one-third of the estimated $30 million project to construct an approximately 24-kilometre all-season road from Shoal Lake No. 40 First Nation to the Trans-Canada Highway in Manitoba. The announcement was made at a meeting [...]

Corner Brook and Mt. Moriah Resolve Water Dispute

Posted on December 17, 2015
The Mayors of Corner Brook and Mount Moriah have reached an agreement about their water services, averting a contentious threat to cut Mount Moriah's water off. Corner Brook Mayor, Charles Pender said, "Late last week the deputy mayor and I met with our city management to review possible options in an effort to resolve the outstanding issues. On Friday, I contacted the mayor of Mount Moriah and invited him to meet, one on one, for a discussion." Pender said that he met with Mayor Joe Park on Saturday at Corner Brook City Hall to discuss the outstanding issues and created the general basis for an agreement. City manager, Melissa [...]

Great Lakes Mayors Commit to Reduce 30 Million Tonnes of CO2

Posted on December 11, 2015
While the negotiations of the 21st Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP21) edged closer to an agreement in Paris, a group of Great Lakes mayors returned to North America from a meeting of 446 mayors around the world who have made their own commitment to be part of the solution. At a press conference in Toronto on Friday, December 11, mayor Denis Lapointe of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec said, “We are fully aware of the reality of climate change and the threats it presents to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence, our cities, and citizens. Intense storms, dramatic changes in water levels, severe algal blooms, and more are [...]

World Council on City Data and Hatch Partner on Global Cities Benchmarking Project

Posted on December 10, 2015
The World Council on City Data and Hatch, a Canadian-based global engineering firm, announced a strategic partnership this week to develop a data portal to operationalize the ISO 37120 across cities globally through a set of indicators for city services and quality of life. The benchmarking exercise in one way that cities around the world can track and compare their progress in meeting social, environmental, and economic goals using standardized measurements of things such as population density, unemployment, energy use, as well as a set of indicators related to water and wastewater. Hatch and the WCCD will jointly promote the [...]

Corner Brook Newfoundland May Turn Off The Taps

Posted on December 10, 2015
For over 40 years, the town of Corner Brook, Newfoundland has been providing water services to nearby community of Mount Moriah free of charge, but that may end this month. Ten years after Mount Moriah’s contract with the municipality has expired, the community is refusing to sign a new water services agreement. In response, Corner Brook council has approved a motion to potentially cut off their water on January 8th if they cannot reach an agreement. In 1975, Corner Brook identified the need for a $565-million upgrade and expansion (estimated at $36-million), due to expanding populations and an outbreak of giardia. The municipality [...]

Canadian Arctic Scientist Awarded Weston Family Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Northern Research

Posted on December 9, 2015
World-renowned Canadian polar marine mammal scientist, Dr. Ian Stirling, has won the Weston Family Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Northern Research.  For more than forty years, Stirling has studied the ecology and behaviour of arctic marine mammals, particularly polar bears, which has led to a new era of ecological understanding of the Arctic. Stirling was presented with the $50,000 prize today at ArcticNet’s 2015 Annual Scientific Meeting, the largest annual gathering of Arctic researchers in Canada, held this year in Vancouver. Stirling’s rigorous research has led to findings that are significant to the preservation [...]

Ontario Approves Grand River Watershed Source Protection Plan

Posted on December 4, 2015
Ontario has approved a plan to protect sources of drinking water in the Grand River watershed area in south-central Ontario. The source protection plan, developed by the local municipalities and the Lake Erie Region source protection committee, will take effect July 1, 2016. The source protection planning process began in 2006, when the Ontario government passed the Clean Water Act to protect the sources of municipal drinking water throughout the province, and is based on technical studies, collaborative policy development, and extensive public consultation. The process was guided by the Lake Erie Region Source Protection Committee [...]
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