Pipeline battle puts focus on Canada's disputed right to use indigenous land

Pipeline battle puts focus on Canada's disputed right to use indigenous land

The protesters in northern British Columbia had camped out for days amid bitter cold and deep snow, manning a checkpoint to prevent construction vehicles from entering the territory of the Wet’suwet’en nation. Their demonstrations, part of a fight against a multibillion-dollar natural gas pipeline, galvanized supporters across the country and at his town hall meeting, the prime minister was forced to content with a barrage of angry questions.

This First Nation produces clean water. So why are so many residents afraid to drink it?

This First Nation produces clean water. So why are so many residents afraid to drink it?

Flett was confident that when the water left the plant it was as clean and drinkable as any you can find in Canada. Garden Hill has never had a long-term boil water advisory and even short-term advisories are rare. Even so, like many Garden Hill residents, Flett and his family refuse to drink the water that comes out of their tap at home. They stopped in 2015 after everyone in the family got sick.

Region of Waterloo won't support Bill 66, votes to send message to province

Region of Waterloo won't support Bill 66, votes to send message to province

Regional councillors do not support planning changes proposed under Bill 66 and will be sending that message to the province about it. During the planning and works committee meeting on Tuesday morning, councillors voted on a staff recommendation to tell the province the region does not support proposed amendments to the Planning Act as set out in Bill 66, the Restoring Ontario's Competitiveness Act, because "it fails to adequately protect human health and safety and in particular the safety of the Region of Waterloo's drinking water resources."

​Biologists pen letter over Alberta MLA's 'misinformation' on conservation plans

​Biologists pen letter over Alberta MLA's 'misinformation' on conservation plans

More than three dozen former biologists are asking the Alberta government to stick with conservation efforts in a vast area of west-central Alberta despite what they call misinformation from an Opposition member of the legislature. "We were very concerned about the misinformation, the inflamed rhetoric and the lack of a long-term vision that perspective provides for the Bighorn," said Lorne Fitch, a longtime fisheries biologist and University of Calgary professor who is one 37 signatories to the open letter to Premier Rachel Notley and Environment Minister Shannon Phillips. In November, the New Democrats announced eight new parks covering 4,000 square kilometres along the eastern edges of Banff and Jasper national parks in the so-called Bighorn Country.

The Great Lakes are full of microfibres — but there might be an easy solution

The Great Lakes are full of microfibres — but there might be an easy solution

A new study is taking the fight against microfibres in the Great Lakes back to the source: washing machines. The tiny particles of plastic are shed by synthetic fabrics like nylon and fleece when they're washed, slipping through water treatment plants and into the lakes. To stem the flow, researchers will install about 100 special filters on washing machines in Parry Sound, Ont. to see if they reduce the amount of plastic particles that show up at the town's water treatment plant.

Heating oil drains into Ottawa River after spill in downtown Gatineau, Que.

Heating oil drains into Ottawa River after spill in downtown Gatineau, Que.

An undetermined amount of heating oil has ended up in the Ottawa River after a spill in downtown Gatineau, Que., near the offices of the provincial environment ministry. The spill happened at 170 rue de l'Hôtel de Ville during a delivery Friday, according to an email from ministry spokesperson Alexandre Ouellet, the regional director of the Outaouais Environmental Control Center.

Pictou residents face jump in water rates over next 3 years

Pictou residents face jump in water rates over next 3 years

In 2019, some metered customers using 5/8th-inch pipes will pay 31.1 per cent more in 2019. It will go up 10.5 and 9.5 per cent in the two years after. Other metered customers will see rate increases ranging from 32.9 to 43.8 per cent in 2019. They will range from 10.1 per cent to 17.2 per cent more the year after and 10.7 per cent to 16.5 per cent in the year after that.

After 14 years, Middle River celebrates official end to boil water advisory

After 14 years, Middle River celebrates official end to boil water advisory

In front of a new water treatment plant, a group of Tl'azt'en First Nation members stand together alongside consultants, academics and an engineer from Indigenous Services Canada ready to cut the ribbon. It's a celebration to mark the return of safe drinking water to this remote northern B.C. community that has been living under a long-term boil water advisory for 14 years. People have flown and driven in from places like Prince George, B.C., Vancouver and the surrounding Tl'azt'en communities to mark this occasion.

Water is priceless, but not free: How much should it cost?

Water is priceless, but not free: How much should it cost?

No Canadian pays for water – not citizens, farmers or industry. Under NAFTA first – and now the USMCA – if the government starts selling water, it becomes an exportable product, which is widely recognized as a very bad idea. What does cost money is the use of water infrastructure: things such as pipes, testing and labour. Large industrial users are charged more than residents for the privilege, but the amount collected from commercial water bottlers in Ontario has long been criticized as ridiculously low. Until 2017, the administrative fee was just $3.71 for every million litres. The provincial government now charges $503.71 for that amount.

City of Saskatoon sues 2 companies over Aspen Ridge water contamination

City of Saskatoon sues 2 companies over Aspen Ridge water contamination

The City of Saskatoon has suffered more than $1 million in losses and damages due to water contamination in the Aspen Ridge neighbourhood, a lawsuit alleges. From Jan. 10 to Sept. 14, a “do not use” water advisory was in effect for 19 addresses in the Aspen Ridge subdivision. A black, petroleum-based substance, known as hydrocarbons, surfaced in fire hydrants in the area in December 2016.

Ontario safety agency failing to do its job properly, says auditor general

Ontario safety agency failing to do its job properly, says auditor general

The agency responsible for inspecting elevators, pipelines, furnaces and ski lifts in Ontario is failing to meet its mandate to protect public safety, warns the province's auditor general in a new report. Auditor general Bonnie Lysyk says the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) is doing little to address real safety risks in its areas of responsibility.

$400k in funding to boost water quality in Lake Erie

$400k in funding to boost water quality in Lake Erie

Indiana is getting more than $400,000 to boost efforts to improve water quality in Lake Erie's western basin. The State Department of Agriculture will use the funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for workshops for farmers, expanding soil and manure testing and other efforts.

B.C. MP hopes Parliament passes private member's bill on plastic pollution

B.C. MP hopes Parliament passes private member's bill on plastic pollution

A Vancouver Island MP is hoping the federal government will pass his private member's motion that would create legislation to keep plastic pollution out of Canadian waters. "People are counting on elected officials and their leaders to ... demonstrate their commitment to future generations [by] protecting our environment and ensuring that we don't leave them a pile of garbage for them to clean up," said Gord Johns, MP for Courtenay-Alberni.

Communities in the Comox Valley Regional District to benefit from cleaner, more reliable drinking water

Communities in the Comox Valley Regional District to benefit from cleaner, more reliable drinking water

The governments of Canada and British Columbia recognize how important investing in modern reliable water services is to building healthy sustainable communities. Today, Marco Mendicino, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, and Ronna Rae Leonard, Member of Legislative Assembly for Courtenay–Comox, on behalf of the Honourable Selina Robinson, B.C. Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, announced more than $62.8 million in federal-provincial funding for a new drinking water treatment plant in the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD).

A proposed mine near a pristine water source is testing the CAQ's commitment to the environment

A proposed mine near a pristine water source is testing the CAQ's commitment to the environment

The 500 residents of La Motte, Que., don't have have a gas station or even a convenience store, but they do enjoy some of the best-tasting drinking water in North America. So when an Australian mining firm began seeking approval to build an open-air lithium mine just a stone's throw from the community's water source, reactions were decidedly mixed in the town, located 50 kilometres northwest of Val-d'Or.

Municipal Affairs and Environment Minister Graham Letto says communities should notify residents and take action to correct water quality issues

Municipal Affairs and Environment Minister Graham Letto says communities should notify residents and take action to correct water quality issues

“If you are above the Health Canada standards (which have been the same since 2006), by God you should be informing your residents that is the case,” said the minister. “For liability and accountability purposes, you should be doing that and municipalities have to take some responsibility in that.”

Raw sewage dump in St. Lawrence River branded preposterous and perverse

Raw sewage dump in St. Lawrence River branded preposterous and perverse

Environmentalists are outraged by a "preposterous" large sewage dump into the St. Lawrence River near Montreal and a "staggering" number of smaller, chronic sewage overflows throughout the year in Quebec. They are calling on municipal and provincial governments to be more ambitious in their attempts to monitor and mitigate the release of toxic wastewater in waterways.

Uncertified worker lied about testing Alberta town's drinking water for 7 years

Uncertified worker lied about testing Alberta town's drinking water for 7 years

A former employee of the Town of Oyen in southern Alberta has been fined $1,000 for not monitoring the town's drinking water over a seven-year period. Darcy Dobrosky worked for the town for 37 years and was grandfathered into the public works foreman job. One of his duties was to monitor the town's drinking water — despite failing the formal certification required to do the job.

Raw sewage overflowing into Ontario waterways at alarming rate, watchdog says

Raw sewage overflowing into Ontario waterways at alarming rate, watchdog says

Raw sewage has been overflowing into Ontario's lakes and rivers at an alarming rate and the government is doing little to stop it, the province's environmental watchdog said Tuesday as she laid out broad changes required to help keep waterways clean. Environmental Commissioner Dianne Saxe outlined her concerns and recommendations in an annual report — called Back to Basics — that looked at the state of the province's waterways between April 2017 and March this year. During that time, the report found that raw sewage overflowed into southern Ontario waterways 1,327 times. More than half of those overflows — 766 — were from nearly 60 outdated municipal sewer systems that combine sewage and stormwater.

Federal government announces $7.2M for safe drinking water in Wauzhushk Onigum

Federal government announces $7.2M for safe drinking water in Wauzhushk Onigum

The federal government has announced $7.2M in funding to connect Wauzhushk Onigum to the City of Kenora's water system. The announcement was long-awaited, with part of the community just south of Kenora, Ont., on a boil-water advisory since 2012. Another portion of Wauzhushk Onigum had its water treatment facility rebuilt in 2017. MP Bob Nault made the announcement on behalf of Jane Philpott, the Minister of Indigenous Services.