Over a thousand people poured into the streets of downtown Winnipeg Friday to bring attention to the dozens of First Nations across Canada currently under boil water advisories. Roughly 1,100 people, including more than 800 students from the Seven Oaks School Division, took part, organizers estimate. Carrying signs, the demonstrators walked from city hall down Main Street to Portage Avenue, and then up Memorial Boulevard, before ending at the Manitoba Legislative Building.
As Calgary dealt with a particularly frigid winter and a series of stubbornly frozen water lines, it turned for advice to a place that's used to dealing with such things.
"Winnipeg has probably a lot more expertise in this area than we do, because it's something they experience fairly routinely," said Chris Huston, the manager of drinking water distribution with the City of Calgary.
There were nearly 300 cases of frozen water-service lines this winter in Calgary, Huston said, and dozens remain frozen even now, despite the arrival of spring.
The Water Act, passed in the P.E.I. Legislature but not yet proclaimed, was one of the more divisive issues of the first leaders debate of the provincial election campaign.
More than 250 people packed into an auditorium at UPEI to listen to the leaders discuss environmental issues, at a forum organized by Island environmental groups.
Topics ranged from protecting soil quality, to watershed group funding, to increasing the number of protected areas on P.E.I., to promoting the Island's natural history.
The changes caused by declining ice cover on the Great Lakes are pretty bad, but it's not all doom and gloom. Ice cover on the Great Lakes has declined in the past 40 years with average ice coverage dropping up to 75 per cent, depending on the lake. "We rely a lot on the Great Lakes for shipping ... so an ice-free Great Lake is not a barrier to shipping. But beyond that there are a lot of negatives associated," said Mike McKay, the executive director for the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research (GLIER), based at the University of Windsor.
A pioneer in safe drinking water is being remembered for changing thousands of lives. Dr. Hans Peterson died of a heart attack last week at the age of 68. Peterson helped found the Safe Drinking Water Foundation (SDWF) and pioneered the development of the Integrated Biological and Reverse Osmosis Membrane (IBROM) water treatment process.
Those concerns have grown since testing revealed elevated levels of PFAS chemicals, including PFOA, in the groundwater near an unlined, closed portion of the landfill. Those chemicals are used in industrial applications. Conservation Law Foundation is asking Vermont to delay the permit application process until that testing is complete.
Canada has an abundance of water for its size: It has 0.5 per cent of the world’s population but seven per cent of the world’s renewable freshwater supply.
From a global perspective, most Canadians are lucky, but the messages that emanate from academic and popular literature often paint an unsettling picture.