The Provincial Animal Welfare System: Providing protection for the canary in the coal mine?


city_scope_logo-cmykWith a pair of high-profile St. Thomas court cases in the past couple of years dealing with abuse and neglect, this week’s announcement the province is proposing a new animal welfare system is encouraging news for animal advocates.
The legislation was introduced Tuesday (Oct. 29) by Solicitor General Sylvia Jones and, according to a release from MPP Jeff Yurek, “includes the strongest penalties ever in Canada for people who violate animal welfare laws and a more robust enforcement system.”
No specifics, however, are contained in the release introducing the Provincial Animal Welfare System (PAWS) Act as to what those penalties may be.
“Ontarians can be confident that the government is proposing a system that will protect animals,” assured Jones.

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Change of environment accompanied by a climate of controversy for MPP Jeff Yurek


city_scope_logo-cmykCan’t imagine Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP would immediately suggest enjoyable to describe his first week as the province’s head of the environment, conservation and parks ministry.
Just days after the cabinet shuffle that moved Yurek out of the transportation portfolio, he found himself in Halifax this past Thursday (June 27) at a meeting of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment.
The gathering allowed ministers the opportunity to brainstorm on such issues as plastic waste, climate change, air quality, and wastewater.
In a release issued following the discussions, Yurek noted “we are deeply disappointed that (federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine) Minister McKenna continues to focus on her tax plan, disguised as a climate change measure, and refuses to respect the legitimate ways provinces and territories, including Ontario, are tackling climate change in their own unique jurisdictions.”

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Teachers promoting environmental biases in classrooms


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October 2009

By Tim Ball
Senior Fellow
Frontier Centre for Public Policy

My grandson is five years old. After his second week in school, he asked his father what he was doing about global warming.

Think about that for a moment. Does anyone believe that a five year old can even understand the controversy surrounding the science of global warming, let along question what he is being told?

Rather than teaching my grandson the knowledge he will need to succeed academically – analytical skills and open mindedness, among others – his teacher is spending time indoctrinating him with her beliefs on global warming.

I am outraged. As Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, said, “Give me the child until he is seven and I will show you the man,” and classrooms today are definitely practicing what he preached.
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Environmental impact of ethanol fuel overstated, government warned


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Ottawa’s push to use high-level ethanol fuel in cars is doing little or nothing to cut Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions nor will it, says a government briefing note prepared for Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt and obtained by Canwest News Service.

Moreover, government officials have warned Raitt that giving automakers credits toward new fuel efficiency standards by making cars that can use environmentally friendly E85 fuel will not actually reduce emissions because those cars will never actually use the ‘green’ fuel and will continue to use regular gasoline.
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CERA president blasts Central Elgin council for out of control spending


Municipality of Central Elgin, Ontario, June 08, 2009 – At the Central Elgin Council Meeting tonight, Bruce Lemon, President of Central Elgin Ratepayers Association (CERA) blasted the Municipal Council for out of control spending, lack of transparency and one of the highest lower-tier property tax rates in Ontario.

“Reasons for incorporating the villages of Belmont, Port Stanley & the Township of Yarmouth into the Municipality of Central Elgin were to maximize operating efficiencies as well as minimize duplication with the goal of reducing costs. The results to date have been a total failure with property taxes having at least doubled, water rates have at least tripled and staffing levels have increased dramatically while the municipality has only realized a very small population growth rate.” , said Bruce Lemon.
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Boaters, ethanol backers at odds over damage by fuel


Posted by Ian:
Recreational boating, ATVs and snowmobiling are popular seasonal activities in Elgin county. What then would be the impact of using ethanol-based fuels in these marine and off-road vehicles?
Trouble, according to boat manufacturers in the U.S. as reported in this story from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Washington — At St. Charles Boat & Motor, owner and service manager Jerry Sims used to oversee the rebuilding of 30 carburetors in a year’s time. Last year, Sims says, he stopped counting at 750. They were victims, he claims, of ethanol in gas.

“It’s killing motors right and left,” Sims said. “But the EPA keeps shoving it down everybody’s throats.”

Armed with damage stories and test results suggesting more problems on the horizon, the boating industry is fighting to block a drive by fuel manufacturers to increase ethanol in the fuel supply from 10 percent to 15 percent — or E15.
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A Train That Is Leaving the Station


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Auto workers in Detroit should be learning how to build and service electric cars powered by hydrogen or new battery technology. Laid off construction workers should be learning how to install solar panels or how to insulate buildings to save energy. Unemployed bankers could be learning about counting carbon emissions and about how to reduce those greenhouse gases and use credits to help others do likewise. These are all skills that will be in great demand as the economy recovers, not just for a few more years of pollution-based prosperity, but for generations of sustainable growth to come.
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