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Modernization of the National Energy Board – ORA Comments

ORA supports the Panel’s broad strokes Vision in general, and applauds it for the recommendations of an accessible, inclusive, open, transparent and user-friendly process. However, there are several areas where we feel the recommendations fall short of its goals…

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Request for Additional Intervenor Funding for the EE Pipeline Review

Earlier this year a new Hearing Panel (Panel) was assigned to review the Energy East and Eastern Mainline Applications. At that time both applications were voided, including all decisions made by the previous Panel. It is our understanding that the Panel must now determine whether the Applications are complete, and a new list of issues created – in effect, the process is starting over. Additionally, there is no longer a list of valid participants, although persons and groups that have already submitted Applications to Participate (ATP) and have been approved, are not required to refile. The Panel will also reconsider each ATP filed to date, including those groups that were previously denied standing.

The Ontario Rivers Alliance (ORA) is requesting that the National Energy Board (NEB) significantly increase the amount of funding available to participating intervenors in the Energy East Pipeline review. 

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Conservation Authorities Act, 2017 (EBR Registry Number: 013-0561) – Joint Submission

 First, we understand that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) is working on a summary document to help the public understand the proposed amendments to the Conservation Authorities Act (CAA) contained in Bill 139. As of the date of this letter, this additional explanatory information is not publicly available and the current deadline for comments is June 30, 2017. The public will better informed about the implications of the proposed amendments with the explanatory document in hand. And, as the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993 (EBR) provides for “means by which residents of Ontario may participate in the making of environmentally significant decisions by the Government of Ontario” (s2(3)(a)), effective public participation is facilitated by ensuring there is adequate time to consider the potential impacts of the proposed amendments.

Second, as Bill 139 contains more than simply amendments to the CAA, consideration of the impacts has the potential to be complex and warrants more than 30-days for the public to be able to effectively provide feedback. Continue reading


Canada-Ontario Action Plan for Lake Erie (EBR Registry #012-9971) – Joint Submission

The undersigned members of the Alliance are commenting on the proposed Partnering in Phosphorus Control: Achieving Phosphorus Reductions in Lake Erie from Canadian Sources (“Draft Action Plan”) to reduce phosphorus loading in Lake Erie, in order to achieve the 40 per cent phosphorus reduction target. The Draft Action Plan, once finalized, will deliver on a number of nutrient commitments made by the federal and/or provincial governments including:

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Energy East Pipeline – Draft List of Issues and Draft Factors and Scope

If the federal government is serious about its commitment to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celcius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5oC, then it is imperative that the NEB provide meaningful consideration to the contribution that major fossil fuel energy projects, and their upstream and downstream GHG emissions would have on our environment.

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National Energy Board Modernization – Expert Panel Review

Result of an Enbridge crude oil spill of over a million gallons into the Kalamazoo River.

The recent NEB ruling of reasonable apprehension of bias in favor of TransCanada, came as a result of the NEB panel’s inappropriate conduct in relation to their meeting with Jean Charest while he was acting as an advisor to TransCanada. This conduct only came to light through a Freedom of Information Application. Confidence in energy projects can only come when we have an open, transparent and accountable government.  Continue reading


A New Vision for Impact Assessment in Canada

Upon being sworn in, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change (the Minister) received a mandate letter from the Prime Minister to review the environmental assessment (EA) processes with objectives to restore public trust in EA; introduce new and fair processes; and get resources to market. In August of 2016, an Expert Panel (the Panel) was chosen to conduct this review, and ORA presented to the Panel on the 3rd of November 2016, in Sudbury, and submitted written comments, dated, 23 December 2016. Continue reading


Working with Media on Environmental Issues

Generating interest and support for environmental issues is challenging but necessary. Effective media  attention can garner public support and influence whether a corporation or government will address a problem. These notes and suggestions are meant to help others put together an action plan that strengthens your relationship with local print, radio and television media – an important step in raising awareness of issues of concern. Continue reading


Protect Your Home From Flooding

This spring has been the worst flooding Canada has seen in decades. Torrential rains have been inundating streets, homes, and forcing mandatory evacuations. Researchers write that floods are Canada’s ‘most common and costly natural hazard.’ In fact, flooding has become Canada’s biggest natural disaster problem in terms of insurance claims, which is now costing billions of dollars per year. So how can we prevent flooding, or at least be prepared when it comes? We’ve put together a list of facts and preventative measures you can take to protect your home from flooding. Continue reading


The People’s Great Lakes Summit

On Wednesday May 17, Linda Heron (Chair & Chief Executive Officer) and Samantha Restoule (Board of Directors) had the pleasure of representing the Ontario Rivers Alliance at the People’s Great Lakes Summit (the Summit), hosted by the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) in Toronto, ON.

The Summit is part of CELA’s Healthy Great Lakes program. The objective of the Summit was to bring together a broad range of individuals and organizations working to protect and restore our waters and wetlands across the Great Lakes and St-Lawrence River Basin, and to connect, share ideas, strategize about Ontario public policy priorities, and set plans for collective action. Continue reading


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