CIELAP - Summer 2010 Newsletter
CIELAP informs legislative, policy and regulatory outcomes for Sustainability at the national and provincial/territorial levels of Canadian government.
What's New in this Issue?
Recent CIELAP Publications
Other CIELAP Programme News
Summer Intern Profiles
Call for Specialized Volunteers
First of all – thank you to Computation for donating 2 computers to CIELAP! We greatly appreciate your support for our work.
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Recent CIELAP Publications
Nurturing Fruit and Vegetable Processing in Ontario (June 2010)
This paper examines the structural, legislative, economic, and regulatory frameworks that have led to Ontario food processing sector in Ontario that is inadequate for many small and medium-scale farmers. Food processing facilities across the province have been reduced in size or closed, making it hard for food producers to satisfy growing consumer demand for local products. The report concludes with recommendations for how the food-processing sector could be revitalized for increased sustainability and economic enhancement. Download the report
Other CIELAP Programme News
Consultation on the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy
In March 2010, the Federal government presented its consultation paper – Planning for a Sustainable Future: A Federal Sustainable Development Strategy for Canada – and opened a consultation period on its first government-wide Sustainable Development Strategy. The government states that this strategy will move Canada forward on sustainable development and also increase transparency and accountability about the government's progress towards sustainability. Dowload CIELAP's comments, where we offer a number of suggestions for improving the strategy while applauding the government for integrating public participation into the strategy's development.
Ontario’s Environmental Approval Regime – Bill 68, the Open for Business Act, 2010
In an effort to address the needs of the business community, the Ontario government has proposed modernizing and streamlining the environmental approvals process. The government claims this will reduce the administrative burden and save money for businesses while still protecting the public interest. This initiative would amend the Environmental Protection Act and the Ontario Water Resources Act. In a letter to the Clerk of Ontario’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, CIELAP, CELA, and Ecojustice collectively expressed their concerns about the Act, including that the proposed amendments would reduce the ability of citizens to be notified of, to comment on, and to appeal projects. The groups emphasize the integral role of environmental assessment in MoE’s regulatory regime and that it should not be streamlined at the expense of environmental protection. Download the groups’ full comments
The Water Opportunities and Water Conservation Act, 2010
In May 2010 the Ontario government introduced Bill 72, the Water Opportunities and Water Conservation Act. Key components of the Act, which received second reading this week, include a requirement for municipalities to develop Water Sustainability Plans that address water, wastewater and stormwater services, a provision enabling the Minister of the Environment to establish “aspirational” water conservation targets, and amendments to the Ontario Building Code, Ontario Water Resources Act, Green Energy Act and the Capital Investment Plan Act. The Act would also create the Water Technology Acceleration Project, a corporation intended to foster the development of clean water technologies in the province.
CIELAP has been involved with development of the Water Opportunities and Water Conservation Act as a member of the Ontario Water Conservation Alliance, a group of non-profit organizations, businesses, municipal government officials and conservation authorities with a shared interest in seeing that the Act is passed and is strong enough to ensure meaningful results are achieved. Most recently, CIELAP researcher Matt Binstock co-authored an article for the September-October issue of Water Canada Magazine with Carol Maas of the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance outlining some of the economic benefits the Act would generate within the province. Visit the Water Canada Magazine website for details on how to purchase this month’s issue. Also view additional information related to the Water Opportunities and Water Conservation Act produced by members of the Ontario Water Conservation Alliance. .
From Waste to Worth: The Role of Waste Diversion in the Green Economy, A Minister’s Report
In February 2010 the Ministry of the Environment closed its public consultation process on the review of Ontario’s Waste Diversion Act, 2002. The province's goal has been to strengthen the contribution of waste diversion to the green economy. CIELAP supports the Ministry’s proposed principles and broad outcomes guiding the changes to the Act. These include sustainability, Individual Producer Responsibility, minimal use of incineration and the use of bans and levies. CIELAP recommends that the government limit political interference and encourage greater community group involvement in the new waste management framework. Download CIELAP's comments as well as a joint statement submitted by a group of environmental NGOs and other interested parties.
As part of our new Youth in Sustainability Programme, CIELAP is looking for individuals willing to serve as mentors. Mentors would be asked to provide youth with insights and guidance about preparing effective policy papers as well as advice on careers in the field of public policy. If you are interested in being a mentor to students in our youth programme, please Contact Praan, CIELAP's Youth Engagement Programme Coordinator.
Please donate to CIELAP. CIELAP is an independent, charitable environmental policy think-tank. Your donation will help us continue our policy analysis and bring our recommendations to policy makers. You will receive a tax receipt for your donation.
Postings on the Ontario Environmental Registry
Ontario’s Review of the Provincial Policy Statement, 2005 (EBR Registry # 010-9766) – The Ontario Ministry of the Municipal Affairs and Housing is reviewing the Provincial Policy Statement, 2005 (PPS) to determine if any revisions are needed. PPS is an important policy direction affecting land-use planning on both provincial and municipal levels. Comment submissions are accepted until October 29, 2010. CIELAP and other NGOs are in the process of developing their positions and perspectives on this proposal.
Upcoming Green Screens Film Showings in Partnership with the NFB – FREE
Wednesday, October 6, 7 pm – Crapshoot: The Gamble with Our Wastes (2003) . A hazardous mix of waste is flushed into the sewer every day. The billions of litres of water-combined with unknown quantities of chemicals, solvents, heavy metals, human waste and food-where does it all go? And what does it do to us? From ancient times, countries have chosen the sewer to get rid of household and industrial waste, yet the contaminants we flush resurface in our food chain. This bold documentary by director Jeff McKay questions whether the sewer is actually compounding our waste problems.
Wednesday November 3, 7 pm – The World According to Monsanto (2008) . Monsanto is the world leader in genetically modified organisms (GMOs), as well as one of the most controversial corporations in industrial history. This century-old empire has created some of the most toxic products ever sold, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and the herbicide Agent Orange. Based on a painstaking investigation, The World According to Monsanto puts together the pieces of the company’s history, calling on hitherto unpublished documents and numerous first-hand accounts.
Wednesday December 1, 7 pm – Up the Yangtze (2007). Up the Yangtze is a dramatic feature documentary film on life inside modern China. A luxury cruise boat motors up the Yangtze — navigating the mythic waterway known in China simply as “The River.” The Yangtze is about to be transformed by the biggest hydroelectric dam in history. The Three Gorges Dam — contested symbol of the Chinese economic miracle — provides the epic backdrop for this award-winning film about a family displaced by radical environmental and economic change.
Join us after the screenings for a panel discussion with subject experts. All of the screenings will be held at NFB Mediatheque, 150 John St (at Richmond St W), Toronto, ON.
Thanks to our project partners for making Green Screens possible:
Summer Intern Profiles
In September 2009 Natalie Antonowicz joined CIELAP as a Research and Communications Assistant. Her eight month internship was part of the work experience component for her Environmental Policy and Practice major at the University of Toronto. Between May and September 2010, Natalie worked as a researcher at CIELAP and compiled a report about policy impediments to brownfield redevelopment in Ontario, which is soon to be released.
As a member of CIELAP's team, Natalie gained exposure to the NGO world and expanded her professional experience beyond academia. Her work with CIELAP enabled Natalie to learn about the role of civil society in the policy making process. She also gained a deeper understanding of the opportunities and challenges experienced by environmental organizations. In addition to being extremely enjoyable, Natalie's work at CIELAP prepared her or a future career in the field of environmental law and policy making and analysis.
In the summer of 2010 Andrius interned with CIELAP as a Research and Administrative Assistant. Since completing his internship he has continued to volunteer regularly with the organization. Andrius is starting his 4th year in York University’s Environmental Studies program (management stream). His academic interests include public participation in environmental decision making and environmental law.
During his time at CIELAP Andrius drafted an edition of the CIELAP newsletter, contributed to the organization's fundraising and communications activities, and initiated the reorganization of the organization's filing system. He has learned about ENGOs’ operations and how they work to influence public policy. His overall experience at CIELAP has been very useful for him in shaping his career goals.
In early May 2010 Joshua Wise joined the CIELAP team as a Research and Communications Assistant. His four-month experience with CIELAP fulfilled the final requirement for a Masters in Environment and Sustainability program at the University of Western Ontario (UWO).
Throughout the four-month placement Joshua was given a wide range of tasks that allowed him to apply his academic knowledge and gain a further understanding of communications in a professional setting. His research focused on areas such as source water protection in Ontario, sustainable consumption, and biodiversity protection through natural capital accounting.
Moving into the future Joshua is looking to apply the environment and sustainability knowledge he gained at UWO and CIELAP as he travels to Bolivia to volunteer for the (Canadian) winter. Upon his return he is looking towards a career in this field as he tries to advance the sustainability movement in Canada.
Call for Specialized Volunteers
We are looking for someone to help support the network, servers and desktops for our small office on an as-needed basis (we are currently using Microsoft Office 2003, Windows XP, and Microsof Windows Small Business Server 2003). Please contact Carolyn if you can offer your assistance (can include an interest in learning).
Help us finalise and implement our communications strategy (including outreach to media, trade journals, etc...), develop our style guide, and implement other communications approaches. Please contact Carolyn if this might interest you.
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