Ontario needs to clean up its act on environmental rights

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Friends of the Earth thanks Gord Miller, Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner for his timely report — Losing Touch — in which he says the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) is one of the most significant environmental laws of our time. Friends of the Earth has lauded Ontario as the most progressive jurisdiction in Canada in its provision of environmental rights under the EBR based on our analysis of environmental rights across Canada (“Standing On Guard,” 2009). However, today, the Environmental Commissioner said, “I am astounded by the level of disregard and contempt being shown to the statutory requirement of the Environmental Bill of Rights… Senior members of the Ontario Public Service are ignoring their responsibility to support and implement the will of the Legislative Assembly.”

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Rio+20 Summit sell out of people and the planet

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL, June 22, 2012 — Friends of the Earth International today strongly condemned world leaders for selling out people and the planet in their Rio+20 declaration which falls far short of the action needed to tackle the planetary crisis we face, and does not include any of the real solutions demanded by the people at the alternative People’s Summit.

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World leaders failed at Summit in Rio

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL, June 22, 2012 — Commenting on the Rio+20 Summit closing day, Nnimmo Bassey, chair of Friends of the Earth International said: “World leaders failed at their Summit in Rio, mainly because of the undue influence that multinational corporations have on them and the UN. But the parallel People’s Summit demonstrated that real solutions to the current crises do exist and that people are successfully mobilizing around them.”

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Friends of the Earth in Rio

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On June 19, Friends of the Earth (FoE) released a report critiquing the corporate capture of the United Nations. Corporate capture means that governments are not doing their job and that they have become advocates for the corporate agenda. Popular movements have risen to the occasion in a re-energized drive to democratize the political process and take back control over our lives and nature.

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Reclaim the UN campaign

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BRUSSELS (BELGIUM) / RIO DE JANERIO (BRAZIL), June 4, 2012 — Tomorrow, on World Environment Day, just two weeks before a major United Nations (UN) Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Friends of the Earth International starts a campaign urging the UN to limit the excessive influence of multinational corporations on its decision-making processes. Friends of The Earth International launches an online public petition asking UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to take the steps needed to reclaim the UN from corporate capture.

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Reporting disease in fish a crime? Proposed B.C. law condemned by Friends of the Earth Canada

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(Ottawa, May 30, 2012) With the anticipated passage of Bill 37 — 2012 Animal Health Act tomorrow, British Columbia Minister of Agriculture Don McRae will be responsible for new and punitive legislation with heavy fines and imprisonment for people reporting diseased animals and fish. One provision of the pending legislation would make it illegal for journalists or scientists to report on animal illnesses at fish farms or other agricultural operations.

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Oh Canada — you’re not free to cut and run from Kyoto

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By my calculation, by the time Canada’s withdrawal kicks in one year from now, we will have had commitments under the Kyoto Protocol for five years less 19 days. Professor Nigel Bankes from the Faculty of Law at University of Calgary reviews law pertaining to withdrawal from an international environmental agreement in his blog.

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FoE Canada releases “Plug and Play” model regulation to help Canada reduce greenhouse gas pollution

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(Ottawa, December 8, 2011) With Canada’s international environmental reputation at rock bottom at the Durban climate negotiations, Friends of the Earth Canada has decided to donate its services to help Canada. “Canada’s Minister of the Environment showing up in Durban without domestic regulations in place is shocking,” said Beatrice Olivastri, CEO, Friends of the Earth Canada. “So we’ve prepared a model regulation, Reduction of Releases of Toxic Substances Causing Global Warming, that mirrors exactly what our government needs to finally regulate greenhouse gas pollution from the largest emitters in Canada.”

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Asian Carp threat to Great Lakes

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Friends of the Earth, represented by their attorneys, the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center and Ecojustice Canada, filed an amicus brief on November 22, 2011 urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the appeal by the States of Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. These States are in court to force the U.S. Corp of Engineers and other defendants to take urgent action to prevent the invasion of Asian Carp into the Great Lakes through the Chicago Area Water System.

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