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Joint Comment - Proposed changes to the Crown Forest Sustainability Act - January 2020
Our President and Senior Scientist, Dr. Justina Ray and Dr. Ian Thompson (Thompson Forest Consultants Ltd.) provide comments to the Ontario Government's proposed changes to the Crown Forest Sustainability Act.
WCS Canada Comments - Yukon's Our Clean Future Strategy - January 2020
Yukon Government's draft strategy ("Our Clean Future") deals with climate change, and energy supplies, while promoting a green economy. We provide support and encouragement for various useful policy intentions such as expanding the suite of geothermal, solar, and wind sources of energy. However, we are concerned that the strategy promotes biomass energy (burning wood) as a low-carbon energy sources, in the same category as wind and solar in terms of its value in replacing fossil fuels. More extensive and intensive burning of wood for space heating will not significantly reduce the Yukon's carbon footprint, but will lock the territory into many decades of high-carbon emissions from this sector. In addition, we are critical of the government's intention not to include emissions from mines in the accounting of the carbon footprint, and to allow mines to work towards lower carbon emissions using intensity measures (carbon emitted per unit mineral production) rather than absolute measures (total carbon emitted from all sources per year). The strategy does not recognize the huge value of intact forests and landscapes for their carbon sequestration and storage properties.
WCS Canada Comments - Yukon Government's Promotion of Biomass Energy - January 2020
We urge the Yukon government to reconsider its previous support and promotion of biomass energy as a suitable replacement for fossil fuels in the response to the climate crisis. We explain why burning wood cannot be considered as either carbon neutral or even "low-carbon" in terms of its emissions. We point out that emissions from burning wood for space heating need to be included in the government's annual accounting of emissions, and not overlooked as carbon neutral. We also point out some of the negative health consequences already experienced in Yukon as a result of wood burning.
WCS Canada Comments - Trout Lake Forest Long Term Management Direction - January 2020
We provide comments to Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry on their proposed long-term Forest Management Plan for the Trout Lake Forest. We highlight: 1) the inadequacy of the plan to address the potential effects of new road development on boreal wildlife; 2) the inadequacy of the plan to measure and address cumulative effects as they pertain to caribou and wolverine; 3) the lack of a management plan for the “Z-Blocks”; and 4) insufficient consideration of wolverine habitat.
WCS Canada Comments - Renewable Electricity Panel Yukon - November 2019
We provide comments to the Renewable Electricity Panel of Yukon Government and Yukon Energy Corp. as they prepare advice on options for providing renewable electricity within Yukon’s future system of energy supply. We recommend that instead of considering large-scale hydroelectric projects, further exploration, careful watershed based planning, and hopefully development of small-scale hydroelectric development. In addition, we recommend that biomass energy be dropped from the government’s priorities, and that the equivalent resources be directed instead towards development of energy from renewables that are more aptly described as “low carbon”.
WCS Canada Comments - Ontario’s Sustainable Bait Management Strategy - November 2019
We provide comments on Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) Sustainable Bait Management Strategy. We support some of the proposed initiatives, including requirement of receipts and documentation for anglers using bait, and the emphasis placed on education and training for industrial and recreational harvesters involved in the bait industry in Ontario. However, there is room for improvement to reduce the ecological risk that the bait industry poses to freshwater systems in Ontario.
WCS Canada Comments - Formal Request for a Regional Assessment with respect to Marten Falls Community Access Road Project and Webequie Supply Road - November 2019
We provide a formal request to conduct a regional assessment for the Ring of Fire area of northern Ontario. This assessment can be used as an effective example of the new Federal Impact Assessment Act.

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