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WCS Canada Comments – Review of Wataykineyap’s Transmission Line to Pickle Lake Amended Environmental Assessment – October 2018
WCS Canada responds to the invitation to comment on the amended environmental assessment of a new transmission line to Pickle Lake. Since we began to comment on the project in 2013, we have had concerns about the distinct lack of consideration for alternate routes, the criteria used for assessing potential impacts, and the assessment of cumulative effects. We are gravely concerned about not only this project in particular but also the EA process as it stands under Ontario’s environmental assessment program. The major issues are outlined herein and include; EA process, cumulative effects, caribou, and climate change.
WCS Canada Comments – Wataynikaneyap transmission line project requested exemption from the Far North Act – October 2018
We provide comments in response to the recent request that the Wataynikaneyap transmission line project be exempted from section 12 of the Far North Act. This section of the Far North Act requires that there be a community based land use plan prior to the construction or expansion of a transmission line. WCS Canada has been engaged as an interested party in the consultation process of this project since 2013. We are concerned that while the environmental impact assessment remains incomplete any request for exemption is premature, that the impact assessment itself fails to acknowledge cumulative effects, and that the process by which the project could become exempt is unclear. We describe our concerns further herein.
WCS Canada Comments – Public Consultation on the Draft Conservation Plan for Grizzly Bears in Yukon – October 2018
As a strong supporter of efforts to ensure a sustainable future for grizzly bear populations in Yukon we provide comments with the hope that the Draft Plan becomes a more effective document. Through both a broad-scale analysis and detailed comments we assess the content and focus of the proposed document. The document in its current form fails to acknowledge that in order for grizzly bears to persist, limits to human activity and intensity of landscape use are necessary. Wherever possible we provide recommendations for changes to the plan.
WCS Canada Comments – Final Recommended Plan for the Peel Watershed – October 2018
We strongly support the Final Plan as put forward by the Peel Watershed Planning Commission. In particular, we support the high level of protection proposed, and the emphasis on restricting development of linear access corridors and the use of motorized vehicles on the conservation lands. Herein we outline minor changes we advise making to the Final Recommended Plan. They include allowing permanent legal protection of Wilderness Area Zones and disallowing the use of off-road vehicles on trails within them. We also advise several changes to the details surrounding designation of protected areas, and implementation of the plan and conformity checks.
Bighorn backcountry of Alberta, Protecting vulnerable wildlife and precious waters
A scientific analysis that identified a conservation gem nestled beside the two crown jewels of the Rocky Mountain national park system. The area, known as the Bighorn Backcountry, lies just east of Banff and Jasper National Parks in Alberta and represents one of the most ecologically important areas in the province’s Eastern Slopes region. Based on findings about the importance of this region to wildlife, clean water and recreation, WCS Canada is calling on the Alberta Government to designate the area as a Provincial Wildland Park in keeping with its recent commitment to conserve at least 17 percent of the province’s land base.
WCS Canada Comments - Assessment of the Cliffs Natural Resource Inc. Chromite Project - September 2011
We made the case for why Cliffs Chromite Project should not proceed as a Comprehensive Study environmental assessment and asked the Minister of the Environment to refer the assessment to a Review Panel instead under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. We provided support and evidence that the project comes with a high degree of uncertainty in terms of social and ecological outcomes as the first chromite project ever in Ontario as well as a high likelihood of causing significant adverse environmental effects.
WCS Canada Comments - Environmental Impact Statement of Cliffs Chromite Project - November 2011
We reviewed the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Cliffs Chromite Project and argued that the scale of Cliffs Chromite Project and the precedent this project sets in northern Ontario demanded a Joint Panel environmental assessment, coordinated and harmonized with the province of Ontario and with First Nations. We also indicated the need to conduct a strategic regional assessment of the projects and major infrastructure requirements.
WCS Canada Comments - Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Noront's Eagle's Nest Project - January 2012
We requested a Joint Review Panel (JRP) assessment given the concurrent but independent Cliff’s Chromite Project adjacent to the current mining proposal. We also requested the Minister establish a regional strategic environmental assessment for the Ring of Fire. We provided detailed comments on the draft EIS.
WCS Canada Comments - Hydro One Reference Corridor for the Northwest Transmission Expansion Project - February 2010
We provided recommendations to the proponent, Hydro One, on the need for a cumulative effects assessment to better determine the impacts of Hydro One’s reference corridor proposal and the need for better alternative routing and scoping to avoid direct, indirect and cumulative impacts on Wabakimi Provincial Park.
WCS Canada Comments - Kashechewan First Nation (KFN) Community  Based Land Use Plan Terms of Reference (TOR) - December 2017
I provided comments on the general approach to planning in the far north, particularly limitations under the Far North Land Use Strategy and challenges in addressing regional-scale issues that will impact Kashechewan such as protected areas planning, climate change, and cumulative effects. I provided specific comments on the Terms of Reference and noted the inability of Ontario to address marine areas of interest identified by Kashechewan.
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