Staff Blog

Guest Blog: Too much power? Then why keep Pickering running?

Citing a surplus of power, the Wynne government pulled the plug Tuesday on its Large Renewable Procurement (LRP) process for acquiring wind and solar power at highly competitive prices.

But what the Minister of Energy didn’t mention was that the reason we have a glut of power is the government’s insistence on keeping high-cost nuclear plants running despite plenty of better options.

Time to Get Serious about EA Reform in Ontario

While the Government of Canada’s review of federal environmental assessment (EA) legislation is well underway, the Ontario government has not announced or commenced a comprehensive public review of its own problematic EA regime.

Ontario Should Commit to Spending Cap and Trade Revenue on Low-income Ontarians

CELA challenges Ontario to follow California's example and legislate that 35% of cap and trade revenue be invested in low-income and vulnerable communities.

Federal EA Reform at the Cross-Roads

In recent weeks, the Government of Canada has ramped up the long-awaited public review of federal environmental assessment (EA) processes.

Destabilizing Tenancy Rights Is Not the Solution to Ontario’s Housing Shortage

This article was first published on Huffington Post and has been reposted with the author’s permission. For more information on CELA's involvement in this issue, please visit our RentSafe page.

LEDs vs CFLs - Missed Opportunity by Hydro One to Limit Mercury Exposure

As a Hydro One customer, last week I received a snappy little brochure with my electric bill extolling the virtues of LEDs. Light it Right – Your whole-home guide to LED bulbs is a great source of information. Going room by room I learned about lumens vs watts and how to tailor and optimize my choices from the wide range of highly energy efficient LED lighting options available.

Ontario’s Review of the EBR: Why it Matters to You

                                                                                                             

Canada's main environmental law isn't working

Originally published in The Toronto Star, July 29, 2016

Emissions of some of the most harmful chemicals are on the rise in Canada. We need to update the federal law that’s supposed to curb them.

For the first time in a decade a committee of Parliament is examining how the nation’s primary environmental law, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), is working. What we are learning about CEPA is not good news.

Ottawa River’s Best Kept Secret

I visited the beautiful waterfront on the Ottawa River in the town of Deep River last week, following site tours at Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories and Rolphton. A sign at the waterside park says it is Ontario’s “best kept secret” and it’s all too true .

The Ontario Climate Change Action Plan

The government of Ontario released its Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) this week which outlines the province’s approach to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fighting climate change for the next four years. The Low-Income Energy Network (LIEN) and the Canadian Environmental Association (CELA) are pleased that the CCAP includes actions that would support low-income households and vulnerable communities during Ontario’s transition to a low-carbon economy.

$900 Million from Ontario's Cap and Trade Program to Help with Energy Retrofits and Energy Efficiency

While Ontario will not begin auctioning greenhouse gas allowances under the new Cap and Trade program until 2017, the Province has committed close to $1 billion of the possible proceeds under the program to redress the burden borne by low-income households and vulnerable communities in mitigating climate change.

Getting FIT: How Ontario Became a Green Energy Leader

Guest Blog

We’ll always have Paris? How the Trans Pacific Partnership threatens Canada’s climate commitments

Canada’s environmental commitments can only be successful if they’re not undermined by other policies. In April of this year Canada signed the Paris Agreement, which binds us to hold the increase of average global temperature to less than 2 ºC, and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 ºC. Canada’s simultaneous commitment to signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) is completely at odds with our greenhouse gas reduction goals.

Radionuclides are Turning Our Lakes Into Radioactive Toxic Sewers

Guest Blog
(originally published as a letter to the editor in Bruce Peninsula Press (Issue #5, 2016, May 3-17, 2016)

Amendments to cap and trade bill make gains for low-income and vulnerable communities

Yesterday’s amendments to the proposed cap and trade bill (Bill 172) saw real gains for Ontario’s low-income households and vulnerable communities. Yesterday, the government carried motions that bring low-income households and vulnerable communities’ needs to the fore when the Minister considers how to use cap and trade auction revenues.

Time is running out to fix the Cap and Trade Bill

Ontario is running out of time to make sure the cap and trade program proposed in Bill 172 reduces GHG emissions and doesn’t push more Ontarians into poverty in the process.

Needed: nationwide action plan for recovery of toxic mercury from light bulbs

  Many Canadians will be glad to see the end of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) with their harsh light and often flickering glow. Despite longstanding outreach campaigns, widespread ignorance persists about mercury in CFLs.

  Although the environment is burdened by other, larger mercury sources, a broken CFL is in direct contact with people at home, work, or alongside poorly maintained vendor take-back bins.

Ontario’s proposed cap-and-trade plan gives too much away, fails vulnerable communities

Responding to climate change is the defining challenge of the twenty-first century. Ontario, like all jurisdictions, needs to cut its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions drastically, starting yesterday. This will be difficult, but we are left with no choice: the environmental and ethical consequences of climate change are already apparent in this province. Ontarians are looking to the provincial government for climate leadership that curtails our GHG emissions and softens the negative impacts for vulnerable communities.

30 in 30: Confessions of a CELA Lifer

Incredibly, 2016 marks my 30th year at CELA. Since it is customary to sit back and reflect upon such milestones, here are 30 memories (good, bad and ugly) over the past 30 years of working on CELA cases and campaigns:

1. Arriving at CELA in 1986 fresh out of law school, but quickly discovering that I had not learned much about the day-to-day practice of environmental law.