April 2014 Bulletin

Supporting butterflies by protecting Ontario’s milkweed

The Ministry of Agriculture and Food plans to update the Weed Control Act Schedule of Noxious Weeds to remove milkweed, a critical food source for the monarch butterfly. CELA expressed our support for this regulation which addresses the growing loss of pollinators.

Encouraging political support to make electricity affordable

The Low-Income Energy Network (LIEN), of which CELA is a member, expressed support for the Ontario government’s commitment to ensuring electricity affordability for low-income households. Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli announced the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) which will come into effect in 2016. The OESP incorporated many of LIEN’s recommendations and will build on the OEB’s Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP). “We look forward to participating in the OEB’s consultation hearings to provide input into the program’s design,” said Theresa McClenaghan, CELA’s Executive Director.

Proposing a ban of 22 toxic substances in Canada

Along with Ecojustice, CELA petitioned the Auditor General to take action on 22 toxic substances currently used in Canada that have been banned by the European Union for health and safety concerns. Under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, ministers are required to review decisions from other jurisdictions to prohibit or substantially restrict a substance to determine whether the substance is toxic or capable of becoming toxic. We eagerly await a response from the Auditor General.


CELA reiterates dangers of Pickering nuclear station

At last year’s licence hearing to extend the Pickering nuclear plant's operations beyond its intended design life, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) received hundreds of submissions. The plant is the oldest operating nuclear power station in North America. CELA reiterated our concern that emergency planning for serious offsite accidents isn't in place, presenting a hazard to the 3 million residents living within 40 km of the plant. Last year, our 78-page report submitted to the CNSC included 30 recommendations that addressed the lack of emergency planning and preparedness in event of a large-scale incident.

CELA to challenge Darlington plant refurbishment on May 6

On May 6, CELA’s Theresa McClenaghan and Richard Lindgren will appear in federal court on behalf of our clients to challenge the government's approvals for the refurbishment of the Darlington nuclear station. We filed the lawsuit along with Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, Greenpeace and Northwatch to overturn an environmental assessment because it did not meet the legal standard set out in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, which is intended to ensure projects are considered carefully and with public input before they proceed.

Calling for the rejection of the Call2Recycle proposal


CELA is working with several other environmental organizations to call on Waste Diversion Ontario to reject the Call2Recycle proposal that would result in weaker battery recycling provisions. Adopting the plan could have catastrophic results for Ontario’s environment.

Just saying “no” to antibacterial hand soaps

To mark this year's Healthy Schools Day, the Canadian Partnership for Children's Health & Environment (CPCHE) is encouraging schools and child care centres to discontinue the use of antibacterial hand soaps, especially those containing triclosan. The federal government considers triclosan toxic, a decision based on preliminary assessments that found the substance harms aquatic plants and animals.

Crowdfunding to support the Experimental Lakes Area

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) recently assumed operations of the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA), a world-class freshwater research facility. CELA is encouraging the public to donate to the the IISD crowdfunding Indiegogo campaign that would allow the institute to expand the ELA’s research potential.