South Durban Community Environmental Alliance

Environmental Justice in Durban and Bill C-18 for the Canadian Wheat Board

The South Durban Community Environmental Alliance campaigns to reduce human health problems associated with heavy industry in the South African city of Durban. We bring you an interview with Desmond D’Sa, the organization’s coordinator, who tells us more about environmental justice issues in Durban. Back in Canada, the Harper Government is hoping to pass Bill C-18 by the end of this year, which will break the Canadian Wheat Board‘s monopoly on wheat marketing. We speak to Art Macklin, a concerned wheat and barley producer and member of the Canadian Wheat Board, about the environmental and social implications of this legislative change.

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United Nations climate talks are currently underway in South Africa, and all this excess attention has thrown the spotlight on the host city, Durban. The southern part of the city contains hundreds of heavy industrial sites such as oil refineries and paper mills. The South Durban Community Environmental Alliance aims to link these industrial sites to higher levels of health problems in the area, such as asthma and cancer, compared to other parts of Durban. Our correspondent Chris Chang-Yen Phillips spoke with the organization’s coordinator, Desmond D’Sa, in Durban.

More on this story: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

The conservative government is intent on passing Bill C-18 before the end of the year. It has passed its third reading in the house of commons and is now before the Senate’s Agriculture and Forestry Committee who will give their report before December 13th. This bill will likely destroy the Canadian Wheat Board. Our correspondent Kathryn Lennon spoke to Art Macklin, a wheat and barley producer in Peace River, Alberta, on the implications this bill would have. Art Macklin served both as the elected representative to the Canadian Wheat Board Advisory Committee, as well as Director of the Canadian Wheat Board for 8 years. He has also been elected as both Vice President and President of the National Farmers Union, and acted as Chairman of the Canadian International Grains Institute.

More on this story: Canadian Wheat Board Alliance, Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board


World’s first undersea mine: Environmental groups are raising concerns over a new mine being developed by Toronto-based Nautilus Minerals. Located off the coast of Papua New Guinea, the project will be the world’s first undersea mine. The company plans to use deepwater robots to collect mineral rich deposits surrounding hydrothermal vents. Mining will take place a kilometer and a half below the ocean surface.

More on this story: Asia Pacific News, Radio Australia, Pacific News Center, Nautilus Minerals, Mining Watch, Deep Sea Mining Report

Ontario gets failing grade at sustainability: This past week saw Ontario’s Environment Commissioner release his annual report on the province’s sustainability efforts. In his paper, Gord Miller is highly critical of the government’s programs, saying that Ontario talks a lot about protecting the environment, but is in fact doing very little.

More on this story: Ottawa Citizen, CBC, The Star, CTV, 2010/2011 Annual Report

Aboriginal group supports Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline: Chief Elmer Derrick of the Northern British Columbia Gitxsan First Nation gave his support to the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline. The announcement came just one day after British Columbia First Nations groups declared they would take a united stand against the Enbridge pipeline.

More on this story: Vancouver Sun, CBC, BC Local News, Globe and Mail, The Financial Post

Limiting fuel import into Europe: British and Canadian ministers have been secretly working together to fight a European Fuel Quality Directive proposal that would limit fuel import into Europe. The legislation would classify oil extracted from Alberta tar sands as producing 22 percent more greenhouse gases than other comparable fuels.

More on this story: The Guardian, BBC, CBC, The Star, Greenpeace