Volume 94, Issue 78

Friday, February 9, 2001


Candidates on the defensive at forum

Global students focus at King's

Concordia SU wants paper brass out

New low-cost banking program touted as entrepreneru-friendly

Enviro-team says we're in for trouble

The Tribal Council does some forecasting

Financialese not making language richer

His Royal Mintiness

Enviro-team says we're in for trouble

By Chris Lackner and Giovanni Paola
Gazette Staff

In a recently issued report, an independent government agency pin-pointed environmental hazards that are slowly depleting Canada's quality of life.

The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy Table's Millennium Statement identified four emerging problems – the accumulation of pollutants, natural landscape, urban environment deterioration and global economic change.

David Mcguinty, executive director of the NRTEE, said the table's 25 members include representatives from environmental groups, industry and government.

He said one of the group's key concerns was the exposure to chemicals and toxins which Canadians face each day. "These toxins have led to all sorts of health-related conditions, such as immunological and reproductive problems."

Mcguinty said Canada's park system is also failing to protect species of fauna and flora, adding buffer zones and corridors are needed around national wildlife reserves in order to protect them from chemicals and other pollutants. "We have to re-think the protection of nature in this country."

Michel Cleroux, a spokesperson for Environment Canada, said he shares the convictions held by the Table. "Quality of life is dependent upon the quality of the environment," he said.

Cleroux said one of the Ministry's key approaches to dealing with modern environmental issues involves developing scientific and knowledge gathering capacities. "We need an advanced [environmental] information system."

Cleroux said the Ministry also needs to develop policies and incentives to encourage Canadian corporations and individuals to push environmental objectives.

Elizabeth May, executive director of the Sierra Club of Canada, an environmental lobby group, said she agreed with the Table's commentary on the abundance of toxins in the environment which have led to an increase in allergies, asthma, cancer and other neurological conditions.

"We're living in a toxic soup from the moment of conception throughout our entire lives," she said.

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