Environmental and Josette Wier have obtained a court order requiring Health Canada to conduct
a special review of one use of common glyphosate-based pesticides
(such as Roundup) mixed with an ingredient known as POEA. There is
conflicting evidence about the toxicity of the mixture (which
forestry companies spray on ephemeral wetlands and intermittent
streams, but not on permanent watercourses) to amphibians.
Accordingly, the precautionary principle requires Health Canada to
conduct a "special review" of the pesticide, on public
request. Health Canada argued that the "special review"
was unnecessary, because it already knew about the danger to
amphibians, and was already planning a "regular" review
of the same pesticide. A full re-evaluation is also taking place in
" ... there is conflicting evidence that the pesticide
in issue presents an acceptable risk to amphibians in ephemeral
wetlands which are aerially sprayed with the pesticide in
silviculture. .. there is an uncertainty about whether the
pesticide will harm amphibians in this environment. The Regulatory
Agency recognizes that the pesticide is toxic to amphibians in
bodies of water and for this reason the pesticide cannot be sprayed
over or close to bodies of water. ..
 With opinions within the Regulatory Agency on both sides
of the question as to whether the pesticide presents an
unacceptable environmental risk to amphibians in ephemeral
wetlands, the precautionary principle would require that the
Minister initiate a special review into that issue...
 .. The special review will be narrower than the
comprehensive re-evaluation being conducted in the conjunction with
the United States. For this reason, the special review will be
targeted and possibly quicker. The applicant is entitled to a
proper analysis as to whether the pesticide in issue presents an
environmental risk to amphibians inhabiting ephemeral wetlands
which are subject to the aerial spraying of the pesticide in
The applicant's original demand for review had been largely
based on a variety of human health claims, which were abandoned,
for undisclosed reasons, during the hearing.
There is a common misconception that the Crown's duty to consult aboriginal peoples is unstructured and uncertain, and a related misconception that the government consistently loses legal challenges on this basis.
In Fort Nelson First Nation v. British Columbia (Environmental Assessment Office), 2016 BCCA 500, the B.C. Court of Appeal recently considered three issues involving the Reviewable Projects Regulation under B.C.'s Environmental Assessment Act:
On December 20, 2016, the federal government obtained a fine of $975,000 for improper handling of electrical equipment containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) against a Montreal property management firm.
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