FCM posts sustainable bylaw library

The FCM (Federation of Canadian Municipalities) now has a collection of sustainable by-laws posted on their website. The site breaks by-laws down into categories: Brownfields, Energy Transportation, Waste, Water and Multi-sector. View By-law library here. 

Studies show pesticide exposure impacts children’s health and IQ

Three recent studies examining the impacts of pesticide exposure have found that children with higher levels of prenatal pesticide exposure have lower IQ scores. The study specifically looked at the impacts of organophosphates, which are widely used in agriculture. The good news is that use of this pesticide is trending downwards. All three studies can be found at this site. 

LED lights for Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia is about to become the first jurisdiction in North America to make LED lights mandatory on all roads and highways. It is expected the new lights will save 30,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year and will use half the energy of regular lights. Read more here.

Ontario’s water quality improving since pesticide ban

Two years ago Ontario put into place a province-wide cosmetic pesticide ban, and since then concentration levels of 2,4-D, one of the most common pesticides on the market, have dropped by as much as 97% in tested streams. Read more at the CBC.

Bolivia to pass historic bill that gives legal rights to nature

Bolivia’s Mother Earth Law will radically change the country’s approach to industry. The law gives legal rights to nature, “specifically the rights to life and regeneration, biodiversity, water, clean air, balance, and restoration,” and will require the government to “assess the ecological impact of all economic activity, to carry out ecological audits of all private and state companies; to regulate and reduce greenhouse gas emissions; to develop policies of food and renewable energy sovereignty; to research and invest resources in energy efficiency, ecological practices, and organic agriculture; and to require all companies and individuals to be accountable for environmental contamination with a duty to restore damaged environments.” Read article in Yes Magazine. 

Canada’s first “near urban” national park sparks hot debate in GTA

The creation of a “near urban” national park in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) has sparked a hot debate between the region’s Conservative and Liberal MPs. The park, which is intended to enhance the accessibility of wilderness to urban residents, may result in the loss of prime farmland. Both MPs accuse each other of “flip-flopping” on the issue and “misleading the public” about their intentions with the park. Read the full story in the Toronto Star.