Posted on

Catching Up With Ecojustice

Ecojustice bee

Ecojustice

With the month of July behind us, we wanted to take a closer look at what Ecojustice, our group of the month, had been up to, and their most recent case has got us absolutely buzzing!

Just two weeks ago, Ecojustice filed a lawsuit targeting the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) and their unlawful registration of two types of insecticides (or “neonics”), Clothianidin and Thiamethoxam, which have been linked to statistics and studies regarding declining bee populations worldwide.

What’s the problem?

The PMRA’s continued registration of these neonics allows products containing them (nearly 40 as of this writing) to be sold and used in Canada. While agricultural applications of these products do protect crops from harmful pests, these effects also unfortunately extend to non-harmful pollinators, such as bees. Research has shown that neonics harm bees’ biological functions (such as reproduction and homing abilities), and that neonics are highly toxic to all bee species tested so far.

Clothianidin and Thiamethoxam have been registered for use in Canada by the PMRA for well over a decade, despite the fact that there have been no conclusive studies proving that these neonics are safe for the environment. Instead, they have been “conditionally” registered, which allows these chemicals to continue to be registered without requiring any public consultation.

What’s so great about the bees?

Pollinators, such as bees and other insects, are a major part of the global ecosystem. 80% of all flowering plants require pollinators to reproduce. One-third of the global food supply depends on pollinators. So while they might be a little scary when they’re buzzing around your head, remember that bees are an important part of keeping food on your plates!

What’s the goal of the lawsuit?

Dead beeEcojustice’s goal in filing this lawsuit is simple: The PMRA needs to follow its own rules, as well as the regulatory laws put in place by the government via the Pest Control Products Act.

The continued registration of the neonics Clothianidin and Thiamethoxam require that the PMRA consult the public, and that the chemicals be deemed safe before being registered. The ultimate goal is to ensure that, going forward, these legal standards are always met and that toxic pesticides undergo much more rigorous review processes before being registered.

How can I get involved?

The great news is that, just by being a customer of ContactsForLess.ca, you’re already helping! 51% of our profits for the month of July, by default, will be donated to Ecojustice in order to support important environmental cases just like this!

And if that just isn’t enough for you, you can also visit Ecojustice.ca to make a direct donation! Thank you so much for your support this past month, and remember: At ContactsForLess.ca, you can save money and save the planet!

Posted on 1 Comment

Ecojustice Takes the Stand

Ecojustice

The Biggest Battles Happen in the Courtroom

ecojusticeMost of us do our part to help the environment by doing things like recycling or carpooling, and that’s awesome! But who fights the good fight when the problem isn’t a stray soda can or dripping faucet, but instead a corrupt corporation, big industry, or even our own government? That’s where our group of the month, Ecojustice, takes up arms.

Incorporated as a charity in 1990, Ecojustice’s vision is to harness the power of the law to protect and preserve the environment. This charity model was originally developed by the American Sierra Club Defense Fund, which at the time included young Canadian lawyer Stewart Elgie. Following the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989 and seeing how its effects extended to his home country, Elgie recognized the need for a similar group in Canada, and returned to start Ecojustice, serving as a founding board member.

In the years that followed, the team has expanded to include over 20 lawyers and scientists from across the country, all dedicated to representing community groups, non-profits, First Nations, and individual Canadians in the fight for environmental justice.

Ecojustice on the Case

oil_duckHere’s an example of Ecojustice standing up to a multi-billion dollar company and the government at the same time:

In 2010, when 1,600 ducks died after landing on a Syncrude tailings pond in Alberta, neither the federal nor Alberta provincial government laid charges. So Ecojustice helped an Alberta resident file a private prosecution, prompting both governments to take over the case and lay charges. Syncrude was found guilty and agreed to pay $3 million which was, at the time, the largest fine for an environmental offence in Canadian history! But that’s just the start; the group has secured countless other legal victories, and in many cases these victories set a precedent for cases that followed.

Why We Love Ecojustice

Obviously, Mother Nature can’t go to court, which is why the world needs groups like Ecojustice, and that’s why Contactsforless.ca has chosen Ecojustice as July’s group of the month. They are a 100% donor-funded charity, so visit ecojustice.ca to learn more about their cause and to make a direct donation.

In addition, as our group of the month, Ecojustice will be the default charity on every Contactsforless.ca order. However, if there’s another cause that’s near and dear to your heart, remember that you can still choose from over 50 different organizations during checkout, where Contactsforless.ca is committed to donating 51% of all its profit!