Thursday, May 31, 2007

Letter to Mr. Baird

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** While the Refinery isn't in our riding, the environmental effects will be felt in our riding and around the globe. It is important that New Brunswickers take on a leadership role!

31 May 2007

To: The Hon. John Baird, Minister of the Environment
RE: Proposed new oil refinery in Saint John, NB (Project Eider Rock)

Dear Sir;

I am writing to express my concern regarding your decision to limit the federal government’s role in the Environmental Impact Assessment of the refinery Irving Oil proposes to construct in Saint John, New Brunswick. I am a resident in the outskirts of Saint John and I work in the city.

The Environment Ministry has decided to limit the scope of its involvement to a Full Federal Panel Review of the marine operations of the proposed refinery. While this is important and welcome news because of the risk increased shipping will have on the endangered right whale, it leaves out the environmental and health effects that will be felt by humans.

Local greenhouse gas emissions will increase tremendously with the operation of a second refinery. Estimates suggest that the existing refinery’s annual emissions are equivalent to putting 357,000 additional cars on the road. Given the increasing scientific evidence that anthropogenic-source greenhouse gas emissions are linked to climate change, it seems only prudent that the Federal Environment Ministry request the most stringent analysis of this proposal.

Oil refineries can severely impact human health. A 2002 Harvard Medical School report, Oil: A Life Cycle Analysis of its Health and Environmental Impacts (, lists a number of health concerns associated with oil refining. This list includes cancers of the lip, stomach, liver, pancreas, connective tissue, prostate, eye, brain, bone, lung and kidney, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, unspecified neoplasms, and leukemia in children (p. 28). Asthma and other respiratory ailments are of concern too. A Full Federal Panel Review of the entire operations of the proposed refinery is the only way to ensure that research in the public interest is conducted and presented in an open and public forum.

In conclusion, I ask that you revisit your decision to limit the federal government’s role in the assessment of the proposed new refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick. I strongly urge you to institute a Full Federal Panel Review of the entire proposed refinery’s operations.


Rob Moir (Associate Professor of Economics)

CC: The Right Hon. Stephen Harper, The Hon. Stéphan Dion, The Hon. Jack Layton, Mr. David McGuinty, Mr. Nathan Cullen, Mr. Rob Moore, Mr. Paul Zed

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Stephan Dion on CBC's "The Current"

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Liberal Leader, Stephan Dion was on the Current on May 10. After hearing him talk for a while, I sent in this comment.

Liberal Leader of the Opposition, Stephan Dion stated that climate change is still a relatively new phenomenon. I think it is important to note that back in 1983, NDP MP Simon de Jong questioned then-Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources, the Hon. Jean Chrétien on green house gas emissions. In my opinion, the Liberals have had a long time to deal with climate change and GHG emissions. Climate change is not a new phenomenon; what's new is the Liberal Party's sudden dedication to the issue.