Glimmer of hope for freshwater research site

This story was originally posted on the Nature News Blog.  The government of Ontario, Canada, has stepped in to keep open the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA). The freshwater research facility, located in northern Ontario, was closed in March by the government of Canada, despite protests from scientists. Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne announced today that the government of Ontario will provide support to keep the ELA running this year and in the future, as it works to transfer the facility to the International Institute for Sustainable … Read more…

Test lakes face closure

Lake 239 looks inviting. Pines and spruce fringe the shoreline and waves lap against outcrops of weathered granite. But on this hot August afternoon in northwestern Ontario (see ‘Water works’), one feature stands out. At the far end of the 800-metre-long lake, a series of plastic-walled columns descend from a floating dock to the muddy bottom about 2 metres down. They are the sign that the lake’s placid setting disguises an experiment in controlled environmental abuse. Jennifer Vincent, a graduate student … Read more…

Accord could make Canadian generics industry a ‘rust bucket’

A trade agreement in negotiations between Canada and the EU is drawing the ire of generic drugmakers, provincial governments and patient advocates over proposals to extend drug patents by several years in Canada, a move that critics say would delay the arrival of generic medicines to market in that country and inflate healthcare costs. According to Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada imports C$8.4 billion ($8.2 billion) of pharmaceutical products from the EU annually, making Canada the … Read more…

Canada’s renowned freshwater research site to close

Budget fall-out hits environmental research stations The Canadian government has cancelled its funding for the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA), a research site in northwestern Ontario that has led to the re-shaping of international policies. It is the latest target in a string of research programmes to have been scaled back, shut down or left in limbo in the wake of massive cuts to this year’s federal budget. Fisheries and Oceans Canada — the government department that runs the site —  told … Read more…

Canadian budget bill undermines environment, critics charge

Today in Canada’s House of Commons,  lawmakers debated a budget bill that critics say would gut a variety of environmental and species protection measures. The Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act would allow the Conservative-led government to implement certain provisions included in the 2012 budget tabled just over a month ago (see ‘Canadian budget hits basic science‘). But the 420-page document includes “other measures,” which have angered the opposition, environmental groups and scientists. Bill C-38 aims to repeal the current Canadian Environmental Assessment … Read more…