Finding solutions that enable us to live within the limits of nature begins with sound scientific research. When environmental issues arise, we investigate them thoroughly, driven by a sense of responsibility to bring concerned Canadians the truth about the state of their environment.
Is natural gas a climate change solution for Canada?
Not according to the report we produced last year with the Pembina Institute, which gained widespread attention and citation. Although some claim that natural gas is a "bridging" fuel that will enable near-term reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, we concluded that the environmental impacts — particularly those related to the process of hydraulic fracturing or "fracking"—are too great. Is Natural Gas a Climate Change Solution for Canada? argues that we must move quickly to renewable sources of energy.
Helping Canadians choose safe cosmetics
This past year, the Foundation launched an investigation into toxic ingredients in cosmetics. We began by asking our supporters to tell us about the ingredients in their products. The resulting report, What's Inside? That Counts, revealed that an alarming number of the products we use every day contain dangerous toxins. The report attracted widespread media attention.
We then mobilized supporters to contact the manufacturers of products containing "fragrance," demanding they disclose the chemicals in their scent recipes. And to simplify savvy shopping, we created and distributed 30,000 pocket guides about the dirty dozen chemicals to avoid. We continue to press for changes to Canada's cosmetics labelling laws.
Investigating a sockeye mystery
In the fall of 2010, Foundation scientists joined the Cohen Commission of Inquiry into the Decline of Sockeye Salmon in the Fraser River. As part of the Conservation Coalition represented by Ecojustice, Foundation biologist Jeffery Young appeared as an expert witness. In the coming year, we will learn whether the Commission will accept our recommendations, including our call for the federal government to shift effort and funding back to science and conservation rather than promoting and funding industries like aquaculture.
Profile: Dr. Jean-Patrick ToussaintDirector, Science Projects Montreal
As the Director of Science Projects at the Quebec branch of the Foundation, I campaign to protect the beautiful St. Lawrence River and all the natural ecosystems in the greater Montreal area. I also oversee the scientific content in our projects, campaigns, and communication with the public.
Being a new dad has given me a new sense of purpose in what I do, reinforcing the reasons behind my actions. I grew up in the countryside of the Eastern townships of Quebec, in a green and healthy environment, and that is the legacy I'd like to leave my child, so that he too can enjoy a healthy and green environment.