February was a busy month for decision-makers and trend-setters working on environmental and arts issues in Canada. We published newsletters talking about the CRTC's review of the "false news" regulation, the Ministry of the Environment's Bill of Rights review, as well as CBC Radio3's search for Canada's best music websites. This week, we bring you important updates on all three issues.
Ontario decides to review bill of rights
On February 1, we gave you a list of the Top 10 problems with Ontario's Environmental Bill of Rights. We noted that the law does not actually provide any enforceable "rights", that Ministries are ignoring their Statements of Environmental Values when making important decisions, and that the appeals process is deeply flawed. We described a legal application from the Canadian Environmental Law Association seeking to improve the legislation. On March 2, CELA announced that the Ministry of the Environment agreed to undertake a review of problematic parts of the Environmental Bill of Rights. This marks the first major review of the bill of rights since it was enacted nearly twenty years ago.
CRTC's abandons relaxed stance on false news
On February 7, we published an argument explaining how Canada's current broadcasting rules prohibit the broadcast of "false or misleading news" and explained why these rules should remain the same. At the time, the CRTC was looking at a proposal to only prohibit broadcasting news that the broadcaster knows is false or misleading and which is likely to endanger the public. This, we argued, spelled bad news for the environment. On February 25, the CRTC withdrew the proposal, stating that it "never wanted to touch the thing". The NPR radio program "On the Media" provides a synopsis of the story on its latest program.
Swim Drink Fish Music makes the
Last week we asked you to help our scrappy little website Swim Drink Fish Music make it to the list of Top 10 Canadian music websites. You helped, and we made it! This week, we are asking you to vote again (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) to help us reach #1: With your help, Swim Drink Fish Music has received praise and support that we never dreamed possible. Let's see how far we can go!