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The CANE/AIIE Executive Board of Directors are dedicated to informing and advocating for environmental health balance and stability across the nation. We believe that nurses should be at the forefront of this advocacy. To that end, we present current key issues that require awareness, advocacy and action.

PLEASE NOTE: CANE/AIIE members will be able to network and become more involved by accessing the evolving in-depth information and advocacy work being done in the Member's Only Community Portal. If you are not currently a member, just click on "Become a Member" in the top navigation bar.

If you are a CANE/AIIE member and are aware of an environmental health issue that you think should be featured on this page, email your suggestion by filling out our "Contact Us" form, accessible in the top navigation bar.

Canadian Environment Week

June 2 to June 8, 2019

World Environmental Week

June 2nd will kick off Canadian Environment Week in 2019! There are a variety of activities planned each year, and here is but a sample:

  The week begins with the annual Commuter Challenge, a nation-wide event to convince Canadians to leave their car at home and choose a healthier, greener alternative. Walk, bike, take public transit or carpool! The event is a friendly competition to see which communities, regions or workplaces has the highest percent of healthy commuters. Individuals and organizations can pre-register for the event on the Commuter Challenge website, located here: http://www.commuterchallenge.ca

Clean Air Day

  June 6th, 2019 was Clean Air Day in Canada, a celebration of environmentally-friendly activities that promote clean air and good health. The goal is to increase public awareness and action on both clean air and climate change. The choices made by individuals, families and communities can lead to significant reductions in air pollutants and greenhouse gases! See the Environment Canada website for more information: https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/campaigns/canadian-environment-week/clean-air-day.html

  World Environment Day is June 5th of each year. This global day for environmental action has been ongoing since 1972. This year's theme focuses on the conservation of biodiversity on the planet. With the dangers of climate change, pollution, issues around food security, threats to clean air and water, now, more than ever the WED movement is vital to the health of the planet and its inhabitants. Check out the latest news, information and events: https://www.unenvironment.org/environment-you

To find out more about Canadian Environmental Week visit https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/canadian-environment-week.html

Rivers to Oceans Week

June 8 to 14, 2019

Pitt River, BC   June 8th kicks off Rivers to Oceans Week! This year's campaign focuses on the Dare to Care campaign. Healthy oceans, rivers, lakes and streams are vital to biodiversity, yet this most precious resource is under constant threat from pollution, population pressures, destruction of habitats and oil spills. What can you do? Go to the Canadian Wildlife Federation's website to find out: http://cwf-fcf.org/en/events/rivers-to-oceans-week/

  June 8th celebrates World Oceans Day. Canada has one of the longest coastlines in the world, so it makes sense that we would have such a strong connection with the water that surrounds us. Show you care by organizing a community event, helping with a beach cleanup, or conserving the amount of water you use. Visit the Fisheries and Oceans Canada website to learn more: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/oceans/oceansday-journeedesoceans/index-eng.html

Waste Reduction Week October 21 - 27, 2019

CANE supports the Organizing Coalition in promoting Waste Reduction in Canada

Waste Reduction Week

Waste Reduction Week in Canada is a national environmental campaign that builds awareness around issues of sustainable and responsible consumption, encourages choice for more environmentally responsible products/services, and promotes actions that divert more waste from disposal and conserve natural resources.

The program's educational resources and "take action" messaging empower all Canadians to adopt more environmentally conscious choices. Waste Reduction Week in Canada further provides information and ideas to reduce waste in all facets of daily living, creating the solutions to the many environmental challenges we face including climate change, water pollution and preservation of natural resources.

WRW in Canada is coordinated by a coalition of 13 recycling councils and sister organizations from across Canada. Collaborating on a national level, this partnership promotes waste reduction on provincial/territorial and local levels.


Visit our CANE page in support of this National Initiative. »

November is Radon Awareness Month

Visit National Site

Click to visit site Radon is a radioactive gas that is formed naturally by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. Radon is colourless, odourless and tasteless. When Radon is released from the ground outside it mixes with fresh air and gets diluted resulting in concentrations too low to be of concern. However, when Radon enters an enclosed space, such as a house or basement, it can accumulate to high concentrations and become a health risk.

Radon gas can enter a house any place it finds an opening where the house contacts the soil: cracks in foundation walls and in floor slabs, construction joints, gaps around service pipes and support posts, floor drains and sumps, cavities inside walls, and the water supply.

Radon can also be found in groundwater from private or small community wells. Radon produced in the ground can dissolve and accumulate in water from underground sources such as wells. When water containing Radon is agitated during daily household use showering, clothes washing or cooking, for example, the Radon gas can be released into the air. However, research has shown that drinking water that contains Radon is far less harmful than breathing the gas. The health risk does not come from consuming the Radon, but from inhaling the gas. And in most cases, the risk of Radon entering the home through water is much lower than if it enters through the ground.

Almost all homes have some Radon. The levels can vary dramatically even between similar homes located next to each other. The amount of Radon in a home will depend on many factors. Because there are so many factors, it is not possible to predict the Radon level in a home; the only way to know for sure is to test.

Find Out more about Radon Testing at: http://www.takeactiononradon.ca/radon-testing

Access resources to share with your friends, family, and patients at http://www.takeactiononradon.ca/organizations

World Water Day March 22

VISIT The U.N. World Water Day site


World Water Day is about taking action to tackle the water crisis. Today, 1.8 billion people use a source of drinking water contaminated with faeces, putting them at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio.



World Earth Day April 22

Visit Earth Day Canada

Earth Day CANE Supports the UN International Mother Earth Day and Canadian Earth Day - The Earth Day 2019 Campaign is Protect Our Species. .

Education is the foundation for progress. We need to build a global citizenry fluent in the concepts of climate change and aware of its unprecedented threat to our planet. We need to empower everyone with the knowledge to inspire action in defense of environmental protection.

Protect Our Species is the engine not only for creating green voters and advancing environmental and species protection laws and policies but also for accelerating green technologies and tredding softly on the earth.

This Earth Day, gather with your community for a Protect Our Species Teach-In or another project focused on education. We are launching Earth Day and Teach-In toolkits that will lay out the steps for holding a successful event. Register your event with us and we will support you with promotion and advice.

Tar Sands, Pipelines, and Super Tankers

Read Full Expose

Click to view Power Point   One of the hottest, critical environmental issues in the Canadian and global consciousness this year involves the proposed new Enbridge Northern Gateway Project and Kinder Morgan Transmountain Expansion Project. Three key threats are enfolded in this issue: noxious, toxic Tar Sand mining; pipelines carrying unrefined bitumen across pristine wild country; and super tankers navigating in treacherous waterways. The risks of leaking pipelines and marine oil spills are profound. It is not surprising that many Canadian citizens have rallied together to protest this plan, including many First Nations communities. People listen to nurses - we need to gather our voices together to stop these destructive proposals and help people wake up to the reality - it is time to stop relying on fossil fuels!!!

Read our Press Releases on this issue, written with our Partners

2016 - International Year of Pulses

CANE Supports the UN International Year of Pulses

International Year of Pulses

The IYP 2016 aims to heighten public awareness of the nutritional benefits of pulses as part of sustainable food production aimed towards food security and nutrition. The Year will create a unique opportunity to encourage connections throughout the food chain that would better utilize pulse-based proteins, further global production of pulses, better utilize crop rotations and address the challenges in the trade of pulses.

Pulses are annual leguminous crops yielding between one and 12 grains or seeds of variable size, shape and colour within a pod, used for both food and feed. The term pulses is limited to crops harvested solely for dry grain, thereby excluding crops harvested green for food, which are classified as vegetable crops, as well as those crops used mainly for oil extraction and leguminous crops that are used exclusively for sowing purposes (based on the definition of pulses and derived products, of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations).

Pulse crops such as lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas are a critical part of the general food basket. Pulses are a vital source of plant-based proteins and amino acids for people around the globe and should be eaten as part of a healthy diet to address obesity, as well as to prevent and help manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, coronary conditions and cancer; they are also an important source of plant-based protein for animals.

In addition, pulses are leguminous plants that have nitrogen-fixing properties which can contribute to increasing soil fertility and have a positive impact on the environment.

Visit our CANE page in support of this International Initiative. »

2015 - International Year of Soils

CANE Supports the UN International Year of Soils, December 5, 2014 to December 5, 2015

International Year of Soils

Soil is a vital component of a healthy environment and health for all living organisms yet it is mistreated, abused, and forgotten. December 5, 2014 marked the first day of the International Year of the Soils. Join us to learn more about how our precious soils can be protected, nurtured, and rejuvenated and why this is important to nurses and all other Canadians

" It can take up to 1,000 years to form one centimetre of soil, and with 33 per cent of all global soil resources degraded and human pressures increasing, critical limits are being reached that make stewardship an urgent matter, Mr. Graziano da Silva said.

Calling soils a nearly forgotten resource, he urged investment in sustainable soil management, saying that would be cheaper than restoration and is needed for the achievement of food security and nutrition, climate change adaptation and mitigation and overall sustainable development.

The 68th UN General Assembly declared 2015 the International Year of Soils (IYS) (A/RES/68/232).

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has been nominated to implement the IYS 2015, within the framework of the Global Soil Partnership and in collaboration with Governments and the secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.

The International Year of Soils 2015 aims to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of soil for food security and essential ecosystem functions.

Visit our CANE page in support of this International Initiative. »

Summary of Asbestos Disease Symposium

Thursday Sept. 27 2012 in Toronto

Asbestos Disease   The symposium highlighted the tragic extent of asbestos disease in Ontario (around 500 new cancer cases annually) and the importance of screening, early detection and early referral for treatment. The situations here and in India were compared. Dr. Eudice Goldberg of the Canadian Mesothelioma Foundation spoke about the need for a Canadian network of healthcare professionals addressing asbestos cancers. There was also a presentation from a Belgian activist who lost his father, mother and two brothers to asbestos cancer.

Read our former President, Hilda Swirsky's summary of the Symposium

Ministry of Environment: Ontario Great Lakes Strategy Public Consultation Meeting

August 29th, 2012 in Toronto

Great Lakes Ontario introduced Bill 100, the proposed Great Lakes Protection Act, on June 6, 2012 in the Ontario legislature. The Act, if passed, will be complementary to COA and will strengthen Ontario's ability to use various tools to protect the Great Lakes. In addition, the province also released a draft Ontario's Great Lakes Strategy. The draft Strategy has been posted on Ontario's Environmental Registry for public consultation over the summer months (June 6 to August 7, 2012). With the Canada-U.S. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement amendment process now nearing completion, Ontario is looking forward to working with Canada on a new COA. The negotiation process will require effective and meaningful engagement of the Great Lakes community, including First Nations and Metis.

Read more about this Issue on the Ontario Ministry of Environment website

Read our President, Hilda Swirsky's summary of the Meeting

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