|Hinterland Who's Who flies again
The federal government is relaunching a widely-recognized TV ad campaign to bring knowledge of wildlife to a
A common loon
Hinterland Who's Who, a series of 60-second public service ads profiling Canadian animals and birds,
became widely known after it was launched in the 1960s.
The introductory flute music is instantly recognizable, and the topics – covering animals from the American black
duck to the woodchuck – brought nature into the living room.
|Environment Canada said there are eight new ads being broadcast Monday, 30-second segments that "build on
the classic theme of the original Hinterland Who's Who" and 60-second commercials aimed at younger viewers
with "a modernized soundtrack".
But "don't worry, that familiar tune is still there," the agency said.
The animals in the news ads are the polar bear, monarch butterfly, common loon and leatherback seaturtle.
The government's also promoting a new website for Hinterland Who's Who.
On the site, viewers can watch the original 60-second video clips, the new clips – and some spoofs of the series.
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| Attack of the lawn-eating grubs
|White grubs are eating lawns bare
Prepare battle plan for grubs
Controlling Lawn Grubs
Grubbusters - all natural and pesticide free
Pictures to help you identify grubs
in a 2002 summer issue of the Ottawa Citizen talking about the white grubs that invade our lawns. Here are links
to similar information.
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| Giant research balloon launched to study ozone
|Giant Research Balloon Launched into Ozone Layer -- A giant research balloon, as tall as 25
story building, was launched into the ozone layer at 4:02 EDT on September 3, from Vanscoy, Saskatchewan, by scientists
from Environment Canada, the Canadian Space Agency and the University of Toronto. The balloon will collect information
on the effects of industrial chemicals and climate change on the ozone layer. (CANADA NEWSWIRE PHOTO/Environment
Canada) Click for
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| Drivers, stop your engines! Gasoline industry
and government launch anti-idling campaign
|MISSISSAUGA, ON, Aug. 14/02 - Motorists can save fuel and money by not letting their engines
run unnecessarily. This is the message of a new public
awareness campaign being tested at participating gasoline retail outlets in Mississauga.
|The Canadian Petroleum Products Institute (CPPI) and the Government of Canada today jointly
launched a pilot anti-idling project to remind drivers to turn off their cars if they are stopped for more than
10 seconds. The CPPI represents Canada's gasoline refiners and marketers. Click here.
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| Pesticides and cancer
|Lawn care companies are trying to convince us they’re safe, but thirty-two of the 34 most widely
used pesticides in Canada have never been tested for environmental or health risks.
|Read Suzanne Elston's story from Straight Goods.
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| Ontario: Immediate access to air pollution information
on-line emissions reporting registry - OnAIR - will make polluters more accountable to the public by providing
regular information about what emissions are being put into the air and by whom.
Ontario is the first jurisdiction in the world to require monitoring and public reporting on a full range of greenhouse
gases linked to climate change. This information will help Ontario set future air quality targets and track progress
in the fight against smog, acid rain and climate change. Click for more.
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| Common pesticide ending up in semen of farmers
|OTTAWA - A common pesticide used to spray lawns and golf courses often ends up in the semen
of the men who spray it, according to a new Health Canada study. 2,4-D has been used for almost 40 years. According
to a study of 97 male Ontario farmers, about half had detectable levels of pesticide. Click for more from the CBC, plus their "Indpth: Pesticide Debate".
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|Weedkiller targeted by city poses risk
2,4-D found in semen and urine of farmers, study reveals
Sunday, May 26, 2002
|The most common weedkiller on Canadian lawns and golf courses for the past 40 years, 2,4-D,
is often absorbed into the semen of men who spray the pesticide, and is passed on to their wives during sex.
If the woman is pregnant, the fetus is also exposed to the pesticide, says a Health Canada study of 97 male Ontario
The department has no idea what effects this may have on the next generation, but it wants to know if the men's
exposure could harm their children.
2,4-D is one of the main chemicals under scrutiny in the City of Ottawa's debate on lawn and garden pesticides.
It is an organochlorine that kills broad-leafed plants, but not grass. It's widely sold in Ottawa stores and is
used by lawn care companies in brands such as Killex, Trillion and Par-3, often in a mixture with two other weedkillers,
dicamba and mecoprop.
In broad-leafed plants such as dandelions, it acts like a growth hormone, causing a burst of uncontrolled growth
that ultimately kills the dandelion while not affecting the grass.
The study, published in a research journal called Reproductive Toxicity, is by a team led by Health Canada researcher
Tye Arbuckle of the Bureau of Reproductive and Child Health. She also teaches at Queen's University.
Health Canada calls the pesticide amounts "trace levels." About half the men had detectable levels of
pesticide, and those who did averaged 20 to 30 parts per million in seminal fluid. Those men who showed pesticide
in their semen generally also had it in their urine.
"Given the importance of semen as a potential carrier of chemicals posing
reproductive hazards, it is crucial to understand the relationship between pesticide-handling practices, the presence
and levels of pesticide residues in semen and the risk of adverse reproductive outcomes," the department adds
in a summary of the study.
It says this study is the first to make some initial estimates of exposure and comparisons
between pesticide levels in semen and urine. The Ontario farmers were not so bad compared with farmers in Argentina,
whose 2,4-D levels were as much as 300 times higher than those of Ontario men. The men in Argentina had significant
damage to their sperm cells.
But what about the far lower exposure levels in Canada? So far the effects, if any, are unknown. Most of the sperm
damage once caused by 2,4-D-based pesticides was caused by dioxins that crept in as accidental contaminants, said
Barbara Hales, a pharmacology professor at McGill University. Her field is how men's exposure to drugs or chemicals
can affect their offspring.
But the industry says those early years of contaminated 2,4-D are long gone, and there's no dioxin in today's weedkiller.
Still, Ms. Hales added, "it's always a concern," and so far the health evidence is inconclusive.
The fetus could only be exposed in its earliest embryonic stage, before it is protected by an amniotic sac, she
said. And the amount of 2,4-D in seminal fluid "is really, really low."
The pesticide industry's 2,4-D task force says the chemical is utterly safe when used properly. It quotes a 1997
study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which concludes 2,4-D is "non-carcinogenic, non-teratogenic
(does not cause birth defects) and non-mutagenic."
As well, it has the support of one of the study's co-authors, University of Guelph toxicologist Len Ritter, who
wrote: "While we can also all agree that it would have been more comforting had we not detected any residue
in semen, we can't conclude that the detected levels constitute any risk because ... the study simply detected
that exposure had occurred, at extremely low levels that pushed our analytical capability to its limit and required
special methodology to even be able to detect these extremely low levels."
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|Stop trapping squirrels
Retailer joins fight to solve orphan problem
Tuesday, May 14, 2002
|The Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre is awash in baby squirrels, and one major retailer is helping
to get the word out to homeowners to stop live-trapping.
The centre has about 100 squirrels and more than 50 more with foster families. The cages are full, and overflow
squirrels are in boxes. Feeding the critters is a little like painting a bridge -- by the time you're done feeding
the last one, it's time to go back to the first.
Live traps are one of the reasons for the squirrel explosion. But the situation may improve.
Last fall, the centre's president, Donna DuBreuil, convinced Home Depot to stop selling live traps. Now there's
a "scrap-the-traps" campaign to convince homeowners to stop using them.
She said the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act makes it illegal to trap and relocate any wild animal outside of
close proximity to where it was captured.
Steve Wilkinson, manager of the Home Depot on Baseline Road, said the decision
to end trap sales followed the meeting with Mrs. DuBreuil.
"Like me, a lot of our customers were not aware of the law and the effect of trapping," he said.
He said he did not feel it was good policy to sell traps to customers who would be breaking the law if they used
them. In addition, Mr. Wilkinson said, Home Depot will use information from the centre to provide seminars on animal-proofing.
The Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre is having to find space for about 100 orphaned squirrels and
has placed another 50 with 'foster parents.' Home Depot is joining the campaign to convince homeowners to stop
live-trapping, which adds to the orphan problem.
Many homeowners who find a wild animal in their home or garage think capturing the animal
in a live trap and relocating it is a humane solution. But relocating a mother often means leaving young orphans
who can't care for themselves and sentences them to a slow death, said Ms. DuBreuil.
In the past, she said, trapping and relocating wildlife was considered humane. But 60 to 70 per cent of the baby
animals taken to volunteer organizations each year are orphaned after their mother was trapped and relocated, Mrs.
If the babies are found, the finder cares for them, or has them euthanized. Expensive repair bills are also possible
if the young animals die under inaccessible steps or between walls.
As well, those who set traps often catch a skunk and panic about what to do next, she said.
"Helping them is equivalent to helping someone defuse a bomb."
For information on animal-proofing or other animal-related problems, call the centre's hotline at 726-6965.
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