John Bennett's blog

4 questions to ask candidates when they come knocking at your door

There’s an election going on. But did you notice almost none of the candidates are talking about the environment? I have, but I can’t say I’m surprised.

We're thinking about the environment but what about our candidates?

The Federal election is well underway… Former Prime Minister, Kim Campbell, famously said “The election is not a time to discuss serious issues”.

Do oil and whales mix?

Last week, the heads of Canada’s largest environmental organizations, including our own Diane Beckett, met in New Brunswick. The main item on the agenda was the Bay of Fundy and the Energy East Pipeline.

Lock me in my office, please!

It’s week four of the Protect The Pollinators Tour, which means our (unfortunate) comedy of errors is almost over. So far we have survived a broken tooth in the airport, two missed connections, a twisted ankle (I’m typing with my foot over my head) and one heck-of-a gruelling schedule. I am getting (at least feeling) old and, at this point, the thought of sitting in my office back in Ottawa is very, very nice!

But having said that, transportation mishaps and human folly aside, the tour has been an incredible success, and incredibly empowering and inspirational. I’m more hopeful today than I’ve been in a long while. Our force is strong.

Bill C-51 and a dear friend's wisdom...

Greetings from Victoria where our Protect the Pollinators Tour gets underway tonight.

I want to talk about Bill C-51, the anti-terror bill, and how it might impact Canadian environmentalists. Before I do, I want to take a moment and talk about Andrew Chisholm, who passed away over the weekend. He was the first person I ever spoke to at Sierra Club back in 1996. He took the time to talk to me about how the federal government was changing the environmental assessment laws in the middle of the night so it could sell CANDU reactors to China.

Then, when I got here a few years later, Andrew was still part of the Sierra family (on staff and later as a volunteer)...

#ProtectThePollinators Tour

Well...it's that time! I would like to invite you to join me and author Paul McKay on our Protect the Pollinators Tour that kicks off March 17th in Victoria and will see us visit cities and towns across Canada to talk about pollinators, pesticides and what we can do.

The Protect the Pollinators Tour will include a series of public meetings with beekeepers, farmers, academics, and environmental advocates, as well as individual Canadians concerned about the fate of bees.

It's a great opportunity for anyone who wants learn more about the issue.

We have videos, beekeepers, expert speakers...we even have (DRUMROLL) our own Tour T-Shirt...

Pest Control Products Act 'act'

Government members of the Federal Standing Committee on Health are using their majority to force a very quick review of the Pest Control Products Act (the law that governs the licensing of pesticides in Canada). The Act--like many laws--contains a mandatory review clause, which means the Standing Committee on Health must undertake an examination at set intervals and recommend changes to Parliament...

If you think about it, that’s how we got a country...

If you have heard anything about the Canada’s Premiers meeting in Ottawa on January 30, you probably know the Prime Minister is not attending. So--like the media--you are not paying much attention to it.

That’s unfortunate because it just might be the biggest climate change meeting ever in Canada. Or maybe it’s a good thing that the Prime Denier stays home. We’ll see...

#SaveTheWolves

In the name of protecting Woodland Caribou, the Alberta Government has killed more than 1000 wolves using poison, traps, and guns from helicopters. Hundreds of other animals have also been killed, including moose and elk to bait wolf traps. Others have died by eating poison intended for the wolves. It’s barbaric and senseless.

This is all happening in the name of protecting Woodland Caribou. They call it a “cull”. The problem is it doesn’t work...

Reminder >> Please urge Ontario to stand strong on bee-killing pesticides...

As you may know, Ontario plans to restrict the use of bee-killing pesticides. In 2014, the Ontario government announced it intended to restrict the use of neonicotinoid pesticides. In order to develop the plan and regulations, the province began conducting consultations and invited the public to comment.

A number of these public consultations took place this past December and the majority went very well, with farmers and other stakeholders able to give input on the new rules. A meeting on December 19th, however, was very different...