Sierra Club Blog Posts

This page shows a collection of all of Sierra Club Canada's blog posts, shown in chronological order. To view the full post, click on its title.

Ignorance is never an excuse…

First, thank you for your patience and the generous support you’ve shown during our year-end fundraising push. Believe me when I say we don’t like to “push” for donations, but the reality is we have to in order to keep our doors open.

BACK TO WORK

We’re back to work now and I want to talk about mercury pollution.

Most people my age cite Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” when asked how they first became aware of the environment and the need to protect and preserve it. For many, the moment was the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970.

My moment of truth was the mercury poisoning at the Grassy Narrows Reserve in northwest Ontario. Between 1962 and 1970, two First Nations communities’ staple food — fish — had been contaminated with record-high levels of mercury from a chemical plant up the river. But no one knew, and for almost a decade they consumed the poison.... Read more »

Sorry, we won’t shut up and be quiet.

By John Bennett

The “Radioactive Road Trip”, thanks to you and many others on both sides of the US/Canada border, is still parked. You’ll remember that Atomic Energy Canada Limited (AECL) proposed shipping the highly toxic and unstable enriched uranium (dissolved in nitric acid) to the Savannah River facility in Carolina for ‘reprocessing’. It’s been stalled by U.S. officials asking excellent questions about the use of dry containers (designed for dry, solid waste) to carry the dangerous radioactive liquid concoction. Apparently the U.S. also has restrictions on shipping radioactive materials in winter.... Read more »

Good news! You created a lot of buzz...

Dear Friend,

Thank you for being part of our campaign to help save the bees! I didn’t need to tell you how important the bees and other pollinators were to our ecosystem and food supply--you understood the situation was dire, took action and made a difference.

So here are the numbers: Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) comment period on neonicotinoid pesticides closed this past Thursday, December 12th having received 10,241 comments from YOU (via the Sierra Club Canada website). Pat yourself on the back – you deserve it.

Obviously we cannot rest on our laurels as there’s much more to be done, but it’s important to take a moment and be proud of our accomplishments to date.

More good news…

I’m excited to report a large foundation is seriously considering a major grant to support our bee work in 2014 through a $120,000 pollinator health education program.... Read more »

Federal Threats to Free Speech: 1984 in 2013

By John Bennett 

If you felt I was reaching last week when I connected recent attacks on environmental groups & charities and the close relationship between Ethical Oil and the federal government, read this lump of coal from Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.

Sierra Club Canada is named in the error-riddled piece about environmental charities. Most disturbing part is this nugget: “these outfits are heavily financed political arms of their American cousins and are actively engaging in partisan political activities”.... Read more »

Canada’s pesticide regulators want to know your thoughts about saving bees (LAST CHANCE)

By John Bennett

As you likely know by now, millions and millions of bees and other life-sustaining insect pollinators are being killed-off by neonicotinoid pesticides.

Dr. Peter Kevan is a professor in biology at the University of Guelph and a member of the Ontario Beehealth Working Group. Here’s what he recently had to say in his address to the Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority:

“We have a situation with neonicotinoids now which is an exact parallel with the previous situation with DDTs...where there was broad scale use over the entire landscape, and where this poison was everywhere.... It is my feeling that we're in for a kick in the back side as neonicotinoids are being spread over huge areas of farmland… Neonicotinoids could be a disaster waiting to happen.... Read more »

ALERT: THIS IS NOT A CALL TO ACTION. DO NOT CALL FOR CHANGE OR CONTACT YOUR GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVE...

Blog by John Bennett

I was on CBC’s The Current with Anna Maria Tremonti last week talking about the chilling revelations the Canadian government was spying on us and other environmental groups. I find it a great irony that police forces resort to spying on groups like us because we make a point of being very public about our plans.... Read more »

How do we honour our heroes today?

Almost every day I walk past the national war memorial here in Ottawa. I nod my head and say thanks. I’m not honouring war; I’m honouring commitment to a higher purpose.

Walking by Parliament Hill I shake my head in disgust and think of Nero fiddling.

The 19th session of the global negotiations on climate change (COP19) is getting underway today in Warsaw, Poland, a city that experienced the worst of the Second World War. As a person who has worked on finding climate change solutions since before COP1, it makes me want to cry.

The Prime Minister described the Kyoto Protocol as a “socialist plot to drain the wealth from developed countries”.

Many Canadians today argue we don’t need to take serious action on climate change because ‘we’re so small our actions would be meaningless’. Our forefathers didn’t think like that when they looked out on the world and saw a distant threat.... Read more »

Mi'kmaq of Elsipogtog First Nation deserve more than a dawn police raid

Last Thursday, the RCMP launched a military style raid on a peaceful, though illegal, blockade of a compound containing “thumper” seismic testing trucks (used to search for the presence oil/natural gas below the surface). These thumper trucks have been operating on the territory of the Mi'kmaq of Elsipogtog First Nation in search of fracking opportunities.

The Mi'kmaq have objected to the presence of SWN—a Houston, Texas-based energy company—due to absence of consultation. This goes back several months when they first began protests against SWN trespassing on their territory.

On Friday, Sierra Club Canada issued a short press release containing a graphic linking the police action to the federal government’s “Economic Action Plan”.... Read more »

Line 9: Toronto Pulls Out All the Stops

 Anyone who is a part of the movement to keep tar sands bitumen (the unconventional oil found in Alberta) out of Ontario and needs a little inspiration should take a walk down Gerrard Street, east of Woodbine Avenue, in Toronto.

 As Gerrard winds it way east up a slight hill, red and black lawn signs suddenly begin to appear in front of houses on the left and right. Printed on the signs is the following:

 Stop Line 9 – Protect Our Community from Tar Sands Oil Spills

The dozen or so “Stop Line 9” lawn signs on Gerrard put a smile on my face every time I see them. They also give me hope that preventing Ontario from becoming a tar sands pipelines corridor is possible.... Read more »

Are Alberta’s Tar Sands prepared for a torrential rain event?

In recent months we have endured incredible tropical-equatorial-like torrential rain events occurring at mid-latitudes across the planet. For example, in North America we experienced intense rainfall in the Banff region of the Rockies from June 19th to 24th and the enormous volume of water moved downhill through the river systems taking out small towns and running into the heart of Calgary where it caused $5.3 billion dollars of infrastructure damage; the largest in Canadian history.... Read more »

            

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