'Tis the season of remembering...

December 15, 2014

Dear friend:

Thank you for joining hands with Sierra Club Canada Foundation during these troubling times for Canada’s democracy and the environment.

I don’t have to tell you that Sierra Club is North America’s only major environmental group that is also democratic. Over the weekend, we elected a new Board of Directors. They're all volunteers and committed environmentalists prepared to commit their time and energy to the success of Sierra Club Canada Foundation. 

You also know that year-end is every charity’s critical window for donations. Funds donated now are stretched far into the coming year and are essential to the life of charitable organizations.

Today I am asking you to give generously and to put your eggs in Sierra’s basket.


Because Sierra Club Canada Foundation leads.

We lead by finding and focussing on the crux of top priority issues. Through research, education, and awareness programs we turn the spotlight on specific but strategically critical wrongs that must be righted before large scale change can happen.

In 1891, John Muir saw that his beloved Sierra Nevada Mountains needed legal protection, which resulted in the creation of the U.S. National Parks Service.

Our #SaveTheBees program is a good example. I believe we are close to convincing the authorities to ban neonicotinoid pesticides.

How did we do it?

Leading. With expert ears and eyes we listened to bee-keepers telling us of massive kill-offs in Ontario, Manitoba, and Quebec.

We led by digging deep into the files of government to discover that more than 50 different versions of the same killer pesticide have been given “conditional” or “temporary” approval, but without any enforcement of conditions or end to the licences. We led by pinpointing the precise moment to fight and then reached out to our partners to help us collect and submit over 100,000 objections to the next version of bee-killing pesticide.

One donor is so impressed he has pledged $25,000 on the condition that we match it in individual donations. His kind offer doubles your donations. He and I will be touring the country in the spring as a part of the Save the Bees campaign.

#SaveTheBees is just one example in a long history of leadership. Earlier this fall, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its sixth report.

The climate is changing now. Ice is disappearing from the Arctic and sea levels are rising. You know the weather is crazy.

On a much brighter note, according to the report we can still protect our children and prevent climate catastrophe if we act quickly to phase out fossil fuels.

If there was ever a time when Sierra Club Canada Foundation’s leadership was needed, it’s right now. Our vision is clear and courageous. Our exhaustively researched solutions will not destroy the economy (as the oil spin goes) but in reality, put an entire generation to work.

Our leaders, who span the country, are holding hands, standing up, and pointing the way to a green, fair, and democratic Canada:

  • Crystal Lameman of the Beaver Lake Cree who travels across North America extensively, speaks out for justice in the face of tar sands expansion.
  • Gretchen Fitzgerald and Heidi Verheul helped secure bans on fracking throughout the East Coast. Thanks to their efforts, we are proud to announce Nova Scotia is a 100% fracking-free zone! Also thanks to Zack Metcalfe and Colin Jeffrey for their tireless work leading the Blue Whale Campaign.
  • Our team in Ontario that succeeded in making Ontario the first jurisdiction in North America to restrict the use of bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides.
  • Our Great Lakes team that produced important scientific evidence on the impact dropping water levels are having on aquatic life.

The season for giving is upon us and leadership is expensive.

We are a frugal group. We hold spending to an absolute bare-bones minimum. Sierra Club Canada Foundation’s long-held reputation as an honest, credible voice for the environment is possible because people like you decided it was worth it.

Please consider giving generously this year. We promise to lead the way through 2015.


John Bennett, National Program Director
Sierra Club Canada Foundation
1510-1 Nicholas Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 7B7
John on Twitter / Bennett Blog