Walk To Save Southern Ontario’s Vanishing Forests.
By John Bacher
Today we have a bizarre situation where hard wrested environmental progress is being turned back. This is the shrinking of Southern Ontario’s forests, in the fertile agricultural area south of the Canadian Shield.
Following the invasion of what was called Upper Canada there was a rampant destruction through burning of the forests of the land which, after Confederation, became called Ontario. Most of these forests were used to produce ashes, to manufacture soap and other products manufactured in Europe. It took sixty large maple trees to produce a single barrel of potash to be shipped across the sea.
Saturday Nov. 16 a group of volunteers in Peel brought a strong message to local MP's in Brampton. We participated in a "Bike for the Climate" event, riding the Etobicoke Creek Trail from MP Parm Gill's office to MP Kyle Seeback's office. We carried signs with the message that we don't want dirty tar sands or leaky pipelines running through our communities. We invited both MPs to participate but they didn't respond to our invitation.
Halifax, NS – Sierra Club Atlantic welcomes the ban of the import of dangerous fracking waste announced today in Nova Scotia. Last spring, Sierra Club launched a petition calling for the ban, and the NS Liberal Party promised to ban the import of fracking waste in the lead up to the provincial election last September.
“This is a relief for Nova Scotians and Nova Scotian municipalities who feared that we were going to be tasked with dealing with toxic fracking waste in the region,” according to Gretchen Fitzgerald, Director of Sierra Club Atlantic, “I am thrilled to see the leadership in this province demonstrate they are taking the threat represented by toxic fracking waste seriously.”
From the raging torrents of the Niagara River to the placid Welland Canal one can walk for ten miles through the wooded forest gardens of the Niagara Escarpment. Here in some patches, old growth giant oaks and maples soar above wild ginger and may apple. This shady glen has spectacular lookouts over the Niagara Fruit Belt to Lake Ontario, such as Queenston Heights and the Woodend Conservation area. These wilds overwhelm relics of 19th century assaults on nature, such as lime kilns, a “haunted” “ghost” tunnel under which the Bruce Trail travel and the stone ruins of the abandoned Third Welland Canal.
Each blue whale has a unique pattern of spots of its back, like a fingerprint or a nametag. These spots allow researchers to identify each whale as either a newcomer, or an old friend.
The Mingan Island Cetacean Study (MICS) is a non-profit research organization located on the Gulf of St Lawrence's northern shore and they were the first group to begin long term study of marine mammals in the Gulf. Since their founding in 1979, this group has followed blue whale populations in eastern Canada, the Sea of Cortez and in the waters of Iceland.
MICS has discovered something troubling in the northwest Atlantic blue whale population. Of the 475 individual whales they've identified since their genesis in 1979, only 22 have been calves. This suggests a frighteningly low calving rate for a population already swimming on the brink.
Southwestern Energy (SWN) Resources is suing New Brunswick citizens attempting to protect their land, air, and water from the impacts of fracking by protesting seismic testing. In addition to naming 13 individuals, SWN named “Jane Doe” and “John Doe” as being responsible for costs they are claiming are caused by protestors. This Wednesday in Moncton, Jane Doe will speak out in response to SWN’s suit.
Save Our Seas and Shores – PEI Chapter and Sierra Club Canada Foundation are hosting a Blue Whale Bash at the PEI Farm Centre in Charlottetown, Sunday, Sept 7 from 1pm-5pm.
This event will feature local food and beverages, musical entertainment, a raffle for a chance to win a lobster supper, and an opportunity to donate and support the cause. The event will conclude with the raffle draw and presentations from campaign organizers, outlining the blue whale’s struggle for survival and the important role it plays off our coast.
In addition, there will be a large poster of a baby blue whale (seven metres in length) made available throughout the event on which children can colour. Colouring materials will be provided.