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.

Stuck in the Same Boat: Oil Spills and Media Lines

As the oil slick winds its way to the Louisiana coast, we have been busy responding to media calls.

"Can it happen here? What would be the impact? Which species would be impacted?  What about chemical dispersants? Can they keep oil from reaching the shore?"

I try to answer the questions, but they are the wrong questions, so I tell them. Yes, it could happen here, yes it would be a disaster, but why are we taking such unnecessary risks? This isn't about relief wells and blowout valves; it's about gambling with the future of the planet.

For one horrible year I was Greenpeace International's oil campaigner.  My job description required me to “destroy the international oil industry”.  Needless to say, I failed miserably.
... Read more »




Welcome to My Earth Day: A log of my Fortieth Anniversary of Earth Day

7:30 am -- Clock radio alarm comes on and I hear Ottawa Mayor Larry O'Brien is celebrating Earth Day by planting a tree in a city compost. This is the same guy who has not responded to hundreds of emails urging a stop to the Terry Fox Road extension through a once protected wetland. Last week, a 200 year old Black Maple was cut down to make way for another stupid suburban road. 'Hypocrite' is all I could think.

9:30 am -- Cell phone rings.  It's Larry Pegg, a community activist opposing pesticide use on his neighbourhood lakes. I thought he was calling to thank me for writing a letter to the Ontario Minister of Environment opposing the pouring of pesticides into the private lake in Greely only 20 kilometers from Parliament Hill.... Read more »

This week is a big one!

Here in Ottawa, the Climate Change Accountability Act could die on Wednesday unless the liberals step up and take a stand. It's only a procedural motion and, if it passes, the real vote will come up in a few weeks. If it fails, all attempts to bring some sanity to Canada's position on climate change will be gone-- for who knows how long?
... Read more »

All was fine until Montreal...

Montreal has 13L flush toilets from the 1990s everywhere I've been so far (even at the McGill Faculty Club, which is a building that oozes wealth)! It's incredibly disheartening.

I've been staying at a friend's house since Thursday, for two very interesting conferences, one called Canadian Water: Towards a New Strategy on policy (which had all the foremost water experts in Canada in one room, pretty cool!) and one called Uncharted Waters, organized by students about ways to take action on water issues.

... Read more »

A Farewell Post

Today is my last day at Sierra Club Canada and so this will be my final blog post.  I’ve never been big on goodbyes so I will keep it short.

I began my time here at SCC as an intern and was honoured to be able to stay on for a few more months as the Campaign Coordinator.  Over this period I was fortunate enough to be involved in a number of campaigns ranging from turtles to climate change.  I’ve enjoyed the challenge and learning experience and will take these lessons learned with me into the future.... Read more »

The Asbestos Scandal

On Tuesday, Pat Martin, an NDP Member of Parliament, moved a motion at the Natural Resources Committee to cut the $250,000 the asbestos lobby gets from the government. The Conservatives, who say they believe in free enterprise, voted against this. The Bloc, who say they believe in social justice, voted against this. The Liberals, who believe in everything (or is it nothing?), voted against this.

So another quarter million dollars will go to the purveyors of suffering to the third world.

I was there -- pretty sad.

John Bennett
Executive Director
Sierra Club Canada

All work no play makes Celeste a haphazard blogger.

Wow. Where to begin? Lots to catch up on.

My personal computer is pretty bogged down with video files, so much so that uploading the most recent video of me doing laundry by hand (last week) took several attempts, and a long time to upload. Here it is!

... Read more »

Connecting Locally

This past Saturday, myself and approximately 30-35 other Ottawa residents went for a walk through an area known as the South March Highlands to bear witness and to learn about an area that will soon be dug up in order to build yet another road as well as 3,200 suburban homes (video to come).  

The walk was part of an ongoing campaign of ours.

By all accounts, this area is one of unique beauty to the Ottawa region.  It is home to wetlands and forests, and endangered and threatened species such as the Blanding's Turtle and Golden-winged Warbler, and even a few bears.  It is used by recreational mountain bikers and hikers as well as bird watchers.

In fact, on the walking tour we were even fortunate enough to see a red tail hawk circling in the sky above.  ... Read more »

Minister Misleads Committee!

Conservatives, Liberals and Bloc MPs have teamed up to avoid voting on funding asbestos.  

Have you ever heard something and just couldn't believe what you heard?  It happened to me today at the Standing Committee on Natural Resources Committee.

Christian Paradis, Minister of Natural Resources and MP for the asbestos mining region of Québec told the committee that Chrysotile Institute is not a lobby group.  I was stunned.  Did he really say that?  So I checked and yes, he did say it!

Here's why I was so stunned.  According to the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada's website, the Chrysotile Institute has an Active Registration Number (# 781292-13573-5).  They have even reported to the Commissioner that they receive $250,000 annually from Natural Resources Canada - one of the federal departments it says it lobby's. ... Read more »

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