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SCC Green Gazette

Sierra Club of Canada's monthly news update
from the National Office, Chapters and Groups

National Office
Atlantic Canada Chapter
BC Chapter
Eastern Canada Chapter
Prairie Chapter
Sierra Youth Coalition
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November 2003


SCC Board Meeting and AGM 2004
The Sierra Club of Canada National Board meeting will be held in Toronto, ON, November 21-23. All members are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting Sunday, November 23rd at Metro Hall, 55 John Street, Room 306 from noon - 1 p.m.

Watch for the new national website in December!

Protecting Biodiversity


Forest conservation activists from across the province and across the nation came together in Gros Morne National Park this October for a highly successful workshop on forest conservation in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Hosted by the Sierra Club of Canada Newfoundland and Labrador Forest Campaigns office, the workshop was attended by representatives from the Protected Areas Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, The Labrador Innu Nation, the Labrador Métis Nation, CPAWS, the Canadian Nature Federation, Newfoundland Nature Legacy Trust, the Natural History Society, the Newfoundland and Labrador Environment Network, the Third Signatory, the Atlantic Salmon Federation, the Big Droke Foundation and members of local communities.

The workshop successfully developed an action plan for forest conservation and created a strong network of activists working on provincial forest issues. The future of action for forest conservation looks bright in Newfoundland and Labrador.

For more information, contact Catherine Boyd, Sierra Club of Canada, Corner Brook, NL, (709) 634-8830,

The Sierra Club of Canada's Protecting Biodiversity team hosted two successful side events at the World Forest Congress in Québec City, September, 2003. Martin von Mirbach, National Conservation Director, led a workshop on primary forests and carbon storage, and Rachel Plotkin, SCC Forest Campaigner, and Catherine Boyd, Forestry Campaigner, Newfoundland and Labrador presented in a workshop on mapping as a tool for conservation advocacy. The report is available on our website, with a summary in French and English.

Sierra Club of Canada National Office opened a new Forestry Campaigns Office in Corner Brook, NL. September 2, 2003 There is no mistaking the natural beauty and environmental significance of the boreal forests. This is the first time that there has been a full-time salaried environmental NGO dedicated to forest management issues in the province. Campaigner Catherine Boyd was hired in May of 2003 to work toward the goals of establishing land use planning, tenure reform, protected areas, and five year planning reform in the province. She has since been actively pursuing partnerships with local citizens and NGOs, promoting public awareness, and participating in a number of initiatives to promote conservation and preservation. She can be reached

Catherine Boyd
Forestry Campaigner, Newfoundland and Labrador
Sierra Club of Canada
P.O. Box 944, 5 Park St.
Corner Brook, NL
A2H 6J2
Tel: (709) 634-8830
Fax: (709) 634-2628

Health and Environment

Deconstructing Supper

On Tuesday October 7th, 2003, the Sierra Club of Canada in collaboration with the Ottawa Food Security Council, presented Deconstructing Supper, an evening of film and food.  The event, held at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, was a tremendous success.  Nearly 400 people including farmers, MPs, Senators, restaurateurs, chefs and environmentalists attended the Ottawa film screening of the Moving Images Distribution film, Deconstructing Supper.

Andrea Peart, Director of the Health and
Environment Campaign with the Sierra Club of Canada concluded the speeches by introducing a pre-filmed tape of Elizabeth May who was unable to attend the event. A delicious local organic reception ended the very successful evening of film and food. The event raised $3000 for the national Health and Environment program area’s Safe Food and Sustainable Agriculture program.  


A study on household dust, funded by Sierra Club of Canada, in homes surrounding Canada's worst hazardous waste sight, the Sydney tar ponds, was recently published in Environmental Health Perspectives. It concludes that lead, arsenic, and PAH that come from a century of industrial activity, are moving into homes. It recommends that the scope of the cleanup be extended to include the surrounding community. The study can be accessed at

Atmosphere and Energy

The Atmosphere and Energy campaign has been busy on a number of fronts the few past months – opposing oil sands development in Alberta, working against offshore drilling in BC and Atlantic Canada and pushing for a democratic debate on Canada’s ongoing support for the nuclear industry.

If you have an questions, comments our suggestions, please contact me
at: <>

Ecologically yours……..Shawn-Patrick Stensil, Director of Atmosphere and Energy

Kyoto Birthday Wishes to President Putin

The world is still waiting for Russia to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. Environmentalists around the world are urging Mr. Putin to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and thereby put the climate change treaty into force.

The Sierra Club of Canada wished President Putin happy birthday on October 7th, presenting him present a birthday cake featuring a map of Russia complete with melting cap of ice cream symbolizing the impact the rapid increase in global temperatures at the Russian Embassy in Ottawa.

“We want Mr. Putin to know we wish him well and remind him how important it is for Russia to ratify the Kyoto Protocol,“  Elizabeth May, Executive Director of the Sierra Club of Canada was quoted as saying.

It is never too late to send President Putin a belated Birthday.  You can send him an eCard by visiting: birthday_putin.

Stop the Energy Onslaught!

In September and October, SCC’s Executive Director, Elizabeth May and Shawn-Patrick Stensil, Director of Atmosphere and Energy, participated in public hearings of the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board in Fort McMurray to oppose to two MASSIVE oil sand expansion projects.

One of the projects, Canadian Natural’s Horizon Project, would, if approved, produce 1% of Canada’s greenhouse gas once completed in 2010!

The onslaught of proposed oil sand projects taking place in North Eastern Alberta is staggering and the Sierra Club of Canada is ramping up to build public support against further development.  

For more information, please see:

Nuclear Free Canada

Sierra Club calls for nuclear review.….GREAT NUCLEAR DEBATE

David H. Martin, the SCC’s Senior Policy Advisor on nuclear issues, went to the Canadian nuclear industry’s heartland, Deep River Ontario, to debate the President of the Canadian Nuclear Society (CNS) on the future of nuclear power in Canada.  He successfully used the debate as a forum to publicly call for a review of nuclear power by the federal government, gaining reluctant agreement from his opponent from the nuclear industry.

The debate will be featured on the prominent CBC Radio program, The
House, this Saturday, November 1 2003.   (See for local listings)

Please listen and call in to support a federal review of Canada’s dead-end support for nuclear power!

No Fusion Subsidies

The Sierra Club of Canada made an important win this month when it was reported that cabinet will likely leave the Canadian ITER proposal for dead by deferring a decision to provide half of the $2.3 billion subsidy sought by ITER Canada.

"The ITER project appears to be dead, but it still has a pulse. We need to put a stake through its heart." David H. Martin, Policy Advisor for the Sierra Club of Canada was quote as saying.

We are asking everybody to write a letter to the Prime Minister, if you have NOT done so, and ANOTHER if you already have. We have not yet won this battle -- it's not over until it's over.

Visit for a model letter.

Caribou Commons

New Arctic National Wildlife Refuge DVD - the Caribou Commons Project is finishing up work on a new Arctic Refuge DVD, which contains a slide show, inspiring words from Gwich'in elders and music from the Arctic created by Matthew Lien. For more information, please contact Peter Mather at For more information about the project, check out the website at

Transition to a Sustainable Economy

International Programs

International Program Director for the Sierra Club of Canada National Office, Rina Cerrato, is playing a part in the Transition to a Sustainable Economy Program Area. In the Population and Environment Program, we are currently working on an Advocacy Toolkit with Action Canada for Population and Development. Second, we continue to collaborate with the Common Frontiers Group, lobbying to MPs and other Government Officials, against the inclusion of Chapter 11 in NAFTA.  




This 2003-2004 school year the Atlantic Canada Chapter is happy to announce it will be offering FREE, hands-on, curriculum linked, 2-part educational programs that will increase youths' awareness, understanding and appreciation of the Atlantic region's natural environment and encourage environmental stewardship actions.  We will have two new staff people working on this project.

The Atlantic Canada Chapter of the Sierra Club of Canada has a website with a new look.  We have recently completed a major overhaul of the site and are in the process of adding more information and content. Check out
The Atlantic Canada Chapter is taking part in public meetings held by the Nova Scotia government, seeking input from Nova Scotians as to the
direction it should take regarding off highway vehicles (ohv).   We are
also encouraging people to fill out the online survey at:


DFO’s Proposed Rockfish Conservation Areas Inadequate
October 15, 2003 (Victoria, B.C.)—Sierra Club of Canada’s BC Chapter says Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s proposed Rockfish Conservation Areas
(RCAs) for B.C.’s coastal waters are not based on scientific criteria and may end up doing more harm than good. The comments come following a round of consultations between the federal government and B.C.’s fishing industry, which resulted in 144 RCAs being proposed.

B.C.’s Parks No Place for Logging
September 30, 2003 (Victoria, B.C.)—Allowing logging in parks is unacceptable, say conservationists at Sierra Club of Canada’s BC Chapter. The comment comes following Premier Gordon Campbell’s speech Friday to the Union of B.C. Municipalities in which he stated logging would not be ruled out as an option for controlling mountain pine beetle in parks.



Ecological Footprint Information Session - November 8th
The emphasis in this session will be on exploring the concept and ideas behind Ecological Footprinting and sustainable development. We will also explore factors contributing to the each individual's impact on the earth and what can be done to reduce an Ecological Footprint.

Challenge to Sprawl Campaign Meeting - All Welcome - November 17th
Come find out what the GTA conservation committee has been up to over the past year. This is a great opportunity to get involved in a Sierra Club of Canada campaign that has had some success working to fell the Goliath known as suburban sprawl development!

Sierra Club of Canada and Eastern Canada Chapter Annual General Meetings
- November 23rd
The Sierra Club of Canada will be holding its Annual General Meeting on November 23.

Immediately following will be the Eastern Canada Chapter's Annual General Meeting. Come meet the candidates for the Chapter's executive elections, learn more about the chapter's campaigns, and maybe even win a fabulous prize in our annual raffle!

Prizes this year include a night's stay at For the Birds Bed and Breakfast (, a gift certificate from Mountain Equipment Co-op (, and a weekend trip for two near Algonquin Park with Voyageur Quest Outfitters (


Sprawl Hurts Us All!
Released July 28th this year, Sprawl Hurts Us All! is a comprehensive and easy to understand resource that will help citizens and local and provincial leaders assess the true costs of urban sprawl.


Reduce Vehicle Idling Campaign Launched

On September 15th the Sierra Club of Canada – Prairie Chapter, Climate Change Central and Natural Resources Canada joined forces to spread the word about unnecessary vehicle idling.  The campaign involves public awareness advertising and events at schools and gas stations, encouraging Alberta drivers to turn their vehicles off when idling for more than 10 seconds, except in traffic.  Twenty schools and 11 gas stations throughout Edmonton and Calgary participated in the campaign. During the launch week our “Idle Free Ambassadors” spoke to over 1000 people about the negative effects of vehicle idling.  For more information contact Sonja Mihelcic, Chapter Director at

Steer Clear: Go Your Own Way

Steer Clear…Go Your Own Way is an exciting new project that will assist City of Edmonton employees on their way to environmentally friendly commuting.  Through a multi-faceted social marketing based campaign, participants will be motivated to reduce transportation related emissions.  Project partners are Edmonton Transit Systems and the Climate Change Action Fund.  The project will involve a workplace intervention program targeting City of Edmonton employees through direct mail, flyers and e-mail.  

The City of Edmonton employs over 8000 employees, ensuring a large audience is reached.  Efforts will be made to ensure employees are aware of their contribution to the federal government’s “One Tonne Challenge”. By emphasizing the contribution of individual employees it is our hope that we will encourage citizens to be part of this important goal.

Prairie Chapter reaches out to northern Alberta to save Castle Wilderness Thanks to funding from the Mountain Equipment Co-op Environment Fund. The Castle Crown Public Education Campaign will reach communities in Northern Alberta.  This project will compliment work already underway by our Chinook Group and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.  The Castle Wilderness (1040 km2), located in southwestern Alberta, directly north of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park is an area of spectacular beauty, exceptional outdoor recreational opportunities and outstanding ecological importance. The Castle has been found to contain one of the richest mixes of biodiversity in Alberta and  serves as a critical corridor wildlife migrating  across the Central Rockies (Banff-Kananaskis). 

The Castle Wilderness Public Awareness and Education Project will commence in January 2004.  Ten Communities in northern Alberta will be host to the  Castle Wilderness multimedia presentation.  The presentation will focus on the following:

* ecological, social, cultural and educational value of the Castle Wilderness
* current threats to the area
* solutions

If you are interested in volunteering for this campaign or any other Chapter activities please contact Judy Miller, Community Outreach Coordinator at

Sierra Club Outings…Get Out There!

The Prairie Chapter and Chinook Group have developed an exciting roster of outings for the 2004 season.  Check our website regularly for updates and join us on one of our outings.  For more information contact Shawn Gervais, Outings Chair at

We have moved!
Please note that as of November 1, 2003 the Sierra Club of Canada – Prairie Chapter office will be located at: 2nd Floor, 6328-104 Street Edmonton, Alberta
T6H 2L1


SYC National
SYC launched a new look this fall with a brand new web site and many new ways that Youth in Canada can get involved in the ONLY National Youth Environmental Advocacy Group in Canada.  This year SYC will be launching 3 new National Grassroots Campaigns in the areas of Consumption, Environmental Justice and Trade and the Environment.  If you'd like to find out more information on any of these opportunities check out or email Lindsay at  
Deconstructing Dinner Caravan

In a world gone mad....take your bike and cycle to Mexico! This is exactly what SYC activists did this summer en route to the World Trade Organizations Meetings in Cancun Mexico.  Stopping in communities along the way, these Youth collected stories of agricultural hardships brought on by increasing trade liberalization while sharing thoughts, ideas and solutions to a world that has become increasingly dominated with corporate food control.  Check out their stories and pictures of their journey at or by going to the programs area of the site.

5th National Sustainable Campuses Conference

The 5th Sustainable Campuses Conference brought together 152 students, professors and administrators from 52 Canadian and American Universities in Montreal to explore ways of making our post-secondary institutions more socially responsible, environmentally sustainable and yet economically viable. Click here for more information:


Quebec Group

Faces of the Environment - Cocktail Party and Speakers, Thursday, November 25th, 2003 6:00 p.m Botanical Gardens, Montréal

Featured Speakers: Clifford Lincoln, M.P. Lac-Saint-Louis; Elizabeth May, Executive Director, Sierra Club of Canada; AiSlin, Editorial Cartoonist For more information contact Marc Stamos, Quebec Group Co-chair: (514) 737-3977 or

SCC GREEN GAZETTE is a monthly electronic publication of Sierra Club of Canada. Thank you to all contributors to this publication.  

For information or comments, to subscribe or unsubscribe, please
contact:  Andrew Dumbrille, Communications Coordinator,


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