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SCC Green Gazette

September 2004

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

National Office
Atlantic Canada Chapter
Ontario Chapter
Prairie Chapter

BC Chapter
Sierra Youth Coalition
Ottawa Group



Thank you very much!

To all of our supporters, thank you so much for your generosity and kindness. It is the support we receive from individuals like you that makes our important work possible.

Sierra Club of Canada worked tooth and tail to inform Canadians during the recent federal election about the environmental implications of the different party platforms and candidates. It turned out to be a critical undertaking, as most other non-profits were bound by charitable laws that limited them from making a peep about the election. Sierra Club of Canada came out on top as the most active NGO during the election! 

To those who generously made special donations over the past several weeks in the response to our special appeal for non-charitable donations, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

For those of you who have not yet made a special non-charitable donation to help support our important advocacy work, I urge to do so today without delay. Please visit to make a secure online donation.

Thanks again for your support!

Elizabeth May

Grassroots Recruitment Incentive Program

An annual contest to build Sierra Club of Canada membership.


Your group and chapter’s membership numbers will be confirmed as of May 31st.

The rest is up to you….the groups and chapter that gain the most new members by November 1, 2004, or Youth Coalition memberships nationally, will win cash prizes…..

Sierra Club of Canada will award $2000 to the group and $1000 to the chapter within which group is located for the most members gained.

Sign up for Action Alerts!

The purpose of the list is to broadcast Sierra Club of Canada national environmental campaign information, such as campaign updates, alerts and press releases to members and friends of the Sierra Club of Canada.

Anyone may subscribe to this list and receive messages, but only the editors of this list may post messages.

To sign up visit:

Rio Report Card Release this Month

SCC’s annual Report on International Obligations (RIO) Card will be released September 24th in Ottawa at a press conference on Parliament Hill.

Each year since 1993, the Sierra Club of Canada has graded governments in Canada on commitments first made at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. We will measure progress on environment and development commitments, whether reached in Rio, Kyoto, Johannesburg or Stockholm.

Previous reports:

Elizabeth May Speaks...
How to be an Activist - make a difference in your community

Sept 23rd, evening in Haliburton
(details soon to be found on this site)

Training Workshop for the Sustainability Network - Government Relations

Thursday, October 14, 2004 in Saskatoon and October 15, 2004 in Winnipeg.
Details TBA. (

Atmosphere and Energy

Sierra Club of Canada asks the Prime Minister Two Questions about Mackenzie Gas Project

(Ottawa, August 12, 2004) Sierra Club of Canada urged Prime Minister Paul Martin to consider two questions about the proposed Mackenzie Gas Project (MGP)before meeting with Northwest Territories Premier Joe Handley in Inuvik.  

The questions are as follows: 

How will Canada meet its Kyoto Protocol targets given that Mackenzie gas will be used to extract oil from the Alberta tar sands?

How will massive fossil fuel industrialization triggered by the MGP advance the sustainability of Mackenzie communities and ecosystems?

The Prime Minister has not yet provided answers. 


Sound Bites: The Case Against Lepreau

CBC New Brunswick Radio Interview with SCC’s Shawn-Patrick Stensil (CBC link)

Comments on Ontario Bill 100, The Electricity Restructuring Act

The Ontario government has proposed changing the structure of Ontario’s electricity sector with Bill 100, The Electricity Restructuring Act. As it stands, Bill 100 does not address the issues that created Ontario’s current electricity problems – nuclear power’s high-costs and declining performance, leading to an escalation of pollution from Ontario’s coal stations. Read SCC’s submission to the Ontario government:

Canadians Deserve a Stronger ‘Efford’!

(Monday, August 16, 2004 Ottawa) Canada’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars is in gridlock unless we start car-pooling with California, says the Sierra Club of Canada. The environmental organization has parked an ad in the “Automotive Policy” edition of the Hill Times, which describes itself as Canada’s political and government news weekly and is widely read by Members of Parliament and government officials.

Download the ad:

Health and Environment

Lindane Board Review

Sierra Club of Canada has requested participation in the upcoming Lindane Board Review, an independent board created to evaluate lindane’s registrations as a pesticide. Lindane is an insecticide used in agricultural, forestry and to control scabies and head lice, and is a nervous system disruptor, a carcinogen and an endocrine disruptor. This review is a great opportunity to add Canada to the list of at least 18 countries that have banned all uses of lindane given that it is considered to be the next candidate to be added to the list of chemicals targeted for global elimination under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).

For more information on the Review Board:

To read the fact sheet Head Lice and Your Child:

Nova Scotia Ignores Persistent Sewage Spreading Problems

(Tuesday, August 24, 2004 Halifax) The Sierra Club of Canada is urging Kerry Morash, Nova Scotia Provincial Minister of Environment, to immediately declare a moratorium on the spreading of human and animal waste on farm fields in Nova Scotia. The spreading of a mixture of human sewage from Halifax Regional Municipality and by-products from Larsen’s Meat Packing plant, Rothesay Rendering plant in Lower Truro and a chicken processing plant started earlier this month has already resulted in residents complaining about the health impacts.

SCC urges Environment Minister to appeal court decision to stop environmental review of Bennett’s toxic soil incinerator

(Wednesday, August 25, 2004 Montreal) - The Sierra Club of Canada is asking Canada’s Environment Minister Stéphane Dion to appeal the recent Federal Court decision that has ordered a halt to the federal environmental review of the impacts in Québec of the Bennett toxic soil incinerator proposed for Belledune NB.

Protecting Biodiversity

Woodland Caribou a Provincial Concern: Act now before it’s too late

(Thursday, August 5, 2004 Corner Brook, NL.) - On the heels of the Province’s release of the Recovery Plan for three threatened woodland caribou herds in Labrador, conservationists ask that herds on the Island not be left out. The Sierra Club of Canada, a local outfitter and the Newfoundland and Labrador Wildlife Federation have come together to say that the Middle Ridge herd of central Newfoundland, and other herds have been rapidly declining and conservation measures need to be taken now before these herds become threatened.

Groups demand new environmental assessment of revised massive open-pit coal mine on doorstep of Jasper National Park

(Wednesday, August 18, 2004 EDMONTON, AB) – A coalition of conservation groups announced that they are challenging the federal government’s failure to do an adequate environmental assessment of a massive coal mine development underway near Jasper National Park, Alberta. The groups argue that the Cheviot Coal Mine project has fundamentally changed since it was reviewed in 1997 and 2000, and that the environmental impact of the new, revised project must undergo a full environmental assessment. The 7,455-hectare open-pit mine is proposed for an area rated by the federal and provincial government as being nationally significant for its natural features.





The Nova Scotia government plans to spray the herbicide Vision in Cumberland, Colchester and Kings County as soon as next week September 6th 2004. Vision is sprayed on softwood plantations to kill off hardwoods. The active ingredient, glyphosate, has been linked to respiratory problems, birth defects, miscarriage, and cancer, and has also been shown to be toxic to fish and persistent in soil. Act quickly to send a message that you don’t want this chemical sprayed on your forests! Please help us to stop this unnecessary practice! Go to and click on Stop the Spray to send an email to all of the officials listed or write your own letter! Also urgently needed - phone calls!! And don’t forget letters to the editor!

Let’s Fix the Municipal Acts of Atlantic Canada!

Wolfville, Nova Scotia, now has a vigorous Sierra Club of Canada Group addressing the issue of bylaws to phaseout the cosmetic use of pesticides. The Chapter will be working with that group and others across Nova Scotia to fix the provincial Municipal Act in order to pave the way for more municipalities to implement a bylaw. Check out our pesticide toolkit and get in touch if your town wants to be involved.

Keeping your Community out of the Sacrifice Zone

September 24 – 26, 2004, Camp Chaleur, Charlo, N.B. Hosted by the Sierra Club of Canada - Atlantic Canada Chapter and the New Brunswick Environmental Network Registration deadline: September 10, 2004 …. REGISTRATION, AGENDA & MUCH MORE INFORMATION CLICK HERE:

Comment on Proposed Changes to the NS Environment Act

The comment window for the proposed changes to the NS Environment Act ended August 23rd. Since it began and ended during the summer vacation period, when most Nova Scotians are unable to review or prepare a response, and may not even be aware of the proposal at all, we encourage everyone to write in - ask for an extension to the review period and then make your comments on the Act. See the Act at:

Write the Premier of New Brunswick

Everyone is encouraged to write and support the findings of the New Brunswick Select Committee on Wood Supply, which included not increasing the annual allowable cut to be increased by 50 per cent, a move the forest industry wants. See the story at and check out

Cape Breton Group: Residents fight rock quarry in Coxheath Hills

Coxheath has a long history of mineral exploration - one of Canada’s first copper mines was started there in 1826. But recent years have seen Coxheath develop into a peaceful residential area, an area whose suburban quiet may soon be shattered. J & T Van Zutphen Construction of Mabou now owns about 200 hectares of Coxheath Mountain. They intend to put a huge rock quarry there, and local residents have wasted no time mobilizing to stop this desecration.

For more details, check out:



TORONTO NEW MOBILITY WEEK 2004 - Sept. 20 - 24

“How can a Toronto Car Free Day be used to create a day-to-day, year-to-year process that will reduce car dependence in Toronto?”

The Sierra Club of Canada, working with the City of Toronto’s Public Health Department, Works and Emergency Services, and other stakeholders will be holding a series of events designed to answer this question, under the banner of New Mobility Week 2004 (NMW 2004).

NMW 2004 will be led by Eric Britton, the man who originally created the idea of International Car Free Day in Europe and who is looking to rejuvenate it in Canada.

For more info:


Join John Ferguson of the Environmental Commissioner’s Office to learn how citizens can use the Environmental Bill of Rights to protect Ontario’s Environment. This session counts towards Level 1 EcoCertification Requirements

For more info:


The Ontario Chapter is looking for keen and committed people to run for its Executive Committee. If you have an interest in environmental issues and some time to dedicate to running the Ontario Chapter, we want to hear from you!

For full details, please see:

*** The deadline for nominations is fast approaching! ***

Paula Boutis Nominating Committee Chair

Contact the Ontario Chapter Office at 416-960-9606 or  for more information.



Read Prairie Sierran on-line

Check out our quarterly newsletter on our website go to: Newsletter Help us reach our goal of 1000 signs on Edmonton lawns! TAKE THE PESTICIDE FREE YARD CHALLENGE! Have you ever wondered how you can get your yard pesticide free? Is your yard already pesticide free and you want to demonstrate your commitment? Take the pesticide free yard challenge and be part of the Join the Growing Movement - Pesticide Free Yard campaign. Here is how you can participate! Drop by any of the locations below, fill out your Pesticide Free Pledge Form and receive a free action kit. The kit includes an attractive “Pesticide Free Lawn” sign, informational brochure, fridge magnet and decal. The kits are available at the following locations in Edmonton: Sierra Club of Canada- Prairie Chapter (2nd Floor, 6328-104 St) Mountain Equipment Co-op (12328-102 Avenue - membership desk) Earth’s General Store (10832 - Whyte Ave)

Prairie Chapter monthly meeting

September 29th, 2004 - 7:00-9:00 p.m. Edmonton International Hostel - 10647 81 Avenue. This monthly meeting is more of a social event and attendees are being asked to bring their favourite nature experience or travel photos and stories to share with others.

Chinook Group events, campaigns and updates can be found on their website

Interested in getting involved with the new Sierra Club of Canada - Southern Saskatchewan Group

Contact: Dan Parrot at



Keeping Oil Out of our Harbour

( Aug 25, 2004 Victoria , B.C.)— The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, Georgia Strait Alliance, and the Sierra Club of Canada, Victoria Group have teamed together to help boaters keep the Victoria harbour cleaner. Together they have initiated a program to distribute packages of oil absorbent pads to boaters when they register for moorage at GVHA docks. The GVHA is pleased and proud to provide significant financial support for this important harbour initiative.

Youth in Media: Calling all youth!

Sierra Club of Canada, BC Chapter and Gumboot Productions Inc. invite you to participate in TAKE TWO of Youth in Media – Action on Climate Change. Here is your chance to help Canadians discover how they can reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.  Two chances to win! Application Deadline: August 31, 2004



Sustainable Campuses National Conference, September30–October3

Join hundreds of student activists at the 6th Annual National Sustainable Campuses Conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba during September 30th and October 3rd. This gathering aims to support, document and promote the efforts of students who are implementing environmental and social responsibility projects on their campuses. The gathering will also strengthen a national and growing international network of hundreds of college and university students who collaborate in their efforts to make our schools bastions of sustainability. Don’t miss out!!



Parents ask Ottawa to Reaffirm Commitment to Pesticide-Free Sports Fields

(Monday, August 23, 2004 Ottawa) - The Coalition for a Healthy Ottawa collected almost 1000 signatures on a petition. It asks the City of Ottawa not to back-track on its pesticide policy for sports fields. The petition was presented at Council on Wednesday August 25th when the vote to use pesticides on sports fields took place.

City of Ottawa stumbles over hurdle to protecting children from pesticides on City land

(Friday, August 27, 2004 Ottawa) -At the end of a marathon meeting Ottawa City Council approved a pesticide policy that fails to protect the health of residents and prevent environmental contamination from pesticides on sports fields. In approving the policy, Council dismissed calls for pesticide-free sports fields from health practitioners, environmental groups and signatories of a petition. More than 1100 signatures were amassed over the previous five days, calling for Council to reaffirm its pesticide-free sports fields policy.

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contact:  Andrew Dumbrille, Communications Coordinator,

Sierra Club of Canada National Office