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SCC Green Gazette

October 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
SCC Groups



Take Action: Great Lakes at Risk

The Council of Great Lakes Governors, with the two Canadian premiers of Ontario and Quebec participating have placed a proposal that would allow and regulate large-scale water diversions from the Great Lakes
View the Action Alert:

As well an article which appeared as an editorial in the Toronto Star,
September 17, 2004

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Elizabeth May Speaks........

Training Workshop for the Sustainability Network - Government Relations
Thursday, October 14, 2004 in Saskatoon and October 15, 2004 in Winnipeg. Details TBA. (

Elizabeth will debate the author of The Skeptical Environmentalist, Bjorn Lomborg.
The debate will be aired on CPAC Monday October 18th 2004 at 9pm Eastern and Pacific. CPAC's website has a live feed of the station so at 9pm you can view the debate by going to otherwise CPAC is availble on cable television.

Sierra Club of Canada RIO Report Card sends message to next Parliament

Thursday, September 30, 2004 Ottawa: For the twelfth year in a row, the Sierra Club of Canada has issued its annual report on the performance of governments in meeting international environmental commitments. While the RIO Report Card has been traditionally awarded in June on the anniversary of the 1992 Earth Summit, in 2004 the grading process was postponed until after the federal election. Nevertheless, the 2004 RIO Report Card covers the period June 2003-June 2004.

Le Bulletin de notes RIO du Sierra club du Canada lance un message au prochain parlement

Ottawa : Pour la douzième année consécutive, le Sierra club du Canada publie son rapport annuel sur la performance des gouvernements à satisfaire les engagements internationaux sur l’environnent. Bien que le Bulletin de notes RIO ait toujours été publié en juin, lors de l’anniversaire du Sommet de la terre de 1992, le processus d’évaluation de 2004 a été reporté après les élections fédérales. Néanmoins, le Bulletin de notes Rio de 2004 couvre la période de juin 2003 à juin 2004.

Haiti: Living with climate change and extreme weather events

This first hand report is from a member of the Sierra Club of Canada Atlantic Canada Chapter Excomm. Maria Coady is a public health advisor with Oxfam GB who was doing a six month stint in Haiti. We talk about the loss of life from climate change and extreme weather events. This is what it feels like to live it.

Donations can be made by visiting: The Canadian Red Cross

Good Cause

On September 16th, Elizabeth May, Executive Director and Sara Krynitzki, Development Officer, were in Toronto giving a presentation on behalf of Sierra Club of Canada to the Good Cause Award Committee ( Sierra Club of Canada was one of five short-listed non-profit organizations in Canada from over 200 applicants to compete for a free 2 million dollar multi-media advertising campaign. In the end, the Canadian Mental Health Association came out the winner, but we feel proud to have made it so far, and to have had Sierra Club of Canada identified as one of the most exemplary good causes in the country.

Welcome Jocelyne Rankin!

Jocelyne Rankin is a new intern at the national office. She will be assisting Stephen Hazell with the MacKenzie Gas Project and hopes to get involved in other campaigns as well.

Jocelyne just moved to Ottawa from Montreal, where she graduated from McGill University in Environmental Science. She has previously worked with the Environmental Department of the city of Mont-Tremblant and the Pesticide Inspection Office of the Town of Mount-Royal.

Atmosphere and Energy

Deh Cho First Nations Seek Halt to Mackenzie Gas Hearings

The Deh Cho First Nations (DCFN) of the Northwest Territories filed two separate court actions in September contesting the legality of the joint panel review examining the environmental effects of the $5 billion Mackenzie Gas Project (MGP). In a statement of claim filed with the NWT Supreme Court, the DCFN argue that their constitutional and Charter rights to participate as a partner in the joint panel review have been violated. The second legal proceeding is an application in the Federal Court on similar grounds to halt the Joint Review Panel until the DCFN agrees to the panel. The DCFN are also asking for an injunction stopping the panel from holding any hearings until the court application has been heard. Roughly fourty per cent of the length of the MGP pipeline runs through DCFN’s traditional territory.

Sierra Club of Canada has publicly supported the Deh Cho First Nations’ right to participate as a partner in the joint panel review.

More Info:

Clean Up Chalk River!

Secrecy, subsidies and waste have surrounded Canada’s #1 nuclear hot spot -- Chalk River Laboratories -- throughout its history. After 50 years, it’s time to stop the waste and start the clean-up.
Learn more:

Read SCC's submission to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

Coalition Opposed to Seismic Shocked by Crab Study Results

Monday October 4th 2004 Margaree NS: The coalition of environmentalists, tourism operators, fishermen, First Nations and concerned citizens, Save our Seas and Shores Coalition, expressed shock over the results of the December seismic experiment on snow crab.

It’s time for a new policy on Car emissions: Canada should join with California, New York and other states.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004 (Ottawa) The Sierra Club of Canada is urging environment minister Stéphane Dion and natural resources minister John Efford to join with California in regulating the greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks. The California Air Resources Board is expected to order carmakers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars by 30% starting in 2009 at public hearings September 23 and 24.[1]

Il est temps d’avoir une nouvelle politique sur les émissions des voitures: Le Canada devrait suivre l’exemple de la Californie, de New York et des autres États

(Ottawa) Le Sierra Club du Canada prie le ministre de l’Environnement Stéphane Dion et le ministre des Ressources naturelles John Efford de se joindre à la Californie et de réglementer les émissions de gaz à effet de serre des automobiles et des véhicules utilitaires légers. Lors des audiences publiques du 23 et 24 septembre, on s’attend à ce que le California Air Resources Board ordonne aux fabricants d’automobiles de réduire les émissions de gaz à effet de serre des voitures de 30 % dès 2009 (1).

Health and Environment

Canada blocks addition of Chrysotile asbestos to Rotterdam Convention

At the first Convention of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention, Canada blocked the addition of Chrysotile asbestos to the list of prior informed consent (PIC) chemicals of the Rotterdam Convention. Katie Albright, Health and Environment campaigner was in Geneva for the proceedings. The convention was created to help developing countries gain greater access to information on substances in order to make well founded import decisions. Canada is the only country who has ratified the Convention that opposed its addition. Canada has also sent a message that the protection of a deadly resource industry is more important than giving developing countries a chance to choose what chemicals enter their borders.

Back in Canada, Elizabeth May and Daniel Green, Toxics Campaigner held a press conference on the Canadian international position, and also to release information showing that the so-called controlled use program, touted by the federal and Quebec provincial government as the way to safely use asbestos, was ineffective at protecting the health of local residents in mining towns in Quebec.

Asbestos Facts:

Press Release:

Environmental Group Endorses Environmentally Advanced Technology

Thursday, September 9, 2004 (Sydney, NS) The Sierra Club of Canada expressed its serious concerns about the current Nova Scotia government approach to the tar ponds remediation. The description of tar ponds clean-up as presented by the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency includes the excavation of PCB contaminated sludge, burying and capping the rest of the 700,000 tonnes of toxic waste in the estuary, and burning the PCB sludge in mobile incinerators.

Protecting Biodiversity

Minister Dion meets with Sierra Club of Canada and the Green Budget Coalition

The Sierra Club of Canada's national office has moved quickly to brief the new Minister of Environment, Stéphane Dion, on issues of both regional and national importance. Members from the national office met with Minister Dion as a part of the Green Budget Coalition, and a letter to the new minister regarding the petition to protect the spotted owl in British Columbia through the federal Species at Risk Act was hand-delivered in September. (The petition was submitted to the previous Minister of Environment, David Anderson, by the Sierra Legal Defence Fund on behalf of the Sierra Club of Canada, the David Suzuki Foundation, ForestEthics and the Western Canada Wilderness Committe). For more information on the spotted owl petition, e-mail

Appeal Board Caves into Company Pressure over Cheviot Hearing

(September 21, 2004) In a move that stunned observers and left conservationists shaking their heads, only a few days before it was to start, the Alberta Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) announced that it has put off their hearing of Ben Gadd’s appeal. Gadd is appealing the provincial approvals for the haulroad development, which is the first phase of the modified Cheviot mine. The previous week, backed by its parent companies Fording Canadian Coal Trust and Teck Cominco, Cardinal River Coals (CRC) had filed a notice in the Alberta courts stating that it is taking the EAB to court over its decision last May to hold the hearing. Meanwhile, the massive haulroad is nearing completion and the company is pushing ahead with work in the heart of the proposed Mountain Wildland Park.

November 3rd has been set as the court date for CRC’s case against the EAB. One of their arguments is that the EAB hearing “may be used by Mr. Gadd and oth-ers to obtain information from CRC that will be detrimental to CRC’s position in re-spect of the Federal Court Application,” which was filed in August 12th by the Sierra Legal Defence Fund on behalf of the SCC, Canadian Nature Federation, Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development, Jasper Environmental Assoc. and Alberta Wilderness Assoc. That case is over the failure of the federal government to do an environmental assessment of the entire modified Cheviot project.
More info on Cheviot:

Newfoundland Conservation Workshop

The Newfoundland Forest Campaign hosted its second annual provincial forest conservation workshop at Killdevil Camp and Conference Centre in beautiful Gros Morne Sept 18-20th. Conservationists from around the province as well as representatives from national organizations gathered to discuss current challenges, past successes and future goals for improving the management and preservation of Newfoundland and Labrador’s forests. The result was a strategy document for conservation goals over the next year.

The main priorities discussed surrounded issues of better forest operations, integrated land use planning including a strategy that would encourage the release and implementation of a Natural Areas System Plan, and better policies and governance. The group specifically discussed and developed strategies on how to positively influence the effectiveness of five year planning processes and public participation, how to encourage better utilization and value added opportunities and ultimately how to encourage ecosystem based management of the forest landscape.

Thanks go out to all the participants who attended!! The group will continue to work together over the next year to take advantage of opportunities and to implement aspects of the strategy plan.





The federal government recently released Cape Breton’s coal leases to Nova Scotia. The province has targeted 4 resource blocks, and will promote “reclamation mining” in each area. Residents of some affected communities have vowed to fight this strip mining which they claim will destroy the landscape, disrupt water supplies, and interfere with sensitive ecosystems. The communities of Port Morien and Birch Grove have quickly organized as they did 20 years ago and claim they will once again ban strip mines from their communities. For more details:


The Select Committee Report on Wood Supply was finally released in response to the Jaakko Poyry report. The industry friendly Jaakko report recommended sweeping changes to the use of New Brunswick’s crown forests including a dramatic increase of monoculture plantations. The select committee report rejects the major findings of the Jaakko Poyry Report and recommends a more moderate approach. Unfortunately a recent press release from Keith Ashfield, Minister of Natural Resources, indicates that his department will make their recommendations before the end of November. More info:


Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Construction of Highway 113. We need comments. The Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Public Works is planning to construct a 4-lane highway through the heart of the Proposed Blue Mountain / Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area. Take action: Call Environmental Assessment office 424-2574, email:, Fax: 424-0503, write: EA Branch, Nova Scotia Environment & Labour, P.O. Box 697, Halifax, B3J 2T8. More Info:



Sierra Club and EcoCertification Program Introductory Session

9-Oct-2004 11:00 am Toronto

For more info:

Learn about the Sierra Club and the innovative new educational program that it has launched - the EcoCertification Program. Volunteer opportunities with the Sierra Club and the details of the EcoCertification Program will be discussed. You can also register for the EcoCertification Program at this session.

How to Organize and Win a Campaign - Training with Elizabeth May

16-Oct-2004 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Toronto

For more info:


The workshop will be led by Elizabeth May, Executive Director of the Sierra Club of Canada and a very effective activist. She will share her best tips for success based on over 30 years of running campaigns.

Ecological Footprinting Level 1

24-Oct-2004 11:00 am to 2:00 pm Toronto

For more info:

People have to consume natural resources to survive. What is the impact of our consumption? What if each year humans are consuming more than what the earth can produce in one year? How can that be measured? Ecological Footprinting provides a method for us to quantitatively measure our total impact on the earth, at individual, community, regional, national, and international levels. This data is used by individuals, policy analysts, and governments to measure and communicate the economic and environmental impacts of natural resource use. How does it work? What can you do? What is the size of your footprint?? This session counts towards Level 1 of the EcoCertification Program.

EcoCertification Discussion Group - The Sacred Balance by David Suzuki

27-Oct-2004 7-9 pm Toronto

For more info:

Interested in discussing various environmental issues in a smaller group? Come out to one of the EcoCertification Discussion Group meetings! This time we’ll be discussing the book The Sacred Balance, by David Suzuki and the topics raised in the book.

Introduction to Fundraising/Membership Development & NGO management

6-Nov-2004 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Toronto

For more info:

Join us for an introduction to: NGO formation, structure, and management Fundraising - ways and means Membership Development - the whys and hows

Introduction to Campaign Planning

17-Nov-2004 6:30 p.m. Toronto

For more info:

This hour and a half session is designed to introduce you to the elements of planning a successful conservation campaign.

Ecological Footprinting Level 1

28-Nov-2004 7:00-9:00 Toronto

For more info:

People have to consume natural resources to survive. What is the impact of our consumption? What if each year humans are consuming more than what the earth can produce in one year? How can that be measured? Ecological Footprinting provides a method for us to quantitatively measure our total impact on the earth, at individual, community, regional, national, and international levels. This data is used by individuals, policy analysts, and governments to measure and communicate the economic and environmental impacts of natural resource use.



Monthly Meeting

Sierra Club of Canada- Prairie Chapter monthly meetings are held on the last Wednesday of every month (excluding July, August and December) They are held at Hostelling International Edmonton located at 10647 81 Avenue from 7-9 p.m. Guest speakers are usually invited to present, as well, chapter updates and local information are shared here. Refreshments and snacks are provided. Contact us for more information at 780-439-1160

“Sage Grouse: Their special environment and risks”

Wednesday October 27th.

Presented by Cameron Aldridge, U of A Ph.D.

This presentation is fascinating! Sage grouse are very particular in their needs for habitat. Come and learn what Cameron has found out through his research and also what is happening on Alberta’s south east grasslands.

2005 Sierra Club Calendars have arrived!

Looking for the ideal gift? Sierra Club calendars are among the most popular nature calendars ever published. Their classic formats, awe-inspiring photography, and quality production have made them perennial favorites of people around the country and around the world! Take advantage of this strong reputation and support our local conservation work at the same time!

2005 Wilderness Wall Calendar - spiral bound, month-by-month format, featuring 12 majestic North American landscapes. $17.95 + S&H

2005 Engagement Calendar - week-by-week format, featuring 57 spectacular photographs and “wire-o” binding. $19.95+S & H

Sierra Club of Canada members receive a 10% discount.

To order your calendar either e-mail or phone:, 780-439-1160



Back to School!

Students across B.C. are back to school and so is our Environmental Education Program! Our sixth season is shaping up better than ever

Jumbo Glacier Resort

Just like it sounds, Jumbo is a big deal. After 13 years and over 10,000 public letters, phone calls, and faxes, the B.C. government is expected to make a final decision on the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort by October 18.

The largest ski resort proposal in B.C. history threatens to destroy prime grizzly bear habitat. Will the B.C. government approve Jumbo in the face of such opposition? Learn more about Jumbo at Then join the phone campaign to keep Jumbo wild! Call the Premier at 1 (800) 663 7867 and make your voice heard.

Take a stand: federal panel on offshore oil and gas

The federal panel on offshore oil and gas is going to have a tough time convincing government that British Columbians want the oil and gas moratorium lifted. After all, the majority of people who made submissions to the panel were opposed to such action. But the West Coast Offshore Energy Association says the panel should not consider all submissions equally when it reports to the federal government. Sound absurd? Read our analysis of the issue.

Then take action by sending an instant fax from the Oil Free Coast action centre.



Don’t be fooled by fossil fuels!

On September 28th 2004 the Sierra Youth Coalition and launched an on- line Youth Action Centre. The action centre’s current hot issue is clean energy development in Canada. Take action! Urge Canadian decision makers to adopt a 20% by 2020 target by visiting



Groupe Québec
(English follows)

Prochaine excursion au Québec

Les membres du Groupe du Québec sont invités à faire le plein de plein air le 17 octobre, dans le cadre d’une randonnée pédestre au Mont Kaaikop dans les Laurentides. Coût : 5$.

Journée « En ville sans ma voiture ! »

Le 22 septembre dernier avait lieu à Montréal et dans des milliers d’autres villes du monde la journée sans voiture. Deux périmètres étaient fermés à la circulation, soit la rue Sainte-Catherine au centre-ville, et une partie de la rue Mont-Royal, dans le quartier Plateau Mont-Royal. Une quinzaine de kiosques étaient montés au centre-ville, dont celui du Sierra Club-Québec.

Concours de membership

Nous avons appris avec joie que le Québec occupe la deuxième position du concours du groupe ayant recruté le plus de membres. Nous poussons présentement pour aller chercher la première place et la récompense qui y est associée. Parlez-en autour de vous; c’est maintenant le temps de vous joindre à nous !

Campagne « À bas les sacs de plastique »

Dans le cadre de notre dossier global de gestion des déchets, le Québec lance sa campagne en s’attaquant tout d’abord aux sacs de plastique, omniprésents et presque indestructibles. En effet, on les retrouve même dans nos branches d’arbres et un peu partout. Nous voulons encourager les gens à apporter leurs propres sacs lorsqu’ils font leurs courses, en toile ou en coton, et ainsi réutiliser à tout moment et réduire la pollution par les sacs de plastique.

Next Outing in Québec

On October 17, the members of the Groupe du Québec are invited to a hiking expedition to Mont Kaaikop in the Laurentians. Cost: $5.

“In town without my car!” campaign

On September 22, the “In town without my car!” campaign was held in Montréal and thousands of other cities around the world. Sainte Catherine Street in the downtown area and a portion of Mont-Royal Street in the Plateau Mont-Royal neighbourhood were closed to traffic. Some fifteen booths were set up in the downtown area, including one for the Sierra Club-Québec.

Membership contest

We were thrilled to learn that Québec is now in second position in the contest for the group which recruits the most members. We are currently working hard to take first place and the accompanying reward. Talk to your entourage; now is the time to join us!

“Down with plastic bags” Campaign

As part of our overall waste management file, Québec is launching its campaign with an attack on the omnipresent and almost indestructible plastic bag. They seem to be everywhere, even hanging from the trees. We want to encourage people to bring their own reusable linen or cotton bags with them when they go shopping and thereby reduce plastic bag pollution.

Ottawa Group

Re: No good reason to ship waste, September 13, 2004 Ottawa Citizen

"This Council has made a lot of hasty reversals on bad decisions, however resuming the practice of disposing of sewage sludge by spreading it on farmers’ fields would fall into the bad decision category, not the reversal department. In fact, what this Council should do is close the loophole and restrict application of sewage sludge on all lands within the municipality. Sewage sludge isn’t just human waste. It contains pollutants from industrial and household wastes, and compounds added or created during treatment. It contains metals, pharmaceuticals and disease-causing organisms. Standards have been established for maximum levels of metals like arsenic and mercury in sludge in Ontario, but guidelines for other contaminants haven’t been developed. Recent studies show many pharmaceuticals occur at high concentrations in sewage sludge and persist in soil for several months following the application of sludge to agricultural fields, and there is little information on their environmental fate or effects. What we know about spreading sewage sludge on fields makes it a bad idea; what we don’t know makes it a terrible one.

Angela Rickman
Senior Policy Advisor
Sierra Club of Canada"

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