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SCC Green Gazette

March 2005

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

Take Action
(see also our action page at:

Take Action: Sydney Tar Ponds Clean Up, Deadline March 9th

In a community already burdened with highly toxic sewage lagoons, a closed-down coal processing plant, a decommissioned steel plant and a bio-medical incinerator, the federal and provincial governments have just announced that the clean up plan for the site will include the siting of a mobile incinerator to burn the PCB-laden tar ponds sludge less than a kilometer from a university, homes and municipal water supplies. The plan will also leave 580,000 tons of the sludge in the centre of the community covered over with cement. This is quite possibly the most hazardous way to deal with the contamination and is not a final solution to the problem. No protective measures for the community are proposed and this plan to clean up the site will put an already burdened community at even greater risk.

While the announcement has already been made, an outpouring of protest from across the country will make a difference. There is something you can do to help:

Please sign the petition against a PCB incinerator. Burning PCBs creates dioxins and furans·very toxic compounds that can cause serious harm to human health and the environment, even in the smallest doses. Learn more about the issue and Sign the petition at:

Take Action: Prime Minister Martin poised to make critical decision on vehicle emissions!

One of the most serious threats to Canada's implementation of the Kyoto Protocol is the Government's reluctance to regulate industry - especially the car industry.

Canada's Kyoto plan sets a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from passenger vehicles by 5.2 megatonnes by 2010. However, instead of setting enforceable regulations, as California has done with its Clean Car Legislation, the Canadian government is counting on the auto-industry to lower vehicle emissions voluntarily. While auto-makers have agreed to voluntary reductions, they will not agree to an overall emission standard, and are actively trying to undermine California's Clean Car Legislation.

Tell Prime Minister Martin the auto-industry must be regulated! To ensure we meet our Kyoto obligations, auto-makers must meet targets that are transparent and enforceable. Paul Martin's decision is not only an important Canadian issue, but could play a significant role in achieving low emission vehicles throughout North America.

For a sample letter and to send an email to the Prime Minister just follow the instructions on the Sierra Youth Coalition action page:

Support SCC

Support Sierra Club of Canada online

You can make a donation to the Sierra Club of Canada through our secure website. You can target your donation to our national work, to a specific chapter or to the Sierra Youth Coalition.



Call for Proposals to host People & the Planet Conference 2006

Sierra Club of Canada has had two very successful People & the Planet Conferences; in Kingston, Ontario in 2002 and in Calgary, Alberta in 2004. Where will the next one be held in 2006?

Sierra Club of Canada is inviting SCC Chapters and Groups to submit applications to host the 3rd bi-annual People and the Planet conference in 2006. The deadline for submitting a proposal is March 15, 2005. Proposals will be reviewed by a committee and a decision made at least one year prior to the conference - by April 30, 2005.

If your Chapter or Group would like to pursue this opportunity and needs additional information, please contact Debra Eindiguer ( or 1.888.810.4204).Ê

Elizabeth May Speaks.....

Stratford Garden Festival

Four course organic lunch with a glass of Pelee Island wine. Hosted by Elizabeth May. Saturday March 5th 2005, 11:30am, $35. More info:

International Conference: Rethinking Development; Local Pathways to Global Well-Being

St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada June 20-24, 2005
Conference Presenters Include:
Maurice Strong, Jigmi Thinley, Ray Anderson, Sakyoug Mipham Rinpoche, Ela Bhatt, Mathis Wackernagel, Dr. Marilyn Waring,
Farouk Jiwa, Dr. John Helliwell, John Taylor Gatto, Elizabeth Beale, Holly Dressel, Raffi, Elizabeth May, Cindy Blackstock, Danny Graham
Conference and workshop space is limited by facilities.
Register early to reserve your space online at:

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"Parties must set aside differences and move forward quickly with a green budget," Canada's national environmental community says.

Tuesday, February 8, 2005, OTTAWA - Twenty-one of Canada's leading environmental and conservation groups released a report calling on federal parties to set aside their differences and to move forward quickly on the environment with a green budget.

La communauté environnementale nationale du Canada convient que les partis doivent mettre de côté leurs divergences et s'empresser de présenter un budget vert.

OTTAWA - Vingt et un des principaux groupes environnementaux et autres groupes pour la conservation au Canada ont publié un rapport, aujourd'hui, dans lequel on demande aux partis fédéraux de mettre de côté leurs divergences et de faire rapidement un pas de l'avant en matiè re d'environnement en présentant un budget vert.

Forest and Biodiversity

Snowmobiling in Gros Morne National Park

Rachel Plotkin attended the last working group meeting on snowmobiling in Gros Morne national park, to represent national interests in maintaining the ecological integrity of national parks. More info:

Revised Edition of "At The Cutting Edge"

Cendrine Huemer, Rachel Plotkin and Elizabeth May worked on the revised version of Elizabeth May's book "At the Cutting Edge: The Crisis in Canada's Forests". Originally published in 1998, the new version is updated and significantly expanded, and includes consideration of some of the recent trends that have affected forest management in the past five years, such as forest certification, market campaigns and the like. Elizabeth will hit the road in support of the book, with the publisher (Key Porter) and at least one major bookseller (Indigo's) eager to publicize it. The book is on schedule to hit the stands on or about April 22, 2005 (Earth Day), and Elizabeth is prepared to spend a considerable amount of time in the four to six weeks following publication of the book doing national promotion, publicity, awareness-raising and outreach. Stay tuned for upcoming tour dates near you.

National Forest Strategy

Rachel Plotkin and Elizabeth May worked within the National Forest Strategy on developing indicators to measure success, and championing the Ecosystem-based management theme group.
More info:

Atmosphere and Energy

A Clear Indication of Commitment

Wednesday, February 16, 2005 (Montreal) The Sierra Club of Canada congratulates the Prime Minister for his decision to host the Eleventh Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 11) in the Fall of 2005. This will be a tremendous opportunity for Canadians to learn about climate change and international approaches to addressing the challenge.

Kyoto is Business Friendly

Wednesday, February 16, 2005 (Ottawa) Canadian businesses joined the world community in celebrating the Kyoto Protocol.

Business and environmental organizations held a news conference to outline ways in which the Kyoto Protocol will lead to greater business opportunities. The Protocol came into force Wednesday, February 16th 2005, a culmination of 15 years of international negotiations on reducing greenhouse gas emissions to curb global climate change.

Le Protocole de Kyoto est avantageux pour les entreprises

Des entreprises et des organisations environnementales ont tenu une conférence de presse pour présenter des façons par lesquelles le Protocole de Kyoto permettra de meilleures possibilités d'affaires. Le Protocole est entré en vigueur le mercredi 16 février 2005 aprè s 15 ans de négociations internationales sur la réduction des émissions de gaz à effet de serre pour freiner le changement climatique mondial.

U.S. Greens Ask PM to Regulate Canadian Car Emissions

Monday, February 14, 2005, Washington - Nine major U.S. environmental organizations have asked Prime Minister Paul Martin to kick-start a continent-wide shift toward cleaner cars and trucks by regulating the greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles rather than risking Canada's Kyoto compliance on a voluntary agreement with industry.

Deadline for Carmaker Action on Kyoto

Friday, February 4, 2005, (Ottawa) Carmakers will be up to their old tricks at the final negotiating meeting on whether the auto-industry will meet Canada's Kyoto target for passenger vehicles - stalling, stonewalling, threatening, using misinformation and doing anything to avoid meeting its responsibilities to Canadians and the environment.

Kyoto : date limite pour les fabricants d'automobiles

(Ottawa) Aujourd'hui, les fabricants d'automobiles utiliseront leurs bons vieux trucs à la derniè re rencontre de négociation sur la décision de l'industrie automobile par rapport aux objectifs du Protocole de Kyoto établis par le Canada pour les véhicules transportant des passagers : retarder, donner des réponses évasives, menacer, recourir à la mésinformation et faire tout ce qu'ils peuvent pour éviter de faire face à leurs responsabilités à l'égard des Canadiennes et des Canadiens et de l'environnement.

Health and Environment

60 day comment period on PMRA's decision to continue use of 2,4-D on lawn and turf!

Despite the continued public support to halt cosmetic pesticide use, the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) announced that it has completed its long re-evaluation of 2,4-D. PMRA stated that 2,4-D continues to be eligible for use.

The PMRA's re-evaluation framework is seriously flawed. Evaluations are based on information provided by registrants, and Canadians are unable to access this information to ensure it is a vigorous experiment.
See our action page for details:

Sierra Club of Canada Foundation

Monthly Donations - Why are they so Effective?

Monthly donors show their commitment to protecting our environment by contributing to Sierra Club of Canada Foundation every month. Monthly donations help us considerably when it comes to financial planning for our important grassroots charitable programs. They let us know that we can count on resources coming in every month.

The monthly donor program also allows our supporters to make substantial contributions throughout the year - smaller monthly gifts are not missed as much, but they add up to big annual contributions over the year. And monthly donors receive one cumulative tax receipt early in each new year, with plenty of time to file your tax return.

You can make monthly contributions as low as $5 per month, and you may increase, decrease, pause or stop your donations at any time.Ê

Please join our monthly giving program today and support the Sierra Club of Canada Foundation. For more information or to sign up, please call Sara at 1-888-810-4204 or email her at

Foundation Website

Sierra Club of Canada Foundation is working on developing its own web presence, in the form of a section on the Sierra Club of Canada main website. The section will include information about the Foundation, how it supports SCC, how to make a tax-receiptable donation, planned giving, events, and lots more useful information. We'll be sure to keep you informed when the new section goes live!

In addition, the Sierra Club of Canada Foundation will be publishing its first ever annual report this spring. We will announce it in the Green Gazette when it has been published, at which point, feel free to request a copy! info:




One tonne Challenge in Halifax Regional Municipalitiy

The SCC-ACC is coordinating the One Tonne Challenge within Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM). The HRM Community Challenge will involve outreaching to the general public through seminars, events, multimedia ads, and direct dialogue. Our main focus will be to encourage and facilitate employees of various HRM businesses to take the One Tonne Challenge. This will involve a climate change presentation, information on eco-friendly local products and services, and emission-reducing prizes. This project runs until March 2006. To volunteer or to find out more contact: Selene Cole, Climate Change Project Coordinator at, (902) 444-3113 or visit

Cape Breton Needs Your Help Urgently!

We have until March 9 to stop a PCB incinerator going near the college of Cape Breton and surrounding communities that will burn PCB for three to five years or more. The toxins will harm the area's wildlife and drinking water. Please fill out the form on our website at <> and then spread the word to family and friends. It only takes a few minutes and will go to the ministers. Thank you.

Call in for a Nuclear-Free New Brunswick

The decision on salvaging the aged nuclear reactor at Point Lepreau is imminent. The only factor being considered by our elected representatives is whether the financial risks can be minimized. Please call the Minister of Energy, the Hon. Bruce Fitch, to let him know that it is the risk of a nuclear accident that also concerns you. While the risk may be small, the consequences of a major release of radioactivity would be catastrophic. Why should we continue to live with that risk when the decision can be made to retire Point Lepreau?
Phone the Hon. Bruce Fitch at (506) 453 6461



Effective campaigns & NGO Management: How to win, and grow your organization at the same time

Sat, Mar 12 2005 10:30 am to 3:00 pm
Location: 150 Central Park Drive, Library Meeting Room, Lower Level, Brampton Civic Centre Brampton
Contact: Stephanie Crocker Ph 905-279-1855

Please join experienced Sierra Club of Canada volunteer Paula Boutis to learn how you can run & win campaigns while growing your organization. Paula will take you through the "campaign-planning matrix" and discuss fundraising and membership development as part of your campaigning. She will also discuss NGO governance, policy and management.

Monthly Executive Committee meeting of the Sierra Club of Canada's Ottawa Group.

Mon, Mar 14 2005 7:00 pm
Location: 1 Nicholas Ave, Suite # 412 Ottawa
Contact: Daniel Van Vliet Email:



Community Outreach Update

Spring is in the air here in the Prairies and the smell of renewal and rebirth abounds. A new Volunteer Planning Committee is in the works with the purpose of developing a similar organizing body as our Board of Directors, with volunteer capacity building as the core focus. We are rooted in an 'organizing culture' and require volunteers confident to engage and empower the public into action. Dedicated volunteers on the Volunteer Planning Committee will assist the Community Outreach Coordinator to develop training opportunities, social events for community building, and assist the Chapter Director with general campaign development.

Grassroots Gatherings

As part of our mission to develop a diverse, well-trained grassroots network working to protect the integrity of our global ecosystems, our monthly Grassroots Gatherings are designed to inform, educate and build networks among our volunteers and members. All of our monthly meetings are held on the last Wednesday of every month at the Edmonton International Hostel near Whyte Avenue (10647 - 81Ave) starting at 7:00pm.

Smart Growth Committee Meeting

As part of a growing effort to revamp our smart growth campaign in Edmonton, we are initiating the first meeting of a new Smart Growth Committee. The role of the committee will be to increase Sierra Club of Canada-Prairie Chapter's participation in important smart growth issues and take a proactive role in the development of our city.Ê
The first meeting will be on March 21st at 7:00 p.m.
Location: 2nd Floor, 6328-104 Street (our office is located in the same building as the Toner Depot)
If you are interested in attending the first meeting of this committee please RSVP to Sonja <>

March 23rd Compost Tea

Tim Penstone and his wife, Susan, have spent the last 16 years researching, teaching and putting into practice sustainable gardening and urban farming methods. As principals in Voices of the Soil, their focus to raise awareness about the importance of soil in community health has led to the development of a number of community projects including EcoYouth, community gardens, and brewed compost tea parties. Tim is a graduate of the University of Waterloo, a marketing consultant, and handy-man extraordinaire.

Tim's presentation is on the benefits of Brewed Compost Tea, why it works, and fundraising opportunities to encourage the use of this environment friendly practice in our community.

For more information or to suggest a topic or presenter for our monthly gatherings please contact Geneva Rae (



Vote Environment hits the streets

With the provincial election under 3 months away, the BC Chapter has launched a new pilot project aimed at getting British Columbians talking about the environment. Vote Environment seeks to demonstrate the connections between the environment and other issues such as human health and long-term jobs.

Great Bear, great site

Wonder what happened to our campaign to save the Great Bear Rainforest? Now you can find out, thanks to a totally redesigned Great Bear Rainforest website.



Oil on Ice - Film Screening And Presentation

Thursday, March 3rd, 2005, 7pm, University of Ottawa, 201 Montpetit and
7pm, Carleton University, 3269 Mackenzie Building

Over 400 campuses and communities across North America will participate in an organized day of action on energy issues by screening "Oil on Ice", an award-winning new film that connects the survival of northern communities and the fragile lands they depend on to the decisions we make about energy policy (

A Word from The Kyoto Generation

Wednesday, February 16, 2005(Ottawa) "Youth in Canada want to celebrate the realization of the Kyoto Protocol, but are still waiting to see what the government will commit to" says Kate Charuk, National Director of the Sierra Youth Coalition (SYC). "SYC has been working on campaigns to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with universities in the absence of government action."

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,

Sierra Club of Canada National Office