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SCC Green Gazette

July 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

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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.


Save the National Arctic Wildlife Refuge

Take Action to Protect the Porcupine Caribou of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Prime Minister Paul Martin has a chance to put his weight behind protecting the lands of the porcupine caribou from oil and gas development during the G8 Summit being held July 6-8th. He must know that Canadians want him to do his part to protect the calving grounds of the porcupine caribou.

To view the action alert, a sample letter to the Prime Minister and a link to the Prime Minister's email address visit:



Sierra Club of Canada Board Election 2005 Results

The Sierra Club of Canada National Board has confirmed the election results, as reported by the Election Committee below.

Congratulations to new board members Paul Falvo, Wilhemina Nolan and Jeca Glor- Bell. Daniel Spence and Dave Keith were thanked for their willingness to serve. Any of the 5 nominated candidates would have been a tremendous addition to the national board.

Thanks were expressed to the three out-going board members, Barb Kinnie, Clotilda Yakimchuk and Rosa Kouri for their service and dedication to SCC. We wish them all the best in their future endeavors.

Thanks also to the members of the Nominating Committee (Vicky Husband, Warren Verbonac, Allison Scott Butler and Elizabeth May) and members of the Elections Committee (Heather Gander, Meena Peruvemba and Joseph Mayer) for ensuring that our second national election was run smoothly and professionally.

On June 28 members of the Elections Committee met independently to tabulate the election results. A total of 3158 ballots had been mailed to SCC members. There were 551 ballots cast, with three spoiled ballots.

Annual General Meeting & Atlantic Annual Gathering

Please note that Sierra Club of Canada's Annual General Meeting will be held at the White Point Beach Resort, Queens County, Nova Scotia, at 7 pm on July 16th, 2005. All members are welcome to attend. In addition, everyone is welcome to attend the Atlantic Annual Gathering at Windhorse Farm, Bridgewater, Nova Scotia from July 16th to July 17th, 2005. For more information please visit

Thank you for making your voice heard!

Over 20% of our members participated in the SCC 2005 Membership Survey. We will share the findings of the Survey in our next edition of Green Gazette. Additionally, 16.7% of our members participated in the 2005 elections process by filling out and returning ballots.

3rd Annual Membership Drive - MUCHMEMBERS 2005

Our third annual membership drive - MUCHMEMBERS 2005 - began on June 1 and will run through to October 31 2005 (all entries must be postmarked no later than the 31st October 2005 to qualify).

Memberships received between these dates may benefit your Local Group and/or Chapter with cash prizes totalling $3,500. The prizes will be distributed as follows: $1,500 for the winning group and $1,000 for the winning group's Chapter; and $500 for the largest % group growth with $500 going to the % growth winning Chapter.

Winners are based on total new members joining, and percentage of membership growth (an incentive for smaller and rural groups). Winners will be announced in mid-November. Please feel free to call us at 1-888-810-4204 if you wish any further information.

RIO Report Card

More failing grades as governments scored on environmental performance

(Monday, June 6, 2005) Ottawa: In the 13th annual release of the RIO Report Card, Sierra Club of Canada handed out a set of tough marks for progress, and lack of progress, on issues from toxic chemicals and pesticides, to endangered species and climate change. All told, the federal government was graded in eight areas, while every province and territory was graded in at least two, for a total of 36 grades. The highest of 36 marks was an A- for Prince Edward Island on climate change. The lowest marks were more common. In fact, one third of the marks were for failures (12 F's). The next most common grade showed progress is possible, with 8 marks of B-.

"At the Cutting Edge" Cross-Canada Tour

At the Cutting Edge Book Tour with Elizabeth May
New and Revised Edition now Available in Stores across Canada with forward by Farley Mowat!

The book tour of At the Cutting Edge: The Crisis in Canada's Forests stopped in Manitoba, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland-in each province hosting dynamic speaking events, meeting with Ministers and Deputy Ministers, and, in a number of cities, leading activist training workshops.

If you're interested in learning more, visit

Tour Date:
Charlottetown, PEI: July 23rd

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 subscribe and unsubscribe:

Forest and Biodiversity

Caribou Nation

The Sierra Club of Canada, in partnership with ForestEthics and the Western Canada Wilderness Committee, launched Caribou Nation, a tabloid, website ( and general tool for mobilizing the public to become more involved in advocating for caribou protection.

Activists from around Canada celebrated Caribou Day on July 1st. Have a look at how it went:

Victory! Bill C-15 becomes law

Groups praise government and opposition parties as seabird protection bill is passed

(Ottawa: May 19, 2005) Several of Canada's leading conservation and animal welfare organizations, as well as BirdLife International praised both the government and opposition parties for helping to quickly pass Bill C-15 which will help protect seabirds off Canada's coasts. The Bill, which has now become law, is designed to bring an end to the dumping of bilge oil from ships, which results in the deaths of some 300,000 seabirds annually off the coast of Newfoundland alone.

Environmentalists praise Ontario for efforts to fight diversions

Thursday, June 30, 2005(Toronto) The Council of Great Lakes Governors plus the Premiers of Ontario and Quebec released a new draft agreement and compact under the Great Lakes Annex. The previous draft, released in July 2004, would have permitted diversions, creating a right for those out of the Great Lakes Basin to use water equal to those in the Basin. Certain provisions threatened to make the Great Lakes water a commodity, vulnerable to NAFTA challenges if Canada refused to sell water. The 2004 draft was essentially a permitting system for diversions, with exceptions. The current draft is designed to prohibit diversions with exceptions.

Alberta Government Paves Way For Further Caribou Decline

Friday, June 24, 2005 Ottawa: The Government of Alberta announced planned 'new actions' for woodland caribou protection. The slate of new commitments fails to take action to protect the habitat of the threatened species. Habitat destruction due to forestry and oil and gas operations is the primary reason that the caribou are at risk in the province.

Cheviot Coal Mine Case Goes Back to Court
Conservation groups challenge federal approval of mine near Jasper

Monday, June 13, 2005 Ottawa: Five environmental organizations represented by Sierra Legal Defence Fund were in Federal Court in Edmonton challenging the federal approval of the controversial Cheviot coal mine adjacent to Jasper National Park. The Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development, Sierra Club of Canada, Nature Canada, Jasper Environmental Association and Alberta Wilderness Association argue the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has not properly assessed the mine, and has illegally permitted Cardinal River Coals Limited (CRC) of Teck Cominco and Fording Canadian Coal Trust to destroy migratory bird habitat.

Atmosphere and Energy

Nature Canada Signs on to Mackenzie Wild Declaration

Nature Canada has agreed to sign on to the Mackenzie WILD Declaration opposing the Mackenzie Gas Project and the petro-industrialization of the Mackenzie Valley at its June 2004 annual general meeting. Nature Canada is a strong voice for nature with 40,000 supporters across Canada. Nature Canada joins a growing list of organizations supporting the Mackenzie WILD Declaration including Ecology North, Council of Canadians, Polaris Institute, Wilderness Society (U.S.) and the Arctic Indigenous Youth Alliance, as well as Sierra Club of Canada and Sierra Youth Coalition.

Sierra Club of Canada is gearing up for a technical conference on the Mackenzie Gas Project in late June in Yellowknife and has filed evidence with the National Energy Board in anticipation of NEB hearings this autumn.

Find out more about the Mackenzie Gas Project and sign on to the Mackenzie WILD Declaration at

Government writes another blank cheque to the nuclear industry

Friday, June 17, 2005(Ottawa) Although Sierra Club of Canada welcomes the clean up of the Gunnar and Lorado uranium mines in Saskatchewan, it must be pointed out that this is yet another handout to the failing nuclear industry. The federal government alone has spent more than $17 billion subsidizing the nuclear industry. Additional costs have been borne by the Ontario, New Brunswick and Québec taxpayers. Now Saskatchewan has been forced to contribute as well.

Canada Being Left Behind As World Takes on Ocean Noise

Monday, June 27, 2005: A UN decision to address the issue of ocean noise is in stark contrast to Canada's attempts to ignore the impacts of seismic testing on marine life, according to a coalition of environmental, fisheries, and First Nations groups. At an international meeting on oceans and the law of the sea at the United Nations Headquarters in New York a few weeks ago, delegates agreed that the world must address the impacts of ocean noise on marine life.

Sierra Club of Canada Foundation

Have you checked us out on the web yet?

Visit our new website

The 2004 Annual Report is at the printer!

To request a copy when they come off the press, email Sara at

Online donations are a SNAP!

Make an online charitable donation and have your tax receipt emailed right to you in an instant.
Visit and support the charitable work of the Sierra Club of Canada today!




Federal Money for Lepreau Refurbishment Imminent: Please Call and Make Your Voice Heard!

The federal government is expected to present NB Power with a proposal in as little as two weeks to help with the $1.4 billion refurbishment of the aging Point Lepreau Nuclear Plant. Please call and let them know the New Brunswick public does not support nuclear power!

Andy Scott: Fredericton: 506-452-4110 Ottawa 613-992-1067
You may want to direct your message to Mr. Scott's executive assistant Andrew Holland.

Please follow up with a brief email to the PM and Mr. Scott.
Prime Minister:
Andy Scott:

Hazelbrook Dump Closure

Thanks to a decision by Justice Gordon Campbell, ALL existing permits concerning the Hazelbrook Construction and Demolition dumpsite have been nullified. The gates have been locked and the Minister is finally talking about issues related to remediation and closure. Hazelbrook residents have been fighting for the closure of this dangerous dump. Though their battle is not over yet, this is a positive step in the right direction.

Environmental Education on PEI

The Sierra Club of Canada - Atlantic Chapter spent two great weeks in PEI delivering programs in seven different elementary and high schools. We delivered programs in French and English in four different regions to over 500 students. The programs focused on the Acadian and Boreal Forest Ecology and ways that students can take action to make positive change in the environment. The programs were a great success and we have been invited back next year. We hope we can spend even more time on this beautiful island in the upcoming school year.

Annual General Assembly

Don't forget to send in your registration for the AGA at Windhorse Farm on July 16-17! The weekend will also include a dinner and dance at White Point Beach Resort! Workshops, panel discussions, forest and garden tours, strategy sessions and training sessions - and of course, good food and lots of fun!

Register online at or contact Emily MacMillan for more information at:
Phone: 902-444-3113
Fax: 902-444-3116



Ottawa Local Group Executive Committee Meeting

  • Mon, Jul 11, Aug 8, Sep 12, Oct 11, Nov 14, Dec 12 2005* 7:00 pm
  • Location: 1 Nicholas Ave, Suite # 412 Ottawa
  • Contact: Daniel Van Vliet
  • E-mail:



Pesticide Committee Update

Local members have met and mapped out the current political leanings on the pesticide issue with our City Councillors. With the help of Gideon Foreman of CAPE (the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment) we have successfully lobbied four 'Yes' votes to present a bylaw that would phase out cosmetic uses of pesticides on public lands. Summer outreach will now focus on obtaining signatures on petitions and form letters to convince the final 3 votes needed. For more information on our Pesticide campaign please contact Geneva Rae (780-439-1160).

Building Capacity in our Community - An Advocates' Training Retreat
in conjunction with the 2005 Annual General Assembly of the Alberta Environmental Network

"Getting what you want takes planning."
What a fun, informative and insightful weekend retreat! Thanks to Sierra Clubbers Lindsay Telfer and Rachel Plotkin for developing and presenting a unique and essential capacity building training program. Coordinated by the Sierra Club of Canada - Prairie Chapter, over 45 people attended the two day event. Participants learned tools and strategies for effective planning, media communications, alternative forms of creative resistance, and means to dialogue effectively with the Alberta government. The Advocate website has been reformatted to provide all presentations and resources to attendees and the greater public.
Check it out!

Outings Revitalized!

After a four year hiatus, the Prairie Chapter - Edmonton region Outings program has been revitalized. Thanks to George Pfaff, our new Outings Leader for dedicating his time, passion and energy to develop this program. Check out our Outings website for more information.

Chinook Group

Beginner Backpack Trip

August 20, 21
Lake Minnewanka, Banff
Contact Dave at or call 266-3630

EcoTrust EcoTrek

September 10, 11
Bow Valley Provincial Park
See for details or contact Dave at or call 266-3630

Annual High Trip

September 16-18
Shunda Creek Hostel, Nordegg
Cost: $20 per person per night
Contact Janice at or call 270-8398



Arnie vs. Gordo

"I say the debate is over. We know the science, we see the threat, and the time for action is now."

You tell 'em, Arnie. If Bjorn Lomborg is the Skeptical Environmentalist, then Arnold Schwarzenegger is the Unlikely one. California's Terminator turned Republican Governor has just set some radical targets for his state's greenhouse-gas emissions.
Here is the link to the story:

Farther up the coast, B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell, still reeling from losing 31 MLAs in the May election, is looking more like R2D2 than the Terminator. Sure, he has promised to buy some hybrid cars for the government fleet, but overall his energy policies are about three centuries behind those of The Governator.
Please see:

Want more details on the Arnie vs. Gordo saga? Check out the tongue in cheek commentary on our web site:

New Search Engine

Google has launched an online satellite mapping site for the entire planet. This isn't just another one of those cheesy "our planet from space" images you see at the airport Duty Free. This baby allows you to zoom in on any spot on the globe, right down to where you can pick out streets and houses.

Google's tool provides an incredible way to become familiar with our planet's natural landscapes and witness the large-scale impact humanity is having on its environment.
Some things to look for:

  • Hope Slide
  • Mount Robson
  • Clear-cut logging in B.C.'s Interior
  • Great Bear Rainforest
  • Clayoquot Sound

The Drive without the drive

The B.C. government plans to widen Highway 1 to eight-plus lanes between Vancouver and Langley. The expansion will go right through Vancouver's popular Commercial Drive neighbourhood, increasing traffic, pollution and noise.
The expansion plan has already inspired some creative resistance. In February, local citizens gained national attention when they shut down Commercial Drive for a game of street hockey.
Now, Citizens Concerned about Highway Expansion is holding a Car-Free Commercial Drive Festival on June 19. This community carnival will showcase the funky flavour found nowhere but on The Drive. The event promises art jams, roving performers, a Kidzone, street hockey, a Free Store, and crazy bikes of all kinds.
More info on the Car-Free Commercial Drive Festival:

More Voices Needed for the Great Bear Rainforest

It's time once again to make your voice heard on the Great Bear Rainforest, the world's largest remaining temperate rainforest and one of our longest-running campaigns.
Over ten years ago, the Great Bear Rainforest saw global controversy as concerned citizens faced off with logging companies over the region's pristine watersheds. An international markets campaign brought everyone to the table, and over five years a diverse group of stakeholders hammered out an historic land-use agreement for the region.
To learn more about the Great Bear Rainforest Campaign, please visit:

The proposed solution addresses both the region's economic and ecological future. One-third of the area is to be set aside from logging, with improved "ecosystem-based" forestry practices for areas not protected. Also, millions of dollars in philanthropic and public funds are to be dedicated to diversifying the region's community economies, which see unemployment rates as high as 87 percent.
Get the details on what's in the consensus solutions package at:

What is needed to make this vision a reality? The next step is for the B.C. government to approve the land-use agreement. The Premier has promised First Nations his government will do this by September 2005. We need your help to hold him to his promise.
Visit the BC Chapter's Great Bear Rainforest Action Centre today and send an instant fax to Premier Gordon Campbell. Every single voice makes a difference.
Visit our online Action Centre and send an instant fax today:

The proposed solutions package for the Great Bear Rainforest is our best shot at achieving sustainability in this remarkable region. Help us make it a reality.

Pedalling Optional

The buzz on the street, literally, is a new breed of zero emission power-assisted electric bicycles. These neat machines have both pedals and electric motors, meaning you don't have to pedal all the time. No insurance is necessary - all you need is a bike helmet.

But the best thing about these ultra-modern contraptions is the fact that they don't emit greenhouse gases, making them a great way to address personal climate change emissions.

Green World Electric Vehicles has set up shops in Vancouver and Victoria selling a line of five models of power-assisted bikes. Check them out at 3825 Main in Vancouver or 725 Yates in Victoria, or visit their web site:

If you buy a power-assist bike, you can choose to put $60 of your purchase towards a Sierra Club donation, and receive a charitable tax receipt!



"Be Heard, Learn How"

The Sierra Youth Coalition invites you to attend a Youth Action Gathering (YAG). YAGs are weeklong camps for high school aged youth (14-19 yrs). Attend interactive workshops on issues such as sweatshops, factory farms, racism, homophobia, climate change and globalization. Enjoy good food, campfires, late night jams, funky art and crazy games. Meet youth from throughout your region and learn to organize within your respective community. Sound like your type of thing?

This year YAGs will take place in :

  • Cedar, B.C. -- August 7-13 at "Wildwood" eco-forestry operation
  • Ottawa, ON (urban) -- August 13-19 at MacSkimming Outdoor Education Centre
  • Ottawa, ON (rural) -- August 22-28 at MacSkimming Outdoor Education Centre
  • Southeastern N.B. -- August 18-27. This will be a mobile gathering, where youth will bicycle to several locations and learn about local issues through hands on experiences.

Contact: Tim Murphy
Telephone: 1-888-790-&7393

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