Green Gazette - October 2005

 

 


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Green Gazette - January 2006

Sierra Club of Canada's monthly electronic publication for National, Chapters and Groups.

 

 

What's Inside

NATIONAL OFFICE

ELIZABETH MAY speaks...

ATLANTIC CANADA CHAPTER

BC CHAPTER

ONTARIO CHAPTER

PRAIRIE CHAPTER

 

Federal Election 2006

Sierra Club of Canada has released several materials that we hope will educate individuals on where each national party stands on environmental issues.

Our Election Questionnaire gauged the parties' views on Kyoto, nuclear subsidies, species at risk and toxics.

SCC's Eco-Olympics identifies candidates that have shown a commitment to protecting the environment.

Watch Vote Canada 2006 for our analysis of party platforms, which will be released Monday, January 16th.

 

 

 

 


National Office

Cheviot Mine Ordered to Pay Some Appeal Costs

When the Alberta Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) hearing opened last January to hear Ben Gadd’s appeal of the provincial approvals for the first part of the Cheviot open-pit mine, Cardinal River Coals (now Elk Valley Coal held by Teck Cominco and Fording Canadian Coal Trust) asked the EAB to bill Ben Gadd with the company’s costs for the hearing.  This of course put a chill through the community, aimed at anyone who would use legitimate processes to question a government approval of resource development.  Eleven months later, the EAB has issued its decision regarding costs.  It dismissed the company’s request as “punitive” and awarded Gadd $10,165 for his legal costs and $3,838.96 for expert witnesses that appeared on his behalf.   The company has 60 days within which to pay those costs.   

In Alberta, only those with some form of legal property right are allowed to appeal government approvals issued for developments, including developments on public lands, such as the Cheviot coal mine.  Public lands total 70% of Alberta.  Natural history guide, Ben Gadd, used to guide trips in the wildlands where the mine is underway.

Support from Notable Canadians Rises for Andy-Russell – I’tai sah k˜p Park

Four more notable Canadians have added their voices to the rapidly growing chorus encouraging the Alberta Government to proceed with the establishment of the Andy Russell - I'tai sah k˜p Park in memory of Andy Russell and his wife Kay, and in recognition of the Piikani (Peigan) First Nation.   Mike Robinson, President and CEO of the Glenbow Alberta Institute and award winning songwriters Connie Kaldor, James Keelaghan and Ian Tyson sent an open letter along with a stunning poster to each of the 83 Members of the Alberta Legislature, including Premier Klein.   

During the 11-day fall sitting of the Legislature, with the end of the Centennial Year rapidly approaching, the parks Minister responded to opposition questions by saying the park will take time.

The four join Canada’s 16th Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Joe Clark; premier wildlife artist, Robert Bateman; internationally acclaimed writers Sid Marty and Farley Mowat; and internationally respected scientist, Dr. David Schindler, who jointly wrote Alberta Premier Ralph Klein in October with their support for the tribute.  Five of these nine notable Canadians, like Andy Russell, are recipients of the Order of Canada. 

Alberta Centennial Wilds

Have a look at www.centennialwilds.ab.ca   This is an interdisciplinary project, the goal of which is to work with Alberta’s conservation and history communities (First Nations and non-native) and be the catalyst for a public vision linking in situ history and wilderness preservation, resulting in the designation and protection of Alberta’s wilderness as a lasting way to experience our shared histories, commemoŠrate Alberta’s cenŠtennial as a province in 2005, and provide a centennial legacy of natural and cultural heritage for the future.   The concept of the project will continue in 2006 with the Andy Russell – I’tai sah k˜p Park initiative and an expanded initiative focused on Bighorn Country and the international David Thompson Bicentennial in 2007.

Forests and Biodiversity

Decked out in caribou antlers, staff from the National Sierra Club of Canada office brought the plight of Canada’s caribou to shoppers in December by singing alternative ecological carols at the Rideau Shopping Centre. For pictures, visit: www.caribounation.org


ELIZABETH MAY SPEAKS

Paths Less Travelled, Queen's University, Kingston, January 20th, 2006 

Elizabeth will be speaking on a panel entitled, "Education and Advocacy for Group Rights" at 2 p.m.

withinsight 2006, Ottawa, January 25-28, 2006

withinsight 2006 seeks to open up channels of communication between the current leaders of Canada and the next generation of leaders who are active in their communities and academic institutions. It will be centered on the theme "Leadership in Motion." On January 26th at 1:30 p.m., Elizabeth will present under the sub-theme: "Energy and Environment." For more information visit: www.withinsight.ca

Crude Awakening: Preparing Ottawa-Gatineau for Peak Oil, January 28, 2006

Elizabeth is the first speaker at this the one-day forum being held at Ottawa City Hall, Main Floor from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm. For registration and more information visit: www.crudeawakening.net, or contact Ann Coffey at harbour@magma.ca, 613-746-8668.


ATLANTIC CANADA CHAPTER

Workplace One-Tonne Challenge

The Atlantic Chapter of the Sierra Club of Canada is encouraging busniesses to take the "Workplace One-Tonne Challenge".
What: Encourage employees to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
How: A presentation, outline and speakers will be provided to kick-off the event
Why: Demonstrate corporate responsibility that the environment matters to you. For further information on this challenge please contact Selene Cole at selenec@sierraclub.ca or at 902 444-3113 or visit: www.sierraclub.ca/atlantic/otc/workplace.htm

Teachers' Climate Change Workshops

The Sierra Club Atlantic Canada Chapter will soon be offering climate change workshops for teachers.  Stay tuned to www.sierraclub.ca/atlantic or contact Myriam Hammami (myriamh@sierraclub.ca or 902-444-3113) for details.

Newfoundland Forestry

From an ecological perspective there is yet no publicly committed land-use plan for Newfoundland and this is leading to an increasing number of conflicts between interest groups on the forested and non-forested landbase. The lack of commitment by government to enter into land-use negotiations with stakeholders is resulting in fragmentation over large areas of ecologically sensitive sites (ie The Humber Valley and the corridor leading into Gros Morne National Park).  The pulp and paper industry is looking to log in the recently undisturbed visual corridors along highways in the Humber Valley and the Great Northern Peninsula.   It is time for some form of more regional control over resources. For more information on the Newfoundland Forestry campaign email: jasonb@sierraclub.ca.


BC CHAPTER

 A Sustainable Energy Future is Within Reach

By Kathryn Molloy, Executive Director, Sierra Club of Canada, BC Chapter

Just as we were hanging up our Christmas lights and getting ready for the holiday season, electricity planning in BC has been hit by a blizzard of media attention. Hours before BC Hydro was to go public with its Integrated Electricity Plan, the government ordered Hydro to postpone it. Cranking up the suspense in this way may be a good way to boost box office receipts, but doesn’t work so well for difficult real-world issues where a transparent public process is called for.

There is no doubt that BC is at a major crossroads for its electricity supply. We have been a net importer of electricity since 2000, and the BC Progress Board, a group established by Premier Gordon Campbell, has strongly recommended a government policy of self-sufficient electricity generation.

It is equally clear that the choices we make now will affect more than just our electricity bill. The climate change conference Canada hosted in Montreal has been a strong reminder that we have a window of opportunity to reverse the trend. Ensuring prosperity for future generations is still possible - if we act responsibly now.

To receive the entire article email ana@sierraclub.bc.ca, Communications Coordinator, Sierra Club of Canada BC Chapter.


ONTARIO CHAPTER

Sierra Education Team monthly meeting

Sunday, January 15, 2006 - 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Location: 1 Nicholas Ave, Suite 412, boardroom, Ottawa
Contact: Terry Newcombe Phone: 613-523-6524
Email: terrynew@rogers.com

Join our school workshop facilitators and researchers for a brief update on progress and successes.

6th Annual Bon Kanah of the Algonquin - Winter Outing

Thursday, January 26, 2006 - Long weekend trip
Location: Algonquin Park
Contact: Loretta Allen Phone: 416-960-9606
Email:
loretta.allen@2workwell.com
Web:ontario.sierraclub.ca/outdoor_trips/

While Algonquin Park is Canada's most popular canoe trip destination, few people have experienced the stunning beauty of the park in winter. Frozen lakes, waist-deep snow, wildlife tracks, the howl of a wolf and the crisp clear air are just a few of the delights of a winter experience. The 'Bon Kanah' - or special winter trails over land - offer fantastic opportunities for backcountry snowshoeing and skiing.

For full details of the trip, please see: ontario.sierraclub.ca/outdoor_trips/


PRAIRIE CHAPTER

Green Gazette – Prairie Chapter

Welcome everyone to a new year, and if January is a sign of what’s to come in 2006 for the Prairie Chapter then a busy one it will be!

Enviro 911
 
There are times when anyone feels helpless in the face of the environmental damage we see every day. The issues are complex, there are many people involved, and its difficult to know where to start. That’s where Environmental 911 comes in. If you see, or hear of, an environmental issue that concerns you, dial the Enviro 911 hotline (780-439-1160) to start finding answers to your questions.

This January, the Sierra Club of Canada – Prairie Chapter is launching a new Enviro 911 program, to help those in our communities find the answers to their environmental questions.  It is funded by the Edmonton Community Foundation and TD Friends of the Environment. Check it out.  www.sierraclub.ca/prairie/Environmental911

Invest in Alberta

Vast stores of natural resources, high oil and gas prices and hard-working Albertans, have made Alberta Canada's richest province.

By investing your “Prosperity Bonus” in Alberta’s clean energy sector you can help turn the provincial surplus from non-renewable energy into a clean, healthy and vital future for all Albertans.

We at the Sierra Club of Canada - Prairie Chapter , have launched "Invest in Alberta" so that our hard-earned dollars can be directed towards creating sustainability, longevity and healthy solutions for our communities. Funds raised by “Invest in Alberta” will be directly contributing to the production of clean energy alternatives made by Albertan’s for Albertan’s.

Pledge your support today… visit www.investinAB.ca

SchoolPool

Transportation accounts for 1/3 of Canada's total green house gases, and much of this is accounted for by short trips taken within city boundaries. In partnership with Transport Canada, The Alberta Motor Association, Sierra Club of Canada (Prairie Chapter), Commuter Connections and Sustainable Alberta, SchoolPool.ca will offer Alberta teachers, parents and students a new low-emission and hassle-free transportation alternative.

SchoolPool.ca is an online ride-matching system and resource tool designed to assist in the creation of carpools. Modeled after the success of Carpool.ca, SchoolPool.ca will connect parents with other families in order to share commuting needs. Not only will time be saved in the morning rush but participants will be reducing greenhouse gas emissions by decreasing trips to and from school, as well as reducing school-based traffic congestion (a solution that will ease both stress both from parents driving to school as well as neighbours bothered by school congestion).

Alberta shelves Oilsands Strategy

Immediately before breaking for the Winter Holidays, the Alberta Government announced its plans to shelve a controversial Oilsands Strategy.  Many thanks to all those who played a role in achieving this critical decision, now our attention turns to ensuring that the Mineable Oilsands Strategy remains shelved, or better yet, sent to the shredder!

South Saskatchewan Group to host Non-Nuclear Conference

"Exploring Saskatchewan's Sustainable Non-Nuclear Future"
2:00 - 5 p.m., Sunday, January 15, 2006
Cathedral Area Community Centre 2900 13th Avenue, Regina

Speakers Include:
• “The Untold Story of Saskatchewan's Nuclear Legacy,” Jim Harding, Ph.D. Past Professor of Environmental and of Justice Studies. Author of forthcoming book Nuclear Politics in Saskatchewan: The Struggle at the Front-End of the Global System;
• “Repealing the Nuclear Liability Act:  Why the Industry’s Regulatory Framework Needs an Overhaul,” Dan Parrott, B.A., LL.B. Sierra Club of Canada Member
• “Renewables:  The Potential to Deliver,” Ken Kelln, P. Eng. Solar Engineer with a specialty in renewables.  Owner of Kelln Solar Water Pumping;
• “Managing The Transformation,” Rick A. Patrick, B.Sc.(Mech.Eng.)
Sask Power Vice-president, Planning, Environment and Regulatory Affairs; and
• “Sustainability and Nuclear Waste:  Can Renewable Energy Sources Brighten the Future For Our Youth?”  Emily Norton, High School Student, Sierra Youth Coalition.

The Chinook Group presents the Lake Louise Winter Weekend

Friday, January 20 - Sunday, January 22, 2006 at the Lake Louise Hostel

This is a fun winter weekend in the mountains. Last year we had an awesome cross-country skiing afternoon (with Dave along on his snow shoes) despite the -20 degree weather! The group can decide what they want to do (ski, snowshoe, or skate on the lake). The ice sculpture competition is on at Lake Louise that weekend, so you can check out the amazing sculptures as well.

You can rent snowshoes or skis in Lake Louise if needed, or in Calgary at a variety of locations (ask Janice for more details).
Cost:  $30 per person per night
Register:  Please contact Janice MacPherson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you to all contributors to this publication.

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