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Green Gazette - March 2006

Sierra Club of Canada's monthly electronic newsletter.


 

 

What's Inside

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KYOTO!

NATIONAL

ELIZABETH MAY speaks...

GRASSROOT GROUPS: FOCUS ON LOWER MAINLAND

ATLANTIC CANADA CHAPTER

QUEBEC CHAPTER

ONTARIO CHAPTER

PRAIRIE CHAPTER

WEATHER MAKERS TOUR

 

BC Chapter - Success in the Great Bear Rainforest

By Lisa Matthaus, Coast Campaign Coordinator

Two million hectares is a pretty big chunk of land. Four Prince Edward Islands. One Switzerland. 5,200 Stanley Parks. Two Yellowstone National Parks. Some 2.5 million Canadian football fields (including end zones).

It’s also the area of temperate rainforest the B.C. government announced on February 7 would be protected from logging in the Great Bear Rainforest.

The Great Bear Rainforest agreement is the culmination of what may be British Columbia’s most significant environmental campaign—a decade-long effort that saw blockades, international markets campaigns, and an unprecedented agreement between as unlikely allies as logging companies and environmentalists. It has now produced a conservation achievement of international significance, a milestone of which we can all be proud.

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

 

 

 


HAPPY BIRTHDAY KYOTO

Kyoto Report Card released on Kyoto's First Birthday

With Baby Kyoto at the Press Conference blowing out his candle on his first birthday cake, we released our third Kyoto Report Card on February 16, 2006. 

We urged the Harper government to Stand up for Canada and Keep Kyoto!

Read the press release, the report card, or watch the press conference at: www.sierraclub.ca/national/kyoto.

NATIONAL

Ontario's Premier McGuinty must hear from you!

The McGuinty government claims to be in the process of consulting Ontarians about energy options to address electricity needs in the coming years. However, the focus of the current Ontario government is not on renewable energy and conservation; it's on nuclear power - a technology that has a proven track record of being unsafe, unsustainable and uneconomical. The recent report released by the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) failed to include recommendations with respect to conservation targets for Ontario for 2051, 2020 and 2025, requested by the Energy Minister. Instead it recommends building more nuclear plants. Sierra Club of Canada released a critique of the OPA’s report entitled “Back to the Drawing Board”.  Read the full report: www.sierraclub.ca/nuclear/opa.html

Please, urgently write to Premier McGuinty and Energy Minister Donna Cansfield to tell them that the government should be investing in conservation, energy efficiency and renewables, not in expensive, dangerous and unreliable nuclear power.  To see our action alert and a sample letter to Premier McGuinty (and videos of John Bennett and Elizabeth May at a recent public meeting in Ottawa) visit: www.sierraclub.ca/national/programs/atmosphere-energy/nuclear-free/video-2006/

Mackenzie Gas Project Heats up the North

Public hearings started in Inuvik in January for the Mackenzie Gas Project. SCC Conservation Director Stephen Hazell was there to raise issues of the ecological integrity of the Mackenzie Valley, the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and the need to assess cumulative impacts and induced development.

Paul Falvo of Sierra Legal Defence Fund (and the Sierra Club of Canada Board) so far has represented the Club in Inuvik, Fort McPherson and Tsiigehtchic. Hearings are scheduled to take place throughout the North and in Calgary and Edmonton (June 6 & 7).

Sierra Club of Canada is concerned that Mackenzie gas is destined to feed the growing appetite of Alberta’s tar sands. Tar sands projects are projected to be the largest single addition to Canada's greenhouse gas emissions, producing 70 megatonnes by 2010 -- or 12 per cent of Canada's Kyoto target. For more information or to sign the Mackenzie Wild Declaration, visit www.mackenziewild.ca

For Stephen Hazell's "Hearing BLOG" see www.mackenziewild.ca/postings

Update: Sydney Tar Ponds Environmental Impact Statement

Sierra Club of Canada submitted our deficiencies and questions in relation to the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency's Environmental Impact Statement. 

Forests and Biodiversity

Rachel Plotkin, the national Forests and Biodiversity Director, was selected as the representative for the federally initiated Forest Sector Sustainability Table. As such, she will work with environmentalists across Canada to ensure that our common objectives for forest sustainability are addressed at the meetings. Congratulations Rachel!

Take Action: Canada Must Recognize and Protect the Rights of the Lubicon Creek

Sierra Club of Canada is urging Canadians to speak out against the violation of Lubicon Cree human rights. Over the last quarter of a century, lands of the Lubicon people, an indigenous nation of 500 living in northern Alberta, have been destroyed by oil and gas and logging industries alike. Get involved!

Welcome Tania Beriau!

National office is pleased to welcome a new staff member, Tania Beriau.  In addition to being part-time Membership Assistant, Tania's job will include all front-line duties and support for other administrative responsibilities.
 
Tania has lots of office and charity experience, notably with the Ottawa Humane Society, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies and MPP Phil McNeely's office.  She is also fluent in both official languages.
 
Welcome to the team, Tania!

Making Monthly Donations

As a member of our monthly giving program, your monthly donation makes you a partner in Sierra Club of Canada's important environmental protection work. Every day of the year, you will be helping to preserve and protect our natural environment. Here are some reasons why monthly giving is an option many of our supporters choose…

How monthly giving benefits our environment:

• It provides a consistent and reliable source of funding, allowing Sierra Club of Canada to respond immediately to urgent environmental issues the moment they arise.

• It's cost effective. Pre-authorized donations can be processed more efficiently than single gifts, leaving even more money for the important environment saving programs we support.

• It's environmentally friendly. Much less paper and energy is used in the processing of pre-authorized gifts.

Your support is important and allows us to sustain a grassroots movement advocating for the protection of global ecosystems.

If you would like to find out more about making monthly donations to Sierra Club of Canada or Sierra Club of Canada Foundation visit us at  www.sierraclub.ca/donate


ELIZABETH MAY SPEAKS

Fourth Annual "Celebrating Women" Concert - International Women's Day 2006

DATE: Sunday, March 5
TIME: 8:00pm
LOCATION: Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, Dalhousie Arts Centre, Halifax, NS

Guest Artists: Soprano Sung Ha Shin Bouey, Ardyth and Jennifer and Evelyne Benais and El Viento Flamenco. Celebrating Mother Earth is this year's theme, and the concert honours four outstanding Nova Scotian women: peace activist Muriel Duckworth, Sierra Club Executive Director, Elizabeth May, artist/author and "bird lady" Linda Johns and Oceans Institute Director, the late Elisabeth Mann Borgese. The Aeolians are sponsoring a raffle to benefit Alice Housing, with prizes awarded at the show.

Elizabeth will participate in this concert by reading the book Dear Children of the Earth by Schim Schimmel.

Tickets are now on sale for the March 5 performance at the Cohn Box Office and are available by calling 902-494-3820 or 1-800-874-1669 or by visiting on-line at www.dal.ca/artscentre.  All seats are $25 unreserved. 

International Women's Day Lecture

DATE: Wednesday, March 8, 2006 
TIME: 7:30pm
LOCATION: Windclair Room, Vanier Hall, University of Windsor, Windsor, ON

Shirley Greenberg Lecture Series - Women and the Environment

DATE: Friday, March 10, 2006 
TIME: 5:00pm
LOCATION: Room TBA, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON

Breast Cancer Action Montreal - Stop Breast Cancer before it starts

DATE: Thursday, March 23, 2006 
TIME: 7:30pm
LOCATION: 395 Elm, corner Sherbrooke (2 blocks west of Atwater)

Elizabeth May will discuss the role of environmental protection in breast cancer prevention. May is an environmentalist, writer, activist and lawyer. Author of four books, she is a coveted speaker on the women’s health and environment lecture circuit.

GLOBE 2006 - 9th Biennial Trade Fair and Conference on Business and the Environment

DATE: Thursday, March 30, 2006 
TIME: 10:30am - 12:00pm
LOCATION: Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre, Vancouver, BC

The conference will host more than 2,000 international leaders in the business of the environment from more that 75 countries. Elizabeth will participate in the Session "Integrating Sustainablity into Business Practices" sponsored by The Mining Association of Canada. When faced with threats to its social license to operate, an industry must take collective and corporate action to improve its operational and social performance.  A panel of international, Canadian and community experts speak about the challenges facing a resource sector as it works to integrate sustainability into business practices – through operational, corporate and industry-wide initiatives. Lessons learned from practical experience and from observations of similar efforts by other sectors will animate the discussion.

2006 Ottawa International Writers Festival, Spring Edition

DATE: Sunday, April 23, 2006 
TIME: 2:00pm
LOCATION:  Library and Archives of Canada, 395 Wellington Street

Elizabeth May will be reading from her upcoming book, How to Save the World in you Spare TimeCovered are topics such as:- How to get your issue in the news - How to organize - How to lobby - How to mount a successful campaign

Won't be in Ottawa to hear the reading? - Order a copy of this essential guide to activism.

Queen's School of Policy Studies MPA Weekend

DATE: Friday, April 28, 2006 
TIME: 2:00pm
LOCATION: Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre, Vancouver, BC

The topic of the weekend is: Efficacy and Adaptability of Government: The Post Gomery Reality. For more information on the event visit: www.queensu.ca/sps/


GRASSROOT GROUPS: FOCUS ON LOWER MAINLAND

Living in the populous Greater Vancouver area, we are concerned about sustainable urban development, the reduction of air and water pollution, waste management and reduction, and the preservation of the mountain, stream, river, and ocean ecosystems that surround us. 

Current activities include monthly outings (hiking, snowshoeing, biking, etc.) and/or socials.  Current campaigns include redirecting Highway 99 expansion to avoid destroying Eagleridge Bluffs in West Vancouver, fighting for sensible transit and greenway expansion and against Highway 1 expansion in Vancouver. 

Monthly executive committee meetings are the first Monday of the month at 7 PM at the Society Promoting Evironmental Conservation (SPEC) building at 2150 Maple Street in Vancouver.  All members welcome, but please contact us in advance in case of a time or date change. 

For more information, please contact Eric Lorenz at lowermainland@sierraclub.bc.ca.content


ATLANTIC CANADA CHAPTER

C3: Climate Change in the Classroom

Sierra Club of Canada – Atlantic Canada Chapter is hosting interactive French and English workshops for elementary and secondary teachers on teaching climate change in the classroom. C3: Climate Change in the Classroom aims to: build knowledge and awareness of climate change and of the One Tonne Challenge among teachers in the Maritime provinces in order that they may effectively deliver activities and materials to students; provide teachers with creative and engaging activities that educate students about climate change and inspire them to take action to meet the One Tonne Challenge objectives; and demonstrate and highlight the Climate Change Teacher’s Kit, an online curriculum-linked resource for elementary and secondary teachers. Upcoming workshop dates in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick(all workshops are from 4:00-5:45PM)

March 14 (English) + 15 (French) – Dieppe - Coastal Inn Champlain, Acadia Room 502 Kennedy St.
March 20-Fredricton - New Brunswick Teachers Federation, 650 Montgomery St.

We will also be running workshops in PEI. Please check our website (www.sierraclub.ca/atlantic) for additions which will be posted shortly.

JUMP INTO SPRING!

The Sierra Outing Club Presents: Jump Into Spring: Picnic and Walk at Crystal Crescent Beach Provincial Park. In East Pennant, NS (about a 40 minute drive from Halifax) When? Saturday, March 18, 2006. Meet at the Perks on the waterfront, in downtown Halifax, at 10:30 AM. Plan for an afternoon of walking around the beach, on their boardwalks, and then we will have a picnic on the beach, at 1pm. This is a great activity for kids to as well as your dogs!

If you would like to come, please RSVP to: Sierra_Outing@hotmail.com by March 6, 2006.

WORLD WATER DAY

World Water Day is March 22, 2006, and the Sierra Club of Canada, Atlantic Canada Chapter is planning an event.  See www.worldwaterday.org for more information on World Water Day, and contact the Atlantic Canada Chapter office for information on local events.Teachers' Climate Change Workshops


QUEBEC CHAPTER

SUPPORT A SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR OUR CHILDREN - Let Your Voices Be Heard NOW!!!

The last phase of the Pesticide Code of Quebec is to be implemented on April 3, 2006. This is less than a month away! Mr. Thomas Mulcair, who was a staunch defender of the Pesticide Code of Quebec and the environment, has been replaced as the Minister of the Environment by Mr. Claude Bˇchard. (Mr. Bˇchard used to be the Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade).

We know how important the Pesticide Code of Quebec is for the health of our children, for our health, for future generations – and as an example to the rest of the world! This is the last leg of the race. Let the new Minister know how much the Pesticide Code of Quebec and health protection through ‘prevention’ means to you.

Studies and reports have emerged on the detrimental effects of pesticides on human health and the environment, and body burden studies across Canada and the US are showingthat these chemicals are being found in our bodies. Pesticides have been found in the bodies of pregnant women, amniotic fluid, the umbilical cord and the placenta, in the meconium of newborn babies, in mother’s milk and in our children. A recent Quebec study found pesticides in the bodies of children. Of the children tested, 98.7% were contaminated with pesticides. Among the pesticides found, was the herbicide 2,4-D.  This unwanted exposure is totally unacceptable.

At a recent conference held late in 2005 by the lawn care industry, it was announced that every effort would be made to get 2,4-D off the list of pesticides to be banned in Quebec. If successful, this would mean that 2,4-D could be sprayed on the green spaces in our communities, where the children we raise with love and care will play, roll, romp in the grass, and many of them will even put it into their mouths – as children often do!. This is also an unacceptable risk.

We are sure that human health protection and the protection of the environment is important to you. Therefore, we are asking for your help to please write to the new Minister of the Environment urging him:
- to keep 2,4-D on Quebec’s list of banned active pesticide ingredients,
- to leave the Pesticide Code untouched and
- to implement the final phase of the Pesticide Code of Quebec, as scheduled, on April 3, 2006.

Please send a copy of your letter to the Premier of Quebec; the Ministers of Health and Municipal Affairs and the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Andrˇ Boisclair (see email addresses below). Should you want to call, fax or send your letter by post, the details are at the end of this message.

Please take a few minutes to adapt the sample letter with your own words. Thank you!

Please email your letter to: ministre@mddep.gouv.qc.ca (Mr. Claude Bˇchard)


ONTARIO CHAPTER

Mark April 22nd On Your Calendars

Please reserve the evening of April 22nd (it's a Saturday) to join Elizabeth May, the Sierra Club of Canada, and special guests, in Toronto to demand that the Province of Ontario not repeat its past Nuclear Power mistakes!

More details will follow in the weeks ahead on http://ontario.sierraclub.ca/

EcoCertification Cafe - Making Effective Environmental Choices

Wed, Mar 1 2006  7:00-9:00 p.m.
Location: Izakaya - 69 Front St. East  Toronto
Contact: Sandi Trillo  Ph 416-485-9173
Email: info@ecocertontario.ca

Sierra Club of Canada's EcoCertification Cafˇ meets monthly at a downtown cafˇ or pub to extend the conversations that naturally begin at Sierra Club events. Books, articles and current issues provide a focus for the conversations, but if you're not a reader, just bring your thoughts! New Cafˇrs welcome!

This month we're taking our inspiration from the book: "The Consumer's Guide to Effective Environmental Choices: Practical Advice from the Union of Concerned Scientists" by Michael Brower and Warren Leon. If you want to learn more about how to make good environmental choices - the book has some great suggestions. We'll be sharing our own great ideas too.

For More Info: http://ontario.sierraclub.ca/events/index.php?id=511

Recycling: Is Your Apartment or Condo Building Ready for Zero Waste?

Mon, Mar 6 2006  7:30pm - 9:30pm
Location: St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front Street East (two blocks east of Union Stn.)  Toronto
Contact: Jamie Kirkpatrick  Ph 416-960-9606
Email: ontariochapter@sierraclub.ca
Web: www.wastediversion.ca

The City of Toronto has set waste diversion goals of 60% by 2008 - 100% by 2012. Currently, residents in apartments and condos are diverting only 12% of their waste. With over half of Toronto's residents living in low-, medium- and high-rise buildings, strategies for recycling and composting are a top priority. Each building presents its own challenges, such as aging garbage chutes or lack of space for organic waste storage. Yet many buildings have succeeded in developing innovative programs and the city is pilot-testing organic recycling.

With impending levies on excess waste, the threat of Michigan landfills closing their doors to our garbage and few mandatory requirements for new buildings, time is running out. Do you live in a high-rise? What would you like to see happen in your building? What small steps can you take on your own? What are tenants, property managers, condo boards and the City doing to reach our waste diversion goals?

With:
Rod Muir: Waste Diversion Campaigner, Sierra Club of Canada. Councillor Shelley Carroll: Toronto City Councillor for Don Valley East and Chair of the Works Committee. Doug Paton: condo resident and Chair of the Celebrity Place Green Committee. Wayne Tuck: General Manager for Minto Management Ltd., a real estate management company participating in the city's source-separated organic pilot project and a recipient of the Green Toronto Award. Geoff Rathbone: City of Toronto Solid Waste Management, Director of Policy and Planning.

Co-sponsored by the St. Lawrence Centre Forum and smartliving St. Lawrence

For the latest information on Ontario Chapter events visit: http://ontario.sierraclub.ca/events/


PRAIRIE CHAPTER

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 it's difficult to know where to start. That’s where Environmental 911 comes in.

The new Enviro 911 program is here 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. Dial the Enviro 911 hotline (780-439-1160) or visit  www.sierraclub.ca/prairie/Sierra911/.


WEATHER MAKERS TOUR

How We Are Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth

Tim Flannery is going on tour with his new book, The Weather Makers. He will be in:

Vancouver, April 17, Talk of the Town, Hal Wake, moderator, John Oliver Secondary School, 530 41st Avenue East, 7:30 PM start, Free, www.ubc.ca/talkofthetown.

Winnipeg, April 18, Terry MacLeod, interviewer, McNally Robinson bookstore sales, Manitoba Theatre for Young People, #2 Forks Market Road, 7:30 (doors at 7:00 PM), Pick up your free tickets at all Winnipeg McNally Robinson locations

Burlington/Hamilton, April 19, Royal Botanical Gardens, 680 Plains Road West, 7:30 PM
$5.00, Tickets available at Different Drummer Books, 905-639-0925

Toronto, April 20, Pages Books and Magazines, This Is Not a Reading Series, Bob McDonald, interviewer
OISE auditorium, 252 Boor Street West, 7:00 PM (doors at 6:30 PM), $5, Tickets available at Pages Books and Magazines, www.pagesbooks.ca.
 
Ottawa, April 21, Chapters Indigo, 47 Rideau Street, 4:00 PM, Free, More Information

Ottawa, April 22, Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, 12:00 PM, $10, www.writersfest.com/upcoming_e.htm or call 613-562-1243

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you to all contributors to this publication.

For information or comments, to subscribe or unsubscribe, please contact: Katie Albright, Communications Coordinator, communications@sierraclub.ca.