Green Gazette - August 2006

Sierra Club of Canada's monthly electronic newsletter

What's Inside






SCC Board Member Champions Bluesfest Green Team

Daniel Spence, a new member of the SCC Board of Directors, was really frustrated with how much garbage was needlessly produced during the Ottawa Bluesfest. He made a few comments about festival waste diversion to the right people, and was brought into the planning by the Bluesfest organizers. He convinced them to go beyond plastic and can recycling and to convince Molson to provide compostable beer cups made from polyactic acid (PLA) plastic.

He believed there wasn't much point having compostable beer cups if they're not going to get composted (i.e. buried in a landfill). Since un-stacked cups take up an inordinate amount of space in a garbage bag, Spence invented the Cupsucker, a contraption that mounts on the side of the garbage barrels, where people will deposit their used beer cups. The Cupsucker stacks the cups, and is emptied by volunteers who put them in a separate dumpster to be sent to a composter.

A letter to the editor in the Ottawa Citizen (Donna Colterman Raise a cup to him, July 15, 2006) expresses it the best: "Way to go, Daniel Spence, for inventing a cup stacker to allow for recycling at Bluesfest. Your resourcefulness, innovation and dedication are a breath of fresh air in our over-polluted environment!"


Changes on the Board of Directors

The National Board of Directors of Sierra Club of Canada (SCC) is delighted to welcome three new directors to the Board, as of July 1, 2006. They are Holly Dressel, Sonja Mihelcic and Daniel Spence. Learn more about our new directors.

At the same time, the Board wishes to say goodbye with great regret to Ian Waddell and Greg Malone, whose terms have now ended.

Please join us in welcoming these three new members to the Board.

Caribou Awareness

Dozens of people in 19 cities across Canada took to the streets this Canada Day to raise awareness of Canada's most widespread endangered species, the caribou, whose numbers are quickly declining in all provinces where they live.

Handing out flags and dressed in antlers and in T-shirts reading "My Canada Includes Caribou", members of Caribou Nation - a project of three environmental organizations - worked the Canada Day crowds from coast to coast. They asked people to become citizens of Caribou Nation, complete with their own passports, and to express their concerns to their elected officials.

Check out

Mackenzie Wild Campaign

Mackenzie Gas Project Hearings Continue

Hearings continue on the massive Mackenzie Gas Project -- a multi-billion dollar development that would industrialise Canada's North. In July, Sierra Club of Canada Prairie Chapter Director Lindsay Telfer rode twelve hours on a bus to testify before the Joint Review Panel (JRP) in High Level, Alberta.

The hearings now move back North: Mackenzie Wild Campaigner Rachel Plotkin will appear before the JRP in Yellowknife and Norman Wells in August. Sierra Legal lawyers, Sean Nixon and Paul Falvo will cross-examine Imperial Oil witnesses before the National Energy Board in Yellowknife.

The JRP recently extended its schedule into 2007 -- reinstating a previously cancelled Edmonton session.

If you can be in Edmonton on December 11, please consider speaking to the Panel. Other ways to help include sending a written comment to the JRP (, and signing the Mackenzie Wild Declaration

To join our email list please visit:

New Intern

The national office is pleased to welcome Mike Hendren as our summer intern. Mike is a recent graduate of Trent University (Honours Bachelor of Business Administration), and will be working with SCC national office on a variety of marketing and outreach activities, as well as supporting our campaign and administrative needs. Mike will be with us until the end of August.


Sustainable Living at the Shire: A Green Hobbit Gathering

Don't miss the Nova Scotia Environmental Network & Sierra Club of Canada - Atlantic Canada Chapter's Conference and Annual General Meeting entitled: Sustainable Living at the Shire: A Green Hobbit Gathering Friday, July 28 - Sunday, July 30

Location: The Shire Learning Centre, Carleton, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia
On 165 acres of wilderness on Mink Lake Join us for a wonderful weekend in a beautiful setting!
Keynote: "A Veteran Journalist's View of the Environmental Challenge" by Ralph Surette, Freelance Journalist and Popular Herald Columnist

Registration: $65 Student / Low-Income: $45 One Day: $25 (includes carbon offsets, all meals, childcare, tenting & conference fees, display space)

For full details and to register on-line, please visit or email, phone (902) 444-3113 or visit us at Sierra Club of Canada Atlantic Chapter, 1657 Barrington Street, Suite 507, Halifax.

Maritime Youth Gathering

ECOTOPIA is a youth gathering put on by youth at the Atlantic Canada Chapter for youth across New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI and Newfoundland. It will be a living, breathing sustainability experience where a multitude of environmental and social justice workshops and leadership activities will be led by local community leaders. It will also be space where youth can celebrate their actions through music, dance, puppetry and theatre. Ecotopia is for youth 13-18 and will be held in Tatamagouche NS on a sustainable farm. To register for this exciting and fun event or for more information visit- or call 902-444-3113.


Volunteers needed in Toronto!

The Ontario Chapter is gearing up for several environmental campaign actions in and around the city of Toronto.  We need your help as volunteers to ensure their success.

Ontario Electricity Campaign

Dalton McGuinty needs to be constantly reminded of his nuclear mistake ( You can help by writing the Premier, Energy Minister Dwight Duncan, and Environment Minister Laurel Broten.

Address and contact information is available at

Car Free Day in Toronto

Sierra Club of Canada's Ontario Chapter and the City of Toronto are working together to present Toronto's first major, downtown, weekday, Car Free Day signature event!

We need lots of help to ensure this event runs smoothly.  If you can help and volunteer a few hours on September 22nd please let us know at

On Friday September 22nd, from 10:00am- 3:00pm, Yonge Street from Shuter to Dundas will be closed to cars and open to those interested in exploring the other mobility options available to Torontonians!  This stretch of Canada's longest street, and Dundas Square will be THE place to be for pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders, walkers, strollers, and roller-bladers.

There will be:

  • Musicians and bands, dancers, bike stunt performers and other entertainment;
  • Local celebrities, speakers and the reading of a Toronto Car Free Day proclamation; and,
  • Informative environmental displays, interactive programs, encouragement and tips on how to be more car free!

Toronto Car Free Day 2006 Goals

  • To encourage people to rediscover their local community and open our streets to greater public use and access.
  • To educate individuals on the issues of air pollution, climate change, personal stress, health, and public safety as they relate to an over-dependence on the private automobile.
  • To help reduce traffic congestion, automobile-related accidents and injuries, smog, and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • To emphasize the need for more and better public transit.
  • To highlight the public health benefits of alternative modes of transportation – active modes of transportation like walking, cycling, and rollerblading allow individuals to get more exercise and stay healthy.
  • To increase interaction among community members and neighbourhoods in the space usually reserved for cars.
    Keep an eye on for more details as they develop.


Sierra Club of Canada Quebec Chapter Goes Swimming in Montreal's Old Port with Fellow Environmentalists / Le Sierra Club du Québec plonge dans les eaux du Vieux Port de Montréal avec des compatriotes

On the early morning of Friday, July 7, Claude Martel, the new Quebec Chapter Director, was invited to join an informal group of environmentalists to jump in the St. Lawrence River, from a pier in Old Montreal. The action drew attention to the need for the city to provide access to river for swimming near the downtown area.

Being a slow news day and a nice day, this third annual event attracted 30 environmentalists… and 20 journalists. We became the good news of the day in most electronic media and got coverage the next day in all Montréal dailies (except The Gazette), including the front page of La Presse. As for Claude, he made the local CBC news that day and the Saturday edition of Le Journal de Montréal. Not bad after a first week of work.

Au petit matin du 7 juillet, Claude Martel, le nouveau directeur du SCQ, accepta l'invitation d'un groupe d'environnementalistes pour plonger dans le fleuve St. Laurent, au niveau du Vieux Port de Montréal. Cette action était pour souligner la demande que la Ville de Montréal construise des points d'accès au centre ville.

Etant donné que cette belle journée présentait peu de nouvelles, cet évènement a été bien remarqué. Trente plongeurs, et une vingtaine de journalistes. Nous sommes devenus la bonne nouvelle du jour, et avons paru dans tous les journaux quotidiens de Montréal (sauf
The Gazette), et même la première page de La Presse. Quand à Claude, il a fait une entrevue à Radio Canada, et dans l'édition du samedi du Journal de Montréal. Pas mal pour sa première semaine au travail.

Sierra Club of Canada Quebec Chapter Meet with Bill Graham, Interim Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada / Des membres de la SCQ rencontrent Bill Graham, chef du Parti Libéral du Canada

Bill Graham, interim leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, requested an hour working session with the Quebec Chapter to hear our comments on the Quebec government's Kyoto Plan and other local environmental issues. This meeting, followed by a press conference, was be held on Thursday, July 27th.

Bill Graham, Chef intérimaire désigné du Parti Libéral du Canada, a demandé une réunion de travail spéciale avec le SCQ pour entendre nos commentaires sur le plan du gouvernement du Québec au niveau de Kyoto ainsi que sur d'autres questions concernant l'environnement. Cette réunion, suivie par une conférence de presse, a eu lieu le 27 juillet.

SCQ Invited to Join a Protest Against the Rabaska Project / Participation du SCQ à une manifestation contre le projet Rabaska

Saturday August 19th is your chance to see a completely different side of the Quebec City Area. Come and join Sierra Club of Canada - Quebec Chapter (SCQ) as we peacefully demonstrate with a local group of concerned citizens against a potential liquified natural gas port in front of Ile d'Orléans. For more information (in French), visit If you want to participate, please contact Claude Martel, Quebec Chapter Director, at

L'A.P.P.E.L. (Association Pour la Protection de l'Environnement de Lévis) et ses collaborateurs (Rabat-Joie et Association contre le port méthanier de l'Ile d'Orléans) ont invité le SCQ à venir manifester pacifiquement avec eux samedi le 19 août 2006. Nous serons de la partie. Pour plus d'informations, veuillez voir Si vous souhaitez participer et pour partager le transport, communiquez avec Claude à

SCQ Annual Picnic / Pique-nique annuel du SCQ

It's coming soon. Sunday August 13, join SCQ for our second annual picnic at Parc Jean-Drapeau. Bring your basket, some friends, and some outdoor family games. We are meeting at 1:30 pm in front of the Jean-Drapeau metro station. Everyone is welcome to this free event.

Le second pique-nique annuel du Sierra Club du Québec arrive à grands pas. Rendez-vous dimanche 13 août à 13 h 30, devant la station de métro Jean-Drapeau. Apportez votre panier, amenez vos amis et des jeux de plein air. Ouvert à toutes et à tous et c'est gratuit.


The Sierra Youth Coalition presents: BE HEARD, LEARN HOW

We are touring the country this summer and we want you to be there with us!         .

We're stopping in major cities to: 
1. Meet you! 
2. Give a high-energy & inspiring presentation (+ short film & dynamic discussion). 
3. Talk with you about who we are, what we do, and how you can get involved!!

Tour Dates

Victoria Aug 3rd
Toronto Aug 8th
Ottawa  Aug 14th
Halifax  Aug 22nd

For POSTERS and other DETAILS go to

To help with the tour, contact Zoë Caron

View previous editions of the Sierra Club of Canada Green Gazette at the Green Gazette Archives.

Thank you to all contributors to this publication.

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