Green Gazette - August 2006

Sierra Club of Canada's monthly electronic newsletter

What's Inside







Sierra Club of Canada Awards Nominations

Do you know someone who deserves recognition for their hard work?

Please consider nominating them for one of our SCC Volunteer or Staff Awards. 

Learn More


Seeking a new National Campaign Director

Reporting to and in consultation with the Executive Director, the National Campaign Director is responsible for the planning, development, execution and financial management of environmental and conservation campaigns at the national level. For more information go to

Evaluation Reveals Federal Mismanagement of Species at Risk

An independent evaluation revealed rampant federal mismanagement in implementing the Species at Risk Act (SARA). The evaluation by a private consulting firm Stratos Inc., points out serious deficiencies in all of the key areas evaluated.

The evaluation was released by Environment Canada’s Audit and Evaluation Branch in response to a request from the federal Treasury Board. It concludes that ‘the species at risk programs and activities are not yet on track to ensure that the Act's objectives and intended outcomes will be realized.’

The number one cause of species’ decline in Canada is habitat loss. The identification of critical habitat is the primary tool under SARA to enable habitat protection. One of the key findings of the evaluation is that critical habitat was not being identified or legally protected. The evaluation also finds that a significant portion of available resources was either re-allocated to other departmental priorities, allowed to lapse, or extensively re-profiled within SARA programs. This means that money that was allocated for such crucial things as recovery planning and critical habitat identification was misspent.

Read the press release here:

Alberta’s Lack of Legislation Protecting Species at Risk Puts Plants on the Brink

Sierra Club of Canada's national office participated in a petition delivered to the Environment Minister Rona Ambrose, asking the minister to recommend protection for the Tiny Cryptanthe plant and Small-flowered Sand-verbena plant. These plants, whose small populations are found almost entirely in Alberta, are at immediate risk of extinction, yet Alberta has no endangered species legislation in place to protect them. 

Take action to protect these plants.

Mackenzie Gas Pipeline Update

Sierra Club of Canada's acting Executive Director, Stephen Hazell, legal counsel, Paul Falvo, and Director of Biodiversity, Rachel Plotkin, attended the National Energy Board Hearings on the Mackenzie Gas Project in Yellowknife in July. Falvo's fancy footwork on the hearings floor laid bare the links between the Proponents' companies and tar sands development in Alberta--a link that the Proponents readily deny.

Haven't signed the Mackenzie Wild Declaration? Go to: today.

Sierra Club of Canada Annual General Meeting

Our AGM will take place November 25-26, 2006, in Ottawa.  Please stay tuned for more details in Green Gazette and in SCAN newsletter.

Awards Nominations Deadline October 21, 2006

Please note that any proposed award recipient must be a Sierra Club of Canada member.  For a nomination form to submit potential award recipients, please contact Debra Eindiguer (, (613) 241-4611).  The nomination should include a supporting statement of no more than one page setting out the achievements of your nominee in relation to the award category for which you are nominating them.  Feel free to attach any news clippings, if relevant.

Please submit your nominations, attention Debra Eindiguer ( The results will be shared at the Annual General Meeting November 25-26, 2006 in Ottawa.

Awards for Volunteers

The Chuck Chamberlin Award

This award is given in memory of Chuck Chamberlin to the volunteer who has contributed in significant ways to the health and growth of a local group.

Criteria:  For a volunteer who has donated extraordinary amounts of their time and who has left an indelible mark on the corner of the world where they are rooted.

The Conservation Chapter Award

This award is given to the volunteer who has contributed to a significant environmental campaign within their chapter.

Criteria:  For a volunteer who has steered, or made an indispensable contribution, to a chapter conservation campaign.  The award may be given in cases of securing an environmental victory, as well as in cases where a valiant fight has been lost.

The Ron Burchell Membership Development Award

This award is given in memory of Sierra Club of Canada founding president, Ron Burchell, to the volunteer who has contributed in an outstanding way to membership recruitment.

Criteria:  For a volunteer who has made impressive efforts to increase membership in Sierra Club of Canada, at a group, chapter, youth coalition or national level.

The Sierra Youth Coalition Inspiration Award

This award marks an outstanding contribution by a Sierra Club of Canada member under 25 years old.  The Sierra Youth Coalition selects the winner of this award, which includes a scholarship, where appropriate, to further educational goals. 

Criteria: To a volunteer within Sierra Youth Coalition in recognition of innovative, creative and significant outreach to youth and/or the general public.  The prize is $2000, provided by the Sierra Club of Canada Foundation as an educational donation within charitable purposes.

Awards to Staff

The Gary Gallon Award for Environmental Achievement

This award is given annually to the staff member at the SYC, chapter or national level of Sierra Club of Canada who best exemplifies qualities of commitment to the organization, respect for others, dogged perseverance in the cause of the planet and all its creatures.

Criteria:  This award reflects the reality that staff and volunteers alike are worthy of recognition within Sierra Club of Canada and more broadly.  The award recognizes contributions far in excess of the requirements of employment, recognizing staff roles as “subsidized volunteers.”

New faces at SCC National

Sierra Club of Canada National office would like to welcome two new people to the team:

Jaymimi Bhikha and Joan Reddy are our new interns. They both start at SCC on September 5th and will be with us until the end of December. Jaymini is a recent graduate from the University of Toronto in Environmental Management. Joan recently completed her Masters in Environmental Studies at York University.

Welcome Jaymini and Joan!


Awards at the Annual General Meeting


Bruno Marcocchio accepts the "Bruno" award on behalf of this year's winner Dr. Tim Lambert for his research on the Sydney Tar Ponds and for his unwillingness to be silenced despite the NS government's best efforts.

The Atlantic Canada Chapter of Sierra Club of Canada (SCC-ACC) held its annual general meeting in Yarmouth County in July 2006. As part of the weekend activities the recipients of the "Bruno" award and the "Rudy Haase" award were announced. These awards are offered to Maritimers who have made great contributions towards promoting and protecting our environment through grassroots activism, public education or successful lobbying.

The Rudy Haase Award was presented for outstanding conservation achievements that best exemplifies the principles, values and effectiveness of Martin Rudy Haase of Chester, Nova Scotia. This year the award was presented to Dr. Janet Eaton of Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Janet Eaton has a long history of environmental activism and leadership on a range of environmental and globalization issues, and world peace. Janet is also Chair of the Wolfville Mudcreek Group.

The Bruno Award was presented to a committed environmentalist who sticks to their principles despite resistance and really ticks off a municipality, government or government agency in the process. This year the award was presented to Dr. Tim Lambert of Calgary, Alberta who appeared as an expert witness before the Sydney Tar Ponds federal review panel. Dr. Lambert researched and presented several papers on the potential negative impact of the proposed clean-up plan on the residents living nearby the tar ponds. His expert opinion "ticked-off" government officials whom have launched efforts to discredit Dr. Lambert's work.


Bill Graham with the Québec Chapter Advisory Group at the July 27th briefing on climate change. Left to right: Geneviève Gagnon, Honourable Bill Graham, Jean Brunet, Claude Martel, Marc Stamos, and Patrick Bonin, from the Coalition Québec Vert Kyoto. / Bill Graham avec le groupe consultatif de la Section du Québec du Sierra Club du Canada pendant la réunion du 27 juillet, au sujet du changement climatique. De gauche à droite : Geneviève Gagnon, l'Honorable Bill Graham, Jean Brunet, Claude Martel, Marc Stamos, et Patrick Bonin, de la Coalition Québec Vert Kyoto.

Car Free Day / En ville sans ma voiture

On September 22, from 10 am to 2 pm, visit our booth in downtown Montreal (in front of the Eaton Centre, 705 Ste-Catherine W.) as part of Car Free Day. Come and play with our Climate Change Wheel.

Vendredi le 22 septembre, visitez notre kiosque au centre-ville de Montréal (devant le Centre Eaton, 705, rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest) dans le cadre la journée « En ville sans ma voiture. » Venez jouer à la roue des changements climatiques.

Our excursion to an organic farm on August 12 was a success. We were touched by our hosts who showed such dedication to the quality of their produce and such honesty in their commitment to sustainable development. / Notre excursion à une ferme biologique s'est très bien passée. Nous étions émus par nos hôtes qui sont dévoué à la qualité de leurs légumes et très passionnés par le développement durable.

Volunteering / Bénévoles

If you wish to help us out, please contact Claude Martel, Director of SCQ at or by phone at (514) 651-5847 (leave a message).

Venez nous donner un coup de main, il suffit de quelques heures par mois et vous en tirerez une expérience très enrichissante.  Communiquer avec le directeur à ou au (514) 651-5847 (laissez un message).


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.

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!

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!

Keep an eye on for more details as they develop.


Oil Sands Consultation

The Prairie Chapter is gearing up for September, which is looking like a very busy month. Chapter Director Lindsay Telfer was selected by the Alberta Environmental Network to sit on the Oil Sands Consultation Committee. Public Consultations will begin in September and we hope that all of our members will take the time to voice their personal opinion about oil sands development in Alberta. As a regional organization, we will also be highlighting the down stream impacts on people across the region as well as the global impacts of climate change. We are currently planning how we can best engage both our members and the public to participate in the consultations.

This work to increase public mobilization around the tar sands builds at a protest organized by the Arctic Indigenous Alliance. Meagan Johnston (second from right) unfurled a banner in front of the gargantuan tar sands truck parked on the National Mall in Washington D.C. Also present was Sierra Club of Canada Board Member Jeca-Glor Bell (right). The action took place at the Smithsonian Institute’s Folklife Festival, whose Alberta exhibition contained a large area focusing on the tar sands, but contained no indigenous or environmental perspective on the issue. The truck was the centerpiece of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival's exhibit on the culture of Alberta. They received national media coverage, including a mention in Oilweek magazine!

The events in DC, combined with networks emerging from the Ruckus Society’s Freedom From Oil, and the upcoming consultations have fermented the creation of a loose coalition of activists who are hoping to start mobilizing around the tar sands this fall. The Prairie Chapter anticipates playing a key role in this coalition!

Climate Action Tour 2006

The Canadian Climate Action Network is going on tour to find out what Canadians want in a Kyoto plan to address the climate crisis.  Climate Action Tour 2006 will present a series of workshops designed to enable Canadians to create Canada’s climate action plan. The tour is a response to the intended “Made in Canada Plan” touted by the Harper government.

We will be hosting the event in Edmonton on September 26.  Join us to learn more about climate change, connect with other concerned people, and most importantly, provide your input for a report that will be presented to the federal government.

Check out today.

Outreach Coordinator Meredith James will be attending the founding meeting of the Canadian Youth Climate Change meeting in Toronto in early September. She is looking forward to finding ways to incorporate the voice of youth into the Climate Action Tour.

Environmental 911

The Environmental 911 Program is expanding! Volunteers in Calgary and Saskatoon will be bringing the program to those communities in September and October.

Harper goes to Yellowknife

The Prairie Chapter extends all the way to the North, and Paul Falvo organized a special welcoming event for Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Yellowknife.

Goodbye to Meagan Johnston

Lastly, we are very sad to say goodbye to our outstanding Summer Promotions and Outreach Coordinator, Meagan Johnston.  She has been invaluable and we will miss her commitment to the Chapter, our volunteers, and the environment.


Update on BC Hydro’s Integrated Electricity Plan and the BC Government’s Energy Plan

In March, BC Hydro filed its Integrated Electricity Plan, and the BC Utilities Commission has scheduled the public review. Sierra Club of Canada - BC Chapter has joined with the BC Sustainable Energy Association and the Peace Valley Environmental Association to intervene. We expect participation from many parties: industry groups, commercial consumers, consumer advocates, independent power producers and others.

BC Hydro’s service area, containing 94% of BC’s population, has some 55,000 gigawatt-hours per year of electricity demand, which is forecast to rise to 67,000 GWh/year by 2015 and to 78,000 GWh/year by 2025.

Adding the hole from the expected retirement of the Burrard Thermal generation plant, BC Hydro predicts a supply gap of 18,000 GWh/y by 2015. Hydro proposes to fill it with:

  • 5,900 GWh/y of conservation and industrial load displacement;
  • 2,500 GWh/y from the present Call for Power (results due this August);
  • 5,000 GWh/y from a Call for Power in 2007 (open to all energy types, except nuclear);
  • 5,000 GWh/y from another open Call for Power in 2009.

There is no immediate decision on building the controversial Site C dam on the Peace River. The government has reserved the decision for itself, but the Integrated Electricity Plan calls for stakeholder engagements to inform government – and test the waters for public resistance and first nations land claims.

Government has been tight-lipped about its Energy Plan update, announced last November and set for completion by this December. Electricity, oil and gas, and transportation will be addressed, but no public hearings are planned, and there is scant information on the range of policies being considered, or whether government will address greenhouse gas emissions – a glaring omission from the 2002 Energy Plan.

Government has also been sounding the alarm over our “need” to import electricity to meet domestic demand. Actually, BC Hydro sometimes chooses to be a net importer when it’s more economical than drawing down the hydroelectric reservoirs or running the Burrard Thermal plant.

Perhaps the government wishes to foster a perception of scarcity, so as to support coal-fired generation proposals that are now being brought forward in Tumbler Ridge (AES Wapiti Energy) and Princeton (Compliance Power). Sierra Club of Canada opposes any coal-fired generation in BC, and deems it incompatible with the long-term well-being of our society and the environment.

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