Sands Public Consultations
As the Government of Alberta completes the first
week of a four-week tour of Alberta communities in its provincial
consultations on the future of oil sands development in the province,
Sierra Club of Canada’s Prairie Chapter has released a grassroots
action guide to demystify the public process and encourage participation.
“These public consultations can be intimidating for the
most experienced public advocates,” claims Meredith James,
Associate Director for Sierra Club of Canada’s Prairie Chapter,
“Our intent with this guide is to demystify the process
slightly by providing information, details on the consultation
process and questions to guide verbal or written submissions from
community members across the province and beyond.”
“Public concern over the pace and scope of the Oil Sands
in the province is growing and Albertans continue to place a high
priority on the preservation of clean air, water and land,”
continues James, “It is important that the committee hear
these priorities from the people who live on the land, breath
the air and drink the water.”
The Tar Sands Action Guide can be downloaded online at www.sierraclub.ca/prairie/tarnation.htm.
In addition to all the individuals and groups who will be making
formal presentations, there will also be a "Welcoming Committee"
outside the consultations in Edmonton to welcome consultation
participants and thank them for spending the time to make Alberta’s
future sustainable. The goal is to create a festive atmosphere
that is a celebration of the alternatives to tar sands development.
If you don't live in Alberta, please pass this guide on to friends and family who live in Wild Rose Country
and encourage them to read the guide and get active.
Make Sure your MP votes for Kyoto
Introducing the Rodriguez Bill (Bill C-288)
This fall, Canada’s Members of Parliament have a chance
to get Canada back on track towards our Kyoto Protocol target.
When Stephen Harper rejected Canada’s Kyoto target this
spring, Montreal MP Pablo Rodriguez decided to fight back with
a tough private member’s bill. Rodriguez’s bill, the
Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act (C-288), would force
Canada to meet our Kyoto target despite Harper’s defeatism.
The bill legally obliges the government to prepare a plan to cut
greenhouse gas pollution down to Kyoto levels, and to implement
that plan through regulations, programs, or other spending.
The bill will be debated this fall, and could come to a vote
as early as October 4. C-288 is our best chance to get Kyoto back
onto the government’s agenda, and it needs support from
every MP. Please write or call your Member of Parliament before
October 4 to explain why you support the Kyoto Protocol Implementation
Act, and asking your MP to vote for it. (You may even want to
tell your MP that his or her vote on C-288 will help you make
up your mind which party to support in the next election.)
Find a list of MP’s phone numbers, here
and click on your MP’s name. (Don't
know your MP's name?)
Read the text
Sierra Club of Canada Welcomes New Executive Director
The Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Stephen Hazell
has been appointed as Executive Director effective September 25,
experience is unique in that he has held senior management positions
in two national environmental groups, a federal environmental
agency and a leading Ottawa-based consulting firm. More recently,
he has led Sierra Club of Canada’s campaigns against the
Mackenzie Gas Project and Alberta tar sands development. Stephen
holds a Master of Science degree in Plant Ecology from the University
of Toronto and a Law degree from Queen’s University.
Please join us in welcoming him.
Note: We are extremely grateful for the expert, pro bono
supported provided for us in our search by Eric Slankis of Ray
Goodbye to another friend -- Debra Eindiguer
We are saying goodbye to another familiar face at the national
office. Debra Eindiguer is taking a new position supporting Elizabeth
May at the Green Party of Canada.
Elizabeth’s gain is our loss – we’re sure you’ll
agree. Debra will be greatly missed. But we do wish to extend
our congratulations and best wishes to her in her new role. We
know you’ll stay in touch!
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 next month's Green Gazette.
Awards Nominations Deadline October
Do you know someone who deserves recognition for their hard work?
Please consider nominating them for one of our SCC Volunteer or
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 Martha Beckett (email@example.com,
(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,
Please submit your nominations toMartha Beckett (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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
(SYC) 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 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.”
SCC - IN THE NEWS
Sierra Club of Canada is the country’s most often quoted
environmental organization. This new section gives you an idea
of where SCC’s name shows up.
Gauntlet Opinions - C'mon Calgary, get with the flow!
By Jon Roe
University of Calgary Gauntlet
Thursday, September 07, 2006
As Calgarians, we don't need to avoid contracting embarrassing
diarrhea or potentially fatal viruses. Yet, bottles of water are
on display at every vending machine and sell fairly well--a frightening
trend that has emerged as we have become increasingly reliant
on private sources of water. Recognizing this, the United Church
of Canada drafted a resolution requesting its members stop buying
bottled water in protest of the privatization of water supplies.
Perhaps it is time to ask "what would Jesus do?"
Calgary has one of the best water treatment plants in Canada
and yet Calgarians still choose to drink water from bottles rather
than the taps they finance with their taxes. Drinking bottled
water from vending machines is a wasteful habit too. Besides the
greenhouse gases generated when the water is shipped from the
source to the bottling site to the consumer, the bulk of the empty
bottles end up in landfills. Recycling, though better than tossing
the bottle in a trash can, still isn't the best option when the
product is unnecessary in the first place. There are places in
the world where drinking bottled water is a safer alternative
than tap water, but Calgary isn't one.
a testament to the strength of our own water systems, having major
companies buy our tap water is more costly to tax payers than
it seems. Under the Dasani brand, Coca-Cola filters water from
Calgary and Brampton, Ontario, one more time, then turns around
and labels it "purified water." Coke buys our water
at wholesale prices--cheaper than we pay for it--and then sells
it back to us after ludicrous mark-ups. This extra use of our
water is a drain on our expensive infrastructure, even if it pads
an already overloaded city budget.
If people bought a reusable hard plastic bottle and filled it
themselves, they'd be providing the same service for free instead
of handing money to major companies like Coca-Cola. If worry persists
about the cleanliness of the water, filters can be attached to
household taps to provide cleaner water in the home at a much
cheaper rate than what is typically paid for bottled water. Though
that does sound like a lot of work, it is a far more sensible
alternative. Apparently, the price of laziness is about $1.50
per 591 ml.
The overall trend of privatization is also rather disturbing--especially
when individuals are profiting at the cost of society as a whole.
A recent application to the British Columbia government by Mike
McCarthy, a real estate mogul based out of Sicamous, for a water
license to extract one million imperial gallons of water a day
from four Adams Lake creeks has drawn protest from the Sierra
Club of Canada. The group warns that granting such a license could
set a dangerous precedent, allowing water to be treated as a commodity
under the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Though there is a need for clean drinking sources world-wide,
that need isn't present in international consumers who can afford
to pay for bottled creek water shipped straight to them from the
We can't allow someone to profit in the short term from the long
term destruction of our fresh water drinking sources.
As the Sierra Club notes, "extracting such high volumes
of water will impede water flow in the Adams Lake watershed. It
will also negatively affect wildlife habitat, particularly salmon."
The mistaken attitude towards water is that it's a limitless
resource there for our misuse. Canadians are especially terrible
when it comes to this attitude. According to Natural Resources
Canada, we tend to waste more water than any other country in
the world. Unfortunately, because we are surrounded by so many
fresh water sources, it isn't hard to see why we can so easily
abuse an increasingly important resource. Maybe if we paid $3
a litre for our water, we would realize the importance of water
in the same way that paying over a dollar per litre for gasoline
has forced us to become a more energy conscious society. With
recent trends towards privatization, perhaps water will one day
cost that much. Until then, however, we should take advantage
of the clean water provided to us for free and stop filling garbage
cans and recycling bins with unnecessary bottles.
Attention Teachers and Educators
Atlantic Canada Chapter is proud to offer its 4th year of excellent
school programs available to classes K-6 & 9-12 in French
and English throughout the Atlantic Provinces of Nova Scotia,
New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. We have
a small but great team this year of enthusiastic and dedicated
staff and volunteers to bring programs focused on local environmental
issues and how youth can take action.
Program topics include: Acadian and Boreal Forests, Coastal and
Marine Environments and Ecological Footprints. They are 2 visits
of approximately 70 minutes and are only $25/per class! What a
deal! These are programs approved by Green Street, a national
standard of excellence in environmental education.
To register please call ACC office at 902-444-3113 or email at
or go directly to the website at www.green-street.ca
and click teacher zone to book a program. If you are interested
in programs for Newfoundland, we are taking registrations immediately
since programs will only be available this October 2006.
Should Digby, Nova Scotia have a Pesticide
By-law? Request For Public Input
The Digby Town Council will be forming a sub-committee to study
the need for a "Pesticide By-Law." Council is requesting
written public comments on this issue to help them determine whether
such a by-law is required. Please address responses to:
Town Council c/o Matthew Raymond,
Digby, NS, B0V 1A0
Coal Mine in Cape Breton Almost Approved
A plan to strip mine coal at Point Aconi, Cape Breton has reached
the final stages of approval despite massive opposition from local
residents over the last 22 months. At a public meeting September
18, residents vowed to fight on, pledging civil disobedience if
necessary to stop this threat to farming, fishing, tourism and
precious ecosystems in the area. Much of the area to be mined
is pristine mixed forest with delicate wetlands, yet the provincial
government has continued to describe the project as a “cleanup”
of the old Prince Mine site—“reclamation mining.”
In attendance were local conservative MLA Keith Bain and Mayor
Morgan of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. Both Bain and
Morgan oppose the plan as does virtually every politician on the
island except Tory House Speaker Cecil Clarke. Critical support
from First Nations leaders was pledged by Eskasoni Elder Albert
Marshall who vows to stop the process by whatever means deemed
necessary. If Pioneer Coal succeeds in stripping Point Aconi,
the provincial government will continue its 10-year plan to lay
waste to a dozen more blocks, a total of nearly 12,000 hectares—a
massive sacrifice to “King Coal” that will decimate
Cape Breton’s coastline.
/ SECTION DU QUÉBEC
Meeting with John Godfrey / Rencontre avec M. John
In early September, Johanne Roberge (Québec Chair), Amelia
Clarke (National Board Past- President) and Daniel Green (Québec
Campaigns Director) met with Federal Liberal Environment Critic,
John Godfrey, as part of a working session on Quebec environmental
issues. The discussions also covered the portion of the federal
gas tax allocated to municipalities which were earmarked for sustainable
development. We hope these issues will be raised in the House
Au début septembre, Johanne Roberge (présidente
QC), Amelia Clarke (présidente sortante du Conseil Administratif)
et Daniel Green (directeur des campagnes au Québec) ont
rencontré John Godfrey (critique fédéral
en environnement) dans le cadre d’une réunion de
travail sur les dossiers environnementaux du Québec. La
discussion a aussi porté sur la remise de la taxe fédérale
sur l’essence aux municipalités et plus particulièrement
sur la portion attribuée au développement durable.
Nous espérons que ces questions seront débattues
à la chambre des communes.
Car Free Day / En ville sans ma voiture
Volunteering / Bénévoles
On September 22, climate change was the centre of discussion during
Montreal Car Free Day. The Sierra Club of Canada - Quebec Chapter
(SCQ) booth as well as Health,
Transport and Environment Canada booths presented climate changes
issues and risks. We developed our educational game for street
animation as well as the one on health and climate changes used
by Health Canada. This collaboration was the initial step in a
broader working relationship between the Quebec Chapter and federal
Vendredi le 22 septembre, les changements climatiques ont
été à l’honneur dans le cadre de la
Journée sans voiture de Montréal. Le kiosque du
SCQ ainsi que ceux de Santé, Transport et Environnement
Canada portaient sur les enjeux et les risques que posent les
changements climatiques. En plus de son jeu d’animation,
le SCQ a aussi développé le jeu éducatif
de Santé Canada portant sur la santé et les changements
climatiques. Cette collaboration amorce une relation de travail
harmonieuse avec des ministères fédéraux.
If you wish to help us out, please contact Claude Martel, at email@example.com
or by phone at (514) 651-5847 (leave a message). A few hours of
your time can make a difference!
Venez nous donner un coup de main, il suffit de quelques heures
par mois et vous en tirerez une expérience très enrichissante.
Communiquez avec firstname.lastname@example.org
ou au (514) 651-5847 (laissez un message).
Sierra Club of Canada, Ontario Chapter Succeeds with
Toronto Car Free Day 2006!
The following is from a message entitled "We Win" written
by a long-time Car Free Day volunteer:
Way back in 2000, we set out to hold a "real" International
Car Free Day event–-a main street in downtown Toronto on
a weekday that is International Car Free Day. We wanted it to
be recognized by the city and supported by the mayor. It took
a little longer than expected, but we never gave up (even when
almost every politician, bureaucrat, funding source and activist
that was paying attention told us to pack it in), and we kept
moving forward, and this year we got it!! We "opened"
the most famous part of the most important street in the most
important city in Canada.
It was, as it should be, a mainstream event, which attracted
not only our activist friends, and the people from the neighbourhood
but also average Torontonians on their lunchhour, viewers of CityTV,
prominent corporate sponsors and populist city councillors. We
drew a spotlight that brought more attention to the Day and every
group celebrating it than ever before. We joined Montreal in showing
every other Canadian city that Car Free Day is a bandwagon they
should jump on.
It is natural for us, and others, to look at the event and find
things that could be improved–-a bigger, rowdier crowd,
or a larger closure area–-and we will get even bigger and
better next year, as we climb up from our new basecamp.
But no-one can take away the fact that this year–-thanks
to the long, hard work of everyone [involved], we celebrated a
great Car Free Day that we all can be very proud of. This year,
we won. Congratulations everyone.
SCC seeks nominations for leadership position in Ontario
Sierra Club of Canada is seeking candidates for Ontario Chapter
Executive Committee (3 positions) and the Executive Committees
of each of the Ontario local groups: Ottawa (2 positions), Toronto
(4 positions) and Peel Region (5 positions). Candidates must be
members in good standing, and at least 18 years old.
Interested candidates may petition to run for election by submitting
a nomination letter signed by any fifteen members of the Chapter
(for chapter candidates) or the local group (for a particular
local group) to the contact person listed below. Petition candidates
must provide a 100-word personal profile to the nominating committee
for inclusion on the ballot. Deadline is October 18, 2006.
Elections are by mail-in ballot in the fall. Executive Committee
members-elect take office in January 2007.
Ontario Chapter: Jaime McVicar
Ottawa Group: Terry Newcombe
Toronto Group: Danielle Buklis
Peel Group: Verna Blackburn
Value of Parks to Neighbouring Communities - Public Information
What is the value of parks to neighbouring communities in western
North America, including Alberta?
Crowsnest Pass, AB: Oct. 16 at the Crowsnest Centre, Blairmore,
Pincher Creek, AB: Oct. 17 at the Heritage Inn
7:00 pm to 9:30 pm
Doors & displays open at 6:30 pm
The first park in Alberta’s southwest was established in
1895 – Waterton Lakes National Park. Since then, Beauvais
Lake (1954) and Police Outpost (1970) Provincial Parks, three
Historic Sites and the Westcastle Wetlands were added to the protected
areas system. In 1982 the Alberta Recreation and Parks Minister
stated he recognized “the scarcity and sensitivity of the
few remaining wildland and recreation areas of southern Alberta.”
How have such protected areas benefited our communities and what
about the future?
Current information on this topic will be presented by three
speakers, each with a different set of expertise. A chamber of
commerce person, Steve Duerr of Jackson Hole Wyoming will share
his experiences with us from a community next door to internationally
renowned national parks. An economist, Jim Johnson of Pacific
Analytics Inc. will approach the topic from the view of economic
assessments done here in Canada and abroad. An Alberta government
official, Scott Jones with the Community Development Department
will share information on the contribution of parks within Alberta.
Crowsnest Pass, Judy Cooke,
Pincher Creek, Judy Huntley,
Co-hosted by Sierra Club of Canada, the “Trail of the Great
Bear” ecotourism initiative, Canadian Parks and Wilderness
Society, Castle Crown Wilderness Coalition and the Natural Resources
Employment Opportunity: Enviro 911 Coordinator
The Environmental911 program connects volunteer researchers
to members of the community seeking answers to their questions
and concerns. For more information, please see www.sierraclub.ca/prairie/Sierra911.
BC Environmentalists Band Together to Oppose Coal-fired
Chapter has teamed up with eight other environmental groups to
oppose the BC government’s backward-looking decision to
build two coal-fired power plants in a province flush with hydro
and rich in potential for other forms of renewable energy.
In a letter sent to BC Premier Gordon Campbell the groups pointed
out that the Tumbler Ridge and Princeton power plants, BC’s
first, would emit between 70 and 260 times more pollution than
the proposed Sumas II gas-fired power plant in Washington State,
which the BC Liberal government opposed last year because of air
To draw attention to the government’s antiquated approach
to meeting BC’s energy needs, BC Chapter representatives
staged a rally outside the annual Canadian Conference on Coal
in downtown Victoria dressed in Victorian costumes.
Read press release here: www.sierraclub.ca/bc/media/item.shtml?x=874
Campaign for BC Parks Launched
Environmentalists and union workers held information protests
and petition drives in 14 parks across BC to educate park users
about the multiple threats to the province’s world-famous
park system. In Goldstream Provincial Park near Victoria, Sierra
Club of Canada, BC Chapter, the Western Canada Wilderness Committee
and the BC Government Employees Union gathered with supporters
holding several large banners and placards and a cardboard replica
of a parking meter (dubbed “Peter the Parking Meter”)
to collect petition cards from park visitors.
BC parks have long suffered from under-funding and mismanagement.
Seeking to maximize returns at the expense of conservation, successive
governments have slowly eroded the hard-won parks system by measures
such as allowing resort development within park boundaries, installing
parking meters, weakening the Parks Act, changing park
boundaries to allow for industrial development, and cutting the
operating budget for parks.
The most recent challenge faced by parks in BC is the government’s
surprise announcement in August that it is planning to call for
proposals for roofed for-profit accommodation, including resorts
and hotels, in 12 provincial parks.
action for parks today.