Green Gazette

Green Gazette - February 2007

Sierra Club of Canada's monthly electronic newsletter

What's Inside

NATIONAL

SIERRA CLUB IN THE NEWS

ATLANTIC CANADA CHAPTER

QUÉBEC CHAPTER /
SECTION DU QUÉBEC

ONTARIO CHAPTER

PRAIRIE CHAPTER

BRITISH COLUMBIA CHAPTER

SIERRA CLUB OF CANADA FOUNDATION

NATIONAL

Secret Deal Compromises Canada’s Ability to Go Green

The Conservative government’s commitment to a five-fold expansion of tar sands oil production is totally inconsistent with promises made to take the climate crisis seriously.

Press Release from January 19th

OtherJanuary Press Releases

January 29, 2007 - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report due this week as Kyoto tops agenda for 2007 Parliament
January 28, 2007 - Approval of Unproven Technology Contravenes Panel Recommendations
January 25, 2007 - Welcome Vision for Provincial Oil Sands Strategy
January 17, 2007 - Sierra Club of Canada Supports Citizens Against Burning of Tires
January 17, 2007 - More government subsidies for fossil fuel industry?
January 9, 2007 - Minister Baird: Provide Canadians with a Strong, Credible Response to Climate Change
January 4, 2007 - Will Environmental Policy Shift with New Minister?

CyberAlert chooses Sierra Club of Canada for news monitoring grant

Sierra Club of Canada has been selected as one of 24 recipients of CyberAlert’s 2007 PR Grants.  The grant entitles us to a year’s worth of CyberAlert 4.0 news monitoring from CyberAlert Inc. The total value of the 24 grants is approximately $65,000.

CyberAlert 4.0 offers local, national, and worldwide news monitoring and press clipping service monitors 25,000+ online news sources in 20+ languages each day.  You can read their corporate release: www.cyberalert.com/r_011807.html.

This will be a great way to monitor not only SCC in the news, but also general environmental news across Canada. 

Barenaked Ladies

Sierra Club of Canada will be on tour with the Barenaked Ladies this winter! The Canadian leg of the Ladies’ tour began January 31st in Victoria. Sierra Club was there talking to concertgoers as part of the Ladies’ Barenaked Planet eco-fair. Come see us at any of the following dates:

2/7                  Edmonton, AB               Rexall Place
2/8                  Calgary, AB                    Saddledome
2/9                  Lethbridge, AB               Enmax
2/10                Saskatoon, SK                Credit Union Centre
2/12                Regina, SK                      Brandt Centre
2/13                Winnipeg, MB                MTS Centre
2/19                Montreal, PQ                 Bell Centre
2/21                Ottawa, ON                   Scotia Bank Place
2/23                St. John, NB                   Harbour Station
2/24                Halifax, NS                    Metro Centre
2/26                St. John's, NFLD            Mile One Stadium

Logo Redesign Competition

We are looking to change the Sierra Club of Canada logo, as part of a larger effort to brand our organization.  After many months of background work and research we are ready to solicit entries to our logo redesign competition.

Overall, the idea is to modernize it (but not too much), with more zing, and greater relevance (we’re about more than trees, and the tree on the logo doesn’t even grow in Canada.)  For more information, please contact communications@sierraclub.ca by February 10, 2007.

Call for Nominations to National Board of Directors

National board candidates include two categories—national-at-large members and those 26 years of age or under (to ensure adequate youth representation in organizational governance).  For the 2007 election, we are seeking to fill two positions for national-at-large members and one position in the youth category.

You can nominate a member (or yourself).  You may also seek election as a petition candidate.  Petition candidates are included on the ballot, as long as they are supported by the signature of one percent of the membership. Contact the national office for details about becoming a petition candidate. Deadline for petition candidates is April 15, 2007. 

Nomination deadline is March 30, 2007. Please send your nomination(s) to:

Sierra Club of Canada
Attn: Nominations Committee
Suite 412- 1 Nicholas Street
Ottawa, ON  K1N 7B7
Or by email to admin@sierraclub.ca  or by fax (613) 241-2292, attention Martha Beckett.

Candidates must be at least 18 years of age and must have been members of the Sierra Club of Canada in good standing for at least one year.  Please note that you must be a current member to receive a ballot for the election.  If you are unsure of your status please call 1-888-810-4204 or email membership@sierraclub.ca.

An Important Notice to All our Supporters

We would like to thank our generous and loyal members and donors.  Through your support, you are really helping us to make a difference for the future of our country and our planet!

As of February 1 2007, Sierra Club of Canada has made a major change that will affect our members and donors.  From this point onwards, any supporter who makes a single or cumulative contribution to Sierra Club of Canada or to the Sierra Club of Canada Foundation of $20 or more in a 12-month period will be treated as a member of the Club.

This replaces our former membership structure, in which we encouraged donations, but expected supporters who wished to have membership status to pay a separate membership fee.  We have set the support level where we feel it can be achieved by almost anyone because we place great value on the support of a diverse and engaged constituency.

We hope that you will continue to support Sierra Club of Canada at levels that are equal to–or even greater than–your support in past years.  For example, if you have paid a membership fee of $40 in the past, perhaps you will consider a gift of $50 this year.  This will still entitle you to membership, and your increased support will go directly to our environmental programs.  We have much work to do and we can’t do it without your support!  For more details or for FAQS go to www.sierraclub.ca/national/getinvolved/notice.html.


SIERRA CLUB - IN THE NEWS

Ottawa seeks advice on green plan

By Bill Curry
Globe and Mail, A4
January 3rd, 2007

OTTAWA -- The Prime Minister's senior aides, including legislative assistant Bruce Carson and policy director Mark Cameron, are seeking advice from environmentalists on how to beef up the government's record heading in to a key winter session.

After being shut out in the past, environmentalists are reluctant to discuss the meetings. But sources confirmed the Prime Minister's Office is quietly opening the lines of communication with its harshest critics.

The discussions are focused on the government's Clean Air Act -- which the opposition has vowed to change dramatically -- and the short and medium regulations for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions that will be announced early this year. The overture follows private meetings on the same issues last month attended by more than a half dozen environmental groups and MPs from the three opposition parties.

Mr. Carson was closely involved in designing the government's existing environmental plans, having been seconded briefly last year as Environment Minister Rona Ambrose's chief of staff. Mr. Cameron was once a Liberal cabinet aide to Stéphane Dion in the 1990s before changing parties.

The move by the Conservatives occurs as the PMO is leading efforts to rebrand the party's environmental credentials, leaving Ms. Ambrose in limbo over her political future.

It also comes on the heels of comments from former prime minister Brian Mulroney that environmental issues might be a key to capturing the next federal election.

He said if the Stephen Harper government doesn't move faster, other parties are waiting to claim the environment as their issue. Mr. Dion, the new leader of the Liberal Party, has vowed to make the environment his central campaign issue in the next election.

In year-end interviews, the Prime Minister said he agreed with Mr. Mulroney's comments.

Liberal MP John Godfrey said he finds it hard to blame Ms. Ambrose for the government's environmental performance given the clear direction from Mr. Harper.

"She's tried to do the best with the hand that she's been dealt," Mr. Godfrey said. "In a government which is so strongly directed from the centre, the ultimate responsibility belongs with the Prime Minister and not with the minister."

It has been three weeks since reports first surfaced indicating Ms. Ambrose would be shuffled out of the Environment post. The Prime Minister did little to quell that speculation during a year-end news conference on Parliament Hill.

Various ministers have been spotted in Ottawa this week even though Parliament is in recess.

The other key minister responsible for environmental policies, Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn, has also been mentioned amid the shuffle speculation.

The uncertainty hanging over the two key cabinet posts comes during an important few weeks for the government on the environment file.

When MPs return to Ottawa at the end of the month, a special legislative committee dominated by opposition MPs will begin hearings on how to amend the Clean Air Act. The act is the government's centrepiece environmental bill.

In spite of the speculation, Ms. Ambrose continues her work on a range of matters, from last month's toxics and renewable fuels announcements to this month's work on the Clean Air Act, said her spokesman Bob Klager.

"Minister Ambrose is a very disciplined and focused politician and she's been on the job, fully engaged, from Day 1 and making significant process when you consider the deficit from where this government began on the environment," he said. Rick Smith, the executive director of the Toronto-based Environmental Defence lobby group, says he is indifferent to political intrigue over who may or may not be the next environment minister.

"There are many, many things that I worry about on a daily basis," he said, listing melting ice caps, toxic chemicals and endangered species. "There's some things I can't worry about, nor do I have any control over them whatsoever."

But others say Ms. Ambrose has been too weakened politically by the unchallenged cabinet speculation to continue in the job.

"I think they're at a point now where they really have to have a new minister," said Stephen Hazell, the executive director of the Sierra Club. "Simply because there's been so much speculation about the change in the media and secondly because she has been singularly ineffective. Whether it's her fault or not is another issue."

Mr. Hazell said there are also potential problems for the rumoured replacements. Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice has been dismissive of environmental assessments while managing the northern gas pipeline issue, he said, while Industry Minister Maxime Bernier is a known advocate of less regulation.

Health Minister Tony Clement or Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon have a stronger track record on the environment, he said.


ATLANTIC CANADA CHAPTER

Call for Volunteers

The Atlantic Canada Chapter is gearing up a wilderness campaign and we need your help! This campaign will be focused on NB and NS for now. Our goals are to protect forested land by: pushing for greater public consultation in forest management, for more protected areas, for a reduction in clearcutting, and for the elimination of herbicide use.

We will do this through developing a public awareness campaign with the goal of having our forest management more closely reflect the public’s values of preserving diversity in our landscape.

If you are interested in helping, please contact Emily McMillan at 902-444-3113 or by email emilym@sierraclub.ca.

Tim for a Moose Recovery Plan in NS

On November 13, 2006, Minister Morse said publicly that he would release a moose recovery plan "early in the new year." After the presentation at the legislature, the Minister funneled more resources to the moose recovery team. It's time for them to produce a document. 

Join others in raising the issue again locally by writing a letter to the editor. Please also write a letter (or send an email) to the Honourable David Morse, Minister of Natural Resources, P.O Box 698, Halifax, NS B3J 2T9, morsemla@ns.sympatico.ca CC: Premier Rodney MacDonald: premier@gov.ns.ca.

Landmines in the Woods: Hidden Traps

Hidden traps/snares severely restrict our enjoyment of the outdoors. Tens of thousands of users like us have the right to safely visit natural areas without concern for ourselves and our children being accidentally injured or companion animals being maimed or killed even when “under control.” 

Trappers are given preferential treatment because all trapping is currently being classified as a recreational activity, such as hiking, under the Protection of Property Act. This permits the trapper unfettered access to private lands. Trapping as an income-producing activity must not be classified as recreational. 

In 2005-2006, thousands of letters/emails to the Minister produced only minor changes. About 1700 trappers, a small minority of outdoor users, with close ties to the Department of Natural Resources have inordinate influence to control regulations. A new and balanced Working Group on Trapping must start work immediately to recommend important changes for next trapping season.

The previous one was heavily weighted with DNR staff and trapping advocates.  Please contact the Minister of Natural Resources and ask for changes to regulations and the formation of a new working group, and ask others to do the same. 

Write to the Honourable David Morse, Minister of Natural Resources, P.O Box 698, Halifax, NS B3J 2T9, morsemla@ns.sympatico.ca.  CC: Premier Rodney MacDonald premier@gov.ns.ca.  For more information, email trappingawarenessproject@gmail.com.


QUÉBEC CHAPTER / SECTION DU QUÉBEC

NiHao TV magazine

Sandra Lee, coordonnatrice du projet de Verdissement de la communauté chinoise, Claude Martel, directeur, et Fan Zou, animateur de l’émission NiHao, un magazine télévisé en chinois sur le canal CH (14 sur le câble), populaire auprès de la communauté chinoise de Montréal. / Sandra Lee, coordinator, Greening of the Chinese Community, Claude Martel, director, and Fan Zou, host, on the set of NiHao, a popular TV magazine with the Montreal Chinese community on CH (cable 14 in Montréal).

Rabaska
Dans le cadre de notre coalition avec le groupe APPEL de Lévis qui s’oppose au port méthanier Rabaska, nous présenterons un mémoire le 25 janvier au BAPE.

In our opposition to Rabaska LGN project and in support for APPEL from Lévis, we are presenting a brief to the BAPE on January 25.

Groupe Hog
Une première réunion du Groupe Hog (qui s’oppose aux méga-porcheries) nous a permis de définir notre stratégie par rapport aux audiences de la Commission sur l'avenir de l'agriculture et de l'agroalimentaire québécois.

A first meeting of the Groupe Hog (opposed to industrial hog farms) allowed us to define our strategy in respect to the Quebec Commission on the Future of Agriculture.

Bénévoles / Volunteering
Venez contribuer quelques heures par mois et vous en tirerez une expérience très enrichissante.  Communiquez avec le directeur à claudem@sierraclub.ca ou au (514) 651-5847.

If you wish to help us out, please contact Claude Martel, director SCQ at claudem@sierraclub.ca or by phone at (514) 651-5847. A few hours a month will really make a difference.


ONTARIO CHAPTER

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. Call the office at 416-960-9606 or email ontariochapter@sierraclub.ca if you would like to get involved.


PRAIRIE CHAPTER

Staff Changes

The Prairie Chapter is delighted to welcome Leila Darwish as the new Associate Chapter Director.  Leila brings with her a wealth of experience in grassroots mobilization, volunteer engagement, and a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities of the Prairie region.  Meredith will be transitioning into the role of Mackenzie WILD campaign coordinator, but will continue to work out of the Edmonton office.

Oil Sands Consultations

The results of the first round of public consultations have been used by the Oil Sands Multi-stakeholder Committee (MSC) to develop recommendations for a vision for oil sands development and principles to assist in guiding future policy directions.  Chapter Director Lindsay Telfer, a member of the MSC, participated in the discussions that, in the end, resulted in a consensus report to the provincial government.  The release of this document was scheduled for mid January.

The second phase of the consultations will begin in March.  These consultations are intended to gather input on what should be included in draft framework for oil sands development.  The Prairie Chapter plans to, again, support the people of Alberta as well as downstream communities in Saskatchewan and Manitoba to participate in the hearings.

For more information:
www.oilsandsconsultations.gov.ab.ca
www.sierraclub.ca/prairie/tarnation.htm

Mackenzie Gas Project

The Joint Review Panel will be holding a general hearing open to the public in Edmonton on February 26.  As this is only southern hearing, we hope to build the connections between the gas export from the north with energy use in the south.  This is also an opportunity to support the northern communities who will be affected by this project and to learn from the challenges they have met.

For more information:
www.mackenziewild.ca

Annual General Meeting 2007

The chapter held its AGM on January 13.  We welcome all out new board members and look forward to working with them to build a strong and resilient organization.


BC CHAPTER

Groundbreaking Great Bear Rainforest Agreement Secures $120 million

GBR sceneThe Great Bear Rainforest Agreement moved a big step closer to becoming a reality on the ground when the federal government announced in January that it will add $ 30 toward its implementation. The federal contribution will trigger an additional $ 60 million pledged by private Canadian and US donors, as well as $ 30 million promised by the BC provincial government.

“Today’s announcement completes the holistic model of conservation in the Great Bear Rainforest,” said Lisa Matthaus, Campaign Director for the BC Chapter. “Coastal communities can finally move forward to create meaningful, sustainable solutions for their people and the environment they depend upon.”

The Great Bear Rainforest Agreement, announced in February 2006, also includes the protection of an area three times the size of Prince Edward Island and a new approach to forestry called Ecosystem-based Management throughout the region by 2009. Making these agreements real on the ground and shifting logging practices remains our next big challenge.

The Agreement was the fruit of many years of negotiations involving coastal communities, First Nations, industry, labour and environmental organizations, including Sierra Club of Canada, BC Chapter, Greenpeace and ForestEthics.

Fantastic Films on Quadra

What do electric cars, SUVs, hurricanes and French fries have in common?

Answer: They are all topics featured in movies that will be shown at a January 20 climate change and energy film festival on Quadra Island.

The day-long festival, organized by Sierra Club’s Quadra Island group, features a smorgasbord of funny and serious movies that address the issue of climate change. The day kicks off with the Al Gore documentary An Inconvenient Truth. It winds up in the evening with the satirical animated film SUV City, followed by French Fries to Go, a humorous glimpse of one city’s bio-diesel success.

    “The 10 films range from the informative and inspiring to the controversial and satirical,” says Quadra group conservation chair Judy Leicester. “Collectively, they offer positive solutions to inspire people to action.”

2 Degrees Climate Crisis Film Festival

Enviro Film FestLibrary Square Conference Centre
Vancouver Public Library
350 West Georgia
Downtown Vancouver

1) Oil Night-Wednesday Feb 21st, 6-9pm; 2 Films and a Guest Speaker

2) Energy Night-Thursday Feb 22nd, 6-9 pm; 4 short films and Guest Speakers

3) Climate Day-Saturday Feb 24th, 10am-8pm; 8 films
Inconvenient Truth screening at 1 pm
Expert Panel Discussion & Q/A 3:00-4:30 pm
Guest Speakers


SIERRA CLUB OF CANADA FOUNDATION

One more way to support the Sierra Club of Canada Foundation

Do you, or someone you know, need web hosting services? EcoHosting.com is a socially responsible web hosting and web development company that puts its money where its mouth is. Every time someone signs up for web hosting services, they will donate 20% of their hosting fees to the Sierra Club of Canada Foundation.

This means you can support the Sierra Club while receiving professional hosting services at great rates. It’s a donation that doesn’t cost you anything extra. Visit their website at www.ecohosting.com or call toll free 1-866-235-2828 or (514) 990-0420 for more information and a complete description of their hosting packages and prices.

Remember, the more people know about this opportunity, the more support for the Sierra Club, so tell all your friends!

Eligible charitable organizations receive a 30% discount on hosting services.

Carbon-Friendly Colleagues

From biodiesel school buses to wind-powered computers, Sierra Club of Canada supporters are taking action to save our climate.
Planet Organic Markets, a natural products company that partnered with Sierra Club of Canada in 2006, has struck an “Eco Karma Committee” to search for ways to help the environment. So far, among other initiatives, the energetic committee has arranged for the purchase of wind power to run 50 company computers, including all cashier tills.

The committee is also searching for environmentally superior products to clean supermarkets and eco-friendly deli containers. “We’re testing out new pagoda containers, which are made from managed trees and can be composed,” said Planet Organic founder Diane Shaskin.

Planet Organic’s wind power purchase, from the Pembina Institute, reduces the company’s annual CO2 emissions by 24 tonnes—the equivalent of taking 20 cars off the road for an entire year.



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