Green Gazette

Green Gazette - March 2007

Sierra Club of Canada's monthly electronic newsletter

What's Inside










An Important Notice to All 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

Exciting Sierra Club job opportunity!

We are looking for a Communications Manager who will be responsible for coordinating and supporting major, critical communications functions for the national office.  Deadline for applications is March 16, 2007.  For more information see www.

Rally for Kyoto - March 11th

If you live in Toronto, Halifax, Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge or London please take part in the Rally for Kyoto in support of Canada fulfilling its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol. The rally is organized by Canadians for Kyoto, and is sponsored by a wide variety of groups including Sierra Club, the World Wildlife Fund, the Ontario Federation of Labour, Educators for Peace and Justice and others.

Canadians for Kyoto urge everyone to come out with friends and family to show their concern about climate change and to call for Canada to fulfill its international obligations and take positive action to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

The rally will feature a wide range of speakers from environmental organizations, green businesses, and the government. Musicians, entertainers, writers, and journalists will share their thoughts and concerns regarding Canada's failing environmental record and inspire Canada to be a world leader in environmental policy.


Hard Caps not Fake Caps on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Canada must put in place hard caps--regulations that dramatically reduce our overall greenhouse gas emissions based on climate science and our Kyoto obligations.

Tell the government you won’t be fooled by their fake caps--so-called “emissions intensity” targets.

Vraie limite et non fausse limite d'emission de gaz à effect de serre

Le Canada doit mettre en place un système de plafonnement – de la réglementation qui réduira dramatiquement nos emissions totales de gaz à effet de serre basée sur la science du changement climatique et nos obligations Kyoto.

Dites au governement que vous ne serez pas dupé par les « cibles » d’intensité.

Call for Nominations to National Board of Directors

National Board candidates include two categories - national members-at-large 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 members-at-large and one position in the youth category.

Find out how to nominate a member (or yourself) for the National Board. The nomination deadline is March 30, 2007.

Appel pour les mises en candidature
Conseil d’administration national du Sierra Club du Canada

Il y a deux catégories de candidats pour le Conseil d’administration national : les membres nationaux à titre personnel nationaux et ceux âgés de 26 ans ou moins (afin d’assurer une représentation jeunesse suffisante au sein de l’organisation).  Pour l’élection 2007 du Sierra Club du Canada, nous avons deux positions à combler dans la catégorie de membres nationaux à titre personnel et une position dans la catégorie jeunesse.

Vous pouvez proposer la candidature d’un membre (ou de vous-même) au comité responsable des candidatures. La date limite pour les candidats de pétition est le 15 avril 2007.

Adopt an MP

GBR sceneClimate change can be scary and confusing.  That’s why MPs on the legislative committee to amend Canada’s flawed Clean Air act (otherwise known as Bill C-30) so desperately need your help!

Thirteen MPs have been assigned a task that would make any self-respecting politician tremble.  While balancing pressures from lobby groups, their own political parties and, yes, environmental organizations, they have to improve Canada’s Clean Air act to make it more acceptable to Canadians.  For a politician this means making it more acceptable to the right people.   

The Climate Action Network–Réseau climat action Canada (CAN-RAC) wants you to have your say on what an “acceptable” Clean Air act means to you

Select an MP to adopt today!

Sierra Club Radio

GBR sceneSierra Club Radio was launched to offer tips and tell stories we all can use as consumers, as citizens, as neighbors, and as parents to make responsible choices, to connect to the growing environmental community.  It is a weekly half-hour show produced by Sierra Club U.S. staff.  Check out


Sierra Club laments Canada's 'lack of a plan' on Kyoto

February 16, 2007
CBC News

2006 was a "lost year" for Canada in the battle to stop global warming and meet Canada's international obligations under the Kyoto Protocol, a report by the Sierra Club of Canada says.

The environmental group issued its scathing fourth Kyoto Report Card Friday, the second anniversary of the Kyoto Protocol coming into force as an international treaty.


Read our fourth annual Kyoto Report Card. .


Kyoto National Day of Action - March 11, 2007

The Canadians for Kyoto Rally is an independent initiative whose ultimate goal is to have Canada recommit to the Kyoto Protocol.  Help us organize for March 11: Canadians for Kyoto National Day of Action. We need your help! The next meeting time for this is Monday Feb 26th at 4:30pm, at our office in the Roy Building, 1657 Barrington Street.  For more information call (902) 444-3113 or contact Myriam at

Wilderness Campaign Gearing Up – Call for Volunteers

The Atlantic Canada Chapter is gearing up a wilderness campaign and we need your help! This campaign will be focused on New Brunswick and Nova Scotia 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 a public awareness campaign which will make our forest management more closely reflect the public values of preserving diversity in our landscape.  If you are interested in helping, please contact Emily McMillan at (902) 444-3113 or at

Action Alert
Please let your MP and local newspapers know that we need to do better for fish, fish habitat, and the environment than Bill C-45

Last December, legislation that would replace Canada's current Fisheries Act was tabled in the House of Commons.  Environmental groups from across the country are deeply concerned that the proposed revision of Canada's Fisheries Act (Bill C-45) will have damaging effects on Canada's fish, fisheries, freshwater and marine habitats, and coastal communities.  As the proposed bill will receive its second reading in the House of Commons in upcoming weeks, WE DESPERATELY NEED YOUR HELP IN STOPPING BILL-45 FROM BECOMING LAW.  Please write to your local politicians, newspapers, and to Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn and ask that the proposed revision of the Fisheries Act be withdrawn. More information will also be posted soon at

For more information, please see:
Draft of Bill C-45
Press release
from a coalition of 29 Canadian environmental groups (with link to background info)
Environmental Law Centre Response to Bill C-45

The Hon. Loyola Hearn
Minister of Fisheries
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0A6
Telephone: (613) 992-0927
Fax: (613) 995-7858

Find the address of your MP.


NiHao TV magazine

(De gauche à droite) Gavin Leitch, bénévole, Johanne Roberge, présidente SCQ, David Suzuki et Claude Martel, directeur, SCQ lors de l’arrêt à Montréal de la tournée de Suzuki « Si vous étiez premier ministre »
David Suzuki is posing with (from left to right) Gavin Leitch, volunteer, Johanne Roberge, Chair SCQ, and Claude Martel, director, Quebec Chapter during Suzuki's Montreal stop on his "If YOU were Prime Minister..." tour.

Aperçu : Cool Cities / Cool Cities Preview
La Section du Québec a présenté à la Ville de Montréal un document tiré du programme en développement Cool Cities qui permet aux villes de réduire leurs émissions de gaz à effets de serre. Cette contribution au développement du plan d’action sur les îlots de chaleur à Montréal nous a permis d’établir des contacts clés avec les autorités municipales.

The Québec Chapter presented to the City of Montreal a document on Urban Hot Spots taken from the material we are developing for Cool Cities. This contribution to the City’s Sustainable Development Plan allowed us to make initial contact with key city officials.

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

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


Whole Foods and the Urban Forest Campaign

We are pleased to announce the Five Percent Community Day on Tuesday March 6 at Whole Foods, 87 Avenue Road in Toronto's Hazelton Lanes.

The Whole Foods and Urban Forest Campaign partnership will help our campaign grow while benefiting urban forests and the community at large.

We hope to see as many of you as possible on Tuesday March 6.  Those of you who have shopped at eco-friendly Whole Foods know the incredible quality and diversity of food, and if you have never stopped in before prepare to be pleasantly surprised. Beyond the shopping experience, 5% of the daily sales will go to support our Urban Forest Campaign.  Please stop by, pick up some great food and support the Urban Forest Campaign.

For more info on the campaign go to

"Stop the Pickering Airport" Campaign Update

The Ontario Government announced that they are dedicating another 1,500 acres of provincial government owned land to Rouge Park.  This is great news and the announcement could not come at a better time!

Sierra Club of Canada’s Ontario Chapter, along with a coalition of many groups, has been advocating for the Duffins Creek Watershed to be given the protection of the new Greenbelt Legislation. This watershed just east of the Rouge lies on land slated for a controversial Pickering airport.  

If the disputed land is added to the Greenbelt it would be a realistic complement to the protected Rouge lands and could ensure the future of many species that cross between watersheds.  It would provide much needed unfragmented habitat crucial for genetic diversity.  

The two watersheds, although close in proximity to each other, are noted by local ecologists to encompass many different species. The Rouge is a warmer water ecosystem and Duffins is a sensitive cold water system.  Species cross between both watershed boundaries to access different plants for food sources or for breeding grounds. The two watersheds are interdependent.

Volunteers are now needed to literally spread the word.  If you can spare a few hours delivering flyers to residential areas closest to these environments your help could go a long way in ensuring even more protection.  Please contact or for further details.

For more info on the issues please check the following websites:

Ontario Environment Network Spring Eco-Gathering 2007

April 13-14, 2007
McMaster University, Hamilton

Theme: Fall Provincial Election
Highlights: Friday Evening - Invited Keynote Speaker: Brian Charlton, former Ontario Minister of Energy
Saturday - Election and Environment Issues Panels, Teach-Ins, Organizing Skill Share: “Tools, Skills and Local Strategies”

More information to be posted at in the coming weeks.

Earth Day Weekend Credit River Valley Restoration
Sierra Club of Canada, Peel Region Group

Volunteers and friends of the Peel Group will be out in force on Saturday, April 21st to help restore and protect the Credit River Valley in Streetsville. The more hands the more we can get done! Please mark April 21st on your calendar and stay tuned to the group's website for more information (

Get Involved
Check out some of the ongoing campaigns and see how you can get involved!


Mackenzie WILD Campaign Update

Sierra Club of Canada continues its legal challenges before the Joint Review Panel of the Mackenzie Gas Project.  We are currently working to support the coalition of groups and individuals from the North, across Canada, and the US, who have come together to oppose the pipeline.  This work is vital to ensure that a full range of perspectives is represented before the Panel that will decide if this massive fossil fuel project can proceed. 

On February 26th, a General Hearing took place in Edmonton, Alberta.  The major issue at this hearing was the links between the Mackenzie Gas Project (MGP) and the Alberta tar sands.  The proposed MGP connects into the existing natural gas pipelines owned by TransCanada Pipelines in North Eastern Alberta.  A proposed pipeline, called the North Central Corridor, would connect the MGP to the tar sands in northwestern Alberta. 

We are still waiting for the rest of the public hearings to be rescheduled.  In the meantime, we will continue to mobilize to protect Canada’s North and fight for a sustainable energy future for Canada. 

To stay up to date on all our activities, please join our mailing list to receive news articles, action alerts and issue updates.  Sign up for the on-line community by visiting


B.C. Government’s Climate Change Plan: One Step Forward…
When Lieutenant Governor Iona Campagnolo unveiled the B.C. government’s climate change agenda at the opening of the Legislature on February 13, it looked like British Columbia was finally catching up with California’s Terminator on the emissions reduction front.  The ambitious package of measures included a 33 percent reduction of the province’s total greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, as well as rebates and tax exemptions designed to help individual British Columbians improve the energy efficiency of their homes and vehicles.

Best of all, the tough new standards for electricity generation effectively killed off any prospects for the two proposed coal-fired power plants ever to see the light of day.  BC Chapter, which has been running a strong no-coal campaign throughout 2006, was pleased at the announcement - albeit with some reservations, pending the release of actual budget figures, the “proof in the pudding.”

As it happened, the pudding tasted bland and much too oily.  While the budget did allocate $4 million dollars to fund a climate change action team (without any action plan or timelines), it increased subsidies to the oil and gas sector by 40% and earmarked an additional $100 million for the controversial Gateway road-and bridge-building project in the Greater Vancouver area.

“British Columbians are going to face greater costs themselves in the future to reduce their carbon footprint to make up for the subsidies going to sectors that increase B.C.’s emissions,” said Executive Director Kathryn Molloy.  “This underscores the need for B.C. to quickly set short-term, province-wide targets and a plan to get there. We look forward to working with government to develop a plan at least equal to the vision of the throne speech.”

British Columbians are increasingly aware of the threat of climate change and the need to shift energy consumption patterns while we still can. According to a January 2007 poll commissioned by the Sierra Legal Defence Fund, an overwhelming 82 percent of B.C. citizens want their government to enact mandatory targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  BC Chapter’s Climate and Energy program offers a variety of tools for citizens to make their voices heard. Check it out at


Switch Off

This YouTube clip provides affirmation that all those times you've tried to convince people to use Compact Fluorescent Bulbs were not in vain. Check out this neat clip on YouTube:

Sustainable Campuses Regional Conference

Over 100 students attended the Quebec Regional Sustainable Campuses Conference for a snowy weekend in Chicoutimi.  Lots of dancing, singing, fiddling and thinking! On the other end of the country, over 300 students attended the University of British Columbia Sustainability Fair.  From February 2-5, King's College in Halifax hosted the Atlantic Sustainable Campuses conference, which included a keynote speech by none other than David Suzuki!

Sustainable High Schools continues to grow in British Columbia and Ontario.  Nik Parent is almost through the first high school sustainability assessment at his high school in Rockland. Contact Emily in British Columbia at

Community Youth Action is planning two super cool events for this winter:

March 12-19th (March Break), Ottawa-region: Winter Youth Action Gathering for youth aged 14-19th.  Best ever week of activism, friends, training, and all around fun being hosted at the Carp-Ridge EcoWellness Centre.  If you're interested in participating or volunteering, email

April 13-15th (dates still approximate), Toronto: weekend Youth Action Gathering for youth aged 14-19 in the big city. If you want to participate or volunteer, contact

Get Involved

  • Join the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition
  • Become an official office volunteer in the national office in Ottawa. You get lots of chocolate. Email
  • Join the Community Youth Action Project and start a speaker or workshop series in your town. Email
  • Donate to the Sierra Youth Coalition and support our ground-breaking work (every bit helps!). Go to
  • Stay true to yourself!


One more way to support the Sierra Club of Canada Foundation

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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 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.

Join Today

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