Digby Quarry Panel Says 'Yes' to Communities and 'No' to the
In a landmark decision, the joint review panel assessing the Digby Quarry has recommended that the federal Minister of Environment and Nova Scotia's Minister of Environment and Labour reject the proposed the mega-quarry on Digby Neck.
The report of the panel is precedent-setting in that it unequivocally recommends rejection of this project, and makes several recommendations that we hope will change coastal development policy, mining regulations, environmental assessment, and ballast water regulation.
We need you (and your friends and families!) to take action now to make sure our political representatives heed the recommendations of the Digby quarry panel. Please go to our website and submit a letter asking our politicians to say 'no' to quarry and 'yes' to sustainable community development:
For more information on the quarry assessment, please check out the
The press release for the Sierra Club's response:
The press release for the panel's report and a link to the 'must read'
Rabaska Project in Lévis, Quebec Approved
On the morning of October 24th, Marielle Savard, co-president of the Quebec Chapter spoke at a press conference organized by a large coalition (environmental, human rights etc) opposing an LNG (liquefied natural gas) project to be built in Lévis, close to l’île d’Orléans in Quebec.
In the afternoon, the Quebec government approved the Rabaska Project despite the recommendation of the Commission de protection du territoire agricole du Québec mentioning that the proponents had not proved that the project could not be built elsewhere.
The fight is not over. A lawsuit by six agricultural producers, arguing that the land cannot be sold to foreign entities without specific procedures, might be launched. Help will be needed to finance the lawsuit and to give additional legal support.
For more information go here.
Decoding the Spin: Sierra Club’s Analysis of the Speech from the Throne
What does the federal government’s Speech from the Throne mean for Canada’s environment? We decode the spin here.
Donate Your Old Conference Phone to the National Office
The National Office is looking for a conference phone in good working condition for a small to medium size conference room—specifically a Polycom conference phone. It is starfish-shaped with speakers at every tip.
Please contact Martha at (888) 810-4204 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Office for Sierra Club Quebec
Come see our new offices downtown Montreal! We are sharing with Sierra Youth Coalition.
1222 MacKay St., suite 201
Montreal Quebec H3K 2H4
(Metro Guy-Concordia, south of Ste-Catherine St.)
New telephone (514) 303-8668
Antarctic youth environmental education expedition!
Zoë Caron (former Sierra Youth Coalition - Atlantic Regional Coordinator) has been accepted as a volunteer student-to-student chaperone on board an environmental education expedition to Antarctica this December.
The not-for profit organization Students on Ice takes students from around the world on incredible learning expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic. The ship-based program is the only organization in the world that offers this kind of opportunity to youth to be immersed in the incredible and natural environments via hands-on research activities and lectures, taught by polar experts, educators, and researchers.
The expedition aims to educate and empower youth about climate change. It presents a large opportunity for youth to deepen their understanding of the cultural, historical, and environmental importance of the Antarctic beyond the common frame of climate change.
The catch is that Zoe needs to fundraise $9,900 to take part. So far $1,105 has been raised. If you are interested in promoting this youth program, please go to
McGill and Cool Cities
A group of students in Environmental Studies at McGill University is working on a research project on behalf of Cool Cities. They are measuring the contribution of transportation in terms of GHG and heat to urban hot spots. The report is expected in December and it would inform our conversation with city officials at City Hall.
David Paton and Claude Martel from SCQ met with Frederick Fabry, professor à McGill University, and some of the students of Environment 401 research program.
Endangered Heritage City : Saint John, NB
Saint John NB is the oldest incorporated city in Canada. Given this status, the city should have protection for historical and architectural reasons. Despite its being home to the Irvings, one of the wealthiest families in Canada, Saint John has the highest rate of poverty of any city in the country. Employment occurs in boom and bust cycles. The present ‘energy’ projects are obliquely the subject of this particular campaign.
The Irvings and Repsol Inc. are in the process of building a Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminal, called CanaPort, on the eastern side of the city. There presently exists a natural gas pipeline, from Sable Island through Nova Scotia and New Brunswick through to the US New England states. This could be used and cost-shared, but the Irvings want their own pipeline built, heading west to the US border, where it would join up with the existing pipeline immediately upon crossing the St.Croix River, the Canada-US border. There are a few proposed routes for this natural gas pipeline. The shortest and most direct is the marine route, across a bit of the Bay of Fundy. The other options go straight through this handsome old city built on rocky promontories and valleys.
The marine route would bypass the City by going underwater through the contaminated seabed at the mouth of the harbor. This route is 10 km shorter and would have eliminated all environmental risk of fire, explosion and safety concerns and would not go through the centre of Rockwood Park within the city. The NEB refused to examine in any detail the marine route option, saying it was not part of the application.
The National Energy Board (NEB) hearings set in Saint John in Fall 2006, heard 43 intervenors opposed to constructing a pipeline through the City as well as five intervenors from businesses involved in the project, supporting the city route.
The opponents, the Friends of Rockwood Park, built their defense around this well-used and treasured wilderness and recreation park in the centre of Saint John.
Here are some of the arguments brought forward:
The opponents: This refuge in the middle of an already heavily industrialized city has ‘great cultural and historical significance’ and has been protected from development by an Act passed in 1894 by the New Brunswick Legislature. The proponents: an electric line already exists; it would be widened by 30 meters.
The opponents: This pipeline will not benefit the Maritimes. The sole purpose of the construction of this pipeline is to ‘connect Canaport to the Maritimes system in the US. There already exists a pipeline from Sable Island, which delivers 19% of its natural gas to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The pipeline thereafter conducts the remaining 81% in Actual Export, directly to Maine and the rest of New England. The proponents: Some of this gas could be reimported and the long term plan is to build a pipeline to Quebec.
The opponents: In this project, imported regassified LNG is “simply shunted through the community, leaving few benefits, and considerable burdens to Canadians in its wake'. The proponents: Approximately 40 jobs will be created.
The opponents: There are even fewer benefits since a special deal was brokered between the Mayor of Saint John and Irving Inc. whereby the normal municipal tax assessment of the LNG terminal of $5 million per year was reduced by 90 percent to $500,000 annually.
The NB government unanimously supported this reduction through the property tax law and amendments. The proponents: Jobs and more jobs were being created.
In addition, the provincial government, despite their self-sufficiency agenda, does not intend to compel the natural gas to be used in NB’s biggest electricity generating plant, Coleson Cove, which is on the route of the proposed pipeline.
While all of this liquefied natural gas is being exported to the US—the first of three units of Coleson Cove is being converted to use petroleum coke, one of the dirtiest fuels imaginable—dirtier than the now-used heavy oil being burned. 25% more CO2 will be produced as well as a high sulfur content and increased amount of very fine particulate.
The opponents called upon the National Energy Board to live up to their responsibility to help protect the natural environment, its biodiversity, etc.
Though 15,269 people signed the largest petition ever made in the City of Saint John opposing the Rockwood Park route, the list was never submitted to the NEB “due to the fact that some of the people who signed didn't want it to be publicly known, due to fear of the Irvings.” A sworn affidavit was submitted in its place.
In May 2007, the NEB approved the construction of the two-and-a-half-foot diameter pipeline through the city.
Since The Canadian Environmental Assessment (CEA) refused to provide any
intervenor funding, the Friends with the help of Sierra Legal Defense (now Eco-Justice), went to the Federal Court of Appeal, to reopen the case to examine the underwater bypass of the city. On September 20, 2007 the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed their application to reopen the case.
Update: November 6, 07: The NEB declared a 60-day delay in the start of construction due to the fact that Emera (the pipeline construction company) has not met all conditions relative to the start.
Will the Cabinet have anything different to say about this pipeline?
Submitted by Beth McLaughlin, Director, AuCoeur\Occur Sustainable Communities