Grassroots Action

What makes the Sierra Club Canada Foundation so effective is our network of experts, partners and volunteers. Our chapters are engaged in many projects at the local level. Want to get involved? Contact our national office or your local chapter. If you have a dedicated group of members who want to lead their own projects within a region, you could start a Group. According to our organization's policy: Groups may be formed by any three or more members who wish to be active in their local community or within a larger geographic area, in relation to a particular conservation issue or issues, with the intention that the group exist on an ongoing basis. Otherwise, more time-limited local issues are to be managed within the auspices of the Chapter, or if none exists, then in co- operation with program staff working at the national level.

Prospects for New National Urban Park in Greater Edmonton Region Spark Excitement

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By Lindsay Boucher

This summer Johnathan Wilkinson, Former Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, announced a new program to create national urban parks across Canada. Seven cities were being considered, including the greater Edmonton area.  This announcement aligns with Sierra Club Canada Foundation’s goal of providing access to nature for all, protecting wildlife and habitat, and mitigating climate change with nature-based solutions.

Breathe Easy

 

Do YOU know the quality of air you breathe? Many people do not. 

Air quality (AQ) and its impacts are rarely discussed. It remains a silent killer. 

Breathe Easy is looking to change that.

 

Beyond Coal Atlantic

The Beyond Coal Atlantic project launched in December 2020 with an ambitious goal: to get Atlantic Canada off coal and biomass energy as quickly as possible and transition to clean renewable energy. Many of the solutions already exist—such as wind, solar, and existing hydro from Quebec—but what’s been lacking is political and corporate will. 

Using Two-Eyed Seeing as a Model for Reconciliation and Marine Conservation

Note: Elder Albert Marshall could not be present during the event due to health issues. We instead shared a video of him speaking about Two-Eyed Seeing and the need for reconciliation with nature. The video can be found on Youtube at the address below, it was published on January 10th 2022 by Allison Bernard Memorial High School. Go and give it a like!
youtube.com/watch?v=qoR4nnzG13U&list=LL&index=5&t=83s

The importance and role of reconciliation between settlers and Indigenous peoples to ensure adequate conservation of marine ecosystems is fundamental to consultation and cooperation, as stated under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act adopted by Canada in 2021. Two-Eyed Seeing is an increasingly important process for the inclusion of Indigenous peoples for environmental sustainability. Two-Eyed Seeing has the potential to guide reconciliation in the context of consultation and cooperation. By enhancing our understanding of knowledge systems, Two-Eyed Seeing will be explored as a tool for reconciliation to conserve marine ecosystems.

 

Assault on Carolinian Forests in Bacher V. GR CAN Investments et al.

In Memory of Alicja Rozanska.

From John Bacher: 

Recently when I was reviewing the decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Bacher V. GR CAN Investments, I received grim news of brutal events in the Amazonian rainforest. This showed the similarity of the assaults of the woodlands of the Carolinian life zone, Canada’s most biologically diverse biome, with another critical cradle of species diversity on our planet. 

2030, c'est demain: Protéger 30% du golfe du St. Laurent est urgent et réalisable

L'état de nos océans est préoccupant, c'est le moins qu'on puisse dire. Ils sont soumis aux impacts cumulés de la pollution, du bruit, des changements climatiques, de la surpêche, et plus encore. L'une des solutions dans notre boîte à outils pour aider à restaurer les écosystèmes marins sont les aires marines protégées (AMP). Dans cette présentation, SNAP Québec discutera de l'historique, des avantages et des types d'AMP, ainsi que de la nécessité et de l'urgence de créer un réseau efficace d'AMP couvrant au moins 30 % du golfe du Saint-Laurent.

2030 Is Tomorrow: Protecting 30% of the Gulf of St. Lawrence Is Urgent and Feasible

The state of our oceans is concerning, to say the least. They are subject to cumulative impacts from pollution, noise, climate change, overfishing, and more. One of the solutions in our toolbox to help restore the health of marine ecosystems are marine protected areas (MPAs). In this presentation, SNAP Québec will discuss the history, benefits and types of MPAs, as well as the necessity and urgency of creating an effective MPA network covering at least 30% of Gulf of St. Lawrence.

 

2022 Annual General Meeting

The Sierra Club Canada Foundation (SCCF) hosted its Annual General Meeting (AGM) June 11, 2022 where we shared reports on our activities and conducted essential business.

Participants enjoyed an interactive visioning activity, themed on our 5 Decade of Change priorties for action. Each priority was discussed in terms of present situation, future ideal and theory of change to get us there. You can find the results of that activity attached as PDFs below.

Key Issues for Environmental Justice in the Ontario 2022 Election

This is a key election for the environment and the future of Ontario. We can no longer afford to wait for the government to catch up on meaningful climate action. Sierra Club Canada Foundation is demanding stronger legislation that prioritizes people, the environment, and a liveable future. 

Below you will find the actions our members are calling for. You can reference this document for discussion when local candidates come to your door. Ask your local candidates what they plan to do to tackle the issues Ontarians are facing. 

Struggle Continues To Protect World's Purest Water In Simcoe Ontario

In Memory of Alicja Rozanska.

The Federation of Tiny Township Shoreline Association (FoTTSA), a group of concerned citizens from Tiny Township, organized a protest to bring attention at Queen’s Park Legislation on United Nations World Water Day (March 22, 2022) about the quality of aquifers being threatened by aggregate mining in North Simcoe County. Around noon, the last speaker at their rally which had scientists, activisits, citizens, politicians and Native people speaking out for the protection of their aquifers, was Native elder Danny Beaton, a Turtle Clan Mohawk. 

Watch: Sierra Club Ontario member opposes plans to decimate key Niagara habitats

The Niagara region's new Official Plan threatens to promote urban sprawl, degrading key habitats for endangered species and impacting the region's thriving agricultural community. 

These plans have been made without any scientific due diligence to assess the impact of pushing development outside of urban areas. 

Dr. John Bacher recently spoke to the region's Planning and Economic Development Committee to stress three key points.

Webinar: Treaty 9 and Development of the Ring of Fire within NAN Territory

We invite you to learn about the historic context and current concerns related to the proposed Ring of Fire mining project in the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Territory. 

Joseph Duncan, an Indigenous member from the NAN Territory and former chair of the Sierra Club's Ontario chapter, discusses the club’s work on a report for the government’s Regional Assessment of the Ring of Fire. Our report focuses on the social, environmental, and economic impacts of the proposed development including a survey of some local residents.

The $60 billion chromite mining proposal, referred to as the Ring of Fire, impacts 5,100 square kilometers of Northwestern Ontario. The area is rich in mineral deposits, peat moss, caribou, and many other species essential to Indigenous nations’ economy and culture. The region is home to the Indigenous people of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, with a population of 45,000. 

Treaty Nine was established in 1905, making the NAN Territory a sovereign nation. 

Repercussions of mining developments have significant impacts on the economy, environment, society and Indigenous nations' natural habitat, impacting their survival. Provincial and federal leaders hail the Ring of Fire proposal as a multigenerational opportunity that can economically and socially benefit communities. Unfavorable repercussions of surface and subsurface mining frequently include toxic waste material, long-term environmental devastations, and human rights violations. 

This presentation highlights parts of the research report Ring of Fire Assessment: An Assessment of Reflections From the Members of Nishnawbe Aski Nation Territory. We recommend you read the report in addition to watching the webinar.

Our speaker:

Joseph Duncan is an Indigenous member from Nishnawbe Aski Nation Territory, situated in Muskrat Dam First Nation. He is a former police officer who served with the Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service for 14 years. After an injury ended his law enforcement career he has pursued higher education at Lakehead University completing degrees in Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism and an MA in Social Justice. Joseph is familiar with the political structure of the NAN Territory and ran in the 2021 election for Deputy Grand Chief of NAN. Today, Joseph teaches at Lakehead University instructing Advance Land Relations.

You can also watch all of our webinars at: www.sierraclub.ca/en/all-hands-on-deck-webinars

 

All Hands on Deck: A Telling Tale of Tailpipes

In Canada, roughly one-third of us live near a major road. We’re surrounded by traffic everyday. We pass by throngs of cars as we walk our kids to school; we sit in gridlock traffic driving to and from work; we hear cars whizzing by our homes that are located beside major roadways. Close proximity to major roads increases our exposure to air pollution, and the health risks that come with it. 

What do we know about traffic-related air pollution and what can we do about it?

Our webinar featured prominent researcher and University of Toronto professor Dr. Greg Evans. Dr. Evans’ research focuses on air pollution, and understanding its impacts on human health and the environment.

The webinar also featured emerging findings from a community-based air quality campaign, Breathe Easy. The campaign’s goal is to use citizen science to monitor local air quality and use the findings to inspire community action on air pollution.

Understanding traffic-related air pollution is a big first step to improving it - and protecting our health. Check it out below!

Sierra Club Ontario members oppose proposed urban expansions in Niagara

Proposals have been put forward to urbanize vast swaths of land via the Niagara Region’s new Official Plan. Planned urban expansions threaten Canada’s most biologically diverse Carolinian zone.  These expansions would impinge on land currently restricted for rural purposes, including habitats for many endangered and declining species.

Two members of Sierra Club Ontario (Dr. John Bacher and Danny Beaton) recently spoke to oppose planned urban expansions to the Niagara region. Click to see their full presentations.