Wildlife & Natural Spaces

You cannot protect what you do not know. Nature’s diversity exists all around us. SCCF works with individuals, partners and community groups to promote knowledge of wildlife and natural environments. We work to preserve and protect for all to enjoy, both now and in the future.

Future Threats in Niagara If Urban Boundaries Expanded: Voice Your Opposition

In Memory of Alicja Rozanska.

***Scroll down to reach out to local councilors

From John Bacher: 

It is an old but true saying that photographs express threats to the natural world more vividly than the most eloquent warning. Some of these images recently emerged, which captured the beauty of the portion of the Thundering Waters Forest in Niagara Falls, on the eve of its destruction for a subdivision.

Niagara Carolinian Bulldozer Massacre

In Memory of Alicja Rozanska.

From John Bacher:

Over the past week and a half, there has been a Carolinian tree massacre by bulldozer underway in Niagara. A preliminary report, completed on August 11, 2021, by Nash Colville of Colville Consulting Inc. provides a rough description of the damage. 

Our Journey Together to Canada’s New National Urban Parks

NUP Press Conference

Our local Sierra Club Canada team was honoured to be invited to Edmonton City Hall for the recent announcement by the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Canada’s Minister of Tourism and MP for Edmonton Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada. Minister Boissonnault formally announced the beginning of the pre-feasibility phase for a new National Urban Park proposed in the greater Edmonton area.

Two Court Battles Seek to Defend Southern Ontario’s Threatened Forests

From John Bacher:

In her last report before her office was shut down by the provincial government of Premier Doug Ford, Ontario’s Environment Commissioner, Dr. Diane Saxe, drew attention to what she termed “Southern Ontario’s Disappearing Forests.” She urged that, “Conserving forests must become a top priority in land use planning.” Since “each incremental loss has a big impact on the services the forests provide to society and the wildlife they support.”

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

 

Monstrous Mid-Peninsula Highway Sought to Be Resurrected from the Dead

In Memory of Alicja Rozanska.

From John Bacher:

Shortly after being forced into hospitalization following an attack of congenital heart failure, veteran environmentalist Doug Draper sent me an ominous warning. He informed me that powerful cliques in Niagara were trying to convince the Ontario provincial government of Premier Doug Ford to resurrect the terminated 130-kilometer Mid-Peninsula Highway from the dead. 

We need alternatives for our whales

This year, the Sierra Club Canada Foundation will be organizing a Multi-Stakeholder Initiative to bring people together to discuss potential solutions to restore the Gulf of Saint-Lawrence and reduce NARW mortality from entanglements and other stressors. Let’s hope these discussions will accelerate collective action in the region to help relieve the pressures on our ocean giants.

A Brief History of Bison Conservation in Canada

Within a single human lifetime, tens of millions of bison were killed until less than a thousand individuals remained in all of North America. Despite over 120 years of hard work, many conservation challenges still face bison today.

This is a story you don’t want to miss. It’s a story of twists and turns, from dramatic roundups by Blackfoot and Mexican cowboys, to epic train journeys, "lost" national parks, near-ruinous mistakes, and no small amount of luck.

Watch the webinar recording below! You can also watch all of our webinars at: www.sierraclub.ca/en/all-hands-on-deck-webinars

Our presenter this month is Lauren Markewicz, a member of our Prairie Chapter’s Executive Committee.

Lauren is a public historian who has come to specialize in the history of bison. She is the author of Through the Storm: Canada's Bison Conservation Story, a book dealing with the twists and turns of the history of bison conservation in what is now Canada, in both images and text.

She has worked at various historic sites and natural areas in Western Canada. She likes to spend time on the landscape, hiking and camping, and thinking a lot about the human relationships with and impacts on the land and the other creatures that live there.

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. 

Stopping Forest Extinction

By Dr John Bacher and Danny Beaton, Mohawk of the Turtle Clan.

In Memory of Alicja Rozanska.

Crazed Axe-Wielding Mad Men Threaten Niagara.

The mentality of those doing land use planning in the Niagara Region was captured vividly by paleontologist Michael Benton, through his examination of the catastrophic mid-Permian extinctions. Benton described how during this era, “vast swaths” of the trees of life “are cut short, as if attacked by a crazed, axe-wielding madmen.”

Ring of Fire Assessment: An Assessment of Reflections From the Members of Nishnawbe Aski Nation Territory

Please find the full Assessment Report attatched below.

By: Joseph Duncan and Aleksandra Spasevski.

In honour of Ringo Fiddler. 

Ontario’s Far North recently received attention due to the $60 billion chromite mining potential. The massive mining project is known as the Ring of Fire. Both provincial and federal leaders have identified this mining opportunity as a multigenerational opportunity that can create both economic and societal benefits for communities (Chetkiewicz & Lintner, 2014).

Ontario Land Tribunal Dismissal of Riverfront Rezoning Case Sparks Request to Appeal to the Divisional Court

By Dr John Bacher and Danny Beaton, Mohawk of the Turtle Clan.

In Memory of Alicja Rozanska.

On September 17, 2021, the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) dismissed a zoning appeal by the Ontario Sierra Club Executive Committee Member, John Bacher. The Sierra Club Canada Foundation had separately sought standing as a participant in the case. On October 4, 2021, lawyers at Eric K. Gillespie Professional Corporation filed a motion for leave to appeal with the Divisional Court, the first step in asking the court to review the OLT decision.

Open Letter: Stop Gull Island

October 13, 2021

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, Premiers of Atlantic Canada, and Elected Leaders, 

We, the undersigned organizations and individuals are calling on you as elected leaders to oppose the construction of the Gull Island mega-hydro project (Phase 2 of Nalcor’s Lower Churchill Project) and to protect the Grand River/Mistashipu (colonially known as Churchill River) in Labrador and other endangered rivers across the country.

All Party Consent for Ring of Fire Mining Shows Tragic Decline in Ontario Political Culture

By Dr John Bacher and Danny Beaton, Mohawk of the Turtle Clan.

In Memory of Alicja Rozanska.

Contemptuously, in the recent federal election there was an obscene amount of all party support to one of the most ecocidal threats to our planet. That threatened area is the Hudson Bay Lowlands, whose vast peat bogs perform a role more vital than ever before. It serves as a refrigerator for our planet which is under attack by anthropogenic climate change. These lowlands are the largest contiguous tract remaining of temperate wetlands on our sacred Mother Earth.

Highway 413 & What It Means For Ontario

The proposed Highway 413 perfectly represents the Province of Ontario’s lack of priority for the environment and climate change. Highway 413 showcases a continued focus on transportation by car, over people and the environment, which will have major impacts on our future for years to come.

At a time of rapid global warming and climate change, the privatization of land for highways (which only adds more cars and traffic) is the opposite of what is needed from our leadership.

Prairie Chapter Wants to see Political Action on Water

Press Release for Immediate Release, Tuesday September 14, 2021

Sierra Club Canada’s Prairie Chapter is calling on candidates and party leaders running in the federal election to act on water security.

The chapter says the prairies are a water stressed region and say leaders must come up with a plan to address the future of our drinking water, water withdrawal, and worsening droughts and floods in the region.

Thundering Waters

By Dr John Bacher and Danny Beaton, Mohawk of the Turtle Clan.

In Memory of Alicja Rozanska.

Over two months ago a development company, GR Investment Group, attempted to dismiss my appeal of a Niagara Falls Zoning By-law, No. 2020-124, which has been made to the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT). (LPAT-Case Number PL2-2020-64).

Still, the decision of LPAT on this matter has yet to be made.