When the dealin's done...

May 22, 2014

It’s been a busy week for government propagandists. Why?

Back when I was a reporter I had a mantra I would chant to myself while writing: Who, What, When, and Why. Who, What, When, and Why? It’s particularly effective when applied to government stories, so let’s apply it to last week’s series of announcements.

WHO: The federal government that has turned a deaf ear to climate change and mitigation, and stripped itself of the ability to protect the environment by gutting the Environmental Assessment, Fisheries and Navigable Waters Acts.

Veteran Sierra Club Ontario Volunteer Larry Allan Caldwell Dies at 45

The recent passing of Sierra Club Ontario, Niagara Region Group Chair Larry Caldwell was sudden and unexpected. Larry was just 45. He had lived with diabetes for many years, but the disease did little to limit Larry’s work on behalf of Mother Earth and his enthusiastic long term commitment to Sierra Club’s environmental mission. When I became SCO Chapter Director in 2000, Larry was already an active Club volunteer in the Niagara Region.

Heart Lake Pollinator Party in Brampton on June 7th

Come join us at Heart Lake Conservation Area in Brampton on Saturday, June 7th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m!

Learn about the Conservation Area, pollinator plants, and the Gitigaan Mashkiki Medicine Wheel Garden!

Help remove invasive plant species and plant native wildflowers.  Activities also include a guided nature walk and Aboriginal teachings.

For more information, or to RSVP, contact Kristina Jackson at ontariochapter@sierraclub.ca, or at 647-346-8744. 

New rules won't stop spills

Media Release, May 13, 2014

Sierra Club Canada Foundation welcomes any improvements in the industry’s handling of oil, but the announcement today won’t prevent more disasters, leaks or spills.

Canadians should note that as the amount of oil transported by truck, train and/or pipeline increases, the number of disasters, leaks and spills will too.

John Bennett, National Program Director
Sierra Club Canada Foundation
1510-1 Nicholas Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 7B7
Tel: 613-291-6888
jb@sierraclub.ca
John on Twitter / Bennett Blog


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Save Niagara’s Green Lifeline

By John Bacher

From the raging torrents of the Niagara River to the placid Welland Canal one can walk for ten miles through the wooded forest gardens of the Niagara Escarpment. Here in some patches, old growth giant oaks and maples soar above wild ginger and may apple. This shady glen has spectacular lookouts over the Niagara Fruit Belt to Lake Ontario, such as Queenston Heights and the Woodend Conservation area. These wilds overwhelm relics of 19th century assaults on nature, such as lime kilns, a “haunted” “ghost” tunnel under which the Bruce Trail travel and the stone ruins of the abandoned Third Welland Canal.

Halifax Diverse Walks the Shearwater Flyer Trail

Our first walk of the summer, we're going to be led by Kate Steele of the NS Bird Society on a birding walk for beginners. We will be meeting at 8:30 (exact location TBA), and our walk will last about 2h. Kate is highly experienced at leading walks for novices, and will tailor the walk to those who are new to birding!

This walk will have a limit of 16-20 people, so get there early to ensure you get a spot. If you don't get a spot, it's a wonderful trail to enjoy on your own as well and has a bounty of treasures to discover along the way. Bring binoculars for optimal bird spotting, and your camera if you have a great telephoto lens. We'd be happy to share your photos after the walk!

Farley Mowat: Legend

Farley Mowat passed away this week at the age of 92. It has been thirty years since he wrote “Sea of Slaughter”, a book that I’ll never forget. He sold almost 17 million books over his long and decorated career. His books about nature (translated into 52 languages) were a major contributor not only to the Canadian environmental movement, but the global movement to protect the earth.

Millions of people around the world view Canada in a better light because of his life’s work. He mixed the serious with humour in devastating ways, making us smile one minute, cry the next and then rant with a rage over how we treat this planet.

I’ve been thinking about my favourite Farley Mowat book, “No Bird Sang”, since I heard the news today.

Allowing oil and gas activity off western NL proves offshore board cannot say no to oil industry

Media Release, May 6, 2014

Pour la version française, cliquez ici

The Sierra Club Canada Foundation and Save Our Seas and Shores are condemning the Newfoundland offshore board’s decision to allow the oil and gas industry to gain a toehold in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board released the results of a Strategic Environmental Assessment for the Western Newfoundland May 5th.