The Activist: Winter 2024
Our biannual newsletter, The Activist, covers the work of Sierra Club Canada’s chapters and programs!
But first: A special note to mention that after this edition of The Activist we are going to be looking to redesign our bi-annual newsletter. So stay tuned for some of the same great aspects of The Activist in our next issue and also new things. If there’s content that you’d particularly like to see in the next edition let us know by emailing us at email@example.com
A Message From Ole Hendrickson, President of the Board Of Directors, Sierra Club Canada Foundation
The winter months often have a way of creating more space for reflection. It can be an opportunity to deeply reflect and connect on the solutions needed to address some of today’s biggest challenges. The Sierra Club Canada Foundation deeply values directly working with you, our supporters, on key environmental issues facing our country from coast to coast to coast.
Since our last “The Activist” newsletter this past spring, we have had the opportunity to come together on several occasions, including most recently when Ben Jealous, the executive director of the United States’ Sierra Club, came to visit us in Ottawa to talk about cross border environmental issues and how we can collaborate. Our day of deep conversation was followed by a meaningful walk in Cantley Quebec with local environmental leaders, SCCF staff and volunteers. It was a wonderful opportunity to showcase some of our local programs, as well as our beautiful country.
Your hard work also paid off with Canada announcing an emissions cap framework at COP28. While we now embark on the journey of shaping this framework, your voice was heard in taking this monumental first step. Here are a few more highlights of what our teams of staff and volunteers have been up to recently!
From our Chapters
Prairie Chapter: The River Ramble
On August 5th we were lucky enough to have Naomi McIlwraith, Indigenous Narrative Supervisor at Fort Edmonton Park’s Indigenous Peoples Experience, lead us on our first Indigenous Led Walk; the River Ramble. A big thank you also to Alberta Ecotrust for providing us with the resources needed for our August walks!
Save Eglinton Flats
A coalition in Mount Dennis, representing one of the most diverse neighbourhoods in Toronto continues to fight against Metrolinx for environmental justice. With Indigenous and non-Indigenous volunteers, we continue to push to hold Metrolinx and the provincial government accountable asking them to stop cutting the 1,400 sacred trees so close to the ancestrally important Indigenous land by the Humber River. Learn more.
Guarding the Greenbelt
“Over time approximately half of these once all publicly owned lands (some have been sold to developers) have become incorporated into the 20,000-acre Rouge National Park. It has become increasingly a haven for rare species and a focus of ecological recovery efforts,” writes John Bacher in an Ontario Chapter blog post.
Pairing Up with in Patagonia Ottawa!
Our team had a blast partnering up with the amazing folks at Patagonia at their ByWard Market grand opening on October 22nd! We were able to meet with a number of you locally and share our latest activities and programs like Breathe Easy!
Meet your new Quebec Chapter board representative!
Did you know that SCCF is proud to introduce its youngest board member in our history? Meet Shirley Barnea!
Officially having joined us at our AGM earlier this fall Shirley is a 19-year-old environmental activist from Montréal. Enchanted by nature since preschool, she gives everything she has to protect it, whether that be leading her high school and CEGEP green teams, convincing her parents to switch to an electric car or talking about climate change to everyone, all the time. She has also written op-eds for The Globe and Mail and The Montreal Gazette.
Since 2020, Shirley has been a core organizer with Fridays for Future Montréal (@pourlefuturmtl), leading student strikes and climate protests (25 so far) with as many as 15,000 participants. As spokesperson for the group, she has given dozens of interviews. She is energetic, hardworking, empathetic and optimistic, and hopes to bring her unique perspective to the Sierra Club Canada team!
Become a Member of Sierra Club Quebec
Are you located in the province of Quebec? We are always looking for new members to join us! Find out how you can join us!
Atlantic Chapter: Stop Bay du Nord
Last September, over 200 people came out to a rally against Equinor’s Bay du Nord in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. The event was organized by youth in the province and Sierra Club Canada was pleased to have been able to help with getting the word out. Thank you to all who showed up to send a strong message to our leaders!
This month we also participated in an international meeting of the Equinor Out of Oil and Gas campaign in Oslo, Norway. As part of the Equinor Out campaign we are joining forces with those around the world, from Argentina to Brazil, to the UK, and Norway itself who are fighting back against Equinor and Norway’s oil and gas expansion plans.
Because to defeat an international oil and gas company we must show international solidarity. You can also listen to our recent podcast episodes with activists in Norway, the United Kingdom, and Costa Rica.
The Sierra Youth Executive Committee is a team of passionate youth volunteers across Canada working to fight for climate justice through a multi-disciplinary approach to grass-roots activism.
The executive team is looking for new members to join the committee and tackle plans to expand the Sierra Youth Podcast and Instagram and bring more youth into conversations about environmental and social justice issues through outreach and education. If you would like to join a team devoted to empowering youth to become active community leaders and change-makers, please apply.
Giving Children the Chance to Learn from Nature
Wild Child program brings fun environmental education and encourages staff and children to get outside, play games and age appropriate activities to learn about their environment and the other critters they share their community with. This video showcases the impact these programs have for children across Canada!
New Ways to Stay up to Date!
We know you are busy, and we also know that you care about what is going on. We are therefore excited to share that we have launched a dedicated podcast so that you can catch up on the latest environmental issues facing Canadians – whether you are preparing dinner or commuting to work!
Check out the Environment in Canada Podcast!
Also available on FM radio! Every second Tuesday at 11 AM ET at 90.3 FM in Montréal (CKUT).
We are also excited to introduce the Community Energy Showcase, a collaborative project between SCCF and our friends at The Energy Mix!