SEN Info Bulletin

July 15th, 2014

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News

Action Alert

Opportunities

Events

News

SEN's Earth Overshoot Festival

SEN's Earth Overshoot Festival is almost here! Join us outside Regina on August 24th for musical performances, food, gardening and sustainability workshops, and more! Put on your dancin' shoes and have a good time while learning how we can live more sustainably and work to move Earth Overshoot Day further back every year. Tickets are on a donation basis and are available online and at the event.

If you or your organization is interested in getting involved, please contact us at info@econet.sk.ca or (306) 652-1275.

For the location, tickets, and more information visit our Facebook event page here

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SEN Celebrates World Rivers Day 2014!

Celebrate World Rivers Day 2014 with the Saskatchewan Eco Network on Saturday September 27th! SEN will be hosting an event in Friendship Park in Saskatoon where all are invited to join us for entertainment, interactive education, and an all around good time.

We are excited to be teaming up with many of our member groups and other water organizations for an exciting day in the park. There is still time to get involved if you or your organization would like to participate in the event. This is a great opportunity for our member groups to engage directly with the public.

If you would like to get involved and represent your organization with a display, interactive activity, workshop, or anything else, please contact us at info@econet.sk.ca or (306) 652-1275.

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Northern band says 'no' to nuclear waste

One of Saskatchewan's largest native bands, the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation (PBCN) which represents over 10,000 people in Northern Saskatchewan has publicly announced their opposition to storing radioactive waste in the Flin Flon Region. The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is currently involved in the early learning phase in the area's potential to stockpile Canada's nuclear waste.

The Flin Flon-Creighton area is being looked in to for it's ability to stockpile spent nuclear fuel rods, which would be buried about 500 metres underground in a secure repository. Following the sentiment expressed by the PBCN, NWMO says the area is still under consideration for the project, along with more than a dozen Ontario communities.

In order for the project to be approved the geology of the area must be sound, but as importantly, the residents in the community must demonstrate that they are in support of the project. The PBCN's strong stance against this project makes further progress unlikely, despite ongoing research.

Read more here.

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World Council of Churches Pulls All Investment in Fossil Fuels

A group that represents over a half billion people worldwide, the World Council of Churches has announced their decision to pull all of its investments in fossil fuel business. During its central committee meeting in Geneva, the group discussed their ethical investment criteria, and extended their list of sectors in which the WCC does not invest in to include fossil fuels.

While the group's announcement doesn't require its member churches to divest, its recommendation carries significant weight. For example the Church of England has announced it is considering redirecting its investment. The Church of England holds an endowment of more than $9 billion

This decision from the World Council of Churches has the potential to strongly impact the decisions made by people in Saskatchewan where there is a large Christian population. It is a strong message sent not only to church organizations, but to individuals that the support of fossil fuels is no longer ethical.

Read more here.

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Alberta silent on decisions about who speaks at energy hearings

The Alberta government has refused to release documents on its decisions about who gets to speak at public hearings on energy development. The Canadian Press filed a freedom-of-information request seeking paperwork on the eligibility of groups or individuals allowed to address Alberta Energy Regulator hearings. Alberta Environment's freedom-of-information office described the release as "a package consisting of 260 pages with no disclosure."

This request was made after a Queen's Bench judge ruled in late 2013 that the department wrongly refused to grant an environmental coalition the right to appear at a hearing on oilsands development. Since that ruling, environmental groups and First Nations have been denied standing to speak at public hearings at least nine times.

This continues an uncomfortable trend after Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault launched a systematic investigation under the Access to Information Act in 2013 regarding the restriction of government scientists in providing information to the press.

Read more here

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Could BC Become a 100% Renewable Energy Region?

Guy Dauncey of the BC Sustainable Energy Association has published part 3 of a 4 part series analyzing the possibility of the province of BC becoming a 100% renewable energy region. Part 3 focuses on what is likely the most difficult to address, which is trucking, ships, and planes.

Freight is a very large part of BC's economy given their long coastline and access to international shipping routes. In his article, Guy Dauncey where and why fossil fuels are currently being used in freight and commercial travel, and what can be done to make it sustainable and renewable.

You can read Part 3: Trucking, Ships, and Planes - The Tough Part of the Challenge here

Read part 1 here and part 2 here

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Action Alert

Participate in Consultation for Food Labelling Changes in Canada

In the 2013 Speech from the Throne, the Government of Canada made the commitment to consult with parents and consumers on ways to improve the nutritional information on food labels. In response to this commitment, the Minister of Health launched a consultation process across Canada in January 2014. This process ended in April 2014 and a report reflecting the feedback was published. It highlighted that many Canadians find the information currently on food labels useful, but had many ideas on how to improve the labels.

There will be a new series of in person and online consultations on ways to improve the nutritional information on food labels. The online consultations are open for comment and will run until September 11, 2014.

If you are concerned about how food is labelled in Canada, this is the perfect chance to voice your opinion to the people who are making changes. A commitment has been made to change the way we label food, and our opinion matters. Visit Health Canada's website here to start participating in public consultation.

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Help Prevent Weakening of Offshore Drilling Laws

On July 11th, the National Energy Board said it was going to consider a request from Imperial Oil and Chevron to weaken the rules for offshore drilling in the Arctic. Chevron and Imperial Oil are looking to avoid the cost of drilling relief wells, and the National Energy Board is entertaining the possibility of waving that requirement.

As many of us recall, the lack of relief wells in the Gulf of Mexico was a large reason for the biggest oil spill in history in 2009. Chevron and Imperial Oil have not yet released what their alternative to relief wells would be, and the National Energy Board is making a ruling before any environmental assessment can be undertaken.

Strict restrictions on offshore drilling will not only help prevent future catastrophic spills in our oceans, but will also drive up the already rising cost of fossil fuel production. This will make investment in a green energy economy even more desirable.

Help Sierra Club Canada fight against this proposal here

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Petition to Prevent Future BC Mining Disasters

On August 4th, British Columbians watched news coverage of the Mount Polley Mine disaster with shock and concern after a collapsed dam released almost 15 million cubic metres of toxic effluent into the salmon-rich Quesnel River systems. While full impacts of this disaster have yet to be tallied, we know that water, salmon, human health and local jobs are at risk.

Years ago, the mining company raised concerns about its ability to manage tailings from this mine. Despite this, production was ramped up, placing even greater strain on an already-stressed structure. With timelines reduced and processes streamlined for environmental assessments to fast track new mine approvals, we can expect more of these kinds of devastating events.

Help prevent disasters like this from happening again by signing this letter to The BC Premiere, Minister of Environment, and Minister of Energy and Mines here

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Petition to Keep Jasper`s Spirit Wild

Parks Canada announced its decision to approve 13 of 14 elements of a commercial business' proposed resort plan. While the company's proposal to build a hotel was rejected, all other elements were approved. These include commercial tent cabin accommodations and more located at Jasper's Maligne Lake. Development in this area would put grizzly bears and a small struggling herd of woodland caribou at risk.

In order for these plans to go through, Parks Canada has confirmed that they will first need to change the Jasper National Park Management Plan. Parks Canada's current policy prohibits new commercial accommodation outside park town sites. Though the hotel proposal was not given the green light, the decision to change the Park Management Plan has the potential to open the floodgates for more development outside designated park town sites.

Sign the petition from CPAWS for Parks Canada to uphold its current policy here.

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Petition to Preserve the CBC's In-house Documentaries

The CBC is poised to dramatically scale back production of its cutting-edge documentaries. This decision is in response to budget cuts to the public network. This would mean the end of award-winning documentaries and programs that are made by and for Canadians like "The Nature of Things."

Some of the CBC's most prominent on-air personalities including David Suzuki, Peter Mansbridge, and over 30 other news and current affairs staff have spoken out publicly against the cutbacks. Join them and sign the petition here and urge the CBC to keep its important in-house documentary department.

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Opportunities/Call for Proposals

Apply for ECO Canada's Environmental Internship Program

ECO Canada's International Environmental Youth Corps wage subsidy program offers employers up to $12,000 to hire a young professional in a full-time, permanent environmental position. This free wage subsidy can be a big help to smaller organizations and not-for-profits who may be looking to hire new talent on their team.

To learn more about the program or apply for a free wage subsidy, visit ECO Canada's website here.

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Webinar: Donor Data: The Key to Donor Retention

Understanding your donors is the first step to a great donor retention strategy. In this webinar, speakers discuss how fundraisers can break down silos of data to best understand donors, and how to use this information to engage in conversations with donors that promote life-long giving habits.

It costs less to retain a donor than to acquire a new one. Collecting the right data on your donors can help you look beyond the numbers and figure out how and why donors connect with you.

Access the webinar here.

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Register for Careers Day 2014 in Regina

Careers Day 2014 is an all-discipline career fair held September 22nd attracting local, national, and international employers to network and recruit University of Regina students for future opportunities. This event provides you with a venue to connect with individuals from all disciplines. Showcase your organization to University of Regina students and alumni, introduce them to future career opportunities and direct them to the best path to get there.

Registration fees are $700 (but $250 for charitable organizations). This is a great opportunity to network with over 10,000 University of Regina students and alumni.

To learn more, and for online registration or to download a registration form visit the website here.

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Coming Events

Regina

Creating Community: Solar Power Small Talk

Wednesday August 20th, 7p.m. at Natures Best, 2224 14th Avenue

Local wind and solar expert Ken Compton will answer questions about solar voltaic energy systems, practical applications for home and business, and projected energy savings, specifically for Prairie Spruce Commons. Guests will enjoy refreshing smoothies and organic beverages and treats from Nature's Best solar-powered juice bar.

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2014 Nature Saskatchewan Fall Meet

September 19th and 20th, Royal Saskatchewan Museum and Ramada Hotel downtown Regina

Nature Regina and the Lumsden Valley Community Association will be hosting Nature Saskatchewan's Fall Meet on September 19th and 20th. They will spend the meeting exploring the beautiful Qu'Appelle Valley and some of the conservation initiatives along the Valley. The Qu'Appelle is beautiful in its own right and provides a corridor of habitat through a heavily cultivated area.

The meeting will feature Friday evening at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum and Saturday field trips to the beautiful Qu'Appelele Valley. The Nature Conservancy of Canada has been acquiring lands in the Qu'Appelle and visits to these new conservation areas will be among the highlights of the field trips.

The Saturday events will start from the Ramada Hotel in downtown Regina. This will also be the location for the Saturday meeting and banquet.

On Friday evening the registration, reception and meeting will be at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum. A block of rooms has been set aside at $139.00. Call the Ramada at 1-800-667-6500 to reserve your own room and indicate you are with Nature Saskatchewan

Find out more here

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Saskatchewan Peoples' Social Forum

September 19th and 20th, University of Regina

On September 19-20, the Saskatchewan Peoples’ Social Forum Planning Committee is hosting a panel discussion and a one day assembly to build links between groups and social movements in Saskatchewan. The session will feature educational workshops, networking opportunities and action planning.

It will cover issues ranging from privatization and attacks on public services, environmental issues like the Energy East Pipeline, Indigenous Rights, and how we can build progressive communities in Saskatchewan.

Find out more and register here

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Sunshine and Salutations: Yoga in the Park

Saturdays in August, noon

Enjoy summer in Regina with free yoga in the park every Saturday in August! What better way to enjoy a warm summer day than to get together for yoga and meet new people. Anyone and everyone is welcome, just be sure to bring your own yoga mat.

Find out more and register at www.yogamala.com

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An evening with David Suzuki in Regina

Monday October 27th, 7p.m. at Conexus Arts Centre

On his last national tour, David Suzuki shares the wisdom of a life full of action and celebrates Canadians who are standing up for the people and places they love. A special evening of inspiration, music and learning.

Purchase tickets for the event here

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Saskatoon

Communicate With Animals and Nature: Skills for a Sustainable World

Thursday August 21st, 7:30-9:00pm at the College of Medicine E-wing, Room 1150 at the University of Saskatchewan

MJ Barrett, SENS faculty, has organized a few events to examine how animal communication could help contribute to a deeper appreciation and affinity for the environment. She will be researching this topic and has invited Mary J. Getten, renowned animal communication expert, to the U of S.

On Thursday there is a panel presentation and follow-up dialogue looking at the world as a place of connection between humans, animals, plants and the rest of nature. This is a free lecture available to anyone in the public who would like to attend.

Learn more about this lecture here

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Parking Day

Friday September 19, 20th St W (between Ave B and E)

Parking Day is an annual worldwide event where designers, citizens, and businesses transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks.

CHEP Good Food will again be participating by transforming 20th St W (between Ave B and E) as a sustainable, bike-friendly complete street where community and business thrive. The day will include 40+ transformed parking stalls, a public square, bike valet, open discussions, popup art gallery and children’s activities.

Ominocity will be booking artists to perform outdoors at Park(ing) Day from 12pm to 5pm. They are on the hunt for bands and acoustic artists to help us liven up the streets and celebrate local art and culture. If you are interested in performing please contact them at info@ominocity.com.

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Sustainable Gourmet 2014

Saturday September 27th, Saskatoon Club, 417 21st St E

Sustainable Gourmet is an annual fundraising dinner hosted by the Saskatchewan Environmental Society. It is both a celebration of SES and a showcase of Saskatchewan’s local food and culinary talent. The fundraiser unites our community, a community of people who share a belief in a healthy living and a sustainable future. All of the primary ingredients used in the dinner are acquired from local producers and prepared by Saskatoon chefs who create a unique gourmet meal.

Purchase tickets at the SES website here

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Movie: Yellow Cake: The Dirt Behind Uranium

Wednesday October 1 - 6:30- 9:00 P.M. at the Roxy Theatre, 320 20th St W

ICUCEC presents a documentary from German director Joachim Tschirner, which depicts the consequences of the production of uranium, the feedstock of nuclear power. "Yellow cake" refers to uranium in its refined, powdery state that is used in both nuclear weapons and reactors. Uranium mining, the first chain link of the nuclear energy production has always been out of the public eye. The award-winning documentary "YELLOW CAKE: The Dirt Behind Uranium" takes the viewers to the biggest active mines in Namibia, Australia and Canada while focusing on the most gigantic clean-up operation in the history of uranium mining.

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An evening with David Suzuki in Saskatoon

Sunday October 26th, 7p.m. at TCU Place Sid Buckwold Theatre

On his last national tour, David Suzuki shares the wisdom of a life full of action and celebrates Canadians who are standing up for the people and places they love. A special evening of inspiration, music and learning.

Purchase tickets for the event here

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Conference on Long Term Threats to the Saskatchewan River Basin

October 27-29, Delta Bessborough Hotel

The Partners FOR the Saskatchewan River Basin and the Canadian Water Resources Association (Saskatchewan Branch) are delighted to announce their upcoming conference from October 27-29, 2014 at the Delta Bessborough Hotel. The theme for the conference will be the Long Term Threats to the Saskatchewan River Basin. In attendance at the conference will be experts in a variety of fields. Dr. Howard Wheater from the Global Institute for Water Security in Saskatoon will be presenting as a keynote speaker. For information and to register, go to www.skriverthreats.com

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Other

Generating Momentum Activist Leadership Training Camp

August 21st-24th, Camp Easter Seal on Little Manitou Lake (near Watrous)

This 4-day, province-wide event has a focus on providing the practical skills, knowledge, education, and networking opportunities necessary for young leaders to make a difference in their communities. If you are 18 to 29 years of age and are passionate about social, global, and environmental justice, this camp is for you!

Registration is now open for the 5th annual Generating Momentum Camp: generatingmomentumcamp.wordpress.com

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