SEN Info Bulletin

October 16th, 2014

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Action Alert




Results of the U.N. Climate Summit & People's Climate March

On Tuesday, September 23rd more than 100 leaders gathered in New York City for the U.N. Climate Summit. The purpose of the 2014 Climate Summit was to raise political momentum for a meaningful universal climate agreement in Paris in 2015 and to galvanize transformative action in all countries to reduce emissions and build resilience to the adverse impacts of climate change.

Mashable has put together an interactive map of every nation who participated in the summit, along with the promises they have made to tackle climate change. You can check out this map here and to learn more about the Climate Summit and its impacts you can visit the U.N. Climate Summit page here

Something that stands out in this map is the absence of participation from Canadian leadership. This stands in stark contrast to rising public interest in climate action. Along with around 400,000 people who participated in the NYC People's Climate March on September 21st (many of whom were Canadian), nearly every major center in Canada held a march in solidarity. Among these cities was Saskatoon and Regina, where over a thousand people gathered to show their demand for climate action. The Saskatoon march alone, organized by SEN board members Dianne Rhodes and Kaitlyn Harvey as well as other members of Saskatoon saw nearly one thousand people march through the downtown core in their support for climate action.

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SEN Celebrated a Successful World Rivers Day Festival!

SEN celebrated World Rivers Day with our 4th annual festival in Friendship Park on September 27th. It was a fantastic (and chilly) day in the park to celebrate the wonderful water resource that is the Saskatchewan River Basin and learn more about what several different groups in Saskatchewan are working on to protect it. Thanks to all of our member-groups who participated in our water fair, and to The Paddlewheelers and Rayney who entertained us throughout the afternoon!

Want to be involved next year? Have any further questions? Please contact SEN at or by phone at (306) 652-1275. A big thanks goes out to our festival sponsors SaskWater, Loraas Recycle, Meewasin, CFCR, and Danger Dynamite Multimedia for their generous support and making this event possible!

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Fall 2014 Report of Canada's Environment & Sustainable Development Commissioner

Early this month, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Developement Julie Gelfand released her 2014 fall report. In this scathing report, Gelfand claims the federal government isn't doing enough to combat climate change or to reduce pollution from Alberta's oilsands. The report says Canada has no plan to meet its emission reduction targets and no long-term plan for environmental monitoring in Alberta's oilsands region, where greenhouse gas emissions are growing the fastest.

Gelfand also remarks that the government's lack of preparation for increasing marine traffic in the Arctic poses a significant environmental risk. The report notes that the Arctic has been "inadequately surveyed and charted and capacity for this work is limited." Between 2002 and 2013, there were about 100 small spills in the Arctic. As Arctic sea ice continues to recede, more and more shipping routes will be established, which greatly increases the need for accurate and up to date information to increase the safety of these routes and ruduce future environmental hazards.

You can read the full 2014 Fall Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development here

CBC News has also released their highlights from the report here

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Leading Companies & Fund Managers Back Carbon Pricing and Renewables

While the world was focused on 400,000 people marching for climate action and over 100 world leaders gathering for climate discussion in New York City, many didn't notice what was happening on nearby Wall Street. In a decisive action almost no one was expecting, fund managers and CEO's from some of the world's biggest companies and institutions pledged their support for carbon pricing and investment in renewables.

In the week prior to the Peoples Climate March and the U.N. Climate Summit, 347 investors overseeing more than 24 trillion American dollars in assets pledged their support for "stable, reliable and economically meaningful carbon pricing," to strengthen regulations for renewable-energy deployment, and more. Over the next week even more joined in and more than 1000 institutional investors, financial institutions, and companies endorsed calls for putting a strong price on carbon pollution and boosting clean-energy investment.

Most striking of all is that some of the companies who are crying out for carbon pricing are major carbon producers like International Airlines Group, the China National Offshore Oil Company, British Petroleum, and more. It is encouraging to see the U.N. bring in over a hundred governments interested in climate action, but progress will never be achieved without strong market solutions. This commitment of Wall Street investors and the CEO's of major corporations to climate action could lead the way for creating long-term practical solutions for our climate.

Read the full article by Clean Energy Canada here.

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Quebec & Ontario Premieres Partner to Combat Climate Change

Quebec Premier Phillippe Couillard and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne met in August and announced their commitment to reinvigorate and strengthen the relationship between the two provinces to achieve the goals of each. Central to this discussion was climate change. Both premieres agreed that it is more important than ever to address the issue of climate change, and that together they can be more effective at decreasing their need for fossil fuels.

Quebec and Ontario are already Canada's leaders in combating climate change, with Quebec's successful cap-and-trade system and Ontario's achievement of becoming the first region in North America to have completely eliminated coal as a source of electricity. This decisive announcement of cooperation is a vital step in helping the two provinces to continue to take further steps to combat climate change.

Read more on this partnership and the goals of these two provinces here

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Action Alert

Join in Discussing Climate Action With Local Organizations

Following the People's Climate Marches which occured accross the globe, local Saskatoon environmental organizations are interested in action. On Thursday October 16th, representitives from The Council of Canadians, Climate Justice Saskatoon, SES, SEN, and others are meeting to discuss action, setting new directions, and planning new strategies for climate action in Saskatoon and the Province.

Anyone is invited to attend to contribute their ideas and energy to help pave the way for Saskatchewan to take action on climate change. The meeting will be occuring on Thursday, October 16th at 7pm, at Station 20 West multipurpose room.

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Volunteer at David Susuki's Blue Dot Tour in Saskatoon & Regina

As part of his cross-country Blue Dot Tour, David Susuki will be visiting Sasakatoon on Sunday October 26th and Regina on Monday October 27th. The basis of the tour is to support the idea that all Canadians should have the right to drink clean water, breathe fresh air, and eat healthy food.

The tour is looking for volunteer help in a variety of forms, including photography, merchandising, and recycling. This is the perfect opportunity to see David Susuki speak in your city and have a direct hand in the nation-wide movement to protect our right to a healthy environment. You can check out a list of all the volunteer positions and send in your application here

Meewasin Northeast Swale Master Plan Public Open House

The Northeast Swale is an important and unique landscape feature formed by an ancient river channel. Located north of Silverspring and Evergreen neighbourhoods in Saskatoon, it is the largest piece of unbroken city land with native prairie, riparian forest and wetlands. Meewasin intends to conserve the ecology of the area and support opportunities for nature appreciation and education.

Currently Meewasin is developing a Master Plan for the Northeast Swale. This work includes planning and designing the physical space, pathways and amenities within the Northeast Swale to support resource management, education and recreation uses.

Meewasin is holding a Public Open House for the Northeast Swale Master Plan. The Public Open House will be Wednesday, October 22, 2014 from 4pm – 8pm at the Forestry Farm House. This is a come and go information session to view and discuss the conceptual design for the Northeast Swale.

Find our more about the Northeast Swale Master Plan here and the open house, here

Help Stop Tar Sands Oil Shipments in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin

The St. Lawrence River is being turned into a transport route for Alberta bitumen, one of the world’s dirtiest forms fuel. On September 24, Suncor shipped the first ever vessel of heavy crude on the St. Lawrence River from a port east of Montreal bound for Italy. There are plans to ship 20 to 30 vessels each year.

The St. Lawrence River is the second longest river in Canada. It connects the Great Lakes with the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Atlantic Ocean. The St. Lawrence provides drinking water to millions of people and has four areas designated under the UN Convention of Wetlands of International Importance. The Gulf is the world’s largest estuary, bordering five of 10 Canadian provinces.

The Council of Canadians has prepared a letter that you can send to elected officials to express why you oppose shipping tar sands oil in the river basin. You add your own comments and send the letter here

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Opportunities/Call for Proposals

Jennifer Gallays, a teacher at St. Anne's Elementary School in Saskatoon is organizing a large environmental project with her students in the spring of 2015. The first part of the project will have students working with hip hop, rap/spoken word, and musical artists to create a play about consumerism. The purpose of this project will be to build awareness and develop intrinsic motivation to curb consumption. This portion of the project will be funded through a grant from the Saskatchewan Arts Board

The second part of the project is to create a large mural which focuses on environmental sustainability. This mural will be painted by St. Anne's students under the direction of teacher and artist Jennifer Gallays, and local Indigenous artist, Kevin Wesequate, who's work can be seen on the front of St. Paul's Hospital. In order to produce this mural, they require the help of a sponsor.

As a sponsor, your organization's logo could be displayed within the mural, and you will be recognized through social media, Gallay's educational blog, the school newsletter, and on a plaque at the front of the school

If you are interested in sponsoring to this project you can contact Jennifer Gallay's at Check our St. Anne`s 2014 ArtsSmarts project here

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SaskOutdoors Standard Wilderness First Aid

SaskOutdoors is offering a course on a basic level of Wilderness & Remote First Aid that covers material in Standard First Aid & CPR, plus special material on techniques for wilderness and remote areas. The course also offers strategies for providing extended care for up to 24 hours. Part of the course is taught in an outdoor setting and requires greater physical activity and endurance than typical first aid training. This is a great opportunity to learn wilderness First Aid for anybody who work or live in remote locations or who are outdoor recreation enthusiasts.

This course is scheduled from Friday November 28th, to Sunday November 30th at the University of Regina. It will cost $135 for SaskOutdoors members $150 for non-members

Find out more and register here


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Funding Opportunity for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Businesses

Businesses Western Canada who are currently working on innovative new technology are eligible for funding from the Western Innovation Initiative (WINN). WINN offers repayable contributions to small and medium-sized enterprises to help move their new and innovative technologies into the marketplace.

This is the perfect opportunity for innovaters in renewable energy or green technology in Saskatchewan. If you or your organization has connections with, or knows of any enterprise working on an innovative new green technology, I encourage you to share this funding opportunity with them.

To find out more and apply for the WINN grant, visit the website here


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TD Green Streets Funding Available for 2015

Tree Canada and TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF) are encouraging communities nationwide to get innovative with their urban forests, with an offer of matching grants up to $15,000 for qualifying projects. Since 1994 Green Streets has awarded funding to more than 500 recipients, helping to change the landscape of communities across Canada.

The deadline to submit an application for a 2015 TD Green Streets grant is December 12, 2014. Recipients will be announced in March 2015. Grant recipients are selected by a panel of representatives from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, Tree Canada, and regional urban forest practitioners.

To find out more and apply for the Green Streets grant, visit the website here


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U of R Spring Career Fair Earlybird Registration

The Spring Career Fair is coming Monday, February 2nd, and works to serve organizations that are recruiting for: Full Time, Part Time, Co-op and Summer Jobs as well as Fieldwork and Practicum placements. Organizations seeking volunteers, Fieldwork & Practicum placements receive special rates.

This is a great opportunity for environmental organizations choose from over 10,000 U of R students and alumni to find talented staff and volunteers.

To find out more and submit your registration for the career fair, visit the website here


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Coming Events


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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Vandana Shiva - Earth Democracy

Tuesday October 28th, 7:30p.m. at University of Regina - Education Auditorium

SCIC is turning 40 and they want to celebrate with our friends, and what betterway than bringing one of the planet's most respected, inspiring and driven humans to speak in Regina!

Dr. Vandana Shiva will challenge and motivate you with her sharp intellectual enquiry and courageous activism. An environmental and anti-globalization activist. Dr. Shiva has contributed in fundamental ways to changing the practice and paradigms of agriculture and food, to our understanding of intellectual property rights and biotechnology, and to the perception of women in the developing world. In November 2010, Forbes Magazine identified Dr. Shiva as one of the Seven Most Powerful Women on the Globe.

Visit the Facebook event page here

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Green Roofs - Michael Molaro

Tuesday September 16th, Frances Morrison Library, 311 23rd St East

Michael Molaro will talk about the design, implementation and maintenance of green roofs and share tips on creating and caring for a rooftop garden at 7 pm, Sept. 16, at the Frances Morrison Library. The Sustainable Speaker Series sponsored by the Saskatchewan Environmental Society and the Saskatoon Public Library.

An interview with Michael and an article about green roofs is available on EcoFriendly Sask's website here

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Vikram Misra - Bats: Their Life, Their Viruses

Thursday September 18, Room 106, Biology Building, U of S

Vikram Misra always has a good story to tell. He is a virologist who has been head of microbiology departments in both medicine and veterinary medicine and herpes viruses are his primary interest. A fascination with viruses leads to a fascination with bats, and bats live in your neighbourhood and eat mosquitoes. Vikram will discuss the biology of bats, their remarkable physiology and, yes, their viral companions.

Come join the Saskatoon Nature Society for this great talk, followed by some coffee and cookies. Be sure to bring your own non-disposable cup to prevent waste. Learn more 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

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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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Permasask October Potluck & Meeting

Thursday October 16th, Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre

Join Permasask for their October Potluck and Meeting and find out what they did this summer – through their Eco-Friendly Action Grant project that is. Michelle Hubbard will tell you about the project and what we learned through its research.

Thanks to funding received from Eco-Friendly Saskatchewan they collaborated with the Saskatoon Food Bank and Let’s Talk About Science to do some education and research related to vermicomposting and mycorrhizal fungi. In late winter they conducted some educational workshops for school groups at the Food Bank regarding vermicomposting. During the growing season they established sixteen experimental plots at the Garden Patch and planted the Three Sisters - beans, corn and pumpkins in each plot. Four plots were treated with mycorrhizal inoculum, another four were given applications of vermicompost extract, another four received both treatments and yet another four received no additional treatment. We kept records of growth and production and Michelle will tell share the results with you. There will be time for questions and discussion afterwards.

So bring a dish to share and join us for an informative and interesting evening.

Doors open at 6pm. We will eat at 6:30 and then clean-up. The presentation will start between 7:00 and 7:30.

Visit the Facebook event page here

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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

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From the Belly of the Boom: Understanding and resisting Saskatchewan's oil boom

October 18, 2014, 1:30-4:00 pm, Reading Room - Third Floor St. Peter's College
Muenster, SK

This workshop looks at how Saskatchewan's oil boom is reshaping rural life and exacerbating environmental degradation. Join Emily Eaton, Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at the U of R, and Valerie Zink, past Editor/Publisher of Briarpatch Magazine and explore opportunities for building relevant movements across rural and urban communities. For more info contact Elaine Hughes at (306)323-4901 or Bill Curry at (306)554-2985

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