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 Development 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 reduce 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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Action Alert

Join in Discussing Climate Action With Local Organizations

Following the People's Climate Marches which occurred across the globe, local Saskatoon environmental organizations are interested in action. On Thursday October 16th, representatives 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 occurring on Thursday, October 16th at 7pm, at Station 20 West multipurpose room.

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

As part of his cross-country Blue Dot Tour, David Suzuki will be visiting Saskatoon 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 Suzuki 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 out 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, whose 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 works or lives 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 innovators 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


Every Bite Affects the World: Book Launch

Thursday October 16th, 7pm, Cathedral Neighborhood Centre

Join Catherine Verrall and friends as we celebrate the release of our book Every Bite Affects the World! Get copies signed, sample recipes, meet local artisans, musicians, farmers, vendors and people who want to understand the connections between our own health, and that of our planet.

Every Bite Affects the World is the first project aimed to help communities create more secure dietary options and teach where food choices come from, how they are processed, and why you should know.

Each book is $20.00 CAN with proceeds to be reinvested in the Every Bite Project to create community gardens, greenhouses and kitchens, and educational workshops, hosting guest speakers and seminars, all centered around ethical, healthy eating.

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Sharing for the Future: A Celebration of the Earth and Community through food and music

Wednesday, October 22nd, 5:30pm to 9pm, The Club at the Exchange

Bring your friends and family out for a community minded, fun and family friendly evening. The evening will begin with an optional community potluck at 5:30pm followed by a concert and dance at 6:30pm. Enjoy music from B.D. Willoughby, Glenn Sutter and the Rivertime Band, and Jim Wright.

If you'd like to partake in the potluck starting at 5:30pm, please bring a dish to share and your own plate and cutlery. The Club also has a licensed bar.

The event is hosted by the Prairie Spruce Commons cohousing project, whose goal is to raise awareness of the importance of community building and an environmentally friendly lifestyle. Admission is FREE, but donations will go to the musicians. Everyone is welcome!

Check out the Facebook event page here

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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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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 better way 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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Saskatchewan Grasslands: A Place Like No Other

Friday October 31st, 1:30pm - 3:30pmm, University of Regina - Education Auditorium

Branimir Gjetvaj will be presenting an illustrated talk on the Sasaktchewan grasslands October 31st. Saskatchewan grasslands are magical, wide open spaces that support an incredible diversity of life; from the iconic plains bison and pronghorn antelope, to rare and endangered species such as Black-footed Ferrets and Greater Sage Grouse. Grasslands are also home to ranchers who depend on healthy grasslands to sustain their livelihoods. With less than a quarter of Saskatchewan’s original grasslands still remaining, there is a growing sense of appreciation for the beauty and benefits that grasslands provide to rural communities. The fee for this non-credit course on Sasaktchewan grasslands is $10 and includes coffee.

Find out more here

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Farming For The Future: Organic Connections Conference & Trade Show

November 6-8, 1:30pm - 3:30pm, Conexus Art Centre

The theme for the 2014 Organic Connections Conference and Trade Show is “Farming for the Future”. We are enjoying a time of exciting challenges in organics as demand outstrips supply and farm prices reflect the positive market conditions. Organic export markets with new equivalencies open new opportunities while we are challenged with losing long time producers retiring or realizing increased land prices, and new, energetic people wondering where to start.

6th November - Workshop Working with Weeds and Soil

  • Presenters: Dr. Myriam Fernandez, Wally Hamm, Dr. Andy Hammermeister, Brian McConkey (soil) Dr. Steve Shirtliffe, Dr. Brenda Frick (weeds)

7th & 8th November- Conference & Trade Show Keynote Speakers:

  • Dr. Seralini and Chef Jérôme Douzelet - Chemical pollutants and GMOs in food: effects on health and detoxification
  • Dr. David Sauchyn - Designing Resilient Agriculture for a World of Changing Weather
  • Mark Kastel (Cornucopia Institute) - Local, Healthy, Sustainable Food Systems: Hyperbole or Sensation?
  • Melinda Carr-Hemmelgarn -"Food Sleuth®," - F.A.R.M.: Food, Art, Revolution, Media - Changing the Way We Think to Change the Way We Eat

Full Conference Pass $275 until 23rd October 2014. After the 23rd October $375 Student Conference Pass $200 until 23rd October 2014. After the 23rd October $225.

Visit for more information and registration details or contact Marion McBride, Events Co-ordinator at 306-543-8732

Find out more 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, Permasask 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. Permasask kept records of growth and production and they will 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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Protected Bike Lanes Demo Project Open House

Tuesday October 21st, 5pm - 8pm, Le Relais Community Centre, 130-308 4th Avenue North

The City of Saskatoon is holding a Presentation and Open House from 2-4 pm for businesses and 5-8 pm for the public on October 21 to outline the 18-month downtown protected bike lane project scheduled to being May 2015. Look at the plans and give your feedback. The Open House will be held at Le Relais Community Centre, 103-308 4th Avenue North.

Find out more here

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Waste Reduction Council - Reduce Your Food Waste

Tuesday October 21st, 7pm - 8:30pm, Frances Morrison Library
Saskatoon, SK

In Canada, an estimated $27 billion of food is wasted every year, half of it at the household level. The SK Waste Reduction Council will share information about composting and other ways of reducing food waste at 7 pm, Oct. 21, at the Frances Morrison Library. The Sustainable Speaker Series sponsored by the Saskatchewan Environmental Society and the Saskatoon Public Library.

Find out more about this event and more from the SES speaker's series 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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Electric Cars: The Future is Now

Tuesday November 18th, 7pm - 8:30pm, Frances Morrison Library

This presentation will consider the evolution of electric and hybrid vehicles. Do they make sense even if the electricity is generated by burning fossil fuels? What are the pros and cons? What does the future hold? After much research, Lynn Oliphant purchased a used Chevrolet Volt. It has an electric drive train with a battery range of 60-70 km, with no gas used at all. It plugs into a standard outlet for an overnight charge and has a small gas engine that powers an on-board generator, giving unlimited range for long trips with good gas mileage. Lynn thinks electric cars are ideal for anyone living in the city or within approximately 30 km. The possibility of forming an informal cooperative to bring used electric cars into Saskatchewan at affordable prices will also be discussed.

Find out more about this event and more from the SES speaker's series here

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Light a Spark, Set a Fire: Archdiocese of Regina Social Justice Conference

Saturday October 18, 2014, 8:30am-4:00 pm, Vanier Collegiate
Moose Jaw, SK

Choose from thirteen different sessions at this social justice conference in Moose Jaw this Saturday hosted by the Archdiocese of Regina. Become an active participant in social justice and join discussions on human rights, poverty, environmental justice, health, food security, and more! Registration is $25 for adults and $5 for students 18 and under, with lunch, snacks, and refreshments included.

For session info and registration, visit the website here. If you have any other questions you can contact Kyle Lichtenwald at

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

Saturday 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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