SEN Info Bulletin

April 16th, 2015

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News

Action Alert

Opportunities

Events

News

10th Annual SEN Environmental Film Festival

The 10th Annual SEN Environmental Film Festival is almost here! We have some amazing films lined up for the weekend of April 24th to 26th at the Roxy Theatre in Saskatoon. Admission to the festival will be on a suggested donation basis of $5 for low income and $10 for mid-high income, but for anyone unable to pay a donation isn't required. We'll also be hosting the Green Un-Gala at PAVED Arts on 20th Street from 9pm to midnight where we'll have wine liquor and beer, some musicians, and the presentation of our Environmental Activism Awards. Entry to the Un-Gala is free and drinks are $5.

We'll also be selling tickets to our SEN Raffle, which has a grand prize of a $2000 VIA Rail train ticket voucher! Secondary prizes are a 10 person guided canoe tour from Meewasin worth $200 and an $80 voucher to the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra. Raffle tickets will be $5 per entry.

Join our Facebook events for the Environmental Film Festival and the Green Un-Gala for updates and to let us know if you're coming.

For SEN member organizations we'll be setting up a few tables in the lobby where you can leave pamphlets, posters, or other materials you'd like to have on display. If your organization is interested in this, please contact the office to arrange to drop off any materials, or to let me know you'll be bringing them to the festival.

If you're interested in volunteering at the festival send us an email at info@econet.sk.ca.

Thanks to our 2015 Sponsors so far! If you're interested in becoming a festival or film sponsor, donating a prize for our raffle, or if you are interested in advertising in the festival programme, send us an email at info@econet.sk.ca.

Saskatchewan Lotteries Trust Fund, SCIC, Riversdale Community Assoc. U of S Office of Sustainability, City of Saskatoon, VIA Rail, Saskatoon Media Group, SaskEnergy, EcoFriendly Sask, Meewasin, ASUPCA Carbon Offset program, MPetit Productions, Tom Morgan, Roxy Theatre, Saskatchewan Eco-network, Saskatoon Symphony, SFL, Saskatoon & District Labour, Sierra Club Canada Foundation, Saskatoon Peace Coalition.

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Creighton Saskatchewan Ruled Out as Nuclear Waste Site

The people of Creighton were greeted with good news earlier this month when the town was told by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) that it was no longer in consideration as a location for storing used nuclear fuel. After extensive geological surveys of the area, the NWMO found there are "geological complexities" that reduce the likelihood of finding a suitable site in the area. There is still a need to store spent nuclear fuel and other locations in Canada are now being considered.

Since the area was targeted as a potential nuclear waste disposal site it has been met with strong opposition from the local population. Saskatchewan's Committee for Future Generations and the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation played a large role in organizing the opposition that helped encourage the decision to back out of Creighton as a disposal site.

Read the Committee for Future Generations media release here and an article on the decision from the CBC here.

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New Report - Building an Environmentally Sustainable Future for Saskatchewan

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has published a report by Peter Prebble, David Henry, Murray Hidlebaugh and William Wardell, which examines Saskatchewan's current role in four major global problems: climate change, ocean acidification, biodiversity loss and nuclear weapons proliferation. It then proposes a set of 30 policy changes that, if implemented, would allow Saskatchewan to be part of reversing these global problems, and would set Saskatchewan on the path towards a sustainable provincial economy.

To avoid the worst dangers of climate change requires the stabilization of atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane within the next half century. Given the exceptionally long lifetime of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide once released into the atmosphere, stabilization can only be achieved if the anthropogenic emission sources of these two greenhouse gases are virtually eliminated. This basic scientific fact needs to guide Saskatchewan public policy. Over the next 50 years Saskatchewan's task, and the task of every other jurisdiction in the world, should be to phase out both the production and consumption of fossil fuels, and to build an environmentally sustainable energy future. That is the best way to secure well-being for today's young people and future generations. - See more at: https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/reports/building-environmentally-sustainable-future-saskatchewan#sthash.ZDnvlOwO.dpuf

The highlights of this report will be presented at the Frances Morrison Library in downtown Saskatoon on Tuesday, March 17th at 7:00 p.m. This is part of the Sustainable Speakers Series sponsored by the Saskatchewan Environmental Society

Read the full report on the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives here.

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Barack Obama Vetoes Bill to Approve Construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline

U.S. President Barack Obama has vetoed a bill that would have approved construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. This move by the president didn't come as a large surprise as his administration has expressed their disapproval of the project in the past. The White House hasn't yet made its final decision on the project, as the State Department is now preparing a recommendation for the president based on input on they have collected on the project. Obama will then make a decision on whether or not the project is in the U.S. national interest

A survey done by The Globe and Mail taken during the same week of President Barack Obama vetoed the legislation showed that a majority of Canadians say Canada's efforts to reduce greenhouse gases have been dismal and they want the federal government to take the lead in creating tax policies for curbing emissions. The results of this poll showed that these people want to see those taxes reflected at the gas pumps or on home heating bills. This decision by the U.S. president and this poll in the same week show a trend toward climate legislation as Canadian political parties begin gear up for an important election year. Recent developments in major projects like Keystone XL and the reaction of Canadian citizens are showing that climate legislation may be an important voting issue for Canadians in the upcoming election.

Read more about Obama's decision to veto the Keystone XL bill here and read about the Globe and Mail survey here.

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Fossil-Fuel Subsidies and Climate Change: New Report Shows Huge Potential for Lowering Emissions

Every year governments spend $543 billion subsidising fossil fuels to consumers. A new report on Fossil Fuel Subsidies and Climate Change from the Global Subsidies Initiative published by the Nordic Council of Ministers finds that removing these subsidies could lead to global GHG emissions reductions of between 6-13% by 2050.

With potential domestic savings to some governments of between 5-30% of expenditures, and in the context of the low oil price many governments are removing subsidies. This report shows how to include national emissions reduction estimates within country contributions towards the UNFCCC using the Global Subsidies Initiative - Integrated Fiscal (GSI-IF) model. This reductions mentioned in this report are also only taking into account removing current subsidies. Removing fossil fuel subsidies and redirecting them to subsidies in renewable energy and sustainable transportation would allow us to decrease our emissions even more.

You can download the full report here.

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Action Alert

Submit a Climate Review in the National Energy Board's Energy East Review

The National Energy Board (NEB) has re-opened the application period to intervene in the Energy East Pipeline review until March 17th. 350.org and several other organizations are working to get climate change effects included in the list of impacts reviewable by the NEB. Over 1200 people (2/3rds of all applications) have already taken 10-15 minutes to file climate applications.

The more applications to intervene that come from citizens concerned about climate change, the more it will force the NEB to decide between including climate impacts as part of the pipeline review, or rejecting the input of the majority of applicants. The inclusion of climate impacts to the review would mean that every Canadian (not just those in areas where the pipeline will cross) will have the right to intervene in the NEB review of the project.

350.org has set up an easy step by step guide to submitting your application here. With only 10-15 minutes you can help give every Canadian a voice.

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Participate in City of Saskatoon Survey on Future Targets for the City

Through the Saskatoon Speaks initiative, over 10,000 business leaders, community leaders, and citizens provided input about how they want Saskatoon to grow. From that process, seven strategic goals were identified, and formed City Council's Strategic Plan to realize their vision for the future. Their next step is identifying specific targets that will help drive Saskatoon toward achieving those goals.

City Council will consider the feedback of the community and stakeholders when evaluating the targets. Annual business plans and budgets will be developed to achieve the approved targets. Progress towards achieving each target will be published annually so that citizens are kept informed on how they are doing.

The City has provided two survey options for you; select the one most convenient for you based on your available time, preference, and interest. The short survey can be completed in as little as 5-10 minutes. The detailed survey offers an opportunity to provide your input on more specific recommended targets which may take you 15-30 minutes. You are welcome to complete both.

Before completing the detailed survey, you're encouraged to visit their website here to get the background information for providing an informed response.

When you are ready, give the City your input by completing your preferred survey. The short survey can be found here and the detailed survey can be found here. Everyone is welcome to complete one or both surveys which will be open until Sunday, March 22, 2015.

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Nominate an Outstanding Student Leader for SCIC's Global Citizen Youth Leadership Program

Are you a teacher or mentor? Nominate a Grade 11 student for the opportunity of a lifetime: a 2-week international development tour, with all expenses covered by the Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation!

They're looking for 9 Saskatchewan high school students who have a strong dedication to social justice, demonstrate leadership qualities and a commitment to creating positive change. The program aims to be representative of youth from diverse regional and cultural backgrounds including northern and southern, rural and urban communities throughout Saskatchewan. Therefore, we encourage nominations from across the province.

For two weeks in the summer of 2015, participants travel to El Salvador learning and growing together. Upon returning in the fall they will share their experiences with their peers across Saskatchewan through videos and public presentations. Selected youth will:

  • Develop cross-cultural relationships rooted in solidarity;
  • Draw connections between local and global issues through a justice lens;
  • Learn first-hand about SCIC members' community-driven development projects by supporting their campaigns and participating in educational workshops;
  • Develop concrete leadership, facilitation, and cross-cultural communication skills in order to engage their peers in issues that matter to them.

Nomination Deadline: March 18th, 2015

Visit the SCIC website here for more information on the program and how you can nominate an outstanding young adult today.

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Petition: Prevent Cameco from Opening Uranium Mine in Western Australia's Largest National Park

The Conservation Council of Western Australia (CCWA) is looking for international support in resisting a proposed uranium mine at Kintyre National Park which is home to the Parnngurr Aboriginal Community. As Saskatchewan citizens many of us have been affected by uranium development, and are sensitive to resource development issues facing aboriginal people in our province.

Because we have seen what has resulted from uranium development, many Saskatchewan people are in the unique position to warn Australian regulators of potential future impacts of a mine at Kintyre and the impact it will have on aboriginal people in the area. Sign on and add your comments to the CCWA petition here.

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Opportunities/Call for Proposals

Call for Participants: Ness Creek Music Festival's "The Village" for Ecological and Social Justice

The Saskatchewan Eco Network is very excited to be co-coordinating this year's "The Village" for ecological and social justice (formerly known as the Eco-Village)! The Ness Creek Music Festival will be celebrating its 25th anniversary year this July 16th – 19th in the beautiful boreal forest 12 km from Big River, Saskatchewan. Over the last quarter of a century, Ness Creek has grown into a major Canadian music festival, drawing 4,000 people over four days to enjoy music, dance, theatre, art, culture and community. We invite you to be a part of this anniversary celebration by participating in "The Village."

Ecological awareness and the promotion of alternative ideas has always been an important part of the Ness Creek Music Festival, not least because the pristine boreal forest location is a cornerstone of the festival experience. This year's Village is hoping to get back to the roots of its predecessor, the Eco-Village, by giving non-profit and for-profit organizations with ecological mandates and solutions the chance to display, promote, workshop, discuss and sell their ideas and services with festival-goers. We are also expanding to give more space to organizations pursuing social justice, as Ness Creek has always been interested in building and enriching community. While traditional table displays are always welcome, we are especially interested in interactive displays that invite festival-goers to participate, learn a new skill, or otherwise actively engage.

Vendor guidelines for "The Village" can be found here. Note that non-profit organizations receive a 50% deduction in the vendor fee, and members of the Saskatchewan Eco-Network, a major partner in this year's festival, receive an additional $20 deduction ($205 for for-profits and $92.50 for non-profits. If you are not already and would like to become a SEN member, please email info@econet.sk.ca).

Interested participants are encouraged to apply on-line by visiting nesscreek.com, and following the links "Get Involved" and "Be A Vendor." Alternately, you can reach the online application form directly by following this link here

Any questions can be directed to The Village coordinators Mike Wolsfeld (info@econet.sk.ca) and Irena Smith (irena.smith@hotmail.com).

We hope to see you at the 2015 Ness Creek Music Festival!

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Call for Nominations: 2015 SEN Environmental Activism Awards

Do you know someone who has gone above and beyond in your community to promote sustainable living, green technology, or other environmental values? Is there someone you know who you admire as an environmental activist and you think deserves recognition for their contribution to the community? Planning has begun for the 2015 SEN Environmental Activism Awards to be presented at our 10th Annual Environmental Film Festival in spring of 2015, and we are accepting nominations for potential recipients of this award.

Send in your nominations to info@econet.sk.ca with the subject line "*NOMINATION* 2015 Environmental Activism Awards".

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Host a Booth at the Job Fair for Persons With Disabilities

The Neil Squire Society is hosting a Job Fair for Persons With Disabilities on April 9th from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Centre for Kinesiology at the University of Regina and are currently looking for booth exhibitors. The deadline to register for a booth is March 23rd, and registration includes two tickets to their 'Brunch & Learn: Shedding Light on Mental Health' session from 11 a.m. to noon.

Getting involved in this job fair can help your organization encourage a more diverse and inclusive working environment, learn the benefits of hiring someone with a disability, meet qualified job seekers, and more. Non-profit organizations can register for the job fair for free! The registration fee for regular employers is $300.

Find out more and register here

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Grants in Gear Funding Opportunity

The Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC) has partnered with Summerhill Impact to offer the Grants in Gear funding program for a second year. This year, the national program will award $100,000 in funds to Canadian environmental not-for-profit organizations.

ARC will disburse four grants worth a maximum of $25,000 each to organizations across Canada whose project ideas seek to achieve tangible results in emissions reductions or pollution prevention in the transportation sector or excellence in automotive recycling.

You can find more information on this program by visiting the Grants in Gear webpage here.

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South Saskatchewan River Watershed Stewards: Watershed Coordinator Position

The South Saskatchewan River Watershed Stewards are accepting applications for the position of Watershed Coordinator. The deadline for applications is 5:00 PM on March 20, 2015. The Watershed Coordinator is responsible for the successful leadership and management of our organization in conformance with the strategic direction set by the SSRWSI Board of Directors.

Find the full posting for this position and apply now here.

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Coming Events

Regina

Nature Regina Field Trip to Wakamow Valley

Sunday March 29th, 1pm - 4:30pm, Meet at Royal Saskatchewan Museum

A Nature Regina field trip to Moose Jaw, will take place on Sunday, March 29th, led by Fran Kerbs. You will see birds in two areas of the Wakamow Valley: the pathways at both River Park and nearby McCaig Park.

There are feeders in River Park, where one can feed Chickadees, and White-breasted and Red-breasted Nuthatches by hand. Those wishing to hand-feed the birds: they're most attracted to Pine Nuts, if you can find them prior to then, if not, a bag of unsalted peanuts (smashed into smaller pieces) will attract them more so than black-oil sunflower seeds.

Carpooling on field trips is encouraged. There is no charge other than to share gasoline costs. Estimated cost of gas: $5 (assumes four people per vehicle; please confirm with your driver.)

If you have any questions you can email Nature Regina at natureregina@gmail.com.

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Saskatoon

Land and Community: Responses to Resource Extraction in Saskatchewan

March 20th - 22nd, University of Saskatchewan

A series of events have been planned hoping to bring together individuals and organizations from across the province to discuss the problems associated with extraction in Saskatchewan (oil, uranium, potash, etc.), and to begin developing collective responses. The series of events includes:

Friday March 20th: An evening panel open to the public featuring Candyce Paul from the Committee for Future Generations, Myranda Lemaigre from the Northern Trappers Alliance, and other guests TBA.

Saturday March 21: A workshop designed to bring together a diverse group of people including Indigenous land defenders, environmental activists, and landowners affected by resource extraction (oil, uranium, potash, etc.) in Saskatchewan. This workshop aims to develop strategic responses to the growing social and environmental impacts of extraction and increase our capacity for collective action. (See below for details on registration.)

Sunday March 22: An Indigenous-led workshop addressing the unique challenges that face Indigenous communities affected by resource extraction. The goal of this workshop is to provide a space for those impacted by resource extraction to share experiences and develop a network of solidarity. Participants will also receive training in non-violent direct action and in communicating with the media and allies. (See below for details on registration.)

If you are interested in attending please email Emily Eaton at Emily.eaton@uregina.ca or Valerie Zink at valeriezink@gmail.comand indicate: 1) The names of other people from your organization who will be attending (if applicable); 2) From where you will be coming and if you would require assistance with travel costs (small stipends for transportation are available) and/or billeting; 3) Suggestions for other people/organizations you'd like to see invited; 4) If you are in a position to donate to the workshop please indicate how much you can contribute.

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Public Pastures - Public Interest: 'Grasslands' Documentary Screening

Thursday April 16th, 7-9pm, Frances Morrison Central Library Theatre

Ian Toew's documentary Grasslands is a love letter to the natural grasslands of Saskatchewan. Author Trevor Herriot will provide an update on the state of the province's grassland ecosystems and the work of Public Pastures - Public Interest. Author Candace Savage will lead the discussion that follows. Refreshments are provided.

Find out more about Saskatoon Library events and programs here.

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PermaSask March Potluck & Presentation on the SES Solar Coop

Thursday March 19th, 6pm, Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre

PermaSask's March Potluck will be followed by a presentation on the Saskatchewan Environmental Society's (SES) Solar Cooperative by Peter Prebble The Saskatchewan Environmental Society (SES) is working towards creating the first solar power cooperative in Saskatoon. Peter will talk about how the project came to be, as well as the environmental, social and financial benefits of a renewable energy cooperative model.

Find out more about this event here and learn more about the SES Solar Co-op here.

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Protect the Pollinators Tour

Thursday March 26th, 7pm - 9pm, J.S. Wood Library, 1801 Lansdowne Avenue

Join the Sierra Club Canada Foundation for a discussion on pollinators and pesticides, and get the latest information on Sierra Club Canada Foundation's efforts to ban toxic neonicotinoid pesticides, also known as neonics. Get the latest developments on what governments, beekeepers, farmers and environmental groups are doing to help bee populations, and learn what you can do to help.

Find out more about Saskatoon Library events and programs here.

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EcoBash

Saturday March 28th, 9pm - Midnight, Capitol Music Club

The Environmental Studies Student Association will be hosting an EcoBash for the entire community on Mar. 28 at the Capitol Music Club. Revenge of the Trees will be headlining the show. The event is a fundraiser for the Saskatchewan Environmental Society's solar power cooperative.

Tickets are $20 at the door or $15 in advance and can be purchased at the Capitol Music Club or at The Better Good on Broadway.

Find out more here.

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Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council Reforum

April 22-24, Sheraton Cavalier Hotel

The theme for the 2015 SWRC Waste Reforum conference is "Seeing Connections. Realizing Value." Everything is connected. Uncovering the connections helps us arrive at better solutions. The conference also highlights the need for all of us to look at ways we can create shared value -- operating our programs and our businesses for the purpose of creating value for ourselves, our communities and the planet.

Find out more and register here.

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Other

Last Call at the Oasis - World Water Day Movie Night

Prince Albert, Friday March 20th, 7pm, John M. Cuelenaere Public Library

The global water crisis will be the central issue facing our world this century. We can manage this problem, but only if we are willing to act now. Last Call at the Oasis is a powerful new documentary that shatters myths behind our most precious resource.

Illuminating the vital role water plays in our lives, exposing the defects in the current system and depicting communities already struggling with its ill-effects, the film features activist Erin Brockovich and such distinguished experts as Peter Gleick, Alex Prud'homme, Jay Famiglietti and Robert Glennon.

Everyone is welcome to attend this free event.

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Clever Canines Hike at Beaver Creek Conservation Area

Outlook, Sunday March 22nd and 29th, 2:30pm, Beaver Creek Conservation Area

The Meewasin Valley Authority is hosting guided hikes in March through the Beaver Creek Conservation Area. All animals have unique adaptations that help them survive in their habitat. Discover how clever canines are adapted to find their prey by joining an interpreter each Sunday at 2:30 p.m. for an outdoor hike.

Find out more here.

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