SEN Info Bulletin

June 18th, 2015




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News

Action Alert

Opportunities/Call for Proposals

Events

News

New SEN Website and SEN Stories Blog Launched!

The Saskatchewan Eco Network has a brand new look!

Have a look at our new website at econet.ca to check out the updated look, and share it with your friends!

Our website is only as strong as our members and our community. Current and accurate information is incredibly important to getting a clear message out. So we are enlisting the help of our members and the environmental community to help us improve our website and make sure all our information is as current and accurate as possible. Some of the information on the website has been updated along with the new look but it continues to be a work in progress.

So have a look through the information on the website, and if you come across something you think needs updating or you would like to add on to, please contact us at info@econet.sk.ca to let us know. With your help, the SEN website can be the place to go for anyone looking to learn about environmental issues in Saskatchewan.

In addition we are very excited to be launching the SEN Stories Blog as a one-stop hub for people looking for environmental news, events, and updates from our member organizations! We will be asking our member organizations to submit articles to the blog so people in Saskatchewan will have access to one single concentrated location where they can get information from the many environmental groups working within our communities! We are hoping the SEN Stories Blog can be another great tool to provide environmental organizations in Saskatchewan with a venue in promoting their initiatives and reaching more people than ever!

So don't forget to check out our new website at econet.ca and feel free to email any comments and suggestions you might have to info@econet.sk.ca.

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Grand Opening of Water Pipeline Infrastructure in Saskatchewan

On July 12th residents of west-central Saskatchewan celebrated access to higher-quality drinking water with the grand opening of the Saskatchewan Landing Regional Water Supply project. The project includes a 42-kilometer long main water pipeline, water treatment plants, and 700 kilometers of connecting lateral rural water pipelines. This new infrastructure will provide safe drinking water to nearly 2,500 people in rural Saskatchewan and to the Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park.

The project was to develop a two-part regional drinking water pipeline system, which would supply the towns of Elrose, Kyle, and their surrounding areas with quality drinking water. A new treatment plant called the North plant was built in Elrose and a South plant was built east of the town of Kyle along with supply pipelines to their surrounding areas. The federal and provincial governments also each invested $8.06 million for the lateral rural water pipelines project that taps into the main pipeline, as well as for water storage and truckfill system in the town of Elrose.

Read the full Government of Saskatchewan news release on the project here.

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Federal Parties' Climate Policy Compared on New 'Climate Scorecard'

Environmental Defence, a politically non-partisan environmental action organization, has prepared a "Climate Scorecard" which compares the federal parties' approach to climate change and the approach each would take at the U.N. climate summit in Paris. The scorecard lays out the party positions on four main issues:

  • The post-2020 carbon emission reduction targets;
  • The main mechanism for reaching that target;
  • Whether emissions from Canada's fastest growing source of carbon pollution - the tar sands - will be addressed; and
  • Whether parties have committed to assisting poor, developing countries to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

With the federal election only half a year away it is important that climate change become a significant campaign issue in the coming months. This scorecard is a powerful tool to arm activists and concerned individuals with the information they need to make an informed decision on which political party is most committed to climate change. The information in this scorecard was collected based on direct policy announcements and the pledge of the current federal government on their plans for the summit, and takes no sides in presenting the information.

You can find the "Climate Scorecard" on the Environmental Defence website here.

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Over a Hundred Scientists Call for Moratorium on Oil Sands Development

A group of 110 researchers from across North America have signed a statement saying the planned growth in oil sands production is inconsistent with efforts to cut greenhouse-gas emissions and avert the worst impacts of climate change, and also threatens the ecosystem of a vast stretch of the boreal forest. "No new oil sands or related infrastructure projects should proceed unless consistent with an implemented plan to rapidly reduce carbon pollution, safeguard biodiversity, protect human health and respect [aboriginal] treaty rights," their statement said.

The group of researchers have also set pipeline expansion as a target of their disapproval, saying projects like Keystone XL and Energy East are "inconsistent with efforts to avoid potentially dangerous climate change." Simon Frasier University energy economist Mark Jaccard has called on both the Canadian and U.S. governments to reject pipeline proposals, restrict the expansion of crude by rail, impose a significant carbon price on oil and gas extraction, and strengthen regulations to reduce local impacts. This statement also comes as Alberta's new government is reviewing its fiscal and regulatory regime for the oil sands, and promising to unveil new greenhouse gas regulations for the sector.

Read the full Globe and Mail article on the group's statement here.

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Action Alert

Saskatoon March for Climate Justice

On July 4th, communities from coast to coast will take action en masse along and beyond the routes of pipelines like Energy East, Kinder Morgan, Line 9, and Northern Gateway to defend the water, land and climate. With the help of SEN Board Members Dianne Rhodes and Kaitlyn Harvey and other 350.org organizers people will mobilize to demonstrate that we, the people, are greater than the tar sands.

Join them on Saturday, July 4th at City Hall in Saskatoon to demand:

  • A coherent plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Rapid transition to safe, clean, renewable energy
  • Respect for Indigenous rights
  • Moratorium on tar sands expansion and pipelines
  • Tar sands phase-out plan

As we approach one of the most important elections in this country's history and another round of international climate negotiations, it is crucial for us to unite and demonstrate to our leaders that we are ready for real climate action. The group is actively recruiting volunteers and donations to help make this and future events a success. If you want to get involved in organizing, please email climateactionsk@gmail.com, and if you would like to donate to help cover the cost of expenses, please check out their GoFundMe campaign here.

Visit the Facebook event page for the march on July 4th here.

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Petition: Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump

Ontario Power Generation (OPG), a multi-billion dollar power generation company, is seeking approval to build a nuclear waste dump (a Deep Geological Repository or DGR) 1 km from the shores of Lake Huron. The Dump will extend underground to approximately 400 meters below the lake level. Some of this nuclear waste remains toxic and lethal for over 100,000 years.

This dump puts at risk the fresh water of the GREAT LAKES, relied upon by 40 million people in two countries. Any risk of buried nuclear waste entering the largest body of fresh water in the world is too great a risk to take, and need not be taken.

Minister Aglukkaq is expected to make a decision by December 2, 2015. Sign the petition to voice your concern here.

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Demand a federal review for LNG on the Fraser River

WesPac Midstream wants to build a Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminal on the Fraser River in Delta, B.C. The terminal would serve as an export facility for fracking operations in north eastern B.C. and would result in up to 120 LNG tankers and 90 LNG barges on the Fraser River annually. The company has not adequately addressed concerns about the project's climate change impacts, how tankers will navigate a narrow and busy passageway, or the potential ecological impacts on the Fraser River.

The B.C. government has suggested that a provincial environmental assessment would be adequate. It is not. The federal government has given the general public until June 24 to submit comments on the need for a federal review of the project.

Find out more and see how you can submit your concerns here.

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Petition: Don't Nuke the Climate

This June, seven international clean energy organizations launched a major new campaign in support of a nuclear-free, carbon-free energy system and to prevent nuclear power from being considered as a climate solution when the world's governments meet at the COP 21 conference in Paris in December 2015.

The groups are organizing a large and highly visible nuclear-free, carbon-free contingent to participate and demonstrate in events in Paris, much as we did at the People's Climate March in September 2014 in New York City.

The groups will be presenting a petition to world leaders as a first step. Sign the petition here.

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Vote Now: Prince Albert Group Lobbying to Ban Bottled Water Sales in Hockey Rinks

The Council of Canadians is asking the City of Prince Albert to ban bottled water sales at its arenas and other public facilities. The group wants the city to become a Blue Community. Communities around the world have signed on to the Blue Communities Project, a water security-based movement. Becoming a Blue Community would also mean the City would have to agree to recognize water as a human right, promote publicly owned and operated water and wastewater services and ban the sale of bottled water at public facilities and City-run events.

Participate in a poll on PA Now to show your support of these changes here. With about 500 votes, the support is slightly in favour of opponents to a ban. With your votes, we can tip the scales to the other side and show public support for to make PA a Blue Community.

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Opportunities/Call for Proposals

Register for the University of Regina Careers Day

The U of R Careers Day in September 2015 is an all-discipline career fair attracting local, national, and international employers. This event provides a venue for companies and organizations to showcase themselves, networking with students and alumni from all disciplines to help them choose the best path for their future.

Exhibitors participating will receive:

  • Access to over 10,000 University of Regina students and alumni;
  • 10' x 8' draped exhibit space, 6' draped table and chairs;
  • Parking space provided;
  • Continental breakfast, buffet lunch, and refreshments;
  • Your organization's website link on the University of Regina Career Centre webpage; and
  • Special for Early Bird Registrants by July 24! Your organization's booth location and company name listed in the Careers Day 2015 Event Guide, distributed across campus for the month of September!

Find out more and register here.

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Call for Nominations: Earth Day Canada's Hometown Heroes Award

Do you know someone in your community who is taking heroic action to support a healthier environment? Nominate them (or yourself) for Earth Day Canada's Hometown Heroes Award Program.

Hometown Heroes recognizes and celebrates environmental leaders, groups and small businesses who foster meaningful, long-term community awareness and action. New to the 2015 program, is the Youth Hometown Heroes Award. The winning youth will receive a $5,000 cash-prize that can be donated to a local environmental group/cause of their choice or be put towards their post-secondary studies in the form of a scholarship!

Find out more and submit a nomination here.

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Coming Events

Regina

Saskatchewan Solar Tour

Saturday June 20th, 9am - 6pm, Bus departs from Candy Cane Park at 9am and Noon

Saskatchewan Solar Tours is having its 6th annual tour on Saturday June 20, 2015. Canada's longest running solar bus tour showcases the most innovative applications of solar technology used for producing electricity and heat. Solar energy systems featured this year include passive solar, photovoltaics (electricity), solar hot water, a solar wall which heats air, and up- and downstream wind generators. These systems are used in residential, commercial, educational and agricultural settings.

The morning tour will visit sites in Regina. The afternoon tour will be heading to Craik after brief stops at excellent sites in Lumsden and Aylesbury. In Craik we will visit a solar farm, the Eco-Centre, and the eco-village. The bus is air-conditioned and has a bathroom. There will be door prizes and all carbon emissions will be offset.

Tickets for the tours are $20 for the morning, $30 for the afternoon, or $40 for the whole day. Visit their Facebook page here for more information.

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Mckell Nature Days

June 27th - July 25th, McKell Wascana Conservation Park

Ducks Unlimited Saskatchewan is hosting the following activities at the McKell Wascana Conservation Park:

  • June 27 - Pond Dipping
  • July 10 - Nature Walk
  • July 25 - Pond Dipping McKell

McKell Wascana is a 175-acre park, dedicated to conserving and restoring native prairie and wetland habitat. Find out more about the McKell Wascana Conservation Park here. Find the poster for the event here.

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Saskatoon

Talking Sustainability

Friday June 19th, 4pm, Room 1235 Education Building, University of Saskatchewan

The Sustainability Education Research Institute is pleased to have Janet McVittie from the Department of Educational Foundations present "Sensuous Learning: Tactile, emotive and playful connections to the land in early childhood learning experiences" at the University of Saskatchewan as part of their Talking Sustainability series.

This presentation is also available via webex. Please RSVP to Andrew Bieler at andrew.bieler@usask.ca for connection instructions.

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Saskatoon Nature Society Field Trips

June and July, Various Locations

Invite your friends! Anyone is welcome to participate in any field trip. Carpooling for out-of-town trips is usually arranged at the meeting place. Participants are expected to share gasoline costs and should make arrangements with the driver to do so. Unless indicated, there is no other charge. Phone the trip leader if you have any questions. Participants are free to depart early if they wish. SNS members with CB radios or FRS radios should bring them on out of town trips.

Check out the Saskatoon Nature Society website for information on all their upcoming field trips here.

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Saskatoon Zoo Society Events

Various Dates and Events, Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo

The Saskatoon Zoo Society has a number of fun events for all ages planned though June and July this year! Take your kids out to see bluebirds, butterflies, and more! There's always something fun and exciting to do at the Saskatoon Zoo.

Check out the upcoming events here.

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Saskatchewan Environmental Industry and Managers Association (SEIMA) AGM

Tuesday June 23rd, Saskatoon Golf and Country Club

SEIMA is hosting its 2015 AGM at the Saskatoon Golf and Country Club this July. Register now and listen to these great presentations:

  • Jeff Hovdebo, Manager, Water Rights, Approvals & Compliance at Saskatchewan's Water Security Agency, who will be speaking to a range of regulatory requirements and issues with respect to "Water Use and Allocation";
  • Lawrence Pinter, P.Eng., President of PINTER & Associated Ltd., and Past-President of SEIMA who will be sharing his reflections on "Sustainability and Environmental Management: Past and Present"; and
  • Brian Ayres, M.Sc., P.Eng., Chief Operating Officer for O'Kane Consultants will be the luncheon speaker.

Then stay and take in a round of golf at the Saskatoon Golf and Country Club after the lunch concludes. The golf course is normally private and only available to members and their guests. As such this is a great time to try this course out on what will for sure be a great afternoon.

Find out more here and visit their website here.

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Other

Grasslands of the Forest Tour

June 18th - 19th, Prince Albert National Park

The tour will take place in the Prince Albert National Park and participants of all ages can join the regular tour or the Kid's Discover Tour which will feature geocaching, games and educational opportunities.

Tour topics include forest and fire, forest range health assessments, plant identification, First Nations teachings, observations from pasture managers and even a wagon ride!

Find out more here.

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Nature Saskatchewan Spring Meet

June 19th - 22nd, Saltcoats, SK

The Yellowhead Flyway Birding Trail Association (YFBTA) will be hosting the 2015 Spring Meet on behalf of Nature Saskatchewan. The meet will be held Friday, June 19 and Saturday, June 20. Nature Saskatchewan's Annual General Meeting will be held Sunday morning, June 21. The meet will be centered in Saltcoats.

Find out more here.

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Cypress Hills Waste Reduction Workshop

June 25th - 26th, Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, Maple Creek, SK

The Recycling Council of Alberta and the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council are hosting a joint regional waste reduction workshop at the Resort at Cypress Hills on June 25.

Find out more here.

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Duck Mountain Mysteries

June 27th - 29th, Duck Mountain Provincial Park

The Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan will be visiting Duck Mountain's forests, lakes, and fens on June 27 and 28. They'll be on the lookout for rare Lady's Slipper as well as the carnivorous Pitcher Plant.

Find out more here.

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