SEN World Rivers Day 2015 at Nuit Blanche!
We're happy to say that SEN World Rivers Day at Nuit Blanche was a smashing success, and couldn't be more excited for how it can grow and improve next year.
Nuit Blanche drew roughly 10,000 people this year, an increase from last year's already impressive 6000 attendees. The Saskatchewan Eco Network was set up at the amazing Halo Salon on 20th and Avenue E with the Safe Drinking Water Foundation, Partners for the Saskatchewan River Basin, South Saskatchewan River Watershed Stewards, and Climate Justice Saskatoon for an amazing night of entertainment and networking with people from all around Saskatoon and the province.
With the help from two amazing dance groups, def SOL Dance Crew and Pure Energy Dance, many of the thousands were crowded around our area to celebrate our rivers and speak to the organizations who came out to display and reach out. Over the course of the night we had a video presentation projected on a nearby white brick wall showing beautiful rivers from around the world as well as fantastic aerial footage of the South Saskatchewan captured by Epic Jib Aerial Media. The streets were crowded and the voices of some amazing organizations were heard by thousands at Nuit Blanche this year!
We're incredibly excited to continue to have a presence at Nuit Blanche in 2016 for World Rivers Day and are already thinking of ways we can make it even bigger and better! If you're part of an organization who would like to participate in next year's World Rivers Day at Nuit Blanche, or if you'd like to volunteer to help organize another amazing event, feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A big thanks to the amazing funders who made this possible, the Community Initiatives Fund, and the Meewasin Valley Authority!
National Survey Reveals Growing Majority Support for Government Action on Climate Change
A survey released September 28th by the Environics Institute for Survey Research in partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation shows strong that support for Canada's involvement in an international climate agreement outweighs strong opposition by a more than three-to-one margin. A growing majority of 61 per cent of Canadians say the government should cooperate with other nations to reduce carbon emissions and limit climate change, even if it results in some job losses and higher prices for some goods and services. Only 12 per cent of Canadians say they would be upset if the country were to sign on to such an agreement.
As recorded on previous surveys, opinions about climate change differ across the political spectrum. Supporters of the main federal opposition parties demonstrate the strongest views about the seriousness of climate change and the need for actions such as signing an international climate agreement (favored by 75 per cent of NDP, 72 per cent of Liberal Party and 70 per cent of Green Party supporters), compared with only 42 percent of Conservative Party supporters. This difference is much less than in the United States, who also has an important upcoming election, where the polarization between Democrats and Republicans is much more severe.
While the topic of climate change has thus far been largely under-represented in the leader's debates, this survey shows that it is still a very important voting issue for the majority of Canadians. Though a telephone based survey isn't a clear representation of voter turnout, results such as these prove encouraging as we head to the polls on October 19th.
You can read the full report and survey data here.
Proposed Quill Lakes Diversion Project Will Not Move Forward
After a feasibility survey and public consultations with stakeholders, the Water Security Agency has decided not to proceed with the proposed Kutawagen Creek Diversion Project for the Quill Lakes. The proposed project would have lowered the water levels on Quill Lake and diverted water to Last Mountain Lake.
The Water Security Agency held extensive public consultations with stakeholders, including municipalities, businesses, agriculture producers, land owners, cabin owners, and environmental and community organizations. In addition, nearly 500 people participated in four public open house meetings.
The diversion project was initially proposed to address concerns about the saline water from the Quill lakes spilling in to freshwater streams and lakes. Several years of heavy participation and run off has caused the water to raise high enough that Big Quill Lake and Little Quill Lake have joined, flooding roadways and farmland. The Water Security Agency will now be reviewing potential alternatives to solve the issue in the area.
New Study Compares Federal Party Positions on Climate, Tar Sands, and Clean Energy
Two of Canada's largest environmental groups joined forces and released a summary of the five major federal parties' positions on environmental issues, including climate change and the upcoming Paris climate summit, tar sands and the Energy East pipeline as well as renewable energy, public transit and the electrification of transportation. The Study is based on responses to a series of questions that the environmental groups sent to the Conservative Party of Canada, the Green Party of Canada, the Liberal Party of Canada, the New Democratic Party, and (in the French version) the Bloc Quebecois. All parties responded to the questionnaire except for the Conservative Party.
This report is a useful tool for voters with the election bearing down in just a few weeks' time. Voters concerned with issues on climate change and working toward a greener Canada can use the results of this survey to make an informed decision on who to vote for, and to help promote environmental awareness as a key voting issue.
You can find the full report here.
Union of BC Chiefs, Regional Chiefs to Sign Treaty to Block Energy East
Indigenous leaders from across Canada are forming a new national political alliance to support opposition to TransCanada's Energy East pipeline. The coalition of chiefs hopes to share B.C.'s lessons for thwarting oil sands pipelines with bands from the Prairies and Eastern Canada.
Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba First Nations chiefs voted unanimously at a Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs conference on Wednesday in Vancouver to develop strategies to work together to oppose Energy East, which they see as an unacceptable risk to their lands and waterways. A first-of-its kind "Indigenous Treaty" is also in the works to tackle oil sands expansion in general.
Indigenous communities are among those most affected by oil sands expansion projects such as Energy East. With this treaty, these communities intend to send a strong message to the leaders of Canada that their rights to water and a healthy environment matter, and they will not stand by and watch those rights be ignored. Along with this joint agreement, the chiefs are calling for climate justice, and the development of alternative energy to fossil fuels.
You can find the full story here.
Participate in International Walk to School Day
October 7th is International Walk to School Day, a global event as part of International Walk to School Month (iWALK), celebrating active transportation. The iWALK campaign re-emphasizes that preserving the environment requires everyone to collectively do their part in any way possible. As a whole, we can move mountains if we want too. This energy is the epitome of our efforts. iWalk is calling everyone to take action in order to make our world a better place.
You can find out more about iWALK here.
If you are worried about safety, you can participate by organizing a walking school bus, a group of children walking to school with one or more adults. Learn more about walking school buses and how you can organize one here.
Petition: Climate Reality Project Road to Paris
The threat of climate change has never been more urgent. But the way forward has never been clearer. With citizens worldwide united in demanding action and clean energy solutions in our hands, a safe and sustainable future for the planet is finally in sight. And the first step is a global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Paris.
This December, world leaders will meet in Paris to determine the future of our planet. The Climate Reality Project is uniting voices around the world to deliver one simple message: Take Climate Action Now
You can sign their petition to demand that world leaders sign a strong agreement at the Paris climate negotiations in December here.
Two Confirmed Leaders' Debates Scheduled for October
In this important Canadian federal election, one of the best opportunities to get to know the candidates and their positions is by watching the leaders' debates. So far there have been four debates through August and September which saw the leaders of the major parties square off, answer questions, and discuss a variety of issues.
With the recent drop in oil prices, tar sands and pipeline development has been an issue of great discussion throughout the campaigns, and will no doubt continue to be discussed in the two upcoming debates. There are currently two scheduled general debates occurring on October 2nd and 8th, with four other proposed debates on general issues, women's issues, elderly issues, and the economy.
The general nature of the two upcoming confirmed debates increases the chances that the environment will be a topic of discussion, as recent polling shows is a significant voter issue amongst Canadians. If you'd like to find out more about the debates, visit the Wikipedia page on them here. Be sure to encourage friends and family to watch the debates and become active in the voting process.
Sign-On-Letter: Drinking Water in Indigenous Communities
Water is life and a vital part of our day-to-day lives. Yet 73% of First Nations water systems are at high or medium risk. A number of allies in the environmental community are calling on federal party leaders to commit to adequate funding for drinking water and sanitation in Indigenous communities as well as implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the human right to water and sanitation.
Learn more and sign the letter being sent to all the major party leaders here.
Opportunities/Call for Proposals
Passive House Training Opportunities in Saskatchewan
The Passive House Institute West and Saskatchewan Polytechnic are offering three Passive House training opportunities in Saskatchewan this fall. The courses will be conducted by Michael Nemeth, a mechanical engineer and Passive House designer.
- Sept. 11, Saskatoon - 1 Day Introduction to Passive House Design and Construction. Learn more here.
- Sept. 18, Regina - 1 Day Introduction to Passive House Design and Construction. Learn more here.
- Oct. 19 - Dec. 1, Saskatoon - Passive House Night Class at Saskatchewan Polytechnic. Learn more here.
Learn more about the Canadian Passive House Institute West here.
Join the IMPACT! Sustainability Champions Training Program
Young people care deeply about the fate of the planet, its people, and their future. Given the opportunity, youth have great power to influence positive change in their communities. The IMPACT! Sustainability Champions Training program is a call to passionate, motivated youth who are looking for an opportunity to make a difference.
This fantastic opportunity is targeted to university/college students and recent grads aged 19-30 years old, who are passionate about sustainability and want to make a difference in their community. Participants will deepen their sustainability understanding, enhance their confidence as leaders, and be empowered to develop and advance meaningful sustainability projects and social enterprises to address our pressing environmental, social, and economic challenges.
IMPACT! is hosting a 3 day workshop in Saskatoon on November 6th-8th, with in-person training, networking events, along with 4 months of mentorship, coaching, co-working space, other helpful tools, and exclusive seed funding opportunities.
Green Drinks ReginaThursday, October 1st, 5:30-7pm, Abstractions Cafe
Get together with Green Drinks Regina at Abstractions Cafe, where they'll be meeting with Goldenrod Land Co-op, a group of families that wants to develop food systems and alternative building and energy sources.
Find out more or join the Green Drinks Regina Facebook group here.
Project WETSaturday, October 3rd, 1pm, University of Regina
Project WET is an instructional resource designed by teachers and water resource professionals FOR K-12 classroom teachers. It covers topics such as water chemistry, water quality and human health, climate and weather, water demand management, water conservation, cultural values about water, and how to launch action programs and water festivals. Participants receive a newly-updated 592 page resource manual that contains 65 current activities.
The workshop is $45 for SaskOutdoors members, and $50 for non-members. You can find out more and register here.
Saskatoon Zoo Society Young Naturalists EventsMonthly events, Saskatoon
Young Naturalists' activities are open to all ages and offer nature-based activities designed for families. Content is geared towards the 5 to 11 year old range, and operates on the belief that children's (and parents') learning is enhanced when the parents/guardians are present. Parent/Guardian supervision is required on all Young Naturalists' Programs. Each Young Naturalist activity is an individual activity, separate from the other activities. You must register for each activity separately (however you can register for more than one activity at one time).
To register or for more information call (306) 975-3042 (this is an answering machine that is checked frequently during the day) or send an e-mail to email@example.com. Space is limited on most programs so advanced registration is required. Registration is on a first-come basis. You can register at any time.
Find out more about the Young Naturalist events here.
Global March for Elephants and Rhinos SaskatoonSaturday, October 3rd, 11:30am - 2pm, River Landing
More than 35,000 elephants are being killed every year so their tusks can be carved into ivory trinkets. A rhino is slaughtered once every 8 hours for its horn. Their only hope for survival lies in an immediate end to the ivory and rhino horn trade (both "legal" and "illegal") and the chance to recover from decades of mass slaughter.
Treena Cheveldayoff, "The Bird Whisperer" - Followed by a Falcon HuntSunday, October 4th, 1 - 2:30pm, Wild Birds Unlimited, 330A 2600 8th Street East
Treena, along with Kelly & Brody will introduce you to some of their colorful exotic parrots. When these intelligent birds are abandoned, Treena's 'Parrot Rescue' steps in to rehabilitate and adopt them to a good home. You'll learn about various species, their native land, lifespans, diets, how humans affect them, and ultimately why so many of them end up being rescued. A FREE event for all ages.
The Peregrine Falcon is the fastest bird on earth. Many were delighted this summer to see some of Dr. Lynn Oliphant's falcons and now you're invited to observe one of his beautiful falcons catch it's prey. Meet at WILD BIRDS UNLIMITED Nature Shop at 4:00pm and you will drive to Lynn's place. This is FREE to anyone interested.
Find out more here.
Saskatoon Nature Society TripsThroughout October, Various locations
Invite your friends! Non-members are 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.
Find the list of Saskatoon Nature Society trips and activities at their website here.
Sask Energy Management Task ForceWednesday, October 7th, 7-8pm, Confederation Inn
The Saskatchewan Energy Management Task Force hosts monthly breakfast meetings with a guest speaker for professionals with an interest in the effective use of energy and its related aspects. The meetings start at 7 am at the Confederation Inn. The Oct. 7 speaker is Kent Rathwell from Sun Country Highway.
Find out more about the Saskatchewan Energy Management Task Force here. Find out more about Sun Country Highway, a Saskatoon based electric vehicle (EV) products company with the fastest level 2 EV charging network in the world today here.
CowspiracyThursday, October 8th, 6:30-8:30pm, Saskatoon Farmer's Market
Intuitive Path SuperFoods is showing the movie Cowspiracy - The Sustainability Secret at 6:30 pm, Oct. 8. The movie, about how factory farming, cattle and dairy in particular, is decimating the planet's natural resources, is also available on Netflix.
Find out more here.
This Changes EverythingSaturday, October 10th, 7pm-10pm, Broadway Theatre
The film, This Changes Everything, presents seven portraits of communities on the front line of climate change. Director Avi Lewis will attend the premiere of This Changes Everything at the Broadway Theatre on Oct. 10 and will lead a panel discussion following the film.
Find out more here.
Rob Dumont Energy Management AwardsWednesday, October 14th, 5:30-9pm, Confederation Inn
In memory of the late Dr. Rob Dumont, a pioneer in efficient building practices, the Energy Management Task Force present the first annual Rob Dumont Energy Management Awards. Held on October 14th at the Confederation Inn, the awards seek to recognize leaders in the energy management world and showcase their efforts.
Find out more and get your tickets here. All proceeds will be donated to the Rob Dumont Foundation
Be a Smarter Shopper (Sustainable Speaker Series)Tuesday, October 20th, 7-11:30pm, Frances Morrison Library
The Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council will offer tips for reducing waste and shopping locally in winter at 7 pm, Oct. 20, at the Frances Morrison Library as part of the Sustainable Speaker Series.
Find out more here.
SaskOutdoors Nature RetreatOctober 2nd - 5th, Ness Creek Site
SaskOutdoors is planning a weekend nature retreat at Ness Creek, Oct. 2-4. Along with lots of free time, there will be opportunities for a guided walk, nature art-making, campfire chats, and music. Accommodations are rustic cabins with electric heaters or wood burning stoves. There are shared bathroom facilities and all meals are included. You can also bring your own tent, food, and water but still participate in the community and events.
Find out more here.
Operate Your Building More EfficientlyFriday, October 9th, 9am-4pm, Estevan, SK
Would you like your building to be more comfortable and have lower utility bills? Non-profit organizations and small businesses are invited to attend a one-day Building Operator Training seminar in Estevan on Oct. 9 and in Saskatoon on Nov. 20. You'll learn how to efficiently operate your lighting, electrical equipment, heating, ventilation and cooling, and reduce your water use. Cost is only $30/person thanks to sponsorship by Affinity Credit Union.
Find out more here.
Moose Mountain Gone WildSaturday, October 24th, 5-10:30pm, Kenosee Lake, SK
The first annual fundraiser for Moose Mountain Wild Life Rehabilitation! Join for food, live auction, silent auction and musical entertainment! A great evening for an even greater cause! More details are coming soon
Find out more here.