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Summer 2017 Newsletter


Support Us! You can become a member (Family - $20.00, Individual - $15.00, Basic - $5.00), attend our monthly meetings (the 4th Thursday usually), donate, and/or volunteer. Mailing address: SENS (Sustainable Environment Network Society), c/o the Boys and Girls Club, 3300-37th Ave., Vernon, V1T 2Y5. Website:

*** SENS provides tax-deductible receipts for donations ***
Information contained in this newsletter may not imply approval by SENS directors.


1. Save BX Creek Trail & Wetlands Action Event: July 29, 10am, trail head behind Rona on 20th Street. Help us send a strong message that we want to keep the wetland as is without extending 20th street through this shaded walking area. Bring big signs! We’ll walk the trail, take photos, and deliver to MLA Eric Foster and Vernon Mayor and council.

Countless newspaper articles indicate that, for many reasons, people are unhappy with the proposed redesign of the Stickle Rd. intersection. Let’s figure out something that works for the majority and accommodates pedestrians and bikes at the Stickle Road crossing and keeps the beautiful wetland with all its red and blue listed protected species, intact.

Contact: SENS representative Keli Westgate or 250-307-6595


1. Farmers’ Markets:

Vernon: Monday and Thursdays, 8 am – 1pm, Kal Tire Place.

Lumby: Open year-round, Monashee Food Co-op, #3-1965, Shuswap Ave.

- GMO and pesticide free produce! For more information, call 778-473-2230 or visit their website.

2. Bike To Work Week: Overall in B.C., there were more than 44,000 registered participants (with many unregistered) and 9,000 first time riders. By using our bicycles, B.C. reduced its GHG emissions of cars by 240,000 kg in the last week of May. Ridership in the Vernon area was up over 24% this year! If you would like to write a testimonial on your local experiences and enjoyment, please send it to Jill Williamson.


1. “Cranky Uncle” Effect Could Be Bad: The Pacific Ocean has several mechanisms (see-saws of warm waters) that have had quite an effect on global temperatures. One such see-saw, El Tio (“cranky uncle” in English) might be the worse felt within the next 10 years, potentially pushing the earth past the 1.5 degrees of global warming we’re trying to avoid… For more, read this article.

2. Reality Of Climate Disruption: More bad news. “Analysis suggests that staying within safe warming levels now requires removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions.” To learn how this daunting task can be done, read this article.

3. Vids: Artificial Glaciers Retain Water For Summer: Check out this “cool” video!

Green Buildings: Check out these videos on a Woodman’s Cottage and a Desert Greenhouse!

“Raise A Paddle”: Check out this 11 minute film on the oil sands and climate change!

Another Earthship:

Earth Day Message: Here's Dr. Vandana Shiva’s message. Please follow it!

4. Climate Action: They’re holding a webinar – "Financing the Energy Transition", – Aug. 16, 3 pm, GMT+1. Representatives from the finance community and the clean energy sector will discuss the challenges of financing the energy transition. You can provide live input or just register to receive a recording via e-mail after the event. Berenice:


1. WFN Public Art: This brochure, brought to you by the environmentally-mindful Westbank First Nation, highlights various programs, celebrations, events, and art central to their heritage. Check it out!

2. Make Water Work! Did you know that there is LESS water available per person in the Okanagan than anywhere else in Canada? Yet the Okanagan has one of the highest rates of water use per person in Canada. Of that, 24% of ALL water used is on our household lawns and gardens. So please evaluate your water use, then take the pledge to Make Water Work!

3. Okanagan Water Forum Report: OCCP participated in the Okanagan Water Forum that was hosted by the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) on May 30th and made a report. Included in this report is information on different world view on algae water levels, over-licensing of streams, natural law as a basis for a just society and mapping culturally important sites. To view it, go here.

4. Boat Impact Study: Growth in the Okanagan region and an increase in boating activity has generated a need for a comprehensive analysis of the impacts of boating activity on water source protection. As such, the OCCP released a study for Kalamalka and Wood Lake. The study noted the main risk of power-boating on water quality is related to either contaminants from boat propellers or from chemical spills. Its recommendations on creating spill management strategies, no wake zones, and public education programs on water source protection are already being implemented.


1. B.C.s Determination to Fix Climate: According to Guy,”We're determined”! Read to find out why.

2. Solutions For Our Housing Crisis: Here is Guy's permanent 100 year solution for Canada!

3. The Clean Money Revolution by Joel Solomon: This book has ideas on the money that will be passed on to the next generation for non-earth destructive use. Check out Guy’s book re/view!


1. Vaseaux Lake, Oliver: This locale has a new bird blind. Be sure to visit it in your summer travels!

FROM CHANGE.ORG (Non-Profit Social Media Group)

1. Sewage Dumping into Drinking Water: This is just deplorable! Sign the petition to help stop it.

FROM SUMOFUS.ORG (Non-Profit Social Media Group)

1.Climate Change Impacts: Victory! Exxon shareholders just voted overwhelmingly in favour of a policy forcing the oil giant to assess the long-term impacts of climate change. Before the vote, SumOfUs members called on the big pension fund investors to vote in favour of the shareholder resolution. Next, please join our campaign demanding that the CEOs on Trump's advisory council step down!

2. Suncor Mess: 525 billion litres of toxic tailings sludge need to be cleaned up NOW, while Suncor is still viable but they want the Alberta government to allow them until 2085 to clean it up, and their idea is to just put it in hole and ‘forget about it’. If they’ll do clean-up…and how they’ll do clean-up is not clear…. Currently there are 1.2 trillion litres of toxic tailings pond sludge all over Alberta….


1. Stop the Grizzly Trophy Hunt in B.C.: Sadly still legal, about 300 bears (of which 200 are mothers) will be taken each year. Worse yet the killing grounds are our provincial parks! Write to ask ALL parties to stop trophy hunting now. For the entire article, go here.

2. Action: Oceans/Fisheries Act: Good news! The Federal government is now proposing amendments to the 20 year old Oceans Act to speed up protections and restrict harmful activities such as oil and gas extraction, and seismic testing and drilling. Also, here's what you can do for the oceans! The Canadian government is acting on its promise to create a new, modern Fisheries Act, and it wants your input.

3. Flooding; It’s one of the most visible signs of climate change! As temperatures rise, the atmosphere holds more moisture, thus more rain. Keeping ecosystems healthy prevents climate disasters, saves money, and improves resiliency. We should invest in nature and let it help us! For the entire article, go here.

4. Got Killer Whale Survival Concerns? The chinook is being fished to extinction, while the whale, whose diet consists of mainly chinook, is set to follow. Rebuilding chinook populations is critical to rebuilding whale populations, yet there are no recovery plans! Thankfully the federal government is undertaking a scientific review to prioritize killer whale recovery actions. Part of this process involves public consultation. Anyone concerned about orcas, and by extension chinook, should contribute. For all the details, go here.

5. The Right to a Healthy Environment: A federal environment committee is recommending the government legally recognize the right to a healthy environment. Let your MP know that you want this!


1. Illegal Water Use for Fracking: According to this, there are at least 16 large unauthorized dams in northeastern B.C. Worse, these 16 dams are part of a wider network of unauthorized structures built by fossil fuel companies. This troubling network and even more wrong doings are detailed in this exposé! It calls on the Province to answer for the lack of intervention by the relevant authorities. To learn more, go here.

2. Cooperation: One of the strong messages from the CCAP is that the government should work across party lines to make improvements, using factual information, and not let corporations steer them… Now that we have a minority government in B.C., will ALL parties work together or just ‘grub for power’ no matter what?


1. Help Oppose a Nuclear Waste Site: Canadian Nuclear Laboratories recently proposed to build a giant nuclear waste site in Chalk River, Ontario. CAPE strongly believes that this proposal must be opposed. Why? Read the CAPE blog then let the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) know your thoughts on this project.

2. Support Active Transport: CAPE has launched a new Active Travel program to promote active modes of transportation and public transit and to make these options more accessible to people across Canada. Ask local government for a community that supports walking, cycling, public transit and more bike lanes and sidewalks! There are many benefits to this. To learn what they are, go here.

3. Kinder Morgan Pipeline: In an internally generated document related to trying to raise funds to cover its $35 billion debt, Kinder Morgan has painted a very bleak picture of this project's future. In addition, the Dutch Bank ING, which was financing the pipeline has stopped. Hopefully we're seeing a new trend as leading investment consultants realize buying shares in coal, oil and gas is bad business (bad PR too)!

4. Renewables to Crush Fossil Fuel: Read this restorative piece and rejoice.

5. Ireland Bans Fracking: With growing skepticism about the benefits of fracking, they wrote a bill to ban it. Check out this article for details! And, in BC, a methane (from fracking) processing plant has been cancelled by Petronas. This Malaysian owned Co. cited economic conditions for its reasons, not ecosystem damage…

6. Pesticide Management Regulatory Agency(PMRA): According to Dr Warren Bell, systemic corruption is at the core of the PMRA, which is very friendly to the pesticide industry. The need for the PMRA's reform is clearly outlined in this independent journalism article. The agency faces simultaneous legal challenges (including from CAPE) and unfavourable scrutiny from the federal Environment Commissioner Judy Gelfand.

7. Transparency Over Glyphosates: Numerous US food brands are now starting to label products as glyphosate residue free.


1. Protect the Laurentian Channel MPA: Federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc recently announced that 80% of a new so-called marine protected area (MPA) would be open to oil and gas development. Insane, no? The area in question is a key feeding, mating, and migratory pathway for many marine species. It’s also home to high densities and diversity of deep-sea corals. This area deserves full protection. Please write to the Fisheries Minister to tell him you want ALL MPAs to be off-limits to oil and gas.


1. Fortis Community Solar Pilot Project: Fortis is proposing a Community Solar Pilot Project to the B.C. Utilities Commission. The physical part of the project is a 720 panel, 240 kilowatt solar PV generating facility at the Ellison substation in the north end of Kelowna, estimated to cost $961,000.


1. First Nation Victory: Thanks to the efforts of Ecojustice, the Quebec government rejected the deforestation permits of Copper One, a mining company. It wanted to deforest the Mitchikanibikok Inik band's ancestral land to make way for mining exploration, and eventually a giant copper mine in the middle of a wildlife reserve and the headwaters of the Ottawa River.

2. Right To A Healthy Environment: The Standing Committee tasked with reviewing The Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) has released sweeping recommendations to strengthen and modernize the law which would increase protection for everyone.

3. Neonics In Court: The federal government and pesticide companies’ attempts to shelve Ecojustice’s neonics lawsuit was dismissed so Ecojustice was able to go to court to make sure their lawsuit against bee-killing pesticides was heard. The journal Science has published two studies that conclude neonics harm pollinators. the world’s largest neonicotinoids study, shows widespread evidence of population decline and shortened lifespans. A separate study conducted in Canada confirms that prolonged exposure to neonicotinoids affects honey-bee health in corn-growing regions.


1. Micro-plastics: They’re smaller than 5 mm. and are found in such items as toothpaste, synthetic clothing, and other typical plastics that have broken down. There’s over 5 million tonnes per year floating in the ocean! Please help. You should: avoid excess packaging and disposable plastic bags; choose wool over synthetic garments; and join a shoreline clean-up!

2. The True Cost of Pollution: Pollution costs Canada billions per year, an average $4,300 a year per family, and there’s also the harm it does to our health, forests and crops, and the quality of our land and water. This new report breaks down the financial implications so business leaders, policy makers, and all Canadians can make better decisions about pollution.

Co- Edited with Egan Mandreck

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