• strict warning: Declaration of calendar_plugin_display_attachment::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin_display_attachment::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/sensocie/public_html/v6/sites/all/modules/calendar/includes/calendar_plugin_display_attachment.inc on line 242.
  • strict warning: Declaration of calendar_plugin_display_attachment::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/sensocie/public_html/v6/sites/all/modules/calendar/includes/calendar_plugin_display_attachment.inc on line 242.
  • strict warning: Declaration of date_handler_field_multiple::pre_render() should be compatible with content_handler_field_multiple::pre_render($values) in /home/sensocie/public_html/v6/sites/all/modules/date/date/date_handler_field_multiple.inc on line 185.

April 2014 Newsletter

APRIL 2014

The Sustainable Environment Network Society (SENS) Newsletter

Environmentally active for over 40 years

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, c/o the Boys and Girls Club, 3300-37th Ave., Vernon, V1T 2Y5.  Website:  www.sensociety.org

*** SENS provides tax-deductible receipts for donations ***


1. Okanagan Rail Trail – Blending Business, Jobs and Tourism, April 24th: 7pm, Schubert Centre.  Brad Clements, an OK College Prof., will discuss the pros and cons and provide a visual tour of the trail. Discussion and questions welcome.

2. Earth Day, April 22nd: What will YOU do to show your appreciation for this wonderful land?


1. Farmers’ Markets:

·       Vernon: Mondays & Thursdays, starting April 17,  8 am – 1 pm, Kal Tire Place.

·       Armstrong : Saturdays, 8 am – 12 noon,

·       Enderby: Friday mornings, Cliff Avenue.

·       Cherryville_ Saturdays, 9 am – 1 pm,

·       Lumby: Is opening a food co-op and has a list price from Pro-Organics.

o   Email Jaye Siegmuller to get involved    at    info@barenature.ca  

2. No Pipelines – No Tankers Public Forum:  April 2, 7 pm,  with Jim Cooperman of Shuswap Environmental Action Society, All Saints Anglican Church,Vernon. Video, power-point & discussion.

3.  White Nose Syndrome in Bats: Talk by Doug Burles of Kamloops at North Okanagan Naturalists meeting, April 2, 7:30 pm, Best Western Vernon Lodge.

4.Allan Brooks Annual Dinner Auction, Friday April 4th: Best Western Vernon Lodge. “Flights of Fancy” is the optional theme this year, so please come with something feathery (e.g. mask, hat, scarf, etc.) or buy one of our feathery brooches at the door.  Tickets will be $65 per person or $500 per 8 people. Available at WWW.TICKETSELLER.CA  All proceeds will help execute school programs, develop interpretive displays, and assist day-to-day operations of the Nature Centre. For more information or to donate an auction item, please contact Janice Buick at 250-306-7945.

5.”Saving the Ecosystem One Bee at a Time”: April 10, 7:30pm, OK College Theatre, Free Science in Society talk on importance of bees to our ecosystem with Dr Leonard Foster. www.okscience.ca 

6. BC Parks and Big Oil: According to ‘sumofus.org’ the BC Government has just passed a law that gives oil, gas and mining companies the power to open up our provincial parks for industrial activity.Take action now to keep Canada’s crown jewels protected for the use and enjoyment of all Canadians.  More here: http://www.desmog.ca/2014/03/25/bill-4-passes-b-c-parks-now-officially-o... Was ecosystem destruction on their election platform?

7. “Hands off’ Agricultural Land Commission: Legislation may be introduced that affects the ALC, allowing non-farming use of farm land. Write to the Premier, PO BOX 9041, STN PROV GOVT, VICTORIA, BC V8W 9E1   Tel: 250-387-1715      email premier@gov.bc.ca

As well, Integrity BC has a petition you can share: www.change.org/petitions/christy-clark-hands-off-bc-s-agricultural-land-...

8. Bike to Work Week (May 25th – 31st): IF you’d like to take part this year, changes have been made to include individuals as well as teams. A team leader’s registration/info session is planned for April 30th at the Vernon Council Chambers. Stay tuned!


1. Canada’s Water: Canada has 20% of the earth’s surface fresh water and 9% of Canada is covered in fresh water. Check out this short video featuring this resource!


1. Safeguarding Your Windows for Birds: Window strikes can kill birds and are totally preventable. Here are some ideas to make your dangerous windows safer: (1) Cover the outside glass with a one-way transparent film (for a list of products, go to Fatal Light Awareness Program website); (2) Put closely spaced (too narrow for birds to fly through) UV stickers on the outside surface of the window; and (3) Closing a window shade or a door between rooms can sometimes resolve the illusion of an open path a window might give. For even more ideas and caring instructions, go here.


1. Horn of Plenty: Russia, with its large family plots for agricultural gardening (35 million in 1999) “seems to be one of the few countries on the global stage moving so clearly in a sustainable and healthy direction.” For the article, go here.

2. More Farm Chemicals: Apparently, GM corn crops will now contain insecticides and a herbicide that contains 2,4-D (of Agent Orange fame) inside the plant. For more, go here.

3. Backcountry Protection: According to this report, the off Road Vehicle Act Bill has been given first reading in the legislature. The new law will protect our backcountry.

4. Fresh Water Issues Poll: A recent survey on attitudes towards freshwater issues in B.C. revealed that there is massive support for protecting freshwater resources (93%). This is regardless of one’s political leaning. Water matters to us all!  For the poll results and more, go here.

5. Solar Power: http://www.nationofchange.org/while-us-invests-wwiii-china-builds-larges...

6. Small Town Protects Real Food: Sedgwick, Maine legalized all food transactions – including the right to say ‘no’ to GM foods (opposing state/federal laws) . Why not here?!? Read here.

7. Okanagan Rail Trail Update: The group is still in negotiations with companies wishing to operate the railway.  If not feasible the government will then offer the railway and it could be sold to a private company. For info and to send e-mails of support: www.okanaganrailtrail.ca

8. Glad Not to be a Penguin?!?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmVWGvO8Yhk

9.Dig Your Neighbourhood (DYN): www.facebook.com/DYNRutland         Why not in Vernon?!?

10.Fukushima Plant’s Clean-up PBS Video: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/videos/#64497


1. Water Sustainability Act (WSA): The new WSA is looking into changing the way it prices water, which is currently ridiculously low or non-existent. The public is invited to submit feedback to the Government regarding this. The deadline is April 8th. If we set the “right” price, B.C. will be much closer to having a province-wide commitment to water sustainability that is equal and fair. It’s still not perfect (i.e. free for fracking?!?) but much better than the old act. For more, here are the views from West Coast Environmental Law, Environmental Law Centre, and One Cowichan.


Save Alberta’s Kids: Shockingly, public education authorities are consulting with Big Oil companies to help draft “Alberta’s future curriculum" from kindergarten to grade 12. This is a clear attempt by the oil companies to expand their influence over our public institutions. If we act quickly, we can kill the partnership and get Big Oil’s dirty hands off our children’s textbooks. Please tell Alberta Education to keep Big Oil out of our kids' classrooms now. For related news, check out these stories: 1 (from Mar. 2014) and 2 (from Nov. 2011).

FROM LIVING OCEANS - LOS (www.livingoceans.org)

1.Health (?) Canada: has approved manufacture and export of GE salmon without public notice. LOS needs your help as they are taking the government to court over this. The Aquabounty Co. was not required to produce evidence to show that this GM salmon could become invasive.

2. Learn more about LOS’ work at:  www.livingoceans.org/media/newsletters/


1. Fracking Crazy: A study by a non – profit (Ceres) shows that most areas that frack are water-stressed and are either experiencing drought right now or its coming. California’s drought may be the worst in 500 years… For the full article, go here.

2. GDP Doesn’t Measure Progress: As David Suzuki points out, “There’s more to life than the benefits that come from spending money … We deserve better indicators of societal well-being that extend beyond mere economic growth … Whatever we come up with, it has to be better than GDP with its absurd emphasis on endless growth on a finite planet.” Read the full piece here.

3. Action Plan for Our Killer Whales: Just recently, the federal government released a long-overdue draft Action Plan for resident killer whales, a significant step to protecting one of Canada’s most endangered species.  Strategies in it focus on maintaining food supplies, limiting pollution effects, reducing disturbance from human activities and protecting more critical habitat. Comments on the Action Plan are being accepted until April 16th. For the full article, go here.

4. Much Needed Infrastructure Investments: Excerpt: “Canada's federal government recently announced $14 billion in new funding to help municipalities repair and replace aging infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, sewer lines, energy production and distribution systems, and subways and other public transit … Ottawa's funding announcement … will ensure that our cities succeed in a global economy.” Read the full article here.

5. Geoengineering Isn’t the Answer: Excerpt: “Now that climate change has become undeniable, with consequences getting worse daily, many experts are eyeing solutions. Some are touting massive [geoengineering] fixes … BUT we run the risk of causing unintended consequences … Geoengineering shouldn’t be seen as the solution. And it's no excuse to go on wastefully burning
fossil fuels. We must conserve energy and find ways to quickly shift to cleaner sources.” For the full article, go here.

FROM ECOJUSTICE (www.ecojustice.ca)

1. Unstoppable Snowball and Climate Change: Check out the TED talk by Dan Dolderman, author of Everything You Love!

2. Fracking and Water Use in Northern B.C.: Dawson Creek residents say that industry got first dibs on fresh water lat year so they had minimal water to use for plants outside… Ecojustice is challenging this practice.  For more, go here.

FROM CAPE (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment)

1. Safe Salmon: Cautionary research from Norway suggests pregnant mothers and children should completely avoid farmed salmon. The fat content is much higher, the fatty acids are much less healthy, and the lipid-soluble toxins are necessarily elevated. Here’s a helpful guide to safe salmon. Also check out this new website of information on the ills of salmon farming.

2. Coal Poll: a new poll out shows 80% of Albertans want to use wind energy to reduce reliance on coal.  The poll also found 3 out of 4 Albertans believe coal harms the health of senior citizens. Apparently even those in Canada's most carbon-intensive province want to reduce coal and ramp-up renewables! Click here for an Edmonton Journal article related to this.

3. Foundations Divest Their Fossil Fuels: According to this article, “Seventeen philanthropic foundations controlling nearly $2 billion in assets … put their money where their ethics are.... they will be divesting all… holdings in the fossil fuel industry and reinvesting in the clean energy sector.”

4. Planetary Manifesto: Please sign this manifesto for transforming public health calls for a social movement to support collective public health action at all levels of society. 

5. Northern Gateway – Concerns of Engineers: Here's a new graphics-rich website from the above group that raises serious and detailed questions about the Enbridge pipeline proposal, and concludes that it's hopeless as it now stands, from strictly an engineering point of view.

6. Flow Battery Break-through: Check out this story about a new breakthrough that will enhance wind and solar power generation.

7. Human Male Infertility: www.i-sis.org.uk/Glyphosate_Roundup_and_Human_Male_Infertility.php Glyphosate  in Round-up is involved! Do our politicians/spray companies know? Care? Recent research shows that even low levels in urine can promote growth of human breast cancer cells…

8. Enbridge Brainwashing Campaign: They’re hoping to cause Kitimat citizens to accept the Northern Gateway Pipeline proposal using Matt Damon look-alike. Check out “popular stories” here: https://www.vancouverobserver.com/ Donate via this site: http://dcw.nationbuilder.com/

9. Deadly Waxes: New high fluoro waxes give extra speed, however traces have been found already in blood of racers and wax technicians who do not know to use them in high ventilation areas – there may be increased risk of cardiovascular disease, over damage, hormone disruption and cancer. Revelstoke Nordic Club is asking the Cross Country BC Board of Directors to prohibit their use in  all regional and provincial BC races. 

Co-Edited by Egan Mandreck