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February 2016 Newsletter

Sustainable Environment NetworkSociety February 2016 Nwsletter 

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.

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

Information contained in this newsletter may not imply approval by SENS directors.


SENS will NOT be providing a speaker at Schubert Centre this month. Instead, on Feb  25 our venue is at the Vernon library for the film fest. See below.... 

1. Sustainability Film Fest: Thursdays, 6:30 – 9 pm, Vernon Library.  SENS is working with the library, City of Vernon and RDNO to present a month of Thursday evening documentaries free for everyone. Each film will be followed by a short but stimulating discussion with locals ‘in the know’. Bring a carload and join the rest of us to share ideas! 

February 4th: Aina: That which Feeds Us - environmental and health problems faced by the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i, complete with suggestions for solutions

February 11th: Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story - a look at the $ billions in food waste from farms, food stores and home fridges. See how 2 film makers lived waste free by surviving on discarded food (NO grocery shopping or eating in restaurants!)…

February 18th: How To Change The World - how Greenpeace and the modern ‘green’ movement started, complete with scary action video from early ventures, Greenpeace’s growing pains, and balancing political vs personal problems.

February 25th: Living Small: A Tiny House Documentary - Experience the challenges and rewards faced by Anderson Page as he constructs his first tiny living space. Could YOU live more with less? 

2. Fractured Land: March 2, 7 – 9 pm, Schubert Centre, The director will attend this premier showing!  We follow Dene lawyer Caleb Behn over a 4 year period as he tries to balance his people’s need for fracking jobs with his sacred duty to defend their territory. Will he become a great leader and transform history as he works on fractures within himself, his community and the world around him? $10 each, $5 students, at the door. 

3. Seedy Saturday: March 12th, 10 am – 3 pm, Trinity United Church, Vernon. If you would like a table ($20) to sell seeds, plant starts, and food and garden products, please contact Heather for information and application form. 


1. Farmers’ Markets:

  • Vernon: Fridays, 12 – 4 pm, inside Kal Tire Place.
  • Coldstream: Wednesdays, 2:30 – 6 pm.
  • Armstrong Winter Market: Thursdays, 12 – 3 pm, Odd Fellows Hall on Bridge St. 

2. North Okanagan Naturalists Club Meeting: February 3rd, 7 pm, Sierra Room, Village Green Hotel.  Pat McAllister presents slides on ‘Natural History of Southern Utah’. *** A third co-leader for kids’ stuff via NatureKids of BC is needed. Email Marnie

3. Forests In Flux: February 3rd, 7 pm, Armstrong Centennial Theatre. Dr. Greg O’Neill, Kal  Forestry Research Centre speaks on building resilient plantations in the era of climate change:. Admission is by donation. Sponsored by the Armstrong Spallumcheen Environmental Trust. 

4. Volunteer Opportunities: Allan Brooks Nature Centre:  250-260-4227 or email: events@abnc.ca

5. “Buttered”: This episode featuring Fieldstone & Country Bakery of Armstrong is on February 11th, 7:30 pm. It will also air Feb. 12th online at AMI-TV's Four-Senses.

6. This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate: February 18th, 7 pm, Kelowna Community Theatre, 1375 Water St. Naomi Klein speaks on our economic model’s war against life on earth and her ideas on what we MUST do. Free, but please register hereUBCO Distinguished speaker series.

7. Traffic Calming: Write a letter of support for a low cost idea to decrease speeding through traffic on 25th Street in Vernon. Details:  http://www.castanet.net/edition/news-story--2-.htm

8. Sugar Lake and Shuswap River; The Sugar Lake And Middle Shuswap Stewards (SLAMSS), in collaboration with the Cherryville Water Stewards, are active once again to protect this last clean watercourse. There is concern with a new development in the planning stages that could impact the waters due to increased motorboat access and use. They ask that you Sign the online petition at Change.Org asking the North Okanagan R.D. to apply to Transport Canada to implement motor boat restrictions on Sugar Lake, as well as on the Upper and Middle Shuswap River. The 2 RDNO Area directors named in the petition represent residents of this watershed upstream of Mabel Lake. 

9. Element Eco-design: Registration is open for their Permaculture Design Certificate. Contact them for details via their website.

10..Climate Change and BC Forests: March 7, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, Workshop #1,   1pm – 4:30pm or Workshop #2, 6 – 9:30 pm  Purpose is to generate recommendations for  climate change mitigation for this area. Confirm your attendance by contacting Guillaume Peterson St-Laurent at peterson.guil@gmail.com.

11.  DIY Solar Seminar: with John Barling, March 26th, ,10am – 3:15 pm at Schubert Centre.  He'll cover over 25 projects you can do. Tickets available in March at Bean Scene. Details to follow in March. Read short articles John has written, on the SENS website www.sensociety.org  soon. 


1. ‘Not so Black and White’: Here's a great editorial where the author, Monbiot, admits that eating properly farmed meat ain't so bad! 

2. Digital Cycling Magazine: Check out Momentum Mags free for its first newsletter!!

3. Guy Dauncey News: Guy is now putting out a newsletter “A Better World Is Possible”! It will share big ideas from his new Amazon book “Journey To the Future” as well as progress on related ideas. His first newsletter talks about the Solar Revolution, the Fifth Great Energy Revolution, as solar PV investment continues to rise... A great read! For the newsletter, go here.

4. The E-18 Group of Nations: Excerpt:”What the world needs now is a new alliance of nations whose leaders will pledge to work together to heal the planet, build a new economy that will restore nature, and set their sights on 100% renewable energy and the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. The members of the E-18 would agree to share new ideas and initiatives; to support each other in developing new policies and advancing them on the global stage; and give the world fresh hope.” For the rest of Guy's 2nd newsletter article, go here

5. Down the DrainIt turns out that too many ‘other’ items (wipes, floss, tampons, fats ,grease etc.) are getting flushed and it's costing us millions when our aging sewer pipe systems plug up with them. Toilet paper and your body wastes only, please! 

6. Solar Bike “ELF”: 30 mph, $4,000  US, safe…, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3INj_7WVDQ8

7. Aviation Pollution: they get massive subsidies from government (your taxes), breach pollution laws, and information regulating them was dropped from the December’s Paris Climate Talk agreements….More:  http://www.monbiot.com/2016/01/20/mumbo-jumbo-jets/


1.Prevention Is The Cure: The reality is that many common exposures that are beyond an individual’s control may contribute to pathways leading to cancers. In 2015, a major series of scientific publications highlighted many common chemicals that are considered to trigger “hallmarks of cancer” in everyday, low doses. For example, there are some personal care product ingredients; some foods;  bad air; bad water, radiation from wireless devices and medical imaging, etc. For more, read this BBC News article

2. Temporary approvals of pesticides: yes or no? Health Canada is asking you! They propose to stop granting temporary new registrations for pesticides, however they do not comment on 76 other pesticide products that include ‘bee-killing’ neonicotinoids. Of the 76, 18 still await testing data. Google Health Minister Announces Consultation to Halt Temporary Pesticide Approvals, Prevent Cancer Now for details. You can have your say on the consultation by email to pmra.publications@hc-sc.gc.ca by March 19th, 2016. 

PreventCancerNow also provides this: You may wish to copy and build upon the following text:

Re: NOI2016-01
Notice of Intent Regarding Conditional Registrations under the Pest Control Products Regulations

I support discontinuing granting of temporary, conditional registrations of pesticides, as currently proposed, and as recommended by the Parliamentary Committee (2015).

Temporary registrations put pesticides on the Canadian market, in our environment and in our food, with neither full assessment nor public consultation.

I also support nullifying current temporary registrations, as they include pesticides that are not permitted elsewhere, as well as mixtures that require thorough assessment because of interactions between multiple active ingredients.

The Parliamentary Committee also recommended improving openness and transparency, to ensure that Canadians are able to provide meaningful and informed input into the decision-making process and to clearly understand decisions made. For this, we need comprehensive, rigorous, systematic scientific reviews, and access to relevant data during consultations.


Your full name
(Organization, if applicable)
Phone number
Complete mailing address, or email address


1. Green Ribbons: They will be creating a green ribbon advisory committee to provide input to the National Capital Commission which is working to do retrofits for 24 Sussex Drive. Hopefully the retrofits will be net zero energy and also will be a model for all builders in Canada to look up to. The future demands it! For the source of this info, go here.

2.Energy East In Quebec: Sierra opposes the pipeline because of severe damage to wildlife and causing a major increase in GHGs (32million tonnes/year). For the report, click here!


1. TransCanada Pipeline Arbitration: TransCanada Corporation's newly initiated arbitration against the U.S. is a troubling use of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) to challenge public policy decisions. IISD believes that these disputes are best settled by domestic courts and processes. Read more here.


1. Site C: The Foundation recognizes that Site C is not necessary (we can reduce electricity use via conservation and efficiency and even support and use energy alternatives) and that it will cost taxpayers greatly. They ask you to tell the B.C. government to stop work on Site C until First Nations’ court cases are determined. 


1.The Trans Pacific Partnership: The TPP is a 12 nation trade agreement spanning countries as diverse as Vietnam and Malaysia to Japan and the United States. BUT The TPP would also mean a system of secret courts where big corporations would overturn the decisions of elected governments. And some of those same corporations are responsible for the environmental loss and human suffering Conflict palm oil has brought! So please say no to the TPP! 

2.Monsanto (again!): They’ve just filed a lawsuit against California to stop the state from adding Glyphosate (in roundup) to a list of chemical s that cause cancer. 


1. Neonics Campaign: In 2016, CAPE will be working with others to educate the Quebec public about the health and environmental impacts associated with neonics, support the banning of these high risk agricultural pesticides, and advocate for regulations that create healthy crops, healthy bees, and healthy people. Currently, Quebec has banned 20 lawn/garden pesticides; but a new proposal will bump the list up to 60 banned pesticides. 


1.Manitoba:  has become Canada’s first province to sign on to the Blue Dot Movement  and install an Environmental Bill of Rights. The Bill would recognize their right to a healthy environment. 

2. Trans Mountain Pipeline: Ecojustice still has concerns that the 5 principles announced by the Feds do not address the following: 2012 “efficiency” changes to the National Energy Board Act so there are no oral hearings and lawyers cannot cross-examine the Company on statements made. A ‘go-ahead‘ means that tar sand development is accelerated, which increases GHG emissions. Tanker traffic would go from 60 to over 400 per year in the Vancouver harbour - Gulf Islands area. For even more details  check out Ecojustice’s newsletter. 

3. Pesticide management: Learn more here about what Ecojustice is doing to advocate for a precautionary approach that ensures Canadians have a full understanding of how these substances may impact our health and our environment. 

Co- Edited with Egan Mandreck