Opportunity to serve as a panelist on Nova Scotia Environment’s Environmental Assessment Review Panel.

The Province has announced the Remediation of Boat Harbour in Pictou County will undergo a detailed Class II environmental assessment process under the province’s Environment Act. This process will be conducted by an Environmental Assessment Review Panel. We are now seeking applications for that panel. Panel members may be asked to participate in future assessment processes as well.

For more information regarding the board & criteria please visit www.novascotia.ca/abc and go to “Current Opportunities” page.

If you are interested in serving as a member of the panel and would like to apply to the board, please visit https://novascotia.ca/apps/abc/ABCs-Online/Login.aspx and apply using our new online application system no later than November 19th 2018.

Thank you in advance for your consideration. Please call 1-866-206-6844(toll free) to access the ABC Inquiries line if you have any questions.

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Gold Water Documentary Revealing

Gold Water Documentary Revealing

Cliff Seruntine, documentary filmmaker, has unleashed a visually beautiful, emotionally poignant, intellectually pointed and politically painful film onto the Nova Scotia political, business and environmental landscape. Gold Water highlights the provincial government’s cozy relationship with the gold mining industry and its devastating effect on the Nova Scotia environment, towns and citizens.

Gold Water examines the government’s “open for business” approach to Canadian gold mining companies who are currently operating the Moose River Touquoy Gold Mine with plans for four other Eastern Shore gold mines. Additionally, Gold Water questions how a provincial government, sworn to protect its citizens could be promoting advanced mining exploration and mine development in the Warwick Mountain, French River Watershed near Tatamagouche, NS. The documentary highlights the voices of citizens associated with Sustainable Northern Nova Scotia (SuNNS) as they lay out the case for never putting a gold mine in a watershed that is the sole source water, of a sustainable, thriving, tourist friendly community.

Gold Water highlights the possibility that the provincial government is in fact not working for the welfare of its citizens and in fact has been overwhelmed by the lure of quick revenues associated with gold mining and its boom and bust cycle. A more ominous possibility is offered by Gold Water filmmaker Seruntine and independent journalist Joan Baxter when they both examine the idea of “corporate capture”. The film examines how corporations move many of their experts into government bureaucracies, have them craft regulations favorable to industry, have government members champion the business case and later provide employment for those functionaries when their time in government is completed. This phenomena is well known in the United States but the film asks, is this what is happening in Nova Scotia?

The massive impact of the Moose River (Touquoy) Gold Mine on that now nonexistent town, the devastation experienced by citizens who lived through land expropriation, the impending environmental disaster contained in the Moose River tailings ponds, all of these Moose River realities are compared to the still unknown fate of the French River Watershed and the town of Tatamagouche should any gold mine exploration or development be government permitted.

Gold Water gives viewers an aerial view into the Moose River Touquoy Mine scar scape, just the tip of the long- term environment impact that Nova Scotia citizens will have to clean up after the mining companies are gone. The filmmaker and the voices of SuNNS’ members encourage the viewer to analyse what is happening in the government gold mining lobby and industry partnership encouraging citizens to become active in opposing this short-term boom and bust industry. As Cliff Seruntine says, “ people want something done… it will be an uphill fight …it’s a fight worth making, its starts now with taking a stance to protect our good water and making sure it doesn’t become gold water.”

Link to Gold Water https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Br-em_AafkY&feature=youtu.be Contact Information: Sustainable Northern Nova Scotia

Media Contact Paul Jenkinson Ph: 604-613-5417 (Tatamagouche) Email: pandljenkinson@gmail.com

Government Consultation Document: Vulnerable populations

One of the commitments in the  Government response to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development’s Report “Healthy Environment, Health Canadians, Healthy Economy: Strengthening the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999” was “to develop, engage on, and publish under CEPA a policy on vulnerable populations, which will include a definition of vulnerable populations and the objectives of the program, including the framework for how Health Canada considers vulnerable populations as part of risk assessments.”  This document is a first step to meeting this commitment.

This is a preliminary consultation, and you are welcome to provide comments during the public consultation as well which is planned for fall 2018.  In the interim, we are asking for your comments on this proposed definition, as well as the examples within the document by November 15, 2018.  Please forward all comments to:  hc.esrabdirector-directeurberse.sc@canada.ca.  Please note that there will be a mechanism established for sustained input from stakeholders and experts as we advance consideration of vulnerable populations in a more comprehensive and transparent manner.

 

Document: Consultation vulnerable population

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Sanctuary Webinar Series

The National Marine Sanctuary Webinar Series provides educators with educational and scientific expertise, resources and training to support ocean and climate literacy in the classroom. This series targets formal and informal educators that are engaging students (elementary through college) in formal classroom settings, as well as members of the community in informal educational venues (e.g. after school programs, science centers, aquariums, etc.).

 

Check them out here: https://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/education/teachers/webinar-series-archives.html 

Proceedings of 2018 BoFEP Science Workshop Available

The Proceedings of the 12th Bay of Fundy Science Workshop  (2018) “A Changing Fundy Environment: Emerging Issues, Challenges and Priorities”, Editors: Joshua McNeely, Marianne Janowicz, Blythe Chang, Sarah Chamberlain, Susan J. Rolston, and Peter G. Wellsheld 9-12 May 2018 at the Agricultural Campus, Dalhousie University, Truro, NS, is now available on the BoFEP website.
The 12th workshop was attended by approximately 115 people, mostly from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. It was very encouraging to see so many young people in various positions attend and engage in the discussions. BoFEP was delighted to award Rachel Cadman and Jaya Fahey with the Best Student Poster and Paper presentation respectively. The plenary and public talks were on the North Atlantic Right whale, marine debris and the Bay of Fundy’s future. Paper sessions covered tidal energy, fisheries ecology and management, monitoring and contaminants, integrated coastal management, dykelands and tidal restoration, the new oceans protection plan, and marine protected areas. Three panels were held – ocean literacy and awareness, information use at the science‐policy interface, and future research needs and BoFEP’s continued role as an NGO. An excellent field trip took place, with tidal bore rafting on the nearby Shubenacadie River estuary.

NSEN and the Truro Public Library Launch New Talking Circle Series with Catherine Martin

The first of four traditional Mi’kmaq Learning Circles, entitled “Ego to Eco: Learning the Mi’kmaq calendar to Experience Human and Ecological Health’s Interdependence,” will be held at the Truro Public Library on November 7th from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Reading Room. Catherine Anne Martin will present thoughts on the Mi’kmaq teachings on the interdependence of environmental and human health as exemplified in the Mi’kmaw traditional calendar of thirteen moons that focuses on the natural events of our climate cycle and what other species are doing in each moon cycle.

This focus on the “other” helps humans to be more aware of the ecological needs of all species and how we are a part of those same needs.  Going from our own “ego wants” to “eco needs,” through exposure to indigenous cultural reality, is necessary to change our ways in the cause of the planet’s and our own health. Unmitigated destructive polluting and resource extraction practices, along with our own misplaced focus on egocentric “wants,” has led us to environmental degradation and climate instability. Such issues as wellness, motivation,     

Thanks to Catherine Martin’s gracious gift to lead the 2018 Halifax circles and partial funding from the Halifax Community Health Board of the Nova Scotia Health Authority, this new series has been extended to the Truro region through the co-sponsorship of the Truro Public Library and will continue each month (December 5, January 9 and February 5) at the same location. 

NSEN, with its revitalized new board chaired by Ph.D. Engineering student, Chris White, and the crucial in-kind support of one of Truro’s favourite gathering place has agreed to host Mi’kmaq circles in order to facilitate a more ecologically and inclusive way for people to meet and face our fragile future on the planet. The series looks at components of human health—fitness, wellbeing, motivation and direction through the prism of environmental elements and the eco-centric Mi’kmaq Calendar.

For millennia the unceded Mi’kmaw territory (what is now called the Atlantic Provinces) was sustained by an eco-centric philosophy of a land-based consciousness. The inclusivity and egalitarianism of this philosophy is exemplified by the Mi’kmaq talking circle tradition, an ideal setting for all people living in this time and space to come together to learn how to best survive spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally. The circle format focuses on deep listening in a respectful way to the circle leader and then to each other as a sacred talking stick is passed, allowing each participant to share if he or she so wishes. 

By acknowledging that 1/ putting the needs for a healthy environment before egoic greed, 2/ considering what the fullness of the natural world (of which human animals are a part) offers in each month through the perspective of the Mi’kmaw calendar and 3/ discussing the challenges of  being healthy in a society that most often ignores that nature is in control, will integrate humans to see that we must put nature first and create the political will to protect our environment above everything.

NSEN encourages a repeat of the broad spectrum of last year’s circles’ representation during which Mi’kmaq, Anishnabe, Cree and Haida First Nations, Inuit people from fifteen countries, all ages, genders and economic backgrounds, long time residents of Halifax, new Canadians, professionals from the arts and sciences and persons of all abilities came together to listen to the Circle leader and then to each other. 

Alanis Obomsawin, a renowned Abenaki filmmaker, singer, artist and activist, relayed this pithy and poignant indigenous wisdom:  “When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.”

Media Contact: Joanne Light,  jonilight3@yahoo.ca, 902-429-1571


SCHEDULE AND CONTENT OF 2018 TRURO MI’KMAQ TALKING CIRCLES

 

Catherine Martin

Hosted by Catherine Martin

B.A., Theatre Arts (Dalhousie U.), M. Ed., Media Literacy (Mount Saint Vincent U.) and Member of the Order of Canada and of the Millbrook Mi’kmaw Community in Truro is an independent producer, director, writer, facilitator, communications consultant, drummer and the first woman Mi’kmaw filmmaker from the Atlantic Region.

Mi’kmaq teachings understand human and ecological health are interdependent. Ego to eco-centricity improves fitness, wellbeing, direction and motivation.

 

Schedule of Events 

Wed., November 7 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Martin introduces“Keptekewiku” (frost month) to explore humans, the elements—water, air, earth and fire—and other species’ relations at a time when we may fear more anxiety for the winter to come.

Wed., December 5 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Martin introduces “Kesikewiku” (winter month) to explore relations in the dark and cold time. If we have an unstable climate, how does that affect species in winter?

Wed., January 9 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Martin introduces “Penamujuiku” (frost fish runs’ month) to explore relations when climate change disrupts other species and our own patterns of survival?

Tues., February 5 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Martin introduces “Apuknajit” (snow blinding month) to explore relations when we are blinded by the enormity of environmental and climate health issues and don’t know which way to turn. How can a respect for and understanding of Mother Nature help us?

Update & Request from the Canadian Environmental Network

Note from the Chair:

Somehow it’s always surprising how much activity takes place in the fall. September hits, and suddenly it’s time to dive into new projects and catch up on existing ones.

These have been an exciting couple of months around here. Mike Simpson, an RCEN alumnus and Executive Director of the British Colombia Council for International Co-operation (BCCIC), joined the board in October. Mike has been doing excellent work in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals, and his experience with RCEN’s International Caucus will be incredibly valuable as we reclaim our role as a voice for Canadian ENGOs at home and abroad. He will be replacing Deborah Glaser, also of BCCIC, who joined the RCEN board for a brief period before making the decision to return to the United States with her family. So thank you Deborah, and welcome Mike!

In other news, a group of Ottawa-based RCEN-ers met this month for an in-depth conversation (sure to be the first of many) about where RCEN stands and where we want to go. Although technology expands our ability to communicate across large distances, there’s nothing like a face-to-face meeting to really get things done. We had some frank discussions about our hopes for the Network and the realities that we currently face, and we started to craft a vision of the RCEN we want to create.

One important point that emerged during this meeting was that the federal government has commitments that it will be trying to meet by summer 2019 (see the “Resources” section below for a link to summaries of relevant federal mandates). RCEN and its members have an opportunity to show that we have the expertise to support Canada in achieving those goals.

Although a small, localized approach has practical advantages for the early stages of this process, I want to make sure that your voices are heard at. In particular, I want to hear from you about:

1) how a national network of ENGOs and activists could best serve your organization and fill the existing gaps in Canada’s environmental community;

2) how your work could help advance the government’s environmental goals and mandates; and

3) your “wish list” of the collaboration and support that you’d like to find within the ENGO community.

And as always, if you want to strut your stuff or reach out to your fellow members, please get in touch. We would love to showcase your projects or accomplishments in our newsletter or on social media. This is your network – please use it!

 

Contact: Alex Keenan | RCEN  chair@rcen.ca