Let’s Talk Tidal March 4th 2019: Meet the Panel

The tidal talk is coming up fast – so its time to introduce you to the folks who will be sharing their thoughts at the Halifax Central Library at 6pm on March 4th. 

Boris Worm, Professor, Dalhousie University – Moderator Bio 1 - Boris Worm (photo).jpgMeet Boris Worm, our moderator for the evening. He is a marine ecologist and Professor in Marine Conservation Biology in the Biology Department, Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His research focuses on the causes and consequences of changes in marine biodiversity, and its conservation on a global scale.He is particularly well known for his studies on the global effects of fishing and climate change on ocean ecosystems. He has a special interest in the rebuilding of fisheries resources, and in policy solutions that can help to prevent further loss of marine biodiversity worldwide. He is a frequenter presenter on CBC radio and television and has contributed to a number of award-winning feature documentaries, such as End of the Line, Sharkwater, and Racing Extinction.
Website: http://wormlab.biology.dal.ca/

 

Graham Daborn, Professor, Acadia University 

Screen Shot 2019-02-24 at 7.33.05 PM.png

Graham Daborn is Professor Emeritus at Acadia University. He received his BA in English and Biology from the University of Keele (UK), and MSC and PhD degrees in Zoology from the University of Alberta. He was Professor of Biology at Acadia from 1973 to 2004, the Founding Director of the Acadia Centre for Estuarine Research (1984-2004), and Founding Director of the Arthur Irving Academy for the Environment (2004-2007).
As a biologist with interests in estuarine and freshwaters, Graham has (co-)written or (co-) edited 7 books, and more than 200 journal articles, technical reports, and information bulletins. Since 1976 his research has focused on estuaries, particularly the Bay of Fundy. Studies of the Bay of Fundy ecosystem have included: tides and tidal rhythms, sediment dynamics, fish and fisheries, plankton, benthic ecology and the general environmental effects of tidal power. He contributed material for the two Strategic Environmental Assessments of Marine Renewable Energy in the Bay of Fundy, for the FORCE Information Centre in Parrsboro, and for an assessment of Potential Marine Representative Areas in the Bay of Fundy for Parks Canada.
Daborn was Chair or Co-Chair of the Research Management Committee and theme leader for Policy and governance research for the Canadian Water Network (2001 – 2012) He has been a member of the Experts Committee on Marine Renewable Energy for the International Energy Agency, a volunteer member of the Environmental Monitoring Advisory Committee (EMAC) for the Fundy Ocean Research Centre (FORCE) since its establishment in 2009, and a member of the Research Advisory Committee for the Offshore Energy Research Association (OERA).
For his work with communities and public dissemination of scientific information about the Bay of Fundy, Daborn was awarded the Gulf of Maine Visionary Award in 1993 and the Outstanding Science Champion Award of the Discovery Centre in 2000.

 

Darren Porter, Fisher & Consultant  

Darren Porter is the founder and director of the Marine Institute of Nature and Academic Science (MINAS). Darren is an owner and operator of commercial licenses and has been fishing for his entire life. He started fishing clams, oysters, wild muscles, smelts, Gaspereau, eels, shad, herring, tomcod, flounder, mackerel, marine plant, squid, sculpin, and lobster. He has been very active in shellfish aquaculture, owning multiple shellfish leases in different maritime provinces including oysters, muscles, and scallops.

Darren has done consulting work for the provincial government as well as industry. He sits on the board of directors of four fishing associations, and he is a spokesman for the fishing industry and an advocate for small scale fisheries, coastal communities, and the environment. Darren also works extensively with universities and First Nations.

He has been involved with many studies, past and present, with Acadia University, Dalhousie University, DFO, the province of Nova Scotia, and the Mi’kmaq. His operations are open to the public, industry, academia, NGOs, and anybody that wishes to interact and immerse themselves in the local and traditional knowledge, and he provides a rare platform for people to see firsthand the diversity of marine life within the waters.

 

Sara Swinamer, Community Planner & Water Protector  

Screen Shot 2019-02-24 at 7.45.55 PM.png

Sara is the proud mother of two children. She is also a traditional Mi’kmaq and contemporary pow wow dancer and cultural educator. She teaches Dance 11 and instructs Mi’kmaq Studies 11 at Bridgetown High School for the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board.  She also enjoys working as a dance and physical education coach with the Muin Sipu preschool, elementary students, and after-school youth on the Bear River First Nation. Much of her work is dedicated to the rights of the children, to creatively allow children the freedom of expression and free thought forms through art, culture and education.  At age fourteen Sara flew to Ottawa, Canada as a Students Commission/National Capital Commission Youth Delegate at Carleton University. Her teaching within the school system to students and teachers alike helped to aspire other schools in Lunenburg County to also take action.

Sara has a Native Canadian Studies Certificate from Kjipuktuk Aboriginal College.  She has a continuing education certificate from Dalhousie University in the Urban & Rural Planning Studio. She has worked collaboratively with the Cities & Environment Unit, Dalhousie University, under the Direction of Frank Palermo to help write the First Nations Community Planning Model, which received:  

2001 Dr. L. Gertler Award for Planning Excellence
This is the highest award in Canadian planning. Grand Prize by the Canadian Institute of Planners for the development of the First Nations Community Planning Model.

2002 2003 EDRA/Places & Planning Award
For Places by the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) out of Berkeley, California and the internationally circulated journal Places.

2004 Dubai International Best Practices Award to Improve the Living Environment
This award was won in conjunction with The First Nations Community Planning Project consists of community-based plans and capacity development in seventeen First Nations communities in Atlantic Canada. It was selected as one of 10 award winners from 680 submissions worldwide.

Sara was also recognized and awarded the 2005 Deputy Ministers Pride and Recognition Award. This award recognized excellence, professionalism, and dedication in achieving honours in the Indian Lands & Trusts Certification Program.

Sara has worked for the Confederacy Mainland Mi’kmaq as a specific land claims researcher. She has also worked at L’sitkuk Environment to promote climate change and species at risk education.  In 2016 Sara, who was volunteering for the Marine Animal Response Society, took the call for action to investigate a beached whale in Sandy Cove, Nova Scotia. During the weeks that followed the whale stranding’s a massive fish kill occurred on the shores of the St. Mary Bay and other parts of the Bay of Fundy.  As a response to gaps in Provincial and Federal response and reporting, Sara created the Bay of Fundy Water Protectors; a nonviolent social media action group whose mission is to protect, restore and preserve. She is a water protector, land defender, and human rights activist always on the lookout to advocate for peace, truth and justice.  

 

Mike Wambolt, Fisheries Biologist  

Mike Wambolt is an environmental professional with more than 16 years of experience in government and private industry. He holds a B.Sc. with a major in Aquaculture from Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia.
Over the past 11 years, Mike has been working as a Fisheries Biologist for Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) assessing the impacts of projects in freshwater and marine environments. Mike is currently working as the Section Head for Marine Developments in the Fisheries and Oceans, Fisheries Protection Program in the Maritimes Region providing oversight to a wide variety of regulatory project reviews.

Mike has been the lead on a number of project reviews for DFO including offshore oil and gas and marine renewable energy development with a focus on In-Stream Tidal projects since 2013 along with playing a key role on numerous other departmental programs such as environmental emergency response and project-specific compliance monitoring.

 

Colin Sproul, Vice-President Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association 

Bio 6 - Colin Sproul (photo).jpg

Colin Sproul is Vice-President at the Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association.
He is a board director at the Clean Ocean Action Committee, Southwest Lobster Science Society and Wood’s Hole Oceanographic Institution Ropeless Consortium.
He is also a member of the Nova Scotia New Democratic Party’s Environment Committee.
Colin has spoken previously on tidal energy at Dalhousie University, The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Public Affairs and the Legislature’s Standing Committee on Natural Resources.

Colin helped lead his fishermen’s association through its protracted battle with Emera, Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy and Nova Scotia’s Department of Environment over tidal development in the Minas Passage.

His family has fished from Delap’s Cove in Annapolis County for 5 generations and he’s passionate about the people in his community carrying on their way of life.

 

More to come – don’t miss it! Check out the Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/397995030951913

Advertisements

Solar Nova Scotia offers practical courses on designing and building Solar Homes and Additions

The Passive Solar Home Design Course is intended for the general public and, for those in design and construction. The instructor is a 40 year experienced solar designer-builder, Don Roscoe.

1 SOLAR BASICS for electricity, for active thermal hot water and hot air, and for passive solar ( 3 1/2Hrs )
2 CLIMATE CONTROL for comfort and health, energy and the environment (5 1/2Hrs)
3 SITE DESIGNING, working with nature, creating microclimates and integrating the shelter (3Hrs )
4 SHELTER DESIGNING, bringing you, your needs and your site together (4 1/2Hrs)
5 MAKING IT HAPPEN, costing, controlling costs, contracting and doing it yourself (1 1/2Hrs )
This is offered as a six-evening course in Halifax, Chester or Bridgewater; Spring, Winter & Fall. With demand, locally organized weekend versions may be offered in other locations. Contact: solardon.ns@gmail.com
WINTER — at Bridgewater High School (541-4367 Diana.Johnson@bridgewater.ca)
COURSES or (the location with the most attendees)
— at Chester, Forest Heights High (275-2712 jconrad@chester.ca).

Tuesdays 6:45-9:45PM January 22 > February 26.
— at Nova Scotia Institute of Technology, Leeds St., Halifax, Thursdays 7pm-10pm: January 24 > February 28

Information at SolarNS.ca
Registration at (852-4758 / solardon.ns@gmail.com)
Fees: $80 students, $90 single, $150 couples; with handouts. Optional textbooks($20/$40)
On demand, a one-day PASSIVE SOLAR CONSTRUCTION COURSE will be offered mid-winter at Halifax & at other locally organized locations. This course is intended for those wishing to design and build a PASSIVE SOLAR HOME with an air recirculated heat storage slab.
1 PASSIVE SOLAR BASICS
2 GROUND INSULATION instead of frost walls
3 HEAT STORAGE SLAB construction techniques and details
4 AIR RECIRCULATION and FILTRATION SYSTEM design and components
5 SYSTEM BALANCING and CONTROLS
Fee $60 & $50 students: with construction detail sheets & CD of the course visuals.
Info. & Registration: solardon.ns@gmail.com

Nova Scotia Ministry of Energy and Mines Withholds Toxic Leak Information

“Sustainable Northern Nova Scotia (SuNNS) members, the 900 signatories to our petition opposing gold mining exploration or development in the French River Watershed and the population of Tatamagouche are shocked by the news that the Ministry of Energy and Mines has withheld information about a leaking exploration drill hole contaminating the French River Watershed area with arsenic and iron” says SuNNS spokesperson John Perkins.

“The government has been in conversation with Sustainable Northern Nova Scotia (SuNNS) many times since the polluting leak was discovered but not once has the leaking well been mentioned, risks explored or remediation efforts discussed. As I understand it the government has taken a hush- hush and wait and see approach” says Perkins. “It makes me wonder if the current governments open for business approach means open for business whatever the human or environmental cost” notes Perkins.

Nova Scotia already is known as a most mining – friendly place given its lax regulatory requirements and enforcement and it is this lax approach that has heightened the concerns of Tatamagouche area citizens. Minister Derek Mombourquette’s Op-Ed in January 2019 Tatamagouche Light assured residents that “ Communities have an opportunity to be involved in all stages of the exploration process” but SuNNS is now asking “how does Energy and Mines not telling Colchester County about a failed, leaking exploration drill site meet the Ministers promise?

Perkins also notes “this purposeful withholding of information – especially from the municipal water authority –about an ongoing leak adds to a complete lack of faith in the Ministry of Energy and Mines and the Provincial Regulatory and enforcement frameworks”.
SuNNS demands the proper authority act to cap the contaminating drill hole!
SuNNS once again calls on the Ministry of Energy and Mines to withhold any issuing of a Request for Proposals for gold mining exploration or development in the French River Watershed and the six other watersheds in the current Enclosure Area. “ It never made sense before and less now; the Request for Proposals should be abandoned” says
Perkins.
SuNNS further supports the efforts of the Municipality of Colchester as it seeks “Protected “status for the French River Watershed under the Environmental Act given that the French River is the sole source of water for the Village of Tatamagouche.
SuNNS will make a formal request to meet the Premier regarding this serious threat to the Tatamagouche water
supply.
SuNNS spokesperson John Perkins concludes “I think it is fair to say that the government and any interested mining companies should expect a monumental increase in local citizen opposition to gold mining exploration or development in the French River Watershed.
Media Contact: John Perkins, Phone, 902-657-0406 or

Ministry of Energy and Mines Backtracks on No Plan to Cap Contaminating Drill Hole

John Perkins spokesperson for Sustainable Northern Nova Scotia says “SuNNS membership and Tatamagouche area residents are pleased to hear the Ministry of Energy and Mines is committed to capping a leaking exploration drill hole in the French River Watershed”.

Perkins notes “this is a big change in the Ministry of Energy and Mines
approach to this contaminating drill hole.” Frances Willick reported in a January 25 CBC article that Don James, Ministry of Energy and Mines, had stated “the responsibility for the hole now rests with the landowner”. “Mines and Energy’s reversal indicates the power of a Free Press, the effectiveness of local community advocacy groups like SuNNS and the power of municipal governments to bring pressure on the provincial government” says Perkins.
“The contaminating drill hole sits in the French River watershed, the sole source of water for the Village of Tatamagouche, so I think the Municipality of Colchester and area Councilor Michael Gregory were very upset when Mines and Energy failed to contact them regarding their plans to not address the polluting drill hole” says SuNNS member Paul Jenkinson.
“The discovery of one uncapped contaminating drill hole on Warwick Mountain and the possibility of more leaking drill holes has raised the spectre of 780 other unmonitored mining exploration drill holes across the province”, Perkins notes.
SuNNS is asking the Ministry of Energy and Mines to immediately instruct staff to visit all drill hole sites and return in 6 months with a report on their condition.
SuNNS is asking Minister Mombourquette to issue an order that any polluting drill holes be immediately capped by the Ministry of Energy and Mines, upon discovery of their “leaking” status.
SuNNS is asking Minister Mombourquette to remove new regulatory language that allows landowners to request wells remain uncapped.
SuNNS once again calls on the Ministry of Energy and Mines to abandon plans to issue a Request for Proposals for gold mining exploration or development in the French River Watershed and the six other watersheds in the current Enclosure Area.
SuNNS further supports the efforts of the Municipality of Colchester as it seeks “Protected“ status for the French River Watershed under the Environmental Act given that the French River is the sole source of water for the Village of Tatamagouche.

Let’s Talk Tidal Power: What’s Happening in the Bay of Fundy?

NSEN Tidal Event Photo.pngAs the world moves to replace fossil fuels with clean renewable energy, Nova Scotia finds itself with some of the world’s greatest tidal power resources in the iconic Bay of Fundy. After decades of research and pilot projects, however, some people are growing concerned that the present course of development will have negative consequences for the natural systems of the Bay and the livelihoods and cultures that are tied to it. So, what’s happening in the Bay of Fundy?

The Nova Scotia Environmental Network and the Halifax Central Library are proud to present this panel discussion to help the public understand who is who in the tidal energy sector, the history of development, where things stand today, what is at stake, and how the future could unfold. 

Moderated by Dr. Boris Worm of Dalhousie University, the panel will include tidal researchers, developers, regulators, First Nations, and fishers, bringing together a diverse set of perspectives for a balanced discussion and Q&A period.


Funding for this program is provided by the Atlantic Council for International Cooperation and Global Affairs Canada.

Click attending and share our Facebook event here!

OPINION: Why I’m Finding it Difficult to Believe in the Current Corporate-Owned Capitalist Political System We Have

I wish I could believe. I respect progressive politics– the creators of the CCF (Co-operative Commonwealth Federation – they were my people after all [Baptists!]). I’ve believed for a long time. I want to believe now. I really do. Trudeau has nailed the final nail in the coffin of me not believing in the voting and election process. I wrote “Spoiling the ballot” as a shout out to trigger an example of the level of civil disobedience needed. I really feel we have flatlined as far as governments go–there are no worse and no better because what we desperately need NOW– a declaration of a state of emergency and a war level effort to slow global warming–they cannot produce. They are all chained to being bad because the corporate capitalist takeover of democracy is complete.

I’ve been reading and listening to Chris Hedges for eight years. He’s saying we MUST carry out acts of legal, peaceful civil disobedience. Most of us who have slipped from the middle to the lower income quintile are now the “underclass” that indigenous Canadians have been for 250 years. We really need to join with them in resisting environmental “extractivism” and degradation. John Risley doesn’t need any more profit for a second private plane. Galen Weston doesn’t need any more profit from his palm oil-laced processed foods to the detriment of the rainforests being decimated and the habitat of orangutans and tens of thousands of species lost. For our junk food? To make us obese? Why is this allowed? Because governments will not regulate industry because industry owns them, the way Northern Pulp owns McNeil, the way the Big Boys owned Dexter and every other politician who gets into power.

All our employment must come from small organic farming (permaculture) operations. Everyone must go “back to the garden” and governments need to help people get back to growing their own food. Focusing on a non-polluting energy industry and an improved grid, as well as a new tax system which heavily taxes the richest (as FDR did in the 1930s) in order to create clean infrastructure jobs,  should be prioritized. Selective silva culture forestry and rebuilding of the Acadian forest will follow.

Prevention of lifestyle disease through nutrition education and massive numbers of public government-run kitchens which distribute fresh food and teach skills about what our bodies need and what the environment can handle now is key for a healthy future. Extreme heat and irregular weather is upon us, so we must shut down biomass, fracking, coal mining and pulp mills, (nationalize our energy system), restore salt marshes for protection from storm surges and put people to work doing all these things.

We need to encourage the creation of organic farms, clean energy technology, conservation (rewilding, tree planting), a plant-based diet and active transportation programs to encourage exercise and healthy eating. Redistribution of excess food to low-income households should be a law–no corporation should be throwing out perfectly good food. All these things must be put in place by government.

Thirteen-year-olds are striking from school and suing federal governments. They know they have no future. We have to do something more radical because of the climate crisis is fully upon us. Even at the oft-quoted 1.5 degrees temperature rise limit, growing food may be too difficult. PEI ploughed under 30% of its potato crop this summer. Growers told me it was the hardest year to grow food they have seen in 30 years. If that’s the case at 1.1 degree temperature rise that we already have, what will 1.5 degrees bring?

Seven years ago we were at 380 parts per billion of CO2. Now we’re up to 412 and it’s rising in greater increments all the time, especially in the last two years. We have to draw down, and drawback from business as usual which federal and provincial governments exemplify as fast as possible on our own and maybe with the help of municipal governments declaring a state of emergency. We need to collapse unregulated corporate capitalism. Piketty’s book is called ‘The End of Capitalism‘. The sooner we get there, the very slight chance we have to create a green economy and a more socially just world.

Climate disruption demands we change everything from plastic bags to limiting flying to the shifting the tax system to upping public transportation and limiting car use in urban cores. We must tax the rich heavily and use all the money to transition to a no carbon, zero growth economy. We have no time to wait for governments who are under the thumb of Big Oil in the case of Trudeau and the Mafia (in the case of Thug Ford). We have no socialist party in Canada. Otherwise, the NDP or the Greens would have promoted things like “The Leap Manifesto” (in the case of the Federal NDP) or “Carbon Fee and Dividend” (in the case of the Green Party). There are no parties that will do what is needed. It’s a state of emergency, no less.

Chris Hedges doesn’t even get to talking about climate change. He has just thoroughly dissected and exposed neoliberalism, austerity and the corporate takeover of government. In Canada as well, we have books and articles written by whistleblowers. Such as ‘Deep Oil State‘, which spells out how the multinational oil companies took over the federal government, and Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret exposes what factory farming is doing to the atmosphere, not to mention our health. The UN has announced our global food system is broken. People are starving; people are morbidly obese; people are full of disease caused by what they eat or don’t eat. Corporate agriculture and billionaire food processing giants are killing us so that big pharma can squeeze millions of insurance dollars out through heavy drug prescribing.

As Chris Hedges said, “If we don’t stop them, they’re going to kill us all.” Climate change is the most obvious evidence of how the thugs, the goons, the greedy, the sociopaths, the criminal, the power mongers that control the world are killing us.

We need to have face to face discussion about what we, the people must do in Nova Scotia and all across Canada. That’s why I’m trying to bring activists together to brainstorm and listen to each other. Convince me that the NS NDP will come with policies that address all these concerns.

The frog is seconds from croaking its last croak. We need to get him out, do major revival work on him and there’s a minuscule chance he will recover. But we have to make Nova Scotians understand what Hedges is saying and that’s a big challenge unless maybe they can see how serious it is now because of the difficulty growing food.

By Joanne Light