START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
Apr 16, 2009
Focus: Environment
Action Request: Meeting
Location: Canada

The Polaris Institute, in collaboration with the Sierra Club of Canada and the Other Side Radio (CFMU-Hamilton) presents:

 Tar Sands Showdown: Campaign Training Workshops

April 24th – 25th      Hamilton       Skydragon Centre, 27 King William St.

• May 1st – 2nd          London         Wemple Student Lounge, 266 Epworth Ave, King's College, University of Western Ontario

Take Action Now: participate in your local workshops and build the tools to collectively take on the Tar Sands!

Tar Sands Showdown is taking place in five Southwestern Ontario cities.  Each workshop will illustrate how local Ontario communities are affected by the tar sands, and how Canada can move away from dirty oil and towards a green energy economy.  The workshops will include a Friday evening information session and a day-long workshop on Saturday.      

The Friday evening will consist of a workshop and discussion about the tar sands, and how we're all affected in terms of our environment, our economy and our energy future.

Saturday is focused on what we can collectively do to move away from the tar sands.
The schedule is posted here:

Register online at:
Admission is sliding scale: $5-$25. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds.

The Polaris Institute is committed to enabling social movements to  work together for change in an age of corporate driven globalization.   We are interested in creating a space where dialogue and collaboration  is fostered as we work towards a just and sustainable future.  Work with us and other activists as we educate and empower ourselves to resist the tar sands and start building a new energy economy for the future!

Please check for other information on the workshops

Or contact Darren Puscas at for further information


Workshop Objective and Strategies:

OBJECTIVE: The overall objective of these workshops is to provide a training process for concerned individuals in a given community or workplace setting to engage in concrete action strategies and tactics on tar sands issues.

More specifically, the workshops are designed to train people to implement strategies and tactics aimed at challenging the production, sale and export of tar sands crude. In so doing, the objective is to build a broader base of core organizers to move this campaign forward.

STRATEGIES: The workshops will be designed to be as participatory as possible by drawing on the knowledge and experience of the participants. Participants will be encouraged to identify and develop strategies and tactics to take forward. The following is a short list of potential strategic action outcomes of the workshops:

           • Public education campaign linking the tar sands to manufacturing job losses
           • Local municipal government resolutions refusing to purchase tar sands crude
           • Building a community alliance for a new energy & green jobs economy
           • Organizing community opposition to tar sands infrastructure like pipelines/refineries

Jessie Kalman

Outgoing Tar Sands Watch Campaigner

(613) 237-1717 ext. 106

*Elly Adeland will be taking over my former duties as of May 2009

Her email address is, the extension remains the same

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Posted: Apr 16, 2009 10:16am
Sep 16, 2008

Send an automatic letter from here before Sept 22:

(All can send a letter - under Province/State choose last option - Country other than Canada/US.)


EBR Registry No. 010-4421

The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) posted its Recovery Strategy for woodland caribou on the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry in August. The public can now comment on MNR's Recovery Strategy and Discussion Paper, entitled Keeping Caribou in Ontario, and help set the direction for the province's Caribou Conservation Plan, which is being developed this year. Public comments on the discussion paper may also be used to inform the development of the woodland caribou habitat regulation under Ontario's new Endangered Species Act (ESA), expected in June 2009. Deadline for comments is September 22, 2008.

Now is the time to make your voice heard! Tell MNR that status quo logging operations must change to protect woodland caribou habitat.

Precious woodland caribou habitat has been reduced by approximately 50% over the past century. These iconic animals are indictors of a healthy boreal forest. Caribou have disappeared from vast tracts of boreal forest where logging and road building has occurred. A strong conservation strategy for woodland caribou is needed not only to protect biodiversity and ensure woodland caribou populations are maintained in our province, but as a key indicator of sustainable development.

It is important that MNR hear from conservation supporters: often our input pales in comparison to the volume submitted by the forestry sector, which lobbies to maintain status quo logging operations. Responses that are in your own words are weighed more heavily than those that are viewed as a copied template, so, if you are able, please take the time to draft a personal response including the following points, as you deem appropriate.

The discussion template included in MNR's Discussion Paper is quite limited, so we suggest that you either:

  1. Use the key points outlined below to answer questions 5) and 6) of the Discussion Paper. These questions ask for the key components of a realistic long-term Caribou Conservation Plan and additional recommendations or concerns; or
  2. Ignore the Discussion Paper and draft your own letter-contact information is listed below.

Both of these options offer an opportunity to provide comments on the future Caribou Conservation Plan. Be sure to reference the Discussion Paper's EBR registry number: 010-4421. Comments are due September 22nd.

Main points:

  1. The current recovery strategy fails to meet ESA requirements.
    Ontario's new Endangered Species Act requires that recovery strategies include recommendations that identify specific areas for habitat regulation and protection under the Act. MNR's caribou Recovery Strategy outlines only an approach for identifying habitat-it thus fails to meet this critical ESA requirement.
  2. The Caribou Conservation Plan must not be based on the unfounded assumption that the current forest management planning approach will maintain woodland caribou across its current range.
    The recovery strategy does not set out an alternative to the current forest management planning regime, which assumes that logged areas will return to woodland caribou habitat after 40-60 years. There are no peer-reviewed scientific studies that demonstrate that caribou habitat will be maintained as timber harvesting moves further north into intact forests. In fact, an independent science panel appointed to review the Recovery Strategy noted that "The Strategy demonstrates over-confidence in the capacity of habitat management to effectively protect caribou, given that it relies on the untested hypothesis that caribou will eventually return to use industrially logged areas." (see link below). Management frameworks must apply the precautionary approach, which would ensure that management experiments occur only at small scales, not over the entire landscape where they could, and likely will, threaten caribou survival and recovery.
  3. The Caribou Conservation Plan must protect remaining intact caribou habitat.
    Caribou depend upon intact forest landscapes. As woodland caribou range has already receded by 40-50%, remaining intact forests should be protected to ensure caribou survival and recovery, and provide an opportunity for increased research and the application of adaptive management.
  4. Local caribou ranges must be delineated.
    In order to adequately plan for and implement conservation measures, local caribou ranges must be delineated. This research must be prioritized and adequately supported, so that sufficient information is available for the development of the caribou habitat regulation by June 2009.
  5. Caribou Conservation Plan needs a progressive framework that recognizes that the social and economic value of the boreal forest depends upon maintaining its ecological value.
    The last question of the Discussion Paper, question 7, asks: "How important is it to find ways to balance social and economic considerations with caribou recovery?" (The answer boxes range from "extremely important" to "not important at all.") This question re-enforces the false dichotomy between environment and local economies that has significantly marred conservation efforts in Ontario. The new Caribou Conservation Plan must recognize that our economies depend upon healthy ecosystems.


The Discussion Paper can be found here
EBR Registry Number: 010-4421

The Recovery Strategy can be found here
EBR Registry Number: XB06E6016

The Science Review Panel's report can be found here

Email address for comments:

Snail mail address:
Jason Travers
Ministry of Natural Resources
Natural Resource Management Division
Fish and Wildlife Branch
Species at Risk
300 Water Street
Peterborough Ontario
K9J 8M5
Phone: (705) 755-1754
Fax: (705) 755-1788

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Posted: Sep 16, 2008 5:21am


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Elena P.
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