TRANSITION BROCKVILLE

  • Last month's presentation

    The July 28 talk on electric vehicles drew an astonishing crowd of 70 people to the Brockville Public Library. A fully engaged audience heard Frank Ahern describe the process of choosing an electric car and keeping track of its performance. He compared hybrid electric plug-in cars and all-electric cars, discussed batteries, driving range and charging stations, and much more. We thank Frank and his wife Doyne for sharing their experience with us.

    Thanks to Gord McFarlane of Plug 'n Drive and Jeff Goodman of Sustainable North Grenville for their contributions to the discussion, and to all those in the audience who added to our knowledge of electric vehicles and even how they are promoted by governments in other countries, such as the Netherlands.

    Although torrential rain fell during Frank's talk, the skies cleared in time for everyone to go out to the Buell Street parking lot to see a good number of EVs (including domestic and foreign makes and Teslas), talk with their owners, and even get to sit in an EV.

    If you missed the fun, all is not lost. Frank has generously provided the material from his talk, which is now available on the Transition Brockville website here.

    Thanks to the City of Brockville for arranging to block off a section of the parking lot for this EV show. As always, thanks to the Brockville Public Library, our partner in offering presentations.

  • Gardeners celebrate new sign posted at Dana Street Community Garden

    The new community garden in the Dana Street park in the city's north end now boasts a beautiful big sign, attached to the tree-shaded tool shed and unveiled at a short ceremony on Saturday, August 17.

    Gardeners who've been tending the 10 plots of veggies, herbs and flowers this summer, along with members of the garden organizing committee, welcomed Councillor Leigh Bursey, standing in for the mayor. Bursey, saying the City is glad to have been able to assist in establishing this second community garden in Brockville, handed out certificates of appreciation.

    The sign recognizes the support of founding members: Food Matters Coalition; City of Brockville; Transition Brockville; St. John Bosco Catholic School; Volunteer Centre St. Lawrence Rideau; Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit; and Gemmels Garden Centre.

    It acknowledges funding from the Brockville Community Foundation, City of Brockville Legacy Fund, Jane Goodall's Roots and Shoots, and TD Friends of the Environment, as well as donations of lumber from Home Hardware Building Centre, topsoil from Ken Miller Excavating, and the land, compost and water supply from the city.

    The sign also recalls the morning in May when some 20 people gathered at the site to cut wood, build the beds and fill them with soil and compost. What a community building project this has been!

  • Upcoming Transition events
    • Transition Brockville Steering Committee, Wednesday, September 11, 7:00 pm, at the Royal Brock Retirement Living, 100 Stewart Blvd., Brockville. Anyone interested in becoming more involved with Transition initiatives is warmly invited to attend this meeting. Call 613-345-4020 for more information.
    • Culture Day in Brockville, Saturday, September 28, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm, King St. West. Transition Brockville will have a booth and will be signing people up for its next workshop (beeswax wraps and homemade laundry soap and other cleaning supplies) in partnership with the Brockville Public Library.
    • 100 Debates on the Environment - Brockville, Wednesday, October 2, 7:00 pm (note change of date) at a Brockville venue to be announced shortly. With an eye to ensuring environmental issues are in the forefront of the upcoming federal election, Transition Brockville, in partnership with Sustainable North Grenville and Citizen’s Climate Lobby Canada, is organizing an all-candidates debate focused solely on environmental policies and positions of the various political parties. This initiative is part of the 100 Debates on the Environment project, a non-partisan effort to organize all-candidate panels in 100 federal ridings across the country.
         If you are interested in volunteering in any capacity to help make this undertaking a success, or if you are a local organization, business or individual interested in joining the organizing committee, please contact Transition Brockville at info@transitionbrockville.com.

REGIONAL

  • Former Homestead flagship to set sail as Greenside Organics
    Eastern Ontario AgriNews / Tom Van Dusen / 31 July 2019
    The sidelined Berwick organic feed mill is expected to be up and running under new ownership by September. Former flagship of the collapsed Homestead Organics operation, the mill will also have a new name: Greenside Organics. The name change isn't a slight on Homestead, said buyer Peter Jegachandran; legal issues require new company identification. While Jegachandran has limited agricultural experience, he does own cropland which he leases to conventional farmers. A businessman involved in …

ONTARIO

  • Consultation on proposed changes to provincial land use policy
    NFU Local 316 / 08 August 2019
    The Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs has announced online consultations on the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS), the primary provincial land use policy document guiding municipal decision-making, including how growth, development, farmland, wildlife habitat, and public health and safety are managed. The provincial government's pro-development position could threaten efforts toward farmland preservation and environmental protection. To submit your comments, go to: …
  • Ontario plan costs taxpayers more than federal carbon tax
    The Energy Mix / Jesse Snyder / 04 June 2019
    The Ford government's new climate plan for Ontario will cost taxpayers half again as much as the federal carbon tax, according to a new analysis released yesterday by Canadians for Clean Prosperity. "The Clean Prosperity report found that the Ontario plan would be more expensive largely because it would 'cherry-pick' certain sources of emissions to cut and would cost C$334 million in 2022, or $62 per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions removed. The federal plan would cost $214 million in 2022, or …
  • Trying to be Canada's first carbon-neutral community
    Maclean's / Alireza Naraghi / 23 July 2019
    An hour's drive from Toronto on the northwestern edge of Milton, Ont., is a little-known town with a little-known story of climate-change activism. With about 350 residents, Eden Mills has long sought to preserve its 19th-century charm, making it a haven for big-city escapees who enjoy cycling or placid walks along the Eramosa River. More recently, though, its inhabitants have worked toward a distinctly 21st-century goal: becoming Canada's first carbon-neutral community. The project has defined …

CANADA

  • Prison farms up and running again
    CBC News / Amanda Pfeffer / 15 August 2019
    The federal government released details Thursday about the relaunch of Canada’s prison farm program. Cows have already returned to prisons in Joyceville and Collins Bay, Ont., which are located in and around the Kingston, Ont., area. Goats have also returned to Joycevillle, and are expected to arrive in Collins Bay in 2020. Inmates have been involved in the work to get the farms back in order, but they have not begun actually farming. “It’s very satisfying to see that …
  • Canada launches new climate data portal
    Environment and Climate Change Canada / 15 August 2019
    Climate change is real and it is accelerating. Climate change can also intensify extreme weather events like floods, droughts, and heatwaves. And Canadians across the country are feeling the effects of these changes through the impact it has had on their homes, businesses, and their health. That is why the Government of Canada is providing access to climate data and information that will help protect Canadians from its worst impacts. Today, Catherine McKenna, the Minister of Environment and …

THE BIG PICTURE

  • Heatwaves sweep the planet
    Clean Energy Review / 29 July 2019
    Not wanting to be outdone by June’s record-smashing temperatures, July has shown the world a new meaning of the word “heatwave.” France, the Netherlands and Germany are just a few of the countries to set new all-time temperature records, while parts of Canada cooked in 35C heat. And it’s because of (you guessed it) climate change. Climate change increases the likelihood of heatwaves. And with back-to-back record summers containing back-to-back record heatwaves, the …
  • ‘July Has Re-Written Climate History’
    Common Dreams / Andrea Germanos / 02 August 2019
    The World Meteorological Organization said Thursday that July 2019 may go down as the hottest month the planet has seen thus far in recorded history. “July has re-written climate history, with dozens of new temperature records at local, national, and global level,” said WMO chief Petteri Taalas. Using data from Europe’s Copernicus Climate Change Program from the first 29 days of the month, the WMO said that July at least equaled—and may have broken—the dubious record set in …
  • ‘Ecological grief’: Greenlanders traumatised by climate emergency
    The Guardian / Dan McDougall / 12 August 2019
    The climate crisis is causing unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety to people in Greenland who are struggling to reconcile the traumatic impact of global heating with their traditional way of life. The first ever national survey examining the human impact of the climate emergency, revealed in the Guardian on Monday, shows that more than 90% of islanders interviewed fully accept that the climate crisis is happening, with a further 76% claiming to have personally experienced global heating …
  • Animals adapt to climate heat, but too slowly
    Physics World / Tim Radford / 09 August 2019
    Earth is home to many millions of species that have evolved – and adapted or gone extinct – with successive dramatic shifts in climate over the last 500 million years. The rapid heating of the planet in a climate emergency driven by profligate fossil fuel use threatens a measurable shift in climate conditions and is in any case coincident with what looks like the beginning of a mass extinction that could match any recorded in the rocks of the Permian, or other extinctions linked with global …
  • Farming and eating need to change to curb global warming
    CBC News / 08 August 2019
    The way the world manages land, produces and eats food has to change to curb global warming or food security, health and biodiversity will be at risk, a United Nations report on the effects of climate change on land said on Thursday. The report said global population growth and changes in consumption patterns have caused unprecedented rates of land and water use. It called for big changes to farming and eating habits, but stopped short of explicitly advocating going meat-free.…
  • We’re failing our kids
    Post Carbon Institute / 21 May 2019
    Post Carbon Institute Executive Director Asher Miller gets emotional when pleading with other parents in his local community to respond to the climate crisis.

STUFF YOU CAN DO

  • What we can do now
    Toronto Star / Megan Ogilvie / 12 July 2019
    It's clear that Canada, like the rest of the world, is facing a climate crisis. From melting permafrost in the north, to ninja rain storms in our cities, to the shifting shores on our coasts, we've seen the evidence: climate change is real. We have the facts. So, what comes next? With no single checklist to follow, no series of straightforward steps to take that will make it all go away, it's hard to know what to do. But there are some strategies that will help safeguard our homes, our …
  • ‘Action really helps’ youth struggling with climate anxiety
    Yahoo! News / 03 August 2019
    Treating climate anxiety in children is very similar to treating general anxiety, [child psychologist Rhonda] Matters said. Acknowledging a child’s anxiety over climate change and weather events is one of the most helpful and key methods in managing the anxiety, Matters said. It also allows children to think about the constructive things they can do about the situation. “Action really helps with anxiety. Feeling out of control or helpless increases or grows our anxiety. But feeling …
  • Federal incentives help small- and medium-sized businesses
    Sustainable Kingston / Tess Wittmann / 31 July 2019
    Small and medium business owners in Ontario have a tight timeline of opportunity to receive federal funding to improve the sustainability of operations and their bottom lines. The Government of Canada's newly launched Climate Action Incentive Fund: Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises Project stream, covers new sustainability projects undertaken by businesses with fewer than 500 employees. Eligible projects range from retrofitting a fleet of trucks to use biodiesel, to purchasing …
  • Helping pollinators in Ottawa, one native plant at a time
    CBC News / Robyn Miller / 10 August 2019
    Her garden is alive with butterflies and buzzing with bees, and all Berit Erickson had to do was plant flowers native to eastern Ontario. Now, Erickson is encouraging others to roll up their sleeves and install similar pollinator gardens in Ottawa. “There’s really a critical need. Pollinator populations are declining and all insect populations are declining. Insects are the foundation of food webs,” she said. Erickson has been gardening at her home in Carlingwood for 20 years, …
UPCOMING EVENTS

How can we address climate change on our farms?

NFU Local 316
WHEN: Wednesday, August 21, 7:00 pm (6:30 pm for food)
WHERE: Fat Chance Farmstead, 3711 County Rd 38, Harrowsmith

Join us at the first meeting of the NFU Local 316's subcommittee on climate action and soil carbon. We will discuss what we can do as a community, not only on our farms, but through collective action across our region.

Food will be provided starting at 6:30 pm, meeting at 7. Please RSVP to doublejayfarms@gmail.com if you plan to be there for the food.


Brock Trail Slow Ride

Brockville Cycling Advisory Committee
WHEN: Saturday, August 24, 9:30 am
WHERE: Firehall on Laurier Blvd, Brockville

A "slow ride" is a casual, relaxed, social, recreational bicycle ride for those of all ages and riding abilities. All ages welcome!

There is limited parking at the Firehall, but lots across the road at Memorial Park.


Screening: The Biggest Little Farm

Film Brockville
WHEN: Sunday, August 25, 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm
WHERE: Brockville Arts Centre, 235 King Street West, Brockville

THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM chronicles the eight-year quest of John and Molly Chester as they trade city living for 200 acres of barren farmland and a dream to harvest in harmony with nature. Through dogged perseverance and embracing the opportunity provided by nature's conflicts, the Chesters unlock and uncover a biodiverse design for living that exists far beyond their farm, its seasons, and our wildest imagination. Featuring breathtaking cinematography, captivating animals, and an urgent message to heed Mother Nature's call, THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM provides us all a vital blueprint for better living and a healthier planet.

Tickets: $10 incl. tax. More info: filmbrockville@gmail.com or 613-213-6000


Seed Saving Workshop

Brockville Public Library
WHEN: Sunday, September 8, 2:00 pm
WHERE: Brockville Public Library, 23 Buell Street, Brockville

Free admission. Join us to learn how to harvest and store a variety of seeds from your garden with Master Gardener Mary Ann Van Berlo from Brockville & District Horticultural Society.


Open Farms 2019

County of Frontenac
WHEN: Sunday, September 8, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
WHERE: South Frontenac Township

Get a behind-the-scenes look at real working farms. This year 10 local farms will show the public what life is like on an every day working farm -- a great opportunity to learn about raising animals ethically and growing crops sustainably. If you're interested in sourcing more of your food from local, small scale producers, this is the event for you. Lots of family fun to be had, with tours, animals and hands-on activities. Remember, these are real working farms, so be prepared to get a little mud on your boots. Plus, new this year the Frontenac County Plowing Match will be held in Inverary in conjunction with Open Farms.

For more information, check out the Open Farms web page: www.openfarms.ca


Climate Emergency: Why, and what must we do?

Diocese of Ontario Green Group
WHEN: Thursday, September 19, 6:30 pm
WHERE: St. George's Cathedral, 270 King Street East (at Johnson), Kingston

Guest speaker: Dr. Dianne Saxe, Environmental Lawyer and Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (Emeritus)

  • What is happening to Ontario's environment?
  • Why so many declarations of "Emergency"?
  • What must we do as individuals, families, and the country?

Admission: free (goodwill offering for Group Speaker Series)


Green Energy Doors Open - GEDO 2019

OSEA
WHEN: Friday, September 20 - Monday, September 23
WHERE: Ontario-wide

GEDOTM is a public exploration of Ontario's Sustainable Energy Technologies.

More info: http://ontario-sea.org/event-3421821


Medicine Walk

Brockville Public Library
WHEN: Thursday, September 26, 6:00 pm
WHERE: Brockville Public Library, 23 Buell Street, Brockville

Take a short walk in downtown Brockville and see what is growing, appreciate what is around us, learn about harvesting and giving thanks. Free, please pre-register at the Library.


Culture Day in Brockville

WHEN: Saturday, September 28
WHERE: King Street West - Buell to Perth Street, Brockville

Culture Days is a national celebration of arts and culture. At the end of each September, millions of people attend thousands of participatory arts and culture events across the country. Culture Days programs invite the public to get hands-on and behind-the-scenes to highlight the importance of arts and culture in our communities.


100 Debates on the Environment - Brockville

Transition Brockville, Sustainable North Grenville and Citizen’s Climate Lobby Canada
WHEN: Wednesday, October 2, 7:00 pm
WHERE: Brockville, venue to be announced

This is one of 100 non-partisan all-candidate debates on the environment being held across Canada. Let's help to create a Canada-wide conversation between candidates and constituents about the environment. The more people who attend, the more powerful our message will be.