Newsletter 085, 16 December 2013

Even though residents are doing their share, Ontario is running out of licensed landfill capacity. Since 1989, 649 of Ontario's 730 landfills have closed. Alternatives to landfill are becoming increasingly costly and the approval and assessment processes are very time consuming.

Ontario produces an estimated 12.5 million tonnes of solid waste per year, predominantly from the industrial, commercial and institutional (IC&I) sector. This sector produces over 60 per cent of the overall waste in Ontario, with a diversion rate of only 12 per cent. By comparison, of the 4.7 million tonnes of residential waste produced in 2011, 46.5 per cent was diverted.

Currently, property taxes pay for over 50 per cent of the actual Blue Box Program costs, subsidize some Household Hazardous Waste programs and pay 100 per cent of the costs of litter control, garbage collection and disposal.

The Province's proposed Waste Reduction Act aims to make individual producers responsible for the costs of managing the waste created by their products and packaging. This should provide property taxpayers with some relief, particularly as it could lift the 50 per cent cap on industry funding for the Blue Box Program.

[ TB: Bill 91 is currently in its Second Reading where it has been undergoing debate since September 24, repeatedly stalled by the Opposition. There is a risk that the Bill may not proceed to the required Committee and then on to Third Reading. If you support Bill 91, now is the time to let your MPP know. ]


Upcoming Presentations

January 26: Tim Webb: Active Transportation and the Emergence of E-Bikes
February 23: Carol Williams: Inner Transition
March 23: [TBA]

Please let us know what you'd like to hear about, or to hear more about, through this online form.


Call for Steering Committee Members

Would you like to delve more deeply into global warming and peak oil issues on a regular basis? To make a tangible contribution to your community's resilience, rather than just ignoring or worrying? Join our Steering Committee and dedicate a few hours a month helping to guide our work. Contact us at

Community Outreach

Members of our Steering Committee are available to speak to groups throughout the community, whether it be a lunch-and-learn at your place of business, a formal presentation to your faith group, or an informal neighbourhood discussion. Contact us at

Local Business Directory

One of the most popular features of the TB website is our searchable Local Business Directory, which we set up to encourage patronage of locally owned businesses. Would you like to list your business with this free service? Would you like us to add any others? Contact us at

Our Top 50 Article Tags


Butler's Creek Community Garden and other BCGN news

Transition Brockville / 14 December 2013
The Butler's Creek Community Garden (BCCG), a pilot project of the Brockville Community Garden Network (BCGN), closed out its first season this fall - as a great success! The garden is located on the grounds of the Gord Watts Municipal Centre on North Augusta Road. Sixteen of the 20 available plots were used by...

Community Cooking Classes

YMCA of Brockville and Area
Community cooking offers weekly cooking classes to help you choose, plan and cook healthy and affordable meals. Hands on cooking sessions will feature healthy eating tips and food preparation skills. Make new friends, learn new skills, eat healthier and save money! Take home recipes and a meal for your family. No Fee...

Flood Risk Mapping in Brockville

Transition Brockville / 26 November 2013
TB: This statement appears in the City of Brockville's Zoning By-law Draft Discussion Paper (August 2013) which follows on from its new Official Plan: "The current zoning By-law addresses hazards related to the creeks by zoning them Environmental Protection (EP) to prohibit development. The EP zone is in...

Brock Trail design recommended

Recorder & Times / Ronald Zajac / 19 November 2013
The Brock Trail is one of many spending items still awaiting a council decision, but a design study on how improvements to the trail will look is a step closer to reality. Council's finance, administration and operations committee is recommending approval of a contract with local firm Rivervi...

New home for Homestead Organics

Cornwall Standard-Freeholder / Lois Ann Baker / 10 December 2013
After three years of looking, Homestead Organics has finally found a place that will allow them to expand their operations. Tom Manley, president of Homestead Organics, announced that the company has purchased a building on Allison Street in Morrisburg and is planning the reloca...

Local Communities Alarmed by Energy East Pipeline Plans

REAL / December Update / 26 November 2013
The proposed TransCanada Energy East pipeline is worth getting excited about, both for its local implications and what is says about Canada's non-existent energy strategy. TransCanada wants to convert its existing natural gas pipeline, which crosses through Mississippi Mills, under the Mississippi ...

Burritts Rapids Hydro Project - Update

Burritts Rapids Renewable Energy Association / 21 November 2013
Since the AGM in March 2013 the Burritts Rapids Renewable Energy Association (BRREA) board has continued its work to investigate options that will make the community hydro project financially viable and environmentally sound for the village. Discussions with Parks Canada have h...

City of Ottawa urged to consider Local Improvement Charges

Ecology Ottawa / Press Release / 31 October 2013
Thirty local businesses, community organizations and environmental groups wrote to Mayor Jim Watson and all Ottawa City Councillors today urging them to use Local Improvement Charges (LICs) to help homeowners save money and energy. Benefits to the City and its taxpayers include: a) access to a...


Communities honoured for conservation leadership

OPA ARC Vol 1 No 2 / December 2013
Three Ontario municipalities received top honours at this year's Community Conservation Awards, which celebrate the work municipalities are doing to support province-wide conservation goals. Burlington, Sault Ste. Marie and South-West Oxford received their awards at a Local Authority Services Symposium on...

SD&G OPP Offer E-Bike Regulations

EON / 23 August 2013
The Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police regularly receives questions about the rules around the use of e-bikes. The following outlines the rules and regulation about e-bike usage. Since October 3, 2009, electric bikes (both those resembling conventional bicycles and those resembling ...

Local Co-op Offering Shares in Solar Energy

LIFE Co-op / Press Release / 21 November 2013
The Local Initiative for Future Energy (LIFE) Co-operative will issue up to $5 million in shares over the coming year to build 18 or more community-owned solar power facilities. LIFE has received approval from the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) to release its offering statement t...


Butcher, baker and shoemaker: young entrepreneurs

Globe and Mail / Jacob Serebrin / 13 December 2013
Across the country, many young entrepreneurs aren't taking the high-tech route of making apps or software or hardware. Instead they're building small businesses in traditional, and sometimes artisanal, fields.

Boreal forests threaten to produce climate-warming gases

Ottawa Citizen / Tom Spears / 06 December 2013
The immense forests of Canada's north, relied on as a natural way to soak up greenhouse gases, are threatening to become major emitters of these gases instead. Canada has told the world for years that our forests help soak up carbon dioxide and store carbon. The argument is that this cancels ou...


Inexpensive oil vanishing at alarming rate

Globe and Mail / Eric Reguly / 14 December 2013
The oil shills, the tech geeks and most, but not all, oil companies would have you believe that non-conventional energy will fill the gap as the cheap, easy-to-pump oil heads gently into the night. It might, but at what price and cost to the environment? Or it might not at any price. Deep-sea pr...

The future of oil supply

The Royal Society / Richard G. Miller, Steven R. Sorrell / 02 December 2013
In combination, the papers provide a sobering picture of the challenges ahead. Most authors accept that conventional oil resources are at an advanced stage of depletion and that liquid fuels will become more expensive and increasingly scarce. The tight oil 'revolution'...

Oil industry sums do not add up

Financial Times / Mark Lewis / 25 November 2013
The most interesting message in this year's World Energy Outlook from the International Energy Agency is also its most disturbing. Over the past decade, the oil and gas industry's upstream investments have registered an astronomical increase, but these ever higher levels of capital expendit...

Our energy future is actually a risk management problem

Resource Insights / Kurt Cobb / 10 November 2013
Here's what risk management in energy policy implies: We must accept that we cannot know the future with any certainty and that the record of past forecasts demonstrate that we've been too optimistic about supplies for some time. The risks to energy supply cannot be quantified because ther...

Trendline: Barrels of Oil Affordable at the Average Wage

Our Finite World / Gail Tverberg / 07 December 2013
Attached is a chart I made showing the number of barrels of oil that average wages (defined as total wages divided by total population) can buy. There are only five years that the amount dropped below 200. Those were 1979, 1980, 1981, and 2011 and 2012. You can see why we have a problem now...

Imminent peak oil could burst US, global economic bubble - study

The Guardian / Nafeez Ahmed / 19 November 2013
A new multi-disciplinary study led by the University of Maryland calls for immediate action by government, private and commercial sectors to reduce vulnerability to the imminent threat of global peak oil, which could put the entire US economy and other major industrial economies at risk. The peer...

Gradual Climate Changes Could Cause Sudden Impacts

Climate Central / Brian Kahn / 03 December 2013
While changes in the Arctic might be most visible, it's changes in the globe's lower latitudes and oceans that are of equal or greater concern, [Penn State geoscientist Richard] Alley said. Those areas are where the majority of people and animals live and most of the world's food is produced....

17 Inches Of Rain In 90 Minutes

Climate Progress / Katie Valentine / 20 November 2013
Half a year's worth of rain fell in an hour and a half Monday night in the Italian island of Sardinia, flooding streets and killing at least 16 people. Sardinia was pummeled by 17.3 inches of rain Monday by Cyclone Cleopatra, a drenching that Franco Gabrielli, head of Italy's Civil Pro...

The Ever-Evolving Plight of the Honeybee

Mother Earth News / William H Funk / 2013
Summer months in the American countryside bring with them a number of reassuring sensations: sweltering heat offset by welcome storms; the clanking of bullfrogs in creeks and ponds; luminous songbirds flickering about in the treetops; and from field and hedgerow, coming and going with an earnest symmetry...

Chicken tumbling to add water - a widespread practice

The Guardian / Felicity Lawrence / 06 December 2013
Industry sources say the recession has given new impetus to adulteration of chicken. The price of grain to feed livestock has been at record highs, partly as a result of increased global demand and partly because extreme weather associated with climate change has affected crops. As a result, in...

Desert of the Real / John Thackara / 25 November 2013
It is surely alarming that the world's economy is being shaped by people who are mesmerised by all things digital - but who are blind to a much larger reality: the analogue knowledge accumulated in nature during 3.5 billion years of evolution. In his book Collapse, Jarred Diamond argues th...

Capitalism's March toward Global Collapse

Spiegel Online International / Harald Welzer / 06 December 2013
Imagine, for example, what might happen if a large number of businesses make the improvement of the common good -- instead of an increase in their profits -- the goal of their commercial efforts. There are in fact already more than 1,400 companies, if small ones, in German-speak...


While FoodWork is new, it operates together with GoodWork - bringing 12 years success in local food employment - with over 2,000 local food postings to date. We can assure you that your postings will attract great people here! Our Mission: to help people find meaningful work with local food groups, organizations, farms, businesses, school...

Energy-Saving Tips: 5 Ways to Lower Your Heating Bill

Mother Earth Living / Paul Scheckel / January/February 2010
Over the past 15 years, I've performed energy audits in thousands of homes. I tell people energy efficiency shouldn't be a hardship - in fact, it can be rewarding. Increasing your home's energy efficiency lowers energy bills and makes your home more comfortable. It doesn't t...

Seven reasons to shop locally

The Guardian / Joanne O'Connell / 06 December 2013
From literary bestsellers to the latest gadgets, there is no denying that the internet makes it far easier to compare the price of shopping. But some retailers claim the shift is now towards the high street, and buying locally is the message behind Small Business Saturday. Clare Rayner of Ret...

Break the Bank: Build Your Local Economy

Mother Earth News / Megan E. Phelps / December 2013/January 2014
Bartering was the original means of exchanging goods and services, predating the invention of money as we know it. Garden bounty was traded for sheep's cheese; mead was swapped for a woven blanket. Today, a resurgence in bartering is underway, as people turn away from our culture...

MOTHER EARTH NEWS has launched a new Facebook page just for our Ontario community! On this page, Ontario residents are encouraged to share "news, notes and networking with your neighbors," with primary emphasis on Ontario-specific information. Think of it as an online, user-generated, state-oriented ne...


A short review of how the jetstream and Rossby waves work, and some emerging indications that the dynamics may be changing in a warming world. This 5 minute excerpt from a longer presentation by Dr. Francis, original available here.

This is an animated visualization of the startling decline of Arctic Sea Ice, showing the minimum volume reached every September since 1979, set on a map of New York with a 10km grid to give an idea of scale. It is clear that the trend of Arctic sea ice decline indicates that it'll be ice-free for an increasingly large part of the year, with co...

Jeremy Leggett: "Make no mistake, this is an energy civil war"

Transition Culture / Rob Hopkins / 11 November 2013
Jeremy Leggett's new book The Energy of Nations: risk blindness and the road to renaissance is an inspirational, page-turning telling of the evolving tale of peak oil, climate change, and economic crisis, and how the three issues intertwine and interweave. I found it gripping, and what comes th...

Speaking at the University of Sydney, scientist, engineer and entrepeneur Saul Griffith lays out the energy requirements of a single person in a developed country - using his own behaviour as the model - using it as a basis for a discussion of the incredible challenges involved in replacing fossil-fueled energy with renewable and low-carbon forms. ...

A pair of climate scientists are calling for what some may view as a shocking solution to the global warming crisis: a rethinking of the economic order in the United States and other industrialized nations.

How Shall We Live, With the Earth in Crisis?

Peak Moment TV / 19 November 2013
When we actually face what's happening on the planet, the picture isn't pretty. Author Carolyn Baker (Speaking Truth To Power) is concerned by rapidly-unfolding climate change, and the fragile Fukushima reactor situation. Systems thinker Dave Pollard (How To Save the World) sees endgames for three inter-rela...

Using LICs for Energy and Water Retrofits on Private Property

Ecology Ottawa / Lars Wessman / 26 November 2013
Tobi Nussbaum's op-ed published in the Ottawa Citizen's online edition on Sunday argues that Ottawa should follow Toronto's lead in using local improvement charges (LICs) to fund energy retrofits on private property within the city of Ottawa...

How to Build a Rocket Stove Using Cement Blocks

Mother Earth News / Rebecca Martin / 29 November 2013
If you've not familiar with the concept of rocket stoves, these efficient cooking (and heating) devices are typically compact and simply designed. A rocket stove generates heat with substantially less environmental impact than an open fire, burning up about half the flammable material. Fi...

This is Jean Giono's story of one shepherd's long and successful singlehanded effort to re-forest a desolate valley in the foothills of the Alps in Provence throughout the first half of the 20th century, adapted by Canadian animator Frédéric Back in 1987. Real-life people in other countries have produced similar effects. Abdul Karim in I...


Community Cooking Class

WHEN: Thursday, January 9, 6:00 pm
WHERE: Brockville Wesleyan Church, 33 Central Avenue East, Brockville

Community cooking offers weekly cooking classes to help you choose, plan and cook healthy and affordable meals. Hands on cooking sessions will feature healthy eating tips and food preparation skills. Make new friends, learn new skills, eat healthier and save money! Take home recipes and a meal for your family. Classes continue on Thursday evenings until February 13. No fee. Call the YMCA of Brockville and Area at 613-342-7961 ext 0 to reserve your place today!

Pizza, Flat Bread, Focaccia Bread Workshop

WHEN: Saturday, January 25, 11:00 am
WHERE: Heritage Harvest Farm, 76 Crystal Rd, Jasper

Explore the versatility this technique allows you. Learn to create dinners and lunches that are healthy, easy, and leave you feeling like you just came from your favorite bakery. What you'll learn in our Pizza, Flatbread and Focaccia Bread Workshop: basic supplies and concepts of bread making; tips and techniques for crafting perfect doughs; the versatility of your basic artisan dough and how to turn it into something special; the importance of proper measuring, mixing, handling and proofing to ensure delicious results; how to ensure your dough is tender and tasty; transforming your basic dough into so much more with a few alterations; how to make warm healthy bread/dough for your family with no kneading required and only 5 minutes of working time. Cost: $40 plus tax. More info:

Eco Farm Day 2014: Getting to the Roots - Successful Organic Farming

WHEN: Saturday, February 22
WHERE: The Ramada Inn, 805 Brookdale Ave, Cornwall

The organic industry in Canada is one of the most dynamic sectors in the food industry, with annual retail sales of organic food reaching almost $3 billion in 2012. This year's Eco Farm Day is focused on the successful organic farming we need to meet this growing demand. The program includes in-depth workshops and sessions geared towards successful production, storage, marketing, and stewardship of the land and animals we work with. We're presenting dynamic conversations between members of the organic community, and we're throwing the doors wide open for you to share your ideas and experience. Eco Farm Day is going to be your best opportunity all year to learn from the experiences of other farmers in the region. Canadian Organic Growers is pleased to be working with other regional organizations like Organic Meadow and the University of Guelph's Alfred Campus who are sponsoring portions of the Eco Farm Day conference program. More info:

Introduction to Permaculture - Sustainable Design and Gardening

WHEN: Saturday, March 15 to Sunday, March 16
WHERE: Heritage Harvest Farm, 76 Crystal Rd, Jasper

Permaculture is a design system that creates sustainable environments. This system can be applied to gardens and landscapes as well as business models, buildings and even our personal lives. What you will learn in Introduction to Permaculture: ethics and principles; the design process; design strategies and how to apply them to everything; examples of permaculture; the permaculture networks in our area and how to connect with them. Throughout this course we will be submersed in both classroom work as well as outdoor hands-on learning. We have 36 acres of diversified land to observe, explore and learn from. You will leave this class with an understanding of exactly what permaculture is and how it can help you in many areas of your life. We have timed it so that you may apply what you have learned to your gardens and landscapes this coming season. Maximum of 15 participants. Cost: $130.00. More info:

GreenProfit Symposium

WHEN: March 24 to March 25
WHERE: Kingston

After three successful years, big changes are coming to the GreenProfit Conference in 2014. SWITCH and the Sustainable Energy Applied Research Centre (SEARC) are bringing a bigger and better sustainable energy event to Southeastern Ontario. The GreenProfit Symposium is a new event that combines the SWITCH GreenProfit Conference and the SEARC Sustainable Energy Symposium. Keynote Speaker: Gord Miller, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario. More details will be announced soon.

It is not the strongest of the species that survives... nor the most intelligent that survives.
It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.