Transition Brockville

Newsletter 097, 17 November 2014


Energy East will have 'negative' impact on natural gas consumers

Financial Post / Yadullah Hussain | 31 October 2014
Union Gas said it is disappointed with TransCanada Corp.'s decision to submit its Energy East application with the National Energy Board (NEB) without resolving its concerns with its natural gas customers.

The Chatham-Kent, Ont.-based natural gas distribution company said it "remains concerned" that TransCanada's 1.1-million bpd crude oil pipeline project, filed yesterday, "will have significant and negative impacts on natural gas consumers in Ontario and Québec."

TransCanada has proposed converting an existing natural gas pipeline for crude oil to link Alberta producers to eastern refineries and export markets. But the company ran afoul of its natural gas customers who believe they would be robbed of capacity at a time of rising demand, while raising costs for customers ...


Building Community through Active Mobility

Across Ontario, municipalities are moving quickly to embrace active mobility -- walking and cycling -- for a myriad of economic and health benefits. Today, over 50 percent of Ontarians live in one of 24 designated Bicycle Friendly Communities. Here in Brockville, city council has approved a ten-year capital funding stream to revitalize and complete the Brock Trail network and a bicycling network. Alan Medcalf, chair of the Brockville cycling advisory committee, is among those promoting active mobility here.

At our next presentation, Alan will talk on "Building Community through Active Mobility: An Update on Cycling and the Brock Trail." He'll review the evidence that communities that encourage active mobility are healthier and more sustainable, and can better attract families and businesses. He'll use slides, maps and other material to show how Brockville's progress on active mobility is unfolding, and explain the health and economic benefits that await. And he will briefly discuss the Brock Trail revitalization and expansion plans, Brockville's cycling network, and the Ontario Cycling Strategy.

As a volunteer community builder, Medcalf focuses on the intersection of active tourism, active transportation, and active leisure/recreation. He's a member of the tourism, school travel planning and Brock Trail committees.

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

Later Presentations

January 25: Hugh Campbell: Growth - A Reality Check
In the works: Emergency preparedness; A discussion on GMO foods

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


SC meetings now easier to attend

TB Steering Committee meetings have always been open. To make them easier to attend, they will now be held at a regular time and place. Come join the discussion at 7:00 pm on the second Monday of the month, in the boardroom on the 2nd floor of Bud's on the Bay. Please note that there are no meetings in December. The next SC meeting will be on January 12, 2015.

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 presentation to your board of directors or group members, or an informal neighbourhood discussion. Contact us at

Report delivers concrete options for Kemptville College

Kemptville College Renewal Task Force / 31 October 2014
The Kemptville College Renewal Task Force welcomes the report tabled at North Grenville council this week that calls for the creation of the Kemptville Centre for Rural Advancement. "The provincial facilitator, the Hon. Lyle Vanclief, asked for concrete proposals – this report paves ...

Tomlinson Group signs agreement to acquire Scott Environmental

Tomlinson Environmental Services / Press Release / 17 September 2014
The Tomlinson Group, a leader in civil construction and environmental services, today announced that Tomlinson Environmental Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Tomlinson Group, has signed an agreement to acquire Scott Environmental Group, including Norterra Organics. Th...

The Weissflogs' zero carbon home

OSEA / Press Release / 10 October 2014
In 2007 EcoGen Energy opened in Kemptville, Ontario, to help people reduce their carbon footprint through solar technology. At first, the company focussed on installing solar hot water systems, and [owner Chris Weissflog] qualified as a heating system designer, working on both domestic and commercial projec...

Fraser Institute report 'misses the mark' on Ontario wind

North American Windpower / 10 November 2014
A new Fraser Institute study misrepresents the impact of wind energy on the electricity bills paid by Ontario consumers, according to an analysis by Power Advisory LLC. The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) tapped the consulting firm to analyze a report from the Fraser Institute, which refer...

We're doing more with less

Ontario Clean Air Alliance / 10 November 2014
First the good news: Demand for electricity has been steadily falling in Ontario since 2005 despite a growing economy. The province is now producing 21% more goods and services for every kilowatt hour of electricity consumed than it was in 2005. Since the depths of the 2008-09 recession our econom...

Did Toronto just elect a green mayor?

Corporate Knights / Tyler Hamilton / 30 October 2014
Now that John Tory is Toronto's new mayor, what can we expect from him on the climate and environment file over the next four years? For one, the words "environment" and "climate change" are again being spoken with what appears genuine concern and conviction. During his campaign, ...

International recognition for co-operatives education program

ON Co-op / Newsletter / 14 October 2014
The All 4 Each program - a suite of youth, co-operative and community engagement initiatives presented by the Ontario Co-operative Association (On Co-op) - was awarded the Award of Excellence in the Mobilization and Involvement category by the International Summit of Cooperatives. The TOP.COOP award...

Temporal Power spinning renewable energy wheels

Globe and Mail / Richard Blackwell / 10 November 2014
For centuries, spinning wheels have been used to store energy. That's how potter's wheels work, with the energy in the disk helping maintain a consistent velocity. Flywheels are also key components of steam engines, where they convert energy from pistons into consistent rotational motion....

Green Werks garden at St. Joseph's

ON Co-op / Newsletter / 23 October 2014
Green Werks, a business unit of Team Werks Co-operative in Thunder Bay, is celebrating another successful harvest! Since 2011, the Green Werks garden has produced organically-grown vegetables and provided employment experience for consumers of mental health services. This year's crop was grown in a c...

Justin Trudeau continues Liberal greenwash legacy: Ex-govt insider

The Common Sense Canadian / Will Dubitsky / 27 October 2014
As a former Government of Canada employee, I can attest, from a unique insider's perspective, that various Dion/Liberal climate change action plans were all designed to fail, or lacking in substance to achieve stated GHG targets. Eddie Goldenberg, Chétien's highest ranked governmen...

Loosening of federal oil spill clean-up rules

Globe and Mail / Michelle Leslie / 30 October 2014
The new rules would allow industry to report to provincial petroleum boards, made up of political appointees, civil servants and safety officials. Under the new law, each province would have its own petroleum board and dispersant use could be pre-approved. That would mean that if an offshore spi...

Developed in concert with 3M, Cisco, Kimberly-Clark and the National Geographic Society, the initiative gives employees of these companies, their friends, families, and communities across the country access to solar power for their homes at a flat rate that is on average 35% lower than the national average a...

Watching the watchdogs: 10 years of the IEA World Energy Outlook / David MacLeod / 13 November 2014
The short version is this: The IEA World Energy Outlook has gradually moved from rosy to pessimistic reports over the last ten years, or what Stuart Staniford called "increasingly reality-based." Over the last decade, the report's projected oil demand has gradually decreased by 20 million b...

Ending the oil age

The New Internationalist / November 2014, Issue 477
Are we living through the dying days of the oil age? The oil industry is certainly facing challenging times. While the world is still thoroughly dependent on 'black gold', change is on the horizon. Capital expenditure by the largest oil companies is now five times what it was in 2000, yet p...

Andrew Nikiforuk breaks down the global oil price slump

The Tyee / Andrew Nikiforuk / 24 October 2014
The dramatic slump in global oil prices has, as usual, caught governments, industry and markets off guard. In fact, Brent oil prices, a global standard, have dropped by 25 per cent since last June. Given the chaos in Iraq, Syria, Libya and the Ukraine -- Russia is a major oil exporter -- some analysts...

Global groundwater crisis threatens food supplies and security

Climate Progress / Joe Romm / 31 October 2014
A new Nature Climate Change piece, The global groundwater crisis, by James Famiglietti, a leading hydrologist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, warns that "most of the major aquifers in the world's arid and semi-arid zones, that is, in the dry parts of the world that rely most heavily on gro...

Water crisis seen worsening as Sao Paulo nears 'collapse'

Bloomberg / Vanessa Dezem / 21 October 2014
"If the drought continues, residents will face more dramatic water shortages in the short term," Vicente Andreu, president of Brazil's National Water Agency and a member of Rousseff's Workers' Party, told reporters in Sao Paulo. "If it doesn't rain, we run the risk that the region will ha...

The unrestricted use of fossil fuels should be phased out by 2100 if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change, a UN-backed expert panel says. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says in a stark report that most of the world's electricity can - and must - be produced from low-carbon sources by 2050. ...

Climate depression is for real. Just ask a scientist.

Grist / Madeleine Thomas / 28 October 2014
From depression to substance abuse to suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder, growing bodies of research in the relatively new field of psychology of global warming suggest that climate change will take a pretty heavy toll on the human psyche as storms become more destructive and droughts more prolo...

Are we hard-wired to think we can grow forever?

The Daly News / James Magnus-Johnston / 31 October 2014
Trailblazing behavioural economists like Daniel Kahneman have discovered that human beings are highly irrational creatures prone to delusion, cynicism, and short-termism. In ecological economics, Bill Rees has argued that our mental genetic presets have hard-wired us for overconsumption and...

Preserving fall apples

Mother Earth News / Tammy Kimbler / 13 October 2014
Apple season is in full swing so now is high time for preserving apples for the rest of the year. The list of preserved apple goodness is dizzying, but here are ten of my favorites with something for everyone, including apple jelly, jam, pickles, dried apples, applesauce, apple butter, hard cid...

Got leaves? Put 'em to work!

Mother Earth News / Barbara Pleasant / 20 October 2008
'Tis the season for harvesting leaves, the most abundant free source of organic matter available to most gardeners. Microorganisms in soil and compost transform leaves into bits of organic matter, which helps the soil retain nutrients and moisture. By themselves, leaves contain small amount...

The benefits of using row covers in the garden

Mother Earth News / Niki Jabbour / 15 May 2013
In The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener (Storey Publishing, 2011), author Niki Jabbour shows how you can enjoy fresh-from-the-garden veggies even in the dead of winter using simple, cost-effective techniques. In this excerpt from Chapter 3, Jabbour expounds on the wonders of row covers: Made of semitra...

The Kingston Area Seed System Initiative (KASSI) is a grassroots organization founded by local farmers, backyard and market gardeners, and concerned community members. We promote responsible stewardship of our seed heritage. Our Goals are to ensure sustainable local food production by: Fostering a healthy regional seed system G...

In the last few years, students and graduates have become increasingly concerned about the ethical dimensions of their future career. For example, in a recent survey conducted by the National Union of Students, 79% said that they did not want to work for a company with a poor ethical record. Scientists and en...

Upskilling: What's the gist?

Transition Perth / Lesley / 24 October 2014
My definition: Anything that enhances practical life skills, thereby fostering resilience and personal power. We have far fewer such skills than we used to, for one thing because of a culture that has come to value specialisation, for another because we rely on fossil-fuel-powered machinery, and on...

Bearing witness

Kenn Orphan / 11 October 2014
In our society we are temporarily appeased by objects created for one use. In fact many wars of our age are fought for just this purpose. The plastic items that are choking our oceans were born in the darkness of oil wells and tar sands, drilled and scraped clean for the ease of a fleeting moment, and tossed away to...

Look back in joy: The power of nostalgia

The Guardian / Tim Adams / 09 November 2014
In strongly nostalgic states, individuals are shown to be more likely to commit to volunteering or other expressions of altruism. Their sense of the value of money is weakened, leading them to make wilful purchases. Couples use shared nostalgia narratives to create and strengthen bonds between them. In group situations those with induced nostalgia not only tend to feel more closely bonded with the group but...

  Arctic sea ice minimum volumes 1979-2014

Andy Lee Robinson / 11 October 2014
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 and updated to include 2014.

  South Florida and sea level rise

Yale Climate Forum / 11 November 2014
Anatomy of a slow motion catastrophe. Video focuses on mounting challenges facing residents and property owners in south Florida as saltwater intrusion and rising sea level become increasingly problematic.

  Climate change warning labels on gas pumps

TEDxYouth / 10 March 2014
Rob Shirkey is a Canadian lawyer and founder of Our Horizon, a not-for-profit climate change organization based in Toronto that empowers people and communities across Canada to change the world.

  Water ... at only 2000 times the price!

The Story of Stuff / 17 March 2010
The Story of Bottled Water, released on March 22, 2010 (World Water Day) employs the Story of Stuff style to tell the story of manufactured demand–how you get Americans to buy more than half a billion bottles of water every week when it already flows from the tap.

Naomi Klein, the award-winning journalist and author of global best-sellers The Shock Doctrine and No Logo, discusses her most provocative book yet, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate. Klein challenges the myths that cloud the climate debate, refutes the argument for dependence on fossil fuels ...

  Energy economics / 25 October 2014
The central point to this latest video is this: as we've shown in previous chapters of the Crash Course, our global economy depends on continual growth to function. And not just any kind of growth; but exponential growth. But in order to grow, it must receive an ever-increasing input supply of afford...

Feature Documentary White Water, Black Gold

Sustainable North Grenville
WHEN: Monday, November 17, 7:00 pm
WHERE: The Branch Restaurant & Texas Grill, Clothier St. E., Kemptville

Sustainable North Grenville is pleased to present a screening of White Water, Black Gold, a jarring new documentary film on the tar sands and the battle between water and oil by Edmonton director David Lavalleé. The film follows an imaginary drop of water, and later an imaginary drop of oil, unveiling the threats the tar sands pose to the third largest watershed in the world and two separate oceans. This is a film about the inextricable link between water and oil in our modern world, showing how the tar sands are impacting an element essential to all life on this planet. The 83-minute feature-length documentary is narrated by well-known actor, author, director and screenwriter Peter Coyote.

Following the film, local environmental writer Ian Angus will speak about the battle between water and oil right here in North Grenville – referring to the fragile aquifer that supplies 75% of residents' drinking water and the potential threats arising from the transport of diluted bitumen by the proposed Energy East project.

Admission/suggested donation: $2, towards the cost of the film. Open to the public. Snack foods and cash bar available. For more information please visit

Friends of Mac Johnson Wildlife Area AGM

Friends of Mac Johnson Wildlife Area
WHEN: Tuesday, November 18, 7:00 pm
WHERE: Community Room, 1000 Islands Mall, Parkedale Avenue, Brockville

Guest Speakers: John Taylor and Alan Medcalf, members of the City's Brock Trail Committee

Annual Recreation Summit

Rural Recreation Association (RRA) of Lanark, Leeds - Grenville
WHEN: Thursday, November 24, 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
WHERE: North Grenville Municipal Centre, 285 County Rd 44, Kemptville, ON

Keynote speakers, displays, panel discussions, fabulous lunch and great networking opportunities -- all for just $25.00. If you are interested in outdoor recreation, volunteer with community groups, or are a professional in the recreation or health care field, an educator or a sport enthusiast, then this day is for you.

Details available from the Chair of RRA Bonnie Schnittker at

Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference

WHEN: Monday, November 24 to Tuesday, November 25
WHERE: Four Points by Sheraton Kingston, 285 King Street East, Kingston

The 2014 Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference is our region's annual conference bringing together all aspects of our local food system. This event gives you the opportunity to:
  • Get a "bird's eye view" of what's happening in local food throughout eastern Ontario
  • Make key connections with businesses and organizations that can support your work
  • Attend sessions that address current challenges in Eastern Ontario's local food sector
  • Enjoy and celebrate eastern Ontario's local food offerings with others who are as passionate about local food as you are.
Who should attend?
  • Businesses involved in the local food sector: producers, processors, restaurants, retailers, food service providers, wholesalers and distributors
  • Institutions interested in providing local food
  • Organizations supporting local food with projects and programming
  • Municipal staff and politicians interested in tapping into the value of local food for tourism, health and prosperity
  • Economic developers exploring opportunities in local food
  • Researchers who work with the local food sector
  • Anyone interested in learning more about eastern Ontario's exciting local food economy
More info:

Christmas Lunch and Bake Sale

Loaves & Fishes
WHEN: Thursday, December 4, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm
WHERE: Loaves & Fishes, 25 Front Avenue West, Brockville

Choice of Soup with Veggie Wrap or Savoury Ham Biscuit, Chile with Cornbread, Dessert and Coffee or Tea
Cost: $8.50. All proceeds go to Loaves & Fishes.

TransCanada Pipeline Open House

TransCanada Pipeline
WHEN: Thursday, December 4, 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
WHERE: Lansdowne Community Building, Lansdowne

Purpose: To update residents about the progress of the Eastern Mainline Project application to the NEB. If approved, the natural gas pipeline could run north of Brockville, through the Mac Johnston Wildlife Area. For the most part, it will run parallel to existing TransCanada pipelines.

4th Annual "Give North Grenville" Silent Auction

Sustainable North Grenville
WHEN: Monday, December 8, 6:30 pm
WHERE: The Branch Restaurant & Texas Grill, Clothier St. E., Kemptville

Our December event has always been a fun, relaxed evening of candlelit seasonal cheer featuring a fantastic array of goods and goodies from our local merchants and artisans. Join us for some cheery company and conversation, support sustainability activities in our community AND more importantly snag some fabulous locally sourced gifts for friends and family! If luck doesn't go your way, meet some of our generous donors in person at the event and discover where you can pick up more of their products to complete your Christmas shopping list.

If you have something you would like to donate to the auction or you know of a local business or craftsperson who might be interested in offering an item or a service then please contact Chris at We are looking for locally-made crafts, edibles, clothing, cards, soaps or certificates for local goods and services.

Brockville Seedy Saturday

John Defayette and the Brockville Public Library
WHEN: Saturday, February 4, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
WHERE: Brockville Public Library, 23 Buell Street, Brockville

Seed exchange for veggies and ornamentals. Participation by Butler's Creek Community Garden, Athens Garden Club, City of Brockville and the Brockville Horticultural Society.

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.

Charles Darwin

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