Transition Brockville

Newsletter 103, 18 May 2015

Proposed Cycling Network for Brockville

Brockville Cycling Advisory Committee (BCAC)
The BCAC is developing a proposed cycling network for the City of Brockville. Design goals include good integration with other transportation modes, cost effectiveness, practicality, and ease of use for all levels of riders. Consulted in the process have been the Brock Trail committee, Safe Communities of Brockville, Leeds and Grenville, and the Brockville Police Service, as well as best practices as implemented in other communities.

As someone choosing to drive, cycle or walk, you are also a stakeholder, and your input can make this a stronger plan. We invite you to see and discuss the proposed plan before it goes to Council. Visit us at any of the following Information Sessions...


An Introduction to Permaculture

In their search for ways to reduce CO2 emissions, people are looking for alternatives to fossil fuel dependent industrial farming. Our next guest speaker, Kurt Liebe, will be presenting “Permaculture” as one of those alternatives. Liebe and his wife Michelle own “MiKu Valley”, a 68 acre permaculture homestead near Mallorytown, where they have built a meaningful life offering workshops and courses teaching permaculture principles.

Permaculture uses a holistic design approach for creating sustainable human settlements and food production systems. The philosophy involves working with, rather than against, nature, guided by the 3 Ethics of Permaculture: Care of the Earth, Care of the People, and Fair Share (return of surplus to Earth and People). It practises environmentally sound land use and builds stable communities through the harmonious interrelationship of humans, plants, animals and the Earth.

WHEN: Sunday, May 24, 2:00 pm
WHERE: Brockville Public Library, 23 Buell Street, Brockville

Later Presentations

June 28: Matt Brearley, GM: Two Rivers Food Hub
July 25 (Saturday): TBA
August 22 (Saturday): TBA

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


Action Item indicators

We continue the use of Action Item indicators in this issue of our newsletter. A click on the indicator will load a web page where you can take some action pertaining to that specific news item.

TB receives Community Foundation grant

The Brockville and Area Community Foundation has awarded Transition Brockville a grant of $750 in support of our outreach projects. As well as providing new signage for use at meetings and other events, this grant will allow us to establish a new lending library of sustainability related books in partnership with local bookseller Leeds County Books.

Steering Committee update

  • Our Steering Committee has been reviewing TB's Vision, Mission and Values statements, the second such review since the group was formed eight years ago. We expect the process to be completed by mid-summer.

  • An SC team has been formed whose goal is to liaise with the City of Brockville. The team met with Mayor David Henderson on May 5 to introduce itself and explore how an ongoing relationship could be developed. The Mayor recommended that the City's Economic Development and Planning (EDP) committee would be an appropriate channel. The team now plans to make a delegation to the EDP committee in the autumn.

  • The Transition Brockville Steering Committee meets at 7:00 pm on the second Monday of the month at Bud's on the Bay, 17 Broad Street. Our SC meetings are open. If you'd like to participate in some broad-ranging discussions on resilience and sustainability, please consider attending. The next SC meeting will be on June 8, 2015.

  • Members of the SC 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

At the April 21 meeting of Brockville's FAO Committee, Mr. Andrew Hejnar, local Energy Manager for 3M Canada, provided information regarding available programs and cost saving opportunities available to the city. According to meeting documents, Mr. Hejnar is very knowledgeable and has received 3M global awards for his work in energy conservati...

Biosphere seeks additional leaders, volunteers

Inside Brockville / Jan Murray / 13 May 2015
The Frontenac Arch Biosphere needs leaders. More specifically, it is looking for those who might be interested in taking on a leadership role and actively participating in helping to continue to achieve sustainable development [...] The three areas in desperate need of leaders are trails, heritage ...

Calling all young entrepreneurs: Program and funds available

Leeds Grenville Economic Development / eNews / 05 May 2015
Young people with a business idea can access support and seed funding with the Starter Company program offered through the Leeds and Grenville Small Business Centre. "It's a fantastic opportunity," said William Thomson, who has launched TechTutors through the second intake of the prog...

'Business incubator' opens in Smiths Falls

Recorder & Times / Sabrina Bedford / 02 May 2015
The unique space is ideal for work-at-home professionals, independent contractors, sole proprietors and business people who travel frequently, to work in a collaborative and connected space. It was planned and funded by Valley Heartland, a regional centre for business development located in Sm...

SunSmart Solar building wins award

SunSmart Solar / 29 April 2015
A North Grenville 9000 sq. ft. straw-bale office and warehouse building, located at 825 Van Buren Street in Kemptville, has been presented with a 2014 Butler Commercial Building Award. Butler Manufacturing annually awards buildings that use their components in unique ways, recognizing architectural appeal, great d...

Kudrinko’s certified as a true green grocer

Canadian Grocer / David Sherman / 21 April 2015
Kudrinko’s, a 10,000 sq. ft. independent grocer in Westport, Ont., is the first Canadian store to win Grocery Stewardship Certification. The certification from the Massachusetts-based Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences was developed to make the grocery sector more sustainable. The GSC...

Ottawa Tool Library: Coming soon!

Green Living Ottawa / Denise Deby / 15 April 2015
Ottawa’s new tool library is taking shape! The non-profit Ottawa Tool Library will be a place that people can go to borrow household, garden and kitchen tools, attend workshops, use the workspace and more. It makes economic and environmental sense to borrow tools you only need once in a w...


Phasing out coal: What we learned fighting dirty power

Ontario Clean Air Alliance / 10 April 2015
Ending the use of coal-fired electricity was a massive climate achievement — the equivalent of taking seven million cars off the road. The Ontario Clean Air Alliance led the 17 year campaign to end coal use in Ontario. Despite winning an early consensus that coal had to go for health and environment...

Last week, in front of international leaders and experts, including Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, we were present at the Québec Summit on Climate Change, where the vast majority of Canadian provinces and territories were represented. E...

microFIT 2015 Program Update

IESO / 24 April 2015
Due to the ongoing work in transitioning the microFIT Program to a net-metering initiative, there will be no substantial changes to the microFIT Program for 2015. This year’s annual procurement target is 50 MW. Please see the April 7, 2015, directive from the Minister of Energy for further information. The IESO rece...


Warning labels at the pumps?

National Post / Victor Ferreira / 11 May 2015
City council in West Vancouver, B.C., unanimously voted to support the placement of warnings, similar to those found on cigarette packages, about species extinction, ocean acidification and respiratory problems in children on every gas nozzle. The municipality will present the idea and look for suppo...

Co-op Caucus focuses on innovations in renewable energy

Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada / 30 April 2015
The All Party Caucus on Co-operatives met for the eighth time on April 23. The meeting focused on cooperatives working in the field of renewable energy and climate change adaptation. Hélène Leblanc presided over this meeting during which four co-operatives had the opportunity to give an over...

Wolves shot from choppers shows oil harm beyond pollution

Bloomberg / Rebecca Penty / 22 April 2015
Here’s one aspect of Canada’s energy boom that isn’t being thwarted by the oil market crash: the wolf cull. The expansion of oil-sands mines and drilling pads has brought the caribou pictured on Canada’s 25-cent coin to the brink of extinction in Alberta and British Columbia. To arrest the pop...

Beekeepers across the United States lost more than 40 percent of their honey bee colonies during the year spanning April 2014 to April 2015, according to the latest results of an annual nationwide survey. While winter loss rates improved slightly compared to last year, summer losses--and consequently, total annual los...

Why we have an oversupply of almost everything

Our Finite World / Gail Tverberg / 06 May 2015
The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article called, Glut of Capital and Labor Challenge Policy Makers: Global oversupply extends beyond commodities, elevating deflation risk. To me, this is a very serious issue, quite likely signaling that we are reaching what has been called Limits to Growth, a...

NASA scientists react to 400 ppm carbon milestone

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory / 05 May 2015
The global concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – the primary driver of recent climate change – has reached 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in recorded history, according to data from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. Since 1958, the Mauna Loa Observatory has been...

A community resilience take on the great transition / Richard Heinberg / 24 April 2015
It seems to me we could start with a recognition that crisis is now assured. That does not mean near-term extinction is inevitable, but it does mean that this century will almost certainly see ecological, economic, and social upheaval on an unprecedented scale. The doomers are right in saying tha...

Peak oil, ten or so years on

Restoring Mayberry / Brian Kaller / 19 April 2015
The activists who predicted a total and imminent crash were wrong, and the Big One never came and never will. Yet a lot of little ones did – fuel prices, bank crashes, foreclosures, outages, shortages, oil spills, fires, droughts and hurricanes, all in the last several years alone – and they ...


Avoid common gardening mistakes

Mother Earth News / Barbara Pleasant / June/July 2015
Just as there’s no such thing as a perfect garden, there’s no perfect gardener either. We all make mistakes, but, in doing so, we learn which ones never to repeat, and along the way we discover savvy strategies to add to our gardening routines. So, what are vegetable gardeners’ biggest ...

Plant a perennial ‘backbone’ for your vegetable garden

Mother Earth News / Tammi Hartung / April 2015
A great many trees, shrubs, vines, hedgerows, vegetables, and herbs can serve the garden landscape as backbone plants, establishing a multistory environment that creates microclimates and habitats. They set the stage by welcoming birds, beneficial insects, earthworms, garter snakes, and toads to ma...

Best summer cover crops

Mother Earth News / Harvey Ussery / August/September 2014
No gardening practice yields as many benefits as cover cropping, and growing cover crops in every season is as important as producing vegetables for your table. We too often think gardening reduces soil fertility, but in fact, the more you keep live plants growing, the richer your soil wi...

Organic weed control with Jean-Martin Fortier

Mother Earth News / Jean-Martin Fortier / April 2015
Above all, it is important to acknowledge that weeds compete with vegetables for water, nutrients, and growing space. Despite the views advanced in some “natural” gardening circles, the idea that it’s possible to grow beautiful vegetables in harmony with weeds is simply untrue; just as s...

Four co-ops that are building a new economy

Grassroots Economic Organizing
The populations of the impoverished European societies have gotten tired of waiting for the support of their governments and have decided to take things into their own hands. Seeing that the state is not planning on helping them, that it collaborates with the corporate sector who was partly responsible for the cris...

We Are Cities: Community Innovation Grant

Evergreen CityWorks / 28 April 2015
Evergreen CityWorks is pleased to announce that we are offering a new funding opportunity to support Canadian non-profit groups and organizations that are working to improve systemic urban challenges in their communities. The We Are Cities: Community Innovation Grant supports projects addressing issues crit...

INHABIT explores the many environmental issues facing us today and examines solutions that are being applied using the ecological design lens of permaculture. Focused mostly on the Northeastern and Midwestern regions of the United States, INHABIT provides an intimate look at permaculture peoples and practices ranging from rural, suburban, and ...

Framespotting: Book review / Caroline Whyte / 12 May 2015
What do climate change, sports teams and your family’s achievements have in common? Here’s another question: which consumer good is considered by many people to be completely indispensable – despite the fact that it directly causes over a million deaths worldwide each year? The answer to...

HBO Vice: Our Rising Oceans with Eric Rignot

UCI School of Physical Sciences / 02 April 2015
UC Irvine professor Eric Rignot is featured in this Emmy-winning HBO series VICE where he discusses his findings of Antarctica’s melting ice sheets and the global impact of sea level rise. He told VICE founder and producer Shane Smith that glaciers in West Antarctica’s Amudsen Sea have “passed the point of no return” and their disappearance could trigger the collapse of the entire West Antarctic ice sheet, which could raise global sea levels by up to five meters...

Two degrees of global warming is not 'safe': Hansen

Radio National (AU) / Fran Kelly / 05 May 2015
Top US climate scientist James Hansen says the goal is a 'nonsense', and the world is on the wrong track thinking that two degrees of warming is 'safe'.

Leah Kostamo (co-founder of A Rocha Canada & author of Planted) interviews Magaret Atwood about her latest MaddAddam Trilogy & her concern for the environment.

[ SEE ALSO: Tesla’s Powerwall Puts Huge Crack in Carbon-Based Energy Dominance; Tesla Powerwall in-home battery pack coming to Canada ]

Five stories seldom told

Radio Ecoshock / 22 April 2015
What is really going on? What are the big stories the media leaves out, while they fill the news with quirky headlines and fluff? All over the world, from pole to pole, the Earth and her species are going through big changes. The atmosphere is trapping...


Brockville: Annual Plant Sale

Brockville & District Horticultural Society
WHEN: Saturday, May 23, 9:00 am
WHERE: Brockville Senior Citizens Inc., 15 Elm Street near Ormond, Brockville

Come to buy! Bring friends! Tell other plant lovers!

Downtown Brockville Sidewalk Sale

WHEN: Saturday, May 23
WHERE: King Street, Brockville

Many great specials - Local Talent - Children's Jumpers - Martial Arts Demos - And MUCH MORE!

Gananoque: e-Waste Drive

Frontenac Arch Biosphere
WHEN: Saturday, May 30, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
WHERE: Thousand Islands OLG Casino, Gananoque

Got e-Waste? Do you have any old TVs, computer parts, or other electronics collecting dust around the house? Here is an opportunity to free yourself from the clutter in an environmentally responsible way! Thousand Islands OLG Casino is hosting the drive, with the proceeds from your e-waste donations going to the Frontenac Arch Biosphere. No item is too big or too small! To see what items are considered e-waste, visit Ontario Electronic Stewardship's website at

Transition Brockville Steering Committee

Transition Brockville
WHEN: Monday, June 8, 7:00 pm
WHERE: 2nd Floor, Bud's on the Bay, 17 Broad Street, Brockville

Sit in on a Steering Committee meeting for in-depth discussions on many aspects of local sustainability and resilience.

Aboriginal Day

Thousand Islands National Park
WHEN: Saturday, June 20, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
WHERE: Thousand Islands National Park's visitor centre, Mallorytown Landing

Discover more about Canada's Aboriginal cultures on the dazzling shores of the St. Lawrence River in the Thousand Islands, a traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee people. Bring family and friends or meet some new ones in a family-friendly afternoon of music, games and activities. More info at or call 613-923-5261.

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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