Newsletter 120, 30 November 2016

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Our 2016 Annual General Meeting Report

Transition Brockville / 30 November 2016

Transition Brockville's well-attended Annual General Meeting on November 27 at the Brockville Public Library was lively, positive and productive.

After everyone had enjoyed a lunch of homemade soup and chili, MC Izabela Waglay summarized Transition presentations in 2016. Other members of the steering committee briefly described Transition's partnerships with the library for Seedy Saturday, with the city's solid waste officer for Talking Trash, with Butler's Creek Community Garden for Tasty Tours, and with Ontario Culture Days for a Transition display on Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Next came an open discussion on what Transition Brockville's goals for 2017 should be. Top of the list – seek partnerships with other groups and individuals in the community that share many of Transition's goals for building community resilience. Thanks to Karen and Bill Carriere, of Transition Cornwall+, and Alan Medcalf, former chair of the Brockville Cycling Advisory Committee, for their ideas on how to go about finding partners...

Seedy Saturday, March 11, 2017 – Transition Brockville and the Brockville Public Library are partnering again this year to offer a fun day for gardeners, featuring a seed swap and gardening displays. Mark the date on your calendar!

We collaborate and look for synergies: The Transition approach is to work together as a community, unleashing our collective genius to have a greater impact together than we can as individuals. We will look for opportunities to build creative and powerful partnerships across and beyond the Transition movement and develop a collaborative culture, finding links between projects, creating open decision-making processes and designing events and activities that help people make connections. [ Source: The Essential Guide to Doing Transition, 2016 ]


Looking and working towards the future

Food Matters Coalition / 29 November 2016
Based on your April 2016 Conversation about Food Matters community input we will be focusing on the following broad directions:
  • Support to our members and partners in their work to increase the population's food literacy including food skills both in the schools and in the community. This can include supporting existing initiatives, sharing information, and learning about the various models of community food hubs.
  • Advocating for and working towards a strong community garden network – defining community as it may be appropriate – municipal land, private land, at schools, community areas, communal living spaces, etc.
  • Doing what we can to advocate for and support our members and partners who work towards decreasing food insecurity through decreasing poverty....

Downtown recognized as a Bicycle Friendly Business Area

DBIA/Ontario by Bike / 21 November 2016
Downtown Brockville is now one of four certified Bicycle Friendly Business Areas in Ontario! The Ontario By Bike Network is a province-wide network of certified bicycle friendly businesses and business areas that collectively enhance Ontario's cycle tourism sector and growing cycling market. This designa...

City could save on energy: Report

Recorder & Times / Ronald Zajac / 18 November 2016
Brockville should not hire an "embedded energy manager," but it can still save money on energy by monitoring consumption better, say consultants hired by city hall to look into the matter. A report by the consulting firm Energy Performance Services (EPS) suggests the city spend more t...

Sustainability focus of international meeting

Recorder & Times / Ronald Zajac / 03 November 2016
Brockville could one day be home to an international centre devoted to sustainable development, working in tandem with Queen's University and the Aquatarium. While the project is still years away, it's the objective of a small group of biosphere reserve representatives from five count...


2016 Annual GHG Progress Report - Facing Climate Change

Environmental Commissioner of Ontario / 22 November 2016

On November 22, 2016, the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO) released her 2016 Greenhouse Gas Progress Report, Facing Climate Change, to the Ontario Legislature.

In the first chapter of this year’s report, the ECO reviews the science of climate change, its impacts on our planet and why Ontario must dramatically reduce its GHG emissions. The following chapters report on what Ontario's emissions are now, and what the government is doing to reduce them....

Sobering speech by Environment Commissioner / Ernst Kuglin / 25 November 2016
Ontario's Environment Commissioner delivered a sobering speech Friday on climate change. "The news is pretty bad. But it doesn't get better if you pretend it's not true," said Dr. Dianne Sexsmith. Sexsmith was speaking to about 200 people at the Trenton Woodlot Conference, organize...

Helping small- and medium-sized businesses with upgrades

Ministry of Economic Development and Growth / 08 November 2016
Ontario is launching a new program to help small- and medium-sized businesses reduce emissions and become more energy efficient. The SMART Green program, a partnership between the government and the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), is designed to assist businesses to inve...

Ontario to buy hydroelectricity from Quebec

Globe and Mail / Adrian Morrow, Bertrand Marotte / 21 October 2016
Ontario has reached a deal to buy hydroelectric power from Quebec in a bid to cut greenhouse gas emissions by replacing some of the province's natural gas-generated electricity. Under the seven-year agreement, Ontario will buy two terawatt hours a year – about 1.4 per cen...


First Nations take pride in their sustainable energy projects

CBC News / Nicole Ireland / 05 November 2016
Indigenous communities are increasingly joining Canada's growing clean energy economy as a way to generate revenue in a manner that is consistent with their cultural and environmental values, experts say. "Our people are willing and able," says Kevin Hart, regional chief of Manitoba and the ex...

Canada not ready for climate change, report warns

Globe and Mail / Shawn McCarthy / 30 October 2016
The insurance industry is particularly concerned about rising costs for flood and other weather-related disasters, including this year's devastating fire in Fort McMurray, Alta. Payouts have soared and seven of the past eight years have seen insured costs from natural disasters exceeding $1-bil...

Why a new national strategy on food can't satisfy all

Globe and Mail / Ann Hui / 24 October 2016
Ms. Bronson, the executive director of Food Secure Canada, rattled off a long list of issues: poverty and social injustice, climate change and the environment, obesity and diet-related disease. "Food policy can help us solve some of the most intractable problems we are facing as a country, and as a pl...


These Antarctic glaciers are melting at a 'staggering' rate

Gizmodo / Maddie Stone / 25 October 2016
Scientists have long viewed the Amundsen sea embayment as the Achilles heel of West Antarctica, with papers in the 1970s and '80s describing it as "uniquely vulnerable," "unstable," and the "weak underbelly" of the continent. The fear, then and now, was that warm ocean waters lapping against the foot of the glaciers could cause the ice to pop up off of its rocky floor, like ice cubes risin...

Arctic ice melt could trigger uncontrollable climate change

The Guardian / Fiona Harvey / 25 November 2016
Arctic scientists have warned that the increasingly rapid melting of the ice cap risks triggering 19 "tipping points" in the region that could have catastrophic consequences around the globe. The Arctic Resilience Report found that the effects of Arctic warming could be felt as far away as th...

North Pole is an insane 36 degrees warmer than normal

Washington Post / Chris Mooney, Jason Samenow / 17 November 2016
It's polar night there now — the sun isn't rising in much of the Arctic. That's when the Arctic is supposed to get super-cold, when the sea ice that covers the vast Arctic Ocean is supposed to grow and thicken. But in fall of 2016 — which has been a zany year for the r...

2016 will be the hottest year on record, UN says

The Guardian / Damian Carrington / 14 October 2016
2016 will very likely be the hottest year on record and a new high for the third year in a row, according to the UN. It means 16 of the 17 hottest years on record will have been this century. The scorching temperatures around the world, and the extreme weather they drive, mean the impacts of ...

Nicholas Stern: Cost of global warming 'is worse than I feared'

The Guardian / Robin McKie / 06 November 2016
A lot has happened since Nicholas Stern, then a permanent secretary at the Treasury, produced his landmark review of the impact of climate change 10 years ago. His work was quickly recognised as the definitive account of the economic dangers posed to the planet by global warming. Since then, globa...

The end of growth and the rise of Trump

The Tyee / Andrew Nikiforuk / 10 November 2016
The economist Raúl Ilargi Meijer wrote an interesting essay explaining why there is a Donald Trump in September. He credited Trump's rise to "the most important global development in decades." That development, says Meijer, is "the end of global economic growth, which will lead inexorab...

World set to lose two-thirds of wild animals by 2020

The Guardian / Damian Carrington / 27 October 2016
The number of wild animals living on Earth is set to fall by two-thirds by 2020, according to a new report, part of a mass extinction that is destroying the natural world upon which humanity depends. The analysis, the most comprehensive to date, indicates that animal populations plummeted by ...


Town energy plans - an example

Transition Brockville / 05 November 2016
The town of Norwich, Vermont provides an excellent example of municipal engagement. In 2011, Vermont adopted a goal for the state of having 90 percent of all statewide energy come from renewable sources by the year 2050. What would Norwich's contribution look like? Here’s a rough plan from 2012 for the town to meet that targ...

Wanted: Cycling Advisory Committee members

Brockville Active Mobility Matters / Alan Medcalf / 11 November 2016
Are you interested in helping Council realize the benefits of cycling, as directed in the Official Plan and Sustainability and other plans, and as endorsed in the Healthy Communities Vision? If so, the Brockville Cycling Advisory Committee is seeking new members.

Brockville's Commemorative Tree Planting Program 2017

City of Brockville / Operations Department
The Operations Department is pleased to offer a Commemorative Tree Planting Program. This program may be used as a form of remembrance of a loved one, celebration of a birth, honouring a retiree, or any other event which you feel should be commemorated by a living tribute. Trees will be planted in appro...

A renewable home energy retrofit: How we did it

Mother Earth News / Ron Davis / June/July 2015
I must admit that our transition away from fossil fuels isn't complete. Much of what we buy — including a great deal of our food and even the energy-saving equipment we've installed in our home — is produced and shipped using fossil fuel energy. We can and will take further steps to wean ou...

Free webinars: Local food literacy in Ontario schools

Sustain Ontario / Carolyn Webb / 08 November 2016
Do you want to provide more local food education at your school? Join our FREE Local Food Literacy in Schools webinars to help your students gain a greater awareness and knowledge of local food; better understand its availability; and learn local food skills. Packed with hands-on tips and res...

Urban backyard farming for profit

Mother Earth News / Curtis Stone / October/November 2016
In this excerpt from The Urban Farmer, courtesy of New Society Publishers, Curtis Stone offers an innovative approach to urban backyard farming for profit — one that doesn't require starting with acres of land in the country. In these urban farming business plans, which are based on hi...

Saving sweet potato roots for growing your own slips

Mother Earth News / Pam Dawling / 31 October 2016
Usually sweet potatoes are harvested in the week that the first frost typically occurs in your region, so those in the colder half of the country will have harvested and those in warmer regions, maybe not. For those who haven't, here are some pointers about harvest: Aim to harvest on a mild day, ...

Fresh produce storage tips

Mother Earth News / Anna Twitto / 06 October 2016
Fresh produce is one of the cornerstones of healthy diet, and each season brings its own cornucopia of fruit and vegetables into supermarket aisles, farmers' markets and, of course, backyard gardens. But how do you make the best of your garden harvest (or even supermarket harvest) to extend its...


  Arctic Sea ice minimum volumes 1979-2016

Andy Lee Robinson / 12 October 2016
The rate of ice loss in the Arctic is staggering. Since 1979, the volume of Summer Arctic sea ice has declined by more than 80% and accelerating faster than scientists believed it would, or even could melt.

  Impacts of climate change on global water systems

World Affairs / 25 Feb 2013
A warming planet doesn't just mean melting ice caps, rising waters and other environmental problems, according to Professor Guzman. It also means the potential for never-before-seen migration, famine, war and disease. This is not a phenomenon that we have to wait for as it is already happening. Prolonged droughts,...

The Anthropocene: Where on Earth are we going? Climate change communication by Will Steffen from the Australian National University (ANU), Canberra & Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC), Sweden (2015).

  Free movie pass – GrowthBusters

Dave Gardner / 11 November 2016
This year I'm making it easier than ever for you to see and share the film. From November 23 to December 2 you can stream the film at any time, at no cost. You can watch it on any connected device. You can invite friends over for a viewing party at a day and time tha...

  The Co-op Advantages Build a Better World

Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada / 16 October 2016
This Co-op Week, CMC joins a global campaign of co-operators from 15 countries (and counting) who are asking "what if" our co-op advantages were well understood by all people, and available to more people? What if… those who know what a successful co-operative can do to improve people's lives shared the news and dispelled the misperceptions about co-operation? It's a message of hope for economic progress and working together. Pl...

  The Basic Shelf Cookbook – On sale until Nov. 30

Canadian Public Health Association / 2011
The Basic Shelf Cookbook is significant in that all the recipes are prepared from one list of low cost, nutritious ingredients. Most of these ingredients have a long shelf life; few require refrigeration. All the recipes are low in fat, flavourful and make delicious use of beans, peas and lentils. They are quick and easy to make, requiring a minimum of cooking experience and equipment. They are designed to be economical without sacrificing nutritional value and taste.


Ecological Farmers of Ontario Conference 2016

WHEN: Wednesday, November 30 - Friday, December 2
WHERE: Four Points by Sheraton, Kingston, ON

Once again, the conference will bring together ecological farmers (and supporters) from across the province to share ideas, learn from experts and from each other, and of course, celebrate with good food and friends. This year's conference program is packed with great content:

  • 30+ intermediate and advanced level workshops including Farm-Scale Composting, Grass-Fed Lamb Production, Low-Till Vegetables and Field Crops, Wash Station Design, Mob Grazing and Local Food Infrastructure
  • 2 Keynote presentations by Jeff Moyer and Paula Anderson
  • 50+ speakers from across Ontario and beyond
  • Local Food Hub tour and on-farm tour of Patchwork Gardens
  • Heritage Grain & Cheese Tasting
  • A Trade Show with over 25 exhibitors
  • Organic Banquet Dinner with live band Sheesham & Lotus & Son and contra dancing!

Many more special features and networking opportunities happening over the course of this exciting 3 day ecological farming event! Win the Carrot Cache Innovation Prize of $1,000! Send us your innovative, low cost solutions to planting, harvesting, and managing food grown on an Ontario urban or rural organic farm. Conference participants will vote on their favourite submission on the last day of the conference.

More info:

Give North Grenville Silent Auction

Sustainable North Grenville
WHEN: Tuesday, December 6, 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
WHERE: Maplewood Hall, Oxford Mills, ON

Join us for some seasonal cheer at our annual get-together and Give North Grenville silent auction, featuring specialty items gathered from local merchants and artisans. This festive, lamp-lit evening will also feature some uplifting tunes from Bella Borealis as well as some light refreshments, all in the beautiful heritage Maplewood Hall in the charming hamlet of Oxford Mills. Take a little time between bidding to go for a stroll around the village and take in the Christmas lights and decorations, but don't take too long as bidding will wrap up around 8-8.30pm!

Workshop: Empowerment in the Face of Planetary Suffering

WHEN: Wednesday, December 7, 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
WHERE: Merrickville United Church, Merrickville, ON

For those who are concerned about the environmental and social state of the world and want to both integrate their responses and move forward with creative action. Led by Carol Williams.

More info:

Feature documentary: Intelligent Trees

The Forum
WHEN: Wednesday, December 7, 9:30 am - 11:30 am
WHERE: Cornwall Public Library, Cornwall, ON

FREE public screening, followed by a discussion. A forest is a community too and this documentary will enlighten our communities on the subject of co-flourishing. A MUST SEE. Please share far and wide within your networks.

Developing Profitable Agriculture

Economic Development Committee, Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands
WHEN: Friday, December 9, 9:30 am - 3:00 pm
WHERE: Lansdowne Community Hall, Lansdowne, ON

Featuring presentations by: Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance, Forman Farms, Gananoque Brewing Company, and more! This is a FREE event.


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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