Peace and Environment Resource Centre

Your community voice for peace and sustainability

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Suggested Links:
Ecology Ottawa has an excellent calendar of local eco-events.
Green Ottawa has an events list as well as a directory of green groups, jobs, and more.

Old PERC site

Link to old PERC site

Please note: PEN archives and other online PERC projects prior to 2010 are provided as a courtesy but are not updated. We regret that we cannot correct outdated links or information from these past editions and projects.

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Why donate to the PERC?

The Ottawa Peace and Environment Resource Centre has been a lighthouse for peace and sustainability for over 25 years. In that time, hundreds of dedicated volunteers have nurtured and developed countless community projects, presented creative and community-building PERCshops, maintained an extensive library and resource centre, and published the Peace and Environment News, distributing it for free throughout the National Capital Region. This has all been accomplished through the tremendous volunteer, in-kind, and financial donations from community members who, like yourself, are passionate about making our local and global communities more healthy, peaceful, equitable, and sustainable.

Donations directly offset the high costs associated with printing and distributing the Peace and Environment News, a beloved and respected publication that tells brings to light critical issues facing Canada and the world and which tells the good news stories of those working to bring positive change. Your donations also support the work of our many volunteers and one part-time staff as we provide resources and information to individuals working to make a difference, collaborate with dozens of local organizations in the areas of peace and environmental stewardship, and help to connect people and passion for social justice and sustainability.

We depend upon the continued support of individuals and organizations to help us "hold the light".

Whether your support comes in the form of a financial contribution, an in-kind donation of equipment or supplies, or an offer of your volunteer time and expertise, your gift will be received with deep gratitude and put to positive (and thrifty!) use. 


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To donate through the United Way, please use the forms provided through your workplace campaign and designate "Ottawa Peace and Environment Resource Centre" together with our charitable registration number: 119071777RR0001. The United Way does not disclose its donor list, so please send us a note to let us know so that we can maintain you on our PEN mailing list.

To donate by mail, please send a cheque or money order to:

The Peace and Environment Resource Centre,
Box 4075 Stn E 
Ottawa, ON
K1S 5B1


Volunteering time or expertise

To donate a gift of time, please visit our Volunteering Opportunities and Descriptions and contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

We are currently seeking a Treasurer for our Board of Directors.

To give a gift of skill or talent, please contact us if you have expertise in:

  • library services
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  • social media (Youtube, Facebook, Twitter)
  • painting and repair
  • green cleaning
  • archives and research
  • bookkeeping or treasurer/accounting skills
  • event or workshop organizing
  • volunteer coordination
  • fundraising and grant writing
  • garage sale organizing!

We will also be opening a call for Board members this spring. If you are interested in being part of a cooperative, grassroots organization and can participate in quarterly meetings with like-minded individuals, we would like to hear from you!

We have volunteer opportunities suitable for any time committment level, from a few hours every two months to regular contributions.


In-kind Donations

Our current wish list includes:

  • Flip Video camera or other compact digital video camera
  • video capture card (for digitizing VHS tapes)
  • toner for Lexmark or Brother printers (ask for cartridge numbers)
  • license or program for FileMaker Pro (need not be latest version)
  • legal sized envelopes (can have an old logo on them, if we can put a label over it)
  • Spring 2013: donations of items for the Great Glebe Garage Sale
  • an electronic typewriter (must be functional, with at least one ribbon)


In this issue..

Energy East -- A Present Danger
A project to pipe massive amounts of bitumen-based oil from Alberta to Canada's east coast is drawing opposition from communities along its proposed route.
TransCanada Pipeline's Energy East project is being promoted as a means of moving oil from Alberta's tar sands to ports in Quebec and New Brunswick, primarily for export overseas. TransCanada claims this project will expand oil refineries and related industry and create jobs. Energy East would be larger than either the Trans-Mountain, Northern Gateway or the controversial Keystone XL projects.
The issue motivated a discussion, "Energy East: Our Risk - Their Reward," hosted recently in Ottawa by the Council of Canadians and Ecology Ottawa. The meeting was one of a series of forums organized by the Council with local concerned groups in towns along the possible pipeline.
The evening featured a panel composed of Eriel Deranger of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN), Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians, and Graham Saul of Ecology Ottawa.
Eriel Deranger stated that Treaty number 8, an agreement signed by (among other First Nations) the Chipewyan people and the Crown in 1899, guarantees its First Nations signatories hunting, fishing, trapping, and cultural preservation rights. These rights, which were later reinforced by the Canadian Constitution and Bill of Rights, are now threatened by the oil sands development in the Athabasca region.
Tar sands, she said, are destroying local ecology and poisoning First Nations peoples. Many Chipewyan have no running water or are subject to years-long boiling water advisories. They suffer increased cancer rates.
Water pollution 
The Tar sands reportedly use four barrels of water for every barrel of oil. Tailings ponds are suspected of leaking millions of litres of toxins into the McKenzie and Athabasca Rivers daily. The mining has caused acres of forest to be cleared, disrupting animal habitats and migratory patterns. Tests on local wildlife indicate probable contamination and a risk to the First Nations practice of sustainable hunting.
Deranger stated that the Harper government threatens democracy and environmental protection. She cites Bill C-45 (2012), which deregulates the management--and protection--of lakes and waterways, as an example. Critical habitats are now vulnerable.
The ACFN, she said is suing Shell Oil Canada for failure to honour agreements with the Chipewyan First Nation regarding resource exploitation on their land. Furthermore, the ACFN is legally protesting the Federal government's approval (with stipulations) of Shell's proposed Jackpine mine project to expand tar sands production.
"Canada has become the playground for oil companies. " Deranger commented. "Aboriginals' traditional territory is being sold."
Maude Barlow explained that TransCanada's use of Benzene (an organic chemical compound) to facilitate the flow of piped bitumen makes spillage extremely toxic. In such an event, the oil would sink into--not float on--water and make the clean-up "a nightmare." Some of the pipes TransCanada uses are old and ill-equipped to handle pressure.
Energy East, she said, will cross 90 waterways systems and provide "a new threat to the Great Lakes, which are already in danger." Barlow explained that U.S. authorities allow fracking wastewater to cross the Great Lakes, with spillage a constant possibility.
The global water supply, Barlow said, is itself threatened.
"The planet," she said, "is running out of water. "
Water is being pumped out faster than it can be (naturally) replaced. The Great Lakes are being drained of so much water that they might be depleted in 80 years. Half of China's rivers have disappeared since 1990. The dumping of waste water into oceans adds further damage.
"We have a responsibility not to destroy this water," she stated. "This is part of a larger struggle."
Local impacts
Part of the Energy East pipeline will cross the Rideau River just south of Ottawa, along with the Oxford aquifer, and a groundwater recharge area [a pumping station is planned in Stittsville]. A spill could thus close down Ottawa's water supply.
Barlow advocated building a strong movement against Energy East. She recommended that citizens tweet and otherwise contact representatives such as Jim Watson to have a risk assessment done regarding an oil pipeline in the Ottawa area.
Graham Saul stated that the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has recently found that, while global warming will increase by 3 ¼ to 4 ¼ if coal and gas are continually burnt for energy, mitigating this is still possible. The IPCC says that alternative energies do not, despite what their critics say, really damage economies.
Saul explained that while Norway and Germany are increasingly using energies such as solar power, Canada does the opposite. The Harper government has reduced federal energy programs while promoting "radical, reckless, ultimately unethical projects such as the tar sands."
Saul said that Kitimat, BC recently held a non-binding plebiscite on the construction of a pipeline and an oil tanker terminal for Enbridge's Northern Gateway project. Enbridge claimed that Northern Gateway would create 180 jobs locally. Nonetheless, 60 per cent of citizens rejected the project. This, Saul said, proves the power of grassroots opposition. (The plebiscite motivated a BC environmental group, Dogwood Initiative, to campaign to have Northern Gateway subject to a popular provincial referendum). He said that communities in New Brunswick and Quebec affected by Energy East are mobilizing against it.
Saul advised that citizens in the National Capital Region lobby the Ontario Energy Board and the federal government regarding the risks associated with Energy East. People should express their concerns to candidates in the upcoming Ontario provincial election.
"We have to stand up and say we do not want this pipeline," he stated. "The time to organize is now."
David Mills writes on environmental and social justice issues.

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Viewpoints expressed should not be taken to represent the opinions of the Ottawa Peace and Environment Resource Centre, the Peace and Environment News, or our supporters. The PEN does not recommend, approve or endorse any of the advertisers, products or services printed in the PEN or referred to on the PERC website. Health-related information printed in the PEN or online is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified and licensed health care provider. The PERC and PEN are not responsible for the content on any external website links.