Peace and Environment Resource Centre

Your community voice for peace and sustainability

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Event Calendars

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 We regret that we cannot correct outdated links or information from these past editions and projects.

Volunteering Opportunities and Descriptions

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To Volunteer at PERC, please contact Diana Brushey, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or leave a message at 613 230 4590

Priority Areas

Electronic Journalism

Description: Create or gather, edit, and submit multimedia or social media contributions such as podcasts, blogs, photos, videos, and/or written articles to the PERC website and/or E-PEN newsletter. (May be combined with Roving Reporters.)

Time Commitment: 1-2 hours a week

 

Board Members

The Peace and Environment Resource Centre does an annual call for applications to participate on the Board of Directors.  Board Members must display a commitment to the mission and mandate of the PERC, be prepared to serve in a voluntary leadership capacity, and must be elected by the membership. Skills, experience, and interest we look for include financial and administrative experience, journalism and communications expertise and/or education, and event management and volunteer coordination interest.

Time committment: Approximately 5 hours per month for meetings, committees, and support.

Website Redesign and Maintenance

Description:  Assist with moving content from the PERC archives to the new site; help upload and configure embedded social media onto site.

Time Commitment: 3-10 hours a month

 

Writers & Photographers

Description:  Contribute articles and/or photos on environmental, peace, or social justice issues for the electronic newsletter or the print publication of the PEN (Peace & Environment News) (May be combined with Roving Reporters).

Time Commitment: 2-5 hours a month

 

Resource Librarian (virtual or on-site)

Description:

Virtual – Work with other local environmental groups to gather useful links and electronic resources on environmental issues to add to the online resource library. May optionally include contacting publishers of periodicals to enquire as to whether any of our “real” collections are online.

On-Site – Catalog new donations to the PERC “real” resource library; assist with evaluating current materials for relevance and/or researching whether any of our collections are duplicated elsewhere. This job requires someone who is detail-oriented and careful.

Time Commitment: 5-15 hours a month

 

Other Needs

PERC Roving Reporters and Reps

Description: Go to various community events (river cleanups, tree plantings) to gather pictures, videos, interviews, etc for the PEN, E-PEN, and/or website.  This is also an opportunity to tell people about the PERC, ask people to sign up for the E-PEN, recruit volunteers, and distribute the PEN.

Time Commitment: varies, about 15 hours a month

 

PEN Distribution

Description: Bring packages of the Peace & Environment News to libraries, businesses, etc throughout the city for distribution. Research places willing to carry the PEN.

Time Commitment: a few hours every two months

 

 

Continuous Volunteer Needs

Booth Staffing

Description:  We always require volunteers to represent PERC at various events around the city.  This is an opportunity to engage citizens and talk to them about environmental and social justice issues in the city, and have them sign up for our E-PEN list.

Time Commitment: Usually one or more four hour shifts per event.  We generally staff about one-two events in a month. 

 

Committees

 

The PERC Website Committee is working on a complete site redesign to provide an enhanced online presence, with the aim of creating a web portal to environmental information in the National Capital Region. The site will include an online resource library.

 

The PEN is looking for members for two committees:

Editorial Committee: Assists with writing, editing, and planning for the PEN publications. Time Commitment: approx 12 hours/issue (bimonthly) – two meetings – editorial and editing so one meeting per month

Support Committee: Takes care of distribution, mailing, advertising, and publicity for the PEN Time Commitment: 5 hours per issue (bimonthly); varies

 

 

Other Skills/Areas of Interest

 

These are skills that may not be listed above, but that we generally will need help with at some point (though maybe not right away).  Let us know if you do have skills/interest in the areas listed below:

  • Data Entry                   
  • Administrative tasks     
  • Fundraising      
  • Illustration & Graphic design (please provide us with examples of your work)
  • Photography (let us know if you have professional experience)
  • Youth representatives
  • Research
  • Writing (newspaper articles, website articles, writing for reports)

 

Updated November 1, 2010

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.