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A special THANK YOU from Earthroots

Photo credit: Algonquin wolf, Helen E. Grose

 

With your support in 2019 we've been able to:

  1. Expand the Ontario Wolf Survey with the support of more than 30 citizen scientists and collaborating organizations. We collected 150 non-invasive DNA samples to help find threatened Algonquin wolves.
  2. Ensure that Ontario’s Greenbelt, clean drinking water and precious farmlands were protected from threats under Bill 66, Ford's "Open for Business" Act.
  3. Help build the movement for Grassy Narrows First Nation and their fight for mercury justice. 1,000 people joined 60 members of the community at the River Run march to show their solidarity.

 

None of our important work to protect Ontario's wilderness, wildlife and watersheds would be possible without YOU!

24 groups call for Ontario to take serious action on climate change

Climate Changing

          Photo: Markus Spiske

 

November 7th, 2019

Dear Members of Provincial Parliament,

Welcome back to the legislature. In the months you’ve been away, a lot has happened.

An estimated million Canadians marched in the streets this fall to demand stronger action on climate change, sparked by youth fighting for their future. Climate change became a top election issue in the federal election, with almost 70 percent of MPs elected in Ontario supporting a price on carbon and stronger climate action. Thirty elected Ontario councils have now declared climate emergencies, including Toronto, Ottawa, Sudbury, Barrie, and Hamilton. Canadian doctors and health professionals continued to warn that adverse mental and physical health impacts from heat waves, wildfires, air pollution, floods, and vector-borne diseases like Lyme disease will escalate exponentially without ambitious steps to reduce emissions quickly.

While calls for climate action escalate across our province, Ontario’s government has fallen drastically behind. In the last year we’ve seen the destruction of every program that made Ontario a leader on climate change action. And we’ve seen this government go into hibernation on a crisis that threatens the future of our friends and loved ones.

Instead of ramping up action after the IPCC’s groundbreaking report asking all governments to do more, Ontario weakened their 2030 climate change target and spent a year largely failing to implement effective solutions, even those promised in the Made-In-Ontario Environment Plan.

It’s time for you, as elected officials entrusted with the well-being of your communities, to listen to your constituents, your children, your loved ones, and the youth demanding action and answers every Friday. We are asking you to take leadership to ensure a healthy future on a habitable planet. A leader doesn’t walk away from a crisis because it requires hard work. We are asking you to do the work. We are asking you to lead.

Read more...

Stop Ontario's War on Wolves!

 

Our moose are in trouble. The Ontario government wants wolves and coyotes to pay the price for declining populations even though their own science shows that a war on wolves won't help moose. 

Our wildlife needs your voice now! Click here to send your comments to the key decision-makers.

Deadline is this Thursday (September 26th).

 

The Progressive Conservatives are re-considering a proposal abandoned by the previous government after it was outed as being unscientific and unethical. If passed, the hunting of both wolves and coyotes will be liberalized across northern Ontario.

This proposal includes:

  • The elimination of a special game seal that hunters currently have to purchase to kill wolves and coyotes.
  • The elimination of reporting requirements which will make the limit of 2 wolf kills per hunter per year unenforceable.
  • Unlimited killing of coyotes, including pups, virtually year-round.

Moose are under serious threat from habitat loss and climate change, and require ecosystem based management that prioritizes their needs. These proposed changes aren’t designed to help moose, they are designed to persecute predators. 

The government listened to us last time we urged them to abandon a similar proposal. Together we can ensure that our wildlife species receive better protection in our province.

 

Temagami Changing of the Seasons Gathering 2019

Photo: Tierney Angus, Friends of Temagami

 

Over the weekend of September 7th, 2019 Alex Mathias, an Ojibway Elder, will host his annual Changing of the Seasons Ceremony to celebrate the fall equinox on his traditional family territory in the Temagami region of Ontario.

On Saturday there will be a 'Changing of the Seasons' ceremony, a group potluck lunch, visits to Spirit Rock, and guided hikes through the old-growth forest. Attendees have the option of participating in group events after the ceremony, exploring the area on their own, or simply enjoying some quiet time on the lake. There is no structured agenda for the weekend and Sunday is an open day.

All are welcome! If you have never been to Temagami and have always wanted to go, this is a great opportunity to experience the wilderness in a group setting. 

Read more...

Endangered species to make way for sprawl development

"More Homes, More Choice Act" guts protections for Ontario's most vulnerable plants and animals

TORONTO, June 6, 2019 /CNW/ - Today the Government of Ontario passed the More Homes, More Choice Act, a law that opens significant wildlife habitat to sprawl development through amendments to the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA). The amendments give new powers to the Minister to delay, limit and remove protections for at-risk species. Further, it creates numerous, overlapping pathways for developers and industrialists to dodge critical requirements.

"The Endangered Species Act has been torn to shreds," says Kelsey Scarfone, program manager with Environmental Defence. "Those with a vested, short-term economic interest in sprawl development now have free rein to bulldoze, dig up and pave over the habitats of our most vulnerable plants and animals."

"The forestry industry, which is contributing to, if not driving, the decline of boreal caribou in Ontario, successfully lobbied in the past for exemptions to the ESA meaning they didn't have to comply with the prohibitions," says Rachel Plotkin, Boreal Project Manager with the David Suzuki Foundation. "Now there is no need for an exemption—the ESA has been weakened to the extent that status quo logging operations can continue under its watch."

In the face of growing opposition to the proposed law, the provincial government chose to ram the Bill through the Legislature, curtailing debate and ignoring the serious concerns of environmental organizations, scientists, Indigenous voices, municipalities and tens of thousands of citizens.

"These changes do not reflect the values or long-term interests of the people of Ontario. The haste with which the government proceeded ensured that Ontarians would have no say in the outcome," says Anne Bell, director of conservation and education at Ontario Nature. "Calls to engage in genuine public consultation over the coming summer were swept aside." The amendments also reduce future opportunities for public input on ESA matters under the Environmental Bill of Rights.

The ESA gutting follows a ground-breaking United Nations report, released in May, that documents the rapid decline of ecosystems and accelerating rates of species extinction. According to the report, a million species are now threatened with extinction.

"These changes to the ESA take us in the wrong direction," says Gord Miller Chair of Earthroots and former Environmental Commissioner of Ontario. "The alarming patterns of biodiversity loss, outlined in the United Nations report, hold true everywhere, including Ontario, and threaten the very foundations of our well-being and our economies."

Job Opportunity - Campaign Director

Earthroots Campaigns

Photo credits: Algonquin wolf by Wesley Liikane, Temagami Red Squirrel Road blockade (Earthroots), ancient white pine by Hap Wilson

 

Earthroots is hiring!

The Campaign Director is responsible for delivering high impact campaigns that will educate and mobilize the public.

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Campaign Director will lead the development and implementation of Earthroots’ campaigns in collaboration with our small team, mainly working out of our Toronto office.

Read more...

The Earthroots Primer on the Endangered Species Act of Ontario

Algonquin Wolf

Algonquin wolves are a Threatened species with a population of  500 or less remaining. Photo credit: Wes Liikane

 

Protecting species-at-risk in Ontario has a long history going back to 1971 when this province (under a Progressive Conservative government) became one of the first jurisdictions in the world to pass an Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Act was reconceptualized and updated in a major rewrite in 2007 only to be weakened in amendments two years later which created exemptions for certain industries in specified situations. Now ten years after the major rewrite, the current government has posted a notice on the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) that it is under review and inviting comments and submissions from supporters and detractors of the legislation. 

 

To facilitate public participation in that review process Earthroots offers this primer to provide a basic understanding of how the current legislation is structured and where some of the points of controversy exist regarding the implementation of the Act. If you want to get into a more detailed analysis and explanation of the legislation, there is no better source available then the original 2009 review of the legislation by the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario* called “The Last Line of Defence” and the special report of 2013 produced subsequent to the amendments made to the original titled “Laying Siege to the Last Line of Defence”.

Read more...

Temagami's ancient pine forests and roadless wilderness areas are under threat. We need your voice to help protect them!

                                                    Photo: Hap Wilson

 

Temagami is internationally renowned for its old-growth red and white pine forests. Only one percent of these ancient forests are left worldwide, and more than half of what remains is located in Temagami. 

The Draft Temagami Forest Managment Plan is calling for another 10 years of logging and road building, opening up remote wilderness areas and further eroding the ecology of this unique region in northern Ontario. 

Failure to fully protect Temagami has made it the site of one of Ontario's most intense and persistent environmental conflicts. It's time to create new protected areas in the Temagami region and boost the resilience of the forest in the face climate change.

Comments are due by Tuesday, December 11th - take action here now!

 

It's Giving Tuesday! Be part of something big.

 

What is Giving Tuesday? It's a global movement for giving and volunteering, taking place each year after Black Friday. The “opening day of the giving season,” it's a time when charities, companies and individuals join together and rally for their favourite causes.

Earthroots' year-end fundraising campaign kicks off today and runs until December 31st! Please give as generously as you can to support our steadfast campaigns to protect Ontario's wilderness, wildlife and watersheds.

Every donation makes a difference!

Show your support for the Earthroots campaign you are most passionate about today.

Visit our Giving Tuesday page now.

 

Ford ends independence for all officers of the Ontario legislature

Do you care about oversight, transparency and accountability when it comes to our government? Speak out against Ford's Bill 57 and tell him that Ontario needs a strong, independent Environmental Commissioner of Ontario. The deadline for signatures is November 25th. Add your voice here.

 

By Gord Miller in OpinionPolitics | November 21, 2018 - Canada's National Observer

Like many jurisdictions with parliamentary traditions, the Ontario legislature appoints legislative officers, sometimes called parliamentary officers, to oversee and review activities of government that warrant special concern.

Their duties include regularly issuing public reports that critically evaluate government performance in specific areas.

The officers are chosen by an all-party Committee and report directly to the legislature through the speaker, not to the premier and the government.

Tradition and current legislation say they are appointed for specific terms and cannot be removed during that time (unless they can no longer do their job or have committed a wrong-doing serious enough to give the legislature “cause.”)

This inherent security of their positions is necessary to protect the officers from undue influence by the government they review, or from reprisal for revealing embarrassing information in their reports.

Read more...

The Ancient Pine Wilderness of Temagami: Our Heritage, Our Legacy

Sunset Paddle                          Photo: Hap Wilson

 

Featuring Hap Wilson (Earthroots co-founder, author, adventurer), and Gord Miller (Earthroots Chair, former Environmental Commissioner of Ontario).

Join us on November 8th to learn about the importance of Temagami's endangered ancient pine forests, the history of the battle to protect them, and the threats that ongoing logging and climate change pose to the future of this world-renowned wilderness region.

Urbanspace Gallery, 401 Richmond Street West, Toronto - 7:00 to 9:00 PM

Tickets are available here through Eventbrite ($12).

 

Hap WilsonTemagami, the Fight to Protect Wilderness - Hap Wilson

Hap Wilson has published more than a dozen books and has travelled more than 60,000 km across wild Canada. Hap first roamed Temagami's wilderness in 1968 and as a teenager he began learning about the disturbing truths behind the vanishing wild spaces and the industrial intrusion that knows no bounds. Hap has experienced and lived through a half-century of environmental controversy and action to protect one of Canada's most precious wilderness ecosystems, Temagami. This unique region in northern Ontario is steeped in local history and prehistory dating back 6,000 years. Hap will talk about the birth of the environmental movement in Ontario as it relates to Temagami, elaborate on the pitfalls, victories, and the vision of protecting a world-class wilderness.

 

 

The Future of Temagami's Ancient Pine Forests - Gord Miller

Gord Miller is an ecologist and environmental policy analyist. He served three five year terms as Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner, overseeing and critically evaluating government decision-making on the environment, climate change and energy conservation. Gord will discuss how ancient pines continue to be "sustainably" harvested using shelterwood management, and how we simply cannot plan to "grow" 400-year-old replacement trees or ecosystems. While it is true that a small percentage of this once vast forest finds sanctuary in protected areas, we were reminded how tenuous this refuge is when large stands of old growth were lost in fires in Temagami and Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park this summer. Climate change has changed the game for forest management. If we are to have ancient pine forests as an ecological heritage for future generations, we must respond with much different and far more sophisticated forest management.

 

 

Local beer from GoodLot Farmstead Brewing Co. and light fare from Vert Catering will be served.

We are extremely grateful for the generosity of our two local, sustainable sponsors!

GoodLotVert Catering

 

Earthroots' Ontario Wolf Survey featured on TVO

 

Watch our Director of Wildlife Conservation Campaigns, Hannah Barron, in the field tracking the elusive Algonquin wolf. You can help protect this threatened species by supporting our Ontario Wolf Survey project.

 

 

Temagami Changing of the Seasons Gathering

                     Photo credit: Amber Ellis

Host: Alex Mathias
Location: www.ontarioparks.com/park/obabikariver

Over the weekend of September 8th, 2018 Alex Mathias, an Ojibway Elder, will host his annual Changing of the Seasons Ceremony to celebrate the fall equinox on his traditional family territory in the Temagami region of Ontario.

On Saturday there will be a 'Changing of the Seasons' ceremony, a group potluck lunch, visits to Spirit Rock, and guided hikes through the old-growth forest. Attendees have the option of participating in group events after the ceremony, exploring the area on their own, or simply enjoying some quiet time on the lake. There is no structured agenda for the weekend and Sunday is an open day.

Participants are expected to provide their own food, camping gear, and if possible, canoes. Boat shuttles can be arranged for attendees who are not able to paddle across the lake to the gathering site on their own. People will be camping at various sites on the lake - the majority of participants will be on the beach at Alex's cabin or at the north end of the lake at the gathering site.

Read more...