John Bennett

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National Program Director

Sierra Club Canada's Executive Director, John Bennett, has a long history of campaigning on energy and environmental issues. Back in the 1970s John co-founded the first Greenpeace office east of the Rockies and launched Greenpeace’s first nuclear power campaign. He created a media session by leading a trio of Greenpeace activists who canoed into the Bruce Nuclear Power Plant to prove it lacked security. John was Communications Director for the Green Party of Canada, including the 2008 campaign in which the Greens, led by Elizabeth May, won nearly a million votes and was the only party to increase its total. His experience has demonstrated the importance of collaborating with other groups and including as many people as possible, and their ideas, in whatever work must be done. That was especially obvious in the creation of the Green Budget Coalition, which analyzed federal budgets in terms of their impact on environmental concerns. He also wants the knowledge he and others have gained to be passed on to younger people, particularly those in the Sierra Youth Coalition, “to ensure there’s someone to take up the torch.”


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Are we doing our job?

With one week to go before our Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) audit, I'm preparing myself with a dental appointment. Apparently, the only effective way to keep me from speaking out is sticking a dental probe in mouth. We sparked quite debate last week. Over 1500 people commented on the CBC News story (link is external). It appears that many Canadians share our view that CRA’s recent surge of environmental charity audits are more political than legal.
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More importantly, it is an abuse of power...

I have been waiting for the right time to tell you about the impending Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) audit. We like to keep focused on the issues and providing you with information about threats to our environment. And I wanted to get our spring fundraising drive out of the way. Then this morning, I read a totally misleading article by Rudy Griffiths in the Globe and Mail on the government’s audit campaign against environmental charities.
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Lock me in my office, please!

It’s week four of the Protect The Pollinators Tour, which means our (unfortunate) comedy of errors is almost over. So far we have survived a broken tooth in the airport, two missed connections, a twisted ankle (I’m typing with my foot over my head) and one heck-of-a gruelling schedule. I am getting (at least feeling) old and, at this point, the thought of sitting in my office back in Ottawa is very, very nice!

But having said that, transportation mishaps and human folly aside, the tour has been an incredible success, and incredibly empowering and inspirational. I’m more hopeful today than I’ve been in a long while. Our force is strong.

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Bill C-51 and a dear friend's wisdom...

Greetings from Victoria where our Protect the Pollinators Tour gets underway tonight.

I want to talk about Bill C-51, the anti-terror bill, and how it might impact Canadian environmentalists. Before I do, I want to take a moment and talk about Andrew Chisholm, who passed away over the weekend. He was the first person I ever spoke to at Sierra Club back in 1996. He took the time to talk to me about how the federal government was changing the environmental assessment laws in the middle of the night so it could sell CANDU reactors to China.

Then, when I got here a few years later, Andrew was still part of the Sierra family (on staff and later as a volunteer)...

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#ProtectThePollinators Tour's that time! I would like to invite you to join me and author Paul McKay on our Protect the Pollinators Tour that kicks off March 17th in Victoria and will see us visit cities and towns across Canada to talk about pollinators, pesticides and what we can do.

The Protect the Pollinators Tour will include a series of public meetings with beekeepers, farmers, academics, and environmental advocates, as well as individual Canadians concerned about the fate of bees.

It's a great opportunity for anyone who wants learn more about the issue.

We have videos, beekeepers, expert speakers...we even have (DRUMROLL) our own Tour T-Shirt...