Letter to Environmental Groups from Canadian Environment Network

Dear supporters, friends and members of RCEN,

We all remember the unfortunate news we received in October 2011, when the federal Government had unilaterally cancelled its funding agreement with us. On October 14, 2011, CBC reported that the Canadian Environmental Network was closing its doors. Ten days ago, we served notice we are still here by holding a special members meeting of the RCEN. Most importantly, we voted on a new membership dues structure that will help us to rebuild.

For two years, the RCEN has been running with no staff and very limited funds. As a result, we have been much slower in the rebuilding process than we had hoped. We have been through some complicated legal issues, a corporate restructuring and earlier this year approved new bylaws: http://rcen.ca/sites/default/files/bylaw_no8_march_19.pdf. We have moved out of our former office in Vanier, and made arrangements to keep important records at the Sierra Club Foundation in Ottawa. We have also gotten our taxes and financial statements up to date – no mean feat for a volunteer board that has no budget or staff, but has to deal with the legacy of completing the records of what was once a million dollar budget organization.

Now for the next stage, we need your support. The RCEN is nothing without its membership. We are reaching out to environmental groups across the country to join us as paid members. We believe networking together, environmental organizations can achieve more than individually.

Some of our caucuses are still active; others need your input and energy to reactivate. The structure is there. We just need to build on it.

We have approved the following structure for membership fees:

• For groups with an annual budget of less than $25,000: $35

• For groups with an annual budget of equal to or over $25,000 : $100/year;

• For supporting members : $250/year (supporting members will receive special mention on our website);

Discount for members of Affiliates (BC Environmental Network, Alberta Environmental Network, OEN, Manitoba Eco-Network, SEN, New Brunswick Environmental Network, Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Network, Ontario Environment Network, Nova Scotia Environmental Network, Saskatchewan Eco-Network, Secrétariat des organismes environnementaux du Québec, PEI Eco-Net):

• For members of a recognised affiliate network a $20 discount is offered.

We have also approved a Class B membership for individuals: $35/year; Class B members do not have voting rights at the AGM, but do have the ability to participate in caucuses.

Membership fees are on an annual basis, to be renewed before March 31. This year, memberships pledged before March 31, 2014 will be valid until March 31, 2015.

Thank you for your support. Please contact me if you would like to apply for membership in the RCEN.

With your membership, we will be on our way to rebuilding the organization and building a truly national and independent network of environmental organizations.

Josh Brandon

Chair, RCEN