Environment North Celebrating 50 Years

Climate Change

THUNDER BAY – Environment North is celebrating five decades of environmental education, advocacy, and action in northern Ontario. Since 1972, Environment North has been making a difference in decision-making that impacts the lands and waters of northern Ontario, including helping to protect Lake Superior from releases of mercury and asbestos in the 1970s and helping to save the Experimental Lakes Area research facility near Vermillion Bay in 2013.

“Protecting our environment is protecting our communities,” says Scott Harris, president of Environment North. “From fires to floods, the impacts of climate change are now alarming and obvious. In 2017, Environment North helped to stop the Energy East pipeline in our efforts to support the much-needed transition to a low-carbon society. We will continue to advocate with local, provincial, and federal decision-makers to create the environmental policies and economic incentives we need to prevent climate catastrophes for our kids and grandkids.”

The need for ongoing community-led environmental research and advocacy is highlighted by the resurgence of the proposal to build a disposal site for all of Canada’s highly radioactive nuclear waste near Ignace. In the 1980s Environment North was a key participant in the successful campaign to stop test-drilling for a nuclear waste disposal site near Atikokan and to call for public hearings.

Today, 40 years later, Environment North is again at the forefront of voicing concerns about the transportation and disposal of nuclear waste, including risks to communities and watersheds.

“Most of the waste will need to be transported from southern Ontario for many decades by truck and/or train. Both options pose risks to northern communities and waterways along the route,” says Graham Saunders, Environment North board member, who was part of the original campaigns to prevent a proposed disposal site. “Environment North, as part of the alliance “We the Nuclear Free North”, is helping to increase public awareness of these risks associated with transport and burial of nuclear waste”.

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Environment North is hosting a party in Thunder Bay on September 10, 2022, at Roots to Harvest on 450 Fort William Road beginning at 4:00 pm. The event is free and features music, food, and more.

Everyone is welcome. RSVP by September 6 to Susan Grinstead (by phone 807-632-6736 or by email susanegrinstead@gmail.com).

More details are available on the Environment North website, at environmentnorth.ca.

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