- Created on Monday, 18 August 2014 22:05
New research from the University of Guelph lends support to protecting an old-growth forest in Sudbury, Ont.
The study, conducted by researchers from the School of Environmental Sciences and Guelph’s Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, examined the lichen communities in the Wolf Lake stand of trees in northern Ontario. Lichens consist of a fungus and a photosynthetic partner, normally green algae.
The Wolf Lake stand is the largest old-growth red pine forest in the world, but is threatened by active mining leases and claims. Wolf Lake is located 50 km northeast of downtown Sudbury. Trees as old as 300 years have been found there.
“Old-growth pine forests are complex systems and contain much more biodiversity than meets the eye,” said Guelph environmental sciences professor Madhur Anand, one of the study’s authors.
“That biodiversity translates directly into all kinds of ecosystem services. Lichens are an often-ignored aspect of biodiversity, but can be important for many things from indicating pollution levels to providing food for other species.”
- Created on Monday, 28 July 2014 11:31
Province says it did share the 2010 report. Others say it wasn’t shared because it supports Grassy Narrows’ claim that Ontario is negligent in caring for mercury poisoning survivors.
By: Tanya Talaga Staff Reporter, The Star. Published on Mon Jul 28 2014
The people living in a northern Ontario community near where a toxic dump of 10 tonnes of mercury occurred five decades ago are still suffering the neurological effects of mercury poisoning, and a report about the effects of the poisoning was never made public, First Nations leaders say.
For years, the residents of Grassy Narrows First Nation, a community of 1,500 outside Kenora, have complained about symptoms consistent with mercury poisoning after a paper mill dumped the mercury into the Wabigoon-English River system between 1962 and 1970.
A 2010 report, entitled “Literature Review: The Impact of Mercury Poisoning on Human Health,” was commissioned by the Mercury Disability Board, yet kept hidden from those involved, claims Roger Fobister Sr., chief of Grassy Narrows First Nation.
- Created on Monday, 28 July 2014 09:08
Toronto – A report by scientific experts reveals that the government response to the ongoing mercury tragedy in Grassy Narrows has been inadequate and untruthful. The report was commissioned by the Mercury Disability Board in 2009, but it was never released to the public, and its scathing conclusions have not been acted on. The Board includes representatives of both the provincial and federal governments. The report contradicts the governmental refusal to acknowledge mercury poisoning in Grassy Narrows, and reveals that health care, diagnosis, and support for mercury survivors are substandard.
WHAT: Grassy Narrows responds to the report, calls for justice for mercury survivors.
WHEN: Monday July 28, 10:00 a.m.
WHO: Grassy Narrows Chief Roger Fobister Sr.
Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy
Grassy Narrows Mother of Five Judy Da Silva
Stephen Lewis available for comment by phone
WHERE: Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil St. (near Spadina and College)
N.B. Full copies of the report will be available at the press conference.
- Created on Tuesday, 15 July 2014 12:13
STEPHEN LEWIS SPEAKS WITH GRASSY NARROWS
Water, Indigenous rights, justice for mercury survivors.
July 29th, 6:30 - 8:30 PM, Ryerson University
• Grassy Narrows Chief Roger Fobister
• Judy Da Silva - Grassy Narrows Clan Mother
• Leanne Betasamosake Simpson - Writer, educator and activist
• Stephen Lewis
- Created on Tuesday, 15 July 2014 11:33
The people of Grassy Narrows have sustained themselves for thousands of years on their traditional territory – 6,500 square kilometres of boreal forest, lakes and rivers. Clearcut logging, mining, hydro damming, relocation, and mercury poisoning continue to threaten their way of life. Join Grassy Narrows families and their supporters in Toronto this July.
- Created on Monday, 09 June 2014 11:25
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Toronto, ON – The health of our environment underlies many of the concerns being debated in the Ontario provincial election, from future job growth to health care throughout our province.
But no major party has fully embraced the connection between a healthy environment, a healthy economy and healthy people, according to a survey of party positions undertaken by 20 of Ontario’s leading environmental non-profit organizations.
“From the alarming decline in pollinators to the uncoordinated rush to develop numerous mines and other resource projects in one of our last great wilderness areas, there are big issues at stake in this election,” says Tim Gray of Environmental Defence.
- Created on Thursday, 05 June 2014 12:15
Green Prosperity is a joint effort by 20 of Ontario’s leading environmental organizations to put forward an action agenda for the province that we believe will help make Ontario a world leader in the new green economy.
Looking for info about your local candidates? Check out the Elections Ontario website here.
- Created on Wednesday, 07 May 2014 18:01
Farley Mowat dead at 92
Award-winning author was also a noted environmentalist
Farley Mowat, one of Canada's best-known authors and a noted environmentalist, has died at age 92.
Mary Shaw-Rimmington, the author's assistant, confirmed his passing to CBC News on Wednesday afternoon. Mowat died at his home in Port Hope, Ont.
Mowat, author of dozens of works including Lost in the Barrens and Never Cry Wolf, introduced Canada to readers around the world and shared everything from his time abroad during the Second World War, to his travels in the North and his concern for the deteriorating environment.
- Created on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 03:39
Earthroots has some friendly suggestions for meaningful actions that can be taken to celebrate Earth Day!
1) Send a letter to the Premier asking her to protect Temagami's ancient red and white pine forests from logging. Click here to visit Earthroots' action centre.
2) Support Grassy Narrows in their fight to protect their traditional territory from clearcut logging. Click here to visit the action centre on freegrassy.net.
3) If you are in downtown Toronto on Wednesday afternoon, drop by the Earth Day Fair at 401 Richmond. Meet Earthroots staff and other representatives from the building who are doing great work to protect our environment. Click here for more info.
4) Celebrate this special occasion by contributing to Earthroots and our ongoing work to protect wilderness, wildlife and watersheds across Ontario by clicking here.
5) Start an Earth Day tradition!
* Share a local meal with friends and family
* Walk or bike to work
* Plant a tree
* Start seeds for a backyard garden
* Go for a local hike
* Properly dispose of hazardous household waste
* Replace a square meter of your lawn with ground cover
* Put up a bird feeder or bird box
6) Spread the word by passing this information on to your friends and family!
- Created on Wednesday, 02 April 2014 14:25
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Toronto - Under intense pressure Minister of Natural Resources David Orazietti has reversed his position on logging in Grassy Narrows Territory this year. A logging plan made final by the MNR on December 23rd showed large clearcuts throughout Grassy Narrows Territory scheduled to take effect on April 1st. The Minister now says that no clearcutting will happen this year on a huge area 18 times the size of the City of Toronto (11,304 sq km). The decision comes on the heals of boycotts, a request for environmental assessment from Grassy Narrows, and calls for renewed blockades by Regional Chief Beardy and the Grassy Narrows Youth Group.
In a written statement sent to media on March 26th, Minister Orazietti stated that “no harvesting activity is planned within 60km of Narrows First Nation until at least April 1, 2015.”
This is a complete reversal of his ministry's recent position on this contentious issue.
On February 3rd the CBC reported that "the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources confirmed to CBC by e-mail on January 31st that clear-cut logging would start on April 1st" in Grassy Narrows Territory south of the English River – the half of the Territory closest to the community site which is not subject to Grassy Narrows' Supreme Court case scheduled for May 15th.
- Created on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 04:58
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Toronto - EACOM Timber Corporation has committed not to use conflict wood from Grassy Narrows First Nation Territory, home of Canada's longest running Indigenous logging blockade. The promise comes just one week before Ontario's contentious new ten-year clearcut logging plan for Grassy Narrows Territory in the Whiskey Jack Forest is scheduled to take effect. Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy has called for immediate blockades if logging resumes under the plan.
"To hear a huge logging company commit not to use trees from our territory is such good news in our struggle to protect the forest and to keep our culture alive." said Judy Da Silva, a Grassy Narrows mother of five, clan mother, and blockader. "I am hoping that Weyerhaeuser Corp. will do the same and listen when we say 'no' to logging. This is for the good of all future generations who need clean water and air."
Grassy Narrows First Nation has rejected Ontario's new Whiskey Jack Forest Management Plan, which plans for a decade of clearcut logging throughout their Territory, on the basis that it does not respect their rights and is damaging to their environment. The final plan was posted online by the Ministry of Natural Resources on December 23, 2013, and is scheduled to take effect on April 1, 2014.
EACOM owns 10 mills in Canada, with six sawmills in Ontario, including the large Ear Falls sawmill which is located in close proximity to Grassy Narrows Territory in Northwestern Ontario. This commitment leaves Weyerhaeuser and Kenora Forest Products isolated as the only large regional forest products companies who have not committed publicly to avoid Grassy Narrows conflict wood.
The commitment was made in a letter to environmental group Earthroots sent Monday afternoon. In the letter Keith Ley, EACOM Manager of Forest Planning and Environment, states that "EACOM will not knowingly source wood fiber from the self-declared traditional territory of the Grassy Narrows First Nation on the basis of the ongoing dispute and efforts at resolution."
- Created on Tuesday, 25 March 2014 21:54
Raveena Aulakh, The Star
EACOM Timber Corp., one of Ontario's biggest lumber companies, won’t use wood from Grassy Narrows First Nation Territory, a week before logging plan takes effect
One of the biggest lumber companies in Ontario says it will not use wood from Grassy Narrows First Nation territory, just a week before a controversial new 10-year logging plan comes into effect.
EACOM Timber Corporation said Monday that it will avoid wood fibre from the reserve.
It owns six sawmills in the province.
David Sone, an environmentalist with Earthroots, called it a victory for the people of the reserve.
“If even logging companies are willing to respect Grassy Narrows’ right to say no to logging, then why won’t Ontario stop trying to force clearcuts on the community,” said Sone, adding that if companies don’t buy the wood, the plan is bound to fail.
- Created on Tuesday, 28 January 2014 21:14
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Clearcutting will elevate mercury poison in fish
Grassy Narrows – Grassy Narrows First Nation is calling for a thorough environmental assessment of the newly approved plan for clearcut logging on their Territory – an important test of Ontario’s environmental laws. Grassy Narrows is concerned that the planned logging could harm the health of their families by raising mercury poison levels in local fish. The logging plan makes no mention of mercury, even though Grassy Narrows Territory is the site of Canada’s most infamous case of mercury poisoning arising from 9,000 kg of mercury that was dumped into a local river by a paper mill upstream in the 1960’s. Scientific studies indicate that clearcut logging in the boreal forest can raise mercury in fish to unsafe levels.
“Ontario has ignored our voices, and is planning to force more devastating clearcuts on our people,” said Joseph Fobister, a Grassy Narrows hunter and businessman. “Our people will become even more sick if the government knowingly allows the logging industry to poison the fish that we eat.”
Grassy Narrows’ request is an important test of Ontario’s environmental laws. Logging plans in Ontario are generally exempt from Environmental Assessment, but concerned people and groups can request an Individual Environmental Assessment (IEA) of a plan if they believe that environmental and human health are not being protected. Such requests have almost ever been granted.
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