Latest News

In Memory of Farley Mowat, 1921 - 2014

Farley Mowat dead at 92

Award-winning author was also a noted environmentalist

CBC News

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.

  • Author and environmentalist Farley Mowat has died at age 92. He poses here during the filming of the 1989 CBC documentary Sea of Slaughter, based on Mowat’s book of the same name, which describes the wasteful destruction of wildlife on Canada’s east coast. 

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.

See the full article (which includes video and audio clips) on CBC.

MNR Will Not Force Logging in Grassy Narrows Territory This Year



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.


Major lumber company vows to avoid Grassy Narrows conflict wood



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."


Grassy Narrows First Nation greets Ontario lumber firm’s decision

, 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.

To read the full article click here.

Grassy Narrows requests environmental assessment of logging plan


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. 


Guest Speaker Panel on Human-Canid Interactions

Brock University, 500 Glenridge Avenue, Saint Catharines, Ontario

Click here to see the event page on Facebook.

Minister makes false statement on logging in Grassy Narrows


Will Wynne force clearcuts on Grassy Narrows knowing that they release mercury poison?


Grassy Narrows - Today Grassy Narrows Chief Fobister is calling out Minister Orazietti for false statements made yesterday about planned logging in Grassy Narrows Territory.

In a written statement sent to news media the Minister of Natural Resources said:

"Under this Plan, there are no planned harvest blocks located within the Grassy Narrows’ self-identified Traditional Land Use Area."

"The minister's statement is false, and completely misrepresents Ontario's plans for another decade of clearcut logging on our territory against our will,"  said Grassy Narrows Chief Simon Fobister.  "It is time for the Minister to clear up the confusion that he has cause with his false statement and to answer once and for all:  Will the Wynne government force logging on our community against our will, knowing that logging would release more mercury into our food chain?"


Liberal government’s changes ‘undermined’ Endangered Species Act

 Queen's Park Bureau, The Star

Ontario's environmental watchdog warns endangered species at risk because of changes made by minority Liberal government


Endangered species such as the grey fox and dwarf iris are at greater risk because of changes Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government made behind closed doors, Ontario’s environmental commissioner warned Wednesday.

By revising regulations to grant “broad exemptions” on requirements for land development permits last July, the province “undermined” its widely hailed Endangered Species Act passed in 2007, Gord Miller said in a new report.

Read the full article here.

Grassy Narrows First Nation’s anti-logging battle with province heats up

Donovan Vincent, The Star

Grassy Narrows' Chief and council members tell the Toronto Star's editorial board they're girding for battle against Ontario's forestry plan.


Members of the Grassy Narrows First Nation say Ontario’s logging plans would adversely affect forests in their community and worsen the mercury poisoning issues residents have been grappling with for decades.

Chief Simon Fobister, “clan mother’’ Judith Da Silva, and band councillor Rudy Turtle met with the Toronto Star’s editorial board Wednesday and spoke out against the province’s long-term forest management plan for their area.

Read the full article here.

Grassy Narrows rejects Forest Management Plan for the Whiskey Jack Forest 2012 – 2022 on the basis of failure to consult and infringes on Aboriginal and Treaty Rights


Today Grassy Narrows Chief and Council sent an open letter to Premier Wynne rejecting Ontario's Forestry Management Plan 2012 - 2022 for another decade of clear-cut logging on Grassy Narrows Territory.  The Forest Management plan for the Whiskey Jack Forest 2012-2022 is in the final stages of approval and is currently posted for public comment.   

The plan sets out a schedule to clear-cut much of what little mature forest remains on Grassy Narrows Territory after decades of large scale industrial logging.  This will further erode the Aboriginal, Treaty Rights and the ability of the community to sustain their families and to practice their culture through fishing, hunting, trapping, medicine harvesting, ceremony and healing for all generations.

"Premier Wynne, it is within your power to ensure that the mistakes of the past are not repeated at the expense of another generation of Grassy Narrows children," said Grassy Narrows Chief Simon Fobister.  "I call on you to ensure that never again will Ontario attempt to force decisions on our people and our lands."


More than one million Ontarians call for an end to unwanted logging in Grassy Narrows


Premier Wynne does not respond to request for dialogue with civil society groups

Toronto - Organizations representing more than one million people across Ontario are calling on Premier Kathleen Wynne to a make a clear and unequivocal commitment that the province will respect the wishes of the people of Asubpeeschoseewagong (Grassy Narrows) that no new logging permits be issued in their traditional territory. 

The province is currently engaged in five year long talks with Grassy Narrows over the management of their traditional lands in the Whiskey Jack forest, north of Kenora. Last year, while the talks were in progress, the Ministry of Natural Resources unilaterally adopted a ten year forest management direction for Grassy Narrows Territory that included no meaningful recognition of Aboriginal and Treaty rights and perpetuated the model of industrial clear-cutting that first sparked an ongoing blockade at Grassy Narrows a decade ago.


Ontario should stop logging of old-growth forest: Editorial, The Star

Photo: Hap Wilson


Temagami’s soaring forests are home to more than half the world’s old-growth red and white pine trees. It’s an impressive distinction, except that only a tiny fraction of the original growth still exists, leaving the trees — and the biodiversity they support — on the edge of extinction.

That precarious existence, exacerbated by the harsh winds or fires of extreme weather patterns, is further harmed when the Ontario government allows logging companies to remove the old growth, pines that have populated these forests for some 140 to 400 years.

Read the full article here.


Changing of the Seasons Gathering in Temagami


Over the weekend of September 14th, 2013 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. The guest speaker will be Joe Katt, Second Chief of the Temagami First Nation. 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.