- Created on Wednesday, 10 August 2011 22:47
- Created on Friday, 15 July 2011 13:30
Toronto – Earthroots, an Ontario based environmental organization, harshly condemned yesterday’s layoff of provincial employees. Yesterday 274 public sector workers in the province were laid off in the first wave of what the Ontario Public Services Employee Union expects to be 1,900 job cuts between now and next March. Among the laid off workers are 57 people with technical expertise in water safety and air quality at the environment ministry.
“Cutting workers who safeguard our air quality and water safety is a scary and dangerously short sighted move,” said Josh Garfinkel, Senior Campaigner at Earthroots. “The hard working people at the Ministry of the Environment are already stretched too thin trying to monitor thousands of potential impacts to our water from well financed and well lawyered industries.”
- Created on Tuesday, 12 July 2011 18:57
Independent experts verify Grassy Narrows’ concerns
Toronto - The independent audit of logging in the Whiskey Jack Forest 2004-2009 released recently by the provincial government paints a disturbing picture of a forest in decline. “The audit team found significant issues with management of the Whiskey Jack Forest, both in planning and in on-the-ground implementation of the plan.” [p.ii] The report contains a staggering 21 recommendations to address material “non-conformances to a law and/or policy” and “a significant lack of effectiveness in forest management activities.” [p.2, p.ii] The report states that “[f]orest sustainability… will not be achieved unless corrective measures are immediately taken.” [p.iii]
On the longstanding dispute between Grassy Narrows First Nation (GNFN) and the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) the auditors reported that fundamental differences “cannot be resolved without… relinquishing significant authority to the First Nation to manage portions of the Whiskey Jack Forest according to the desires of the GNFN community. The audit team further believes that the forest management planning process did not anticipate, nor was it designed to resolve the type of dispute currently being experienced on the Whiskey Jack Forest.” [p.5]
- Created on Wednesday, 06 July 2011 17:14
Toronto – Yesterday Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation (KI) voted overwhelmingly in favour of protecting their entire watershed from all industrial activity. In a community referendum, 96% of voters supported the KI Watershed Declaration which applies to a vast 13,025 square kilometer area of boreal lakes, rivers, forest, and wetlands in KI Homeland that is over 20 times the size of the City of Toronto. The Watershed Declaration is intended to protect the 661 square kilometer Big Trout Lake and the watersheds of all rivers which flow into and out of the lake.
“Far too many First Nations communities are forced to suffer from industrially contaminated water sources,” said David Sone of Earthroots. “Earthroots fully supports this visionary decision by the Elders, citizens, and leadership of KI First Nation; a decision that will benefit all Ontarians. We call on Premier McGuinty to act swiftly to recognize and respect KI’s decision to protect their water and, if necessary, we will take action with KI to help defend their life-giving watershed.”
- Created on Thursday, 23 June 2011 22:19
This is a corrected version of Earthroots press releases sent out on June 13th, 2011. It is important that you rely on this one and disregard previous versions.
Some Weyerhaeuser iLevel products contain formaldehyde, a chemical listed as “known to be a human carcinogen”
Studies indicate significant increased risk of hospitalization of children due to asthma correlated to formaldehyde exposure
Toronto - A chemical widely used in wood products mills has been newly found to cause cancer. On Friday, June 10 2011, the U.S. government’s National Toxicology Program Report on Carcinogens listed formaldehyde as “known to be a human carcinogen” following a “rigorous scientific review;” a change from its previous listing as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” The report found sufficient evidence from studies in humans that formaldehyde causes nasopharyngeal cancer, sinonasal cancer, and lymphohematopoietic cancer, specifically myeloid leukemia.  The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires labeling for “all materials capable of releasing formaldehyde at levels above 0.5 ppm during normal use, the label must contain the words ‘potential cancer hazard’.”  The measurement unit parts per million is often abbreviated as ppm.
Formaldehyde-based resins are used to bind wood fibers in some forest products. “In homes, the most significant sources of formaldehyde are likely to be pressed wood products made using adhesives that contain urea-formaldehyde (UF) resins.”  Phenol-Formaldehyde adhesives are used in some of Weyerhaeuser’s iLevel engineered wood products.  Products made with phenol-formaldehyde may emit formaldehyde, but generally at lower levels.
- Created on Tuesday, 07 June 2011 21:26
Grassroots women from Grassy Narrows are blocking a bush road to keep Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) enforcement officers out. The community is repairing a bridge that became impassible after the MNR abandoned road repairs when logging was stopped in the area. The road is used daily by Grassy Narrows members to access blue berries, wild rice, and medicine picking areas, as well as other traditional activities on their traditional territory. The road is also the only alternate route out of the community during wild fires, floods, and other emergencies. For years the government had said they will only allow the road to be repaired if the community agrees to logging on the territory, and workers were threatened with a $10,000 fine and the seizing of their machinery. But under increasing pressure and public scrutiny the Minister has been forced to step in to try and resolve the dispute. Minister Jeffery has committed to complete the repairs at the MNR's expense, and to refrain from pressing any charges.
Earthroots is supporting Grassy Narrows in their fight to end clearcutting on their traditional territory, seek justice for ongoing mercury poisoning, and restore community control over their traditional territory.
Read the Kenora Daily Miner article: http://www.kenoradailyminerandnews.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3149701
- Created on Friday, 29 April 2011 00:44
Battle cost town more than $650,000
By Sean Pearce
The verdict is in on Aurora’s long-running battle against a plan to build 75 luxury homes and an 18-hole golf course on a section of the Oak Ridges Moraine near Leslie Street and Bloomington Road.
Ontario Municipal Board vice-chairperson Jan de P. Seaborn recently handed down her decision and interim order stemming from the series of hearings, which concluded in January. She ruled the proposal from Lebovic Enterprises, dubbed Westhill, conforms to all relevant provincial policies, including the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and the Region of York’s official plan.
As such, she ordered Aurora to amend its planning documents and bylaws to permit the development to proceed.
To read the full article, please visit: http://www.yorkregion.com/news/article/997878--omb-rules-against-aurora-on-westhill
- Created on Wednesday, 30 March 2011 01:00
At the end of last year, KI First Nation informed De Beers that the community will not allow exploration by the multinational mining industry giant on KI lands. In September 2010, less than 9 months after KI blockades forced Platinex to surrender its claims, De Beers wrote this remote fly in community proposing “to carry out exploration for diamonds in an area to the north of the community of Big Trout Lake (KI),” an area 600 kilometers north of Thunder Bay, Ontario. The proposed area of interest is directly adjacent to the KI reserve and covers much of KI territory.
“I cannot overemphasize the real clear danger that my people see when confronted by the threat of mining activity on our territory,” explained Chief Donny Morris. “KI stopped the Platinex exploration in our territory because it would have destroyed the watershed that our people depend on.”
Earthroots is supporting KI led efforts to continue protecting KI lands and watersheds.
- Created on Wednesday, 30 March 2011 01:57
Helping Torontonians understand the importance of protecting Ontario's wilderness
Toronto's Earthroots, a grassroots, non-profit organization, has a mission - to protect Ontario's threatened wilderness areas and wildlife species.
Currently, the downtown organization is turning its power to the woodland caribou in the Boreal Forests, an area that is about 50 million hectares, extending from the northern limits of the Great Lakes to the Hudson Bay Lowlands. (www.mnr.gov.on.ca, search Boreal Forests.) The woodland caribou is a threatened species in Ontario and despite passing the endangered species act to protect the creatures, the government is considering allowing logging and mining, which will destroy the caribou's habitat, said Amber Ellis, Earthroots' executive director.
- Created on Wednesday, 16 March 2011 18:17
A Superior Court judge has granted Scugog a temporary injunction stopping a Port Perry company from dumping commercial fill at a site in the township.
Growing concerns among residents about possible contamination from dumping at an old gravel pit on the Oak Ridges Moraine, prompted the Township of Scugog to yank Earthworx’s dumping permit last October.
Click here to read the article in The Star: http://www.thestar.com/news/transportation/article/953970--ruling-temporaril
- Created on Tuesday, 01 March 2011 00:00
March 1, 2011 (Toronto) – Greenpeace and Earthroots, held a funeral procession today outside a closed government consultation session to mourn the McGuinty government’s continued failure to stop the countdown to extinction of Ontario’s threatened woodland caribou herds.
“We held our procession to mourn caribou because Premier McGuinty promised in 2007 to protect woodland caribou and since then he’s done nothing tangible to keep his promise,” said Catharine Grant, Greenpeace Forest Campaigner. “Today marks another nail in the coffin for caribou in this province.”
- Created on Sunday, 13 February 2011 22:35
Naomi Enns and Lonnie Schofield won’t let their four kids drink the water at their Port Perry home.
They don’t drink it or even cook with it any more because they fear possible contamination of their well water.
That’s because they live just 50 metres from an old gravel pit on the Oak Ridges Moraine that, since last May, has become a repository for commercial fill — soil dug out from development sites across Greater Toronto.
- Created on Tuesday, 25 January 2011 10:29
Groups alarmed by new exemption under the Endangered Species Act
Leading conservation organizations are concerned that the McGuinty government has placed woodland caribou and its own North American-leading species legislation at risk by exempting a swath of industries from accountability under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act (ESA).
The proposed exemption to the ESA announced yesterday will grant industries like forestry, mining and hydro full access to most of woodland caribou habitat despite the fact that the threatened species was listed as a “fast-track” species for habitat protection when the ESA was enacted in 2007.