- Created on Thursday, 22 September 2011 01:00
Toronto. The Tools for Change program has launched its 2011/2012 workshop series. This year’s series consists of 16 workshops designed to provide Torontonians with the skills they need to advocate for social, economic, and environmental justice.
Ranging from three hours to a day in length, workshop topics include media strategy, facilitation, scouting, organizing rallies and actions, and conflict resolution. A complete list of this year’s workshops is online at: http://www.toolsforchange.net/events/
“Crippling student debt. Cuts to critical public services. Ongoing war. Climate change. It’s completely overwhelming to students and young people who don’t know how to channel their concern and altruism into concrete action,” says Tools for Change co-founder and University of Toronto Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) coordinator, Clare O’Connor. “Our workshops provide an opportunity for students to connect with like-minded people and learn practical skills for change.”
- Created on Monday, 12 September 2011 10:53
Environmental Groups Launch New Campaign to Protect the Rain Barrel of Southern Ontario
On the 10-year anniversary of the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act, Save the Oak Ridges Moraine (STORM), Earthroots and Ontario Nature have joined forces to shine a spotlight on the most severe threats to the moraine, southern Ontario's rain barrel.
"We're pleased to announce the launch of our Moraine Can't Wait campaign, which will focus attention on a number of serious issues facing the moraine," says Debbe Crandall, Executive Director of STORM. "We can't wait until the 2015 review of the Conservation Plan, during which time these problems will only get worse. We're asking Ontario residents to make the moraine a priority in this provincial election."
The stunning Oak Ridges Moraine extends for 160 kilometres end to end, north of the Greater Toronto Area. This unique land formation possesses important prairie, forest and wetland habitats, many of which are a refuge for rare plants, birds and turtles. The moraine is likened to a rain barrel because it supplies drinking water to more than 250,000 people. But despite the legislation passed a decade ago, the ecological integrity of the moraine remains highly vulnerable to numerous environmental assaults.
"Unmonitored water taking is one of the most troubling concerns we have about the moraine," says Josh Garfinkel, Senior Campaigner with Earthroots. "Millions of litres of water are pumped out of the aquifers every day and millions more leak into the sewage system."
- Created on Friday, 09 September 2011 01:00
The Green Prosperity Initiative, a combined effort of 19 Ontario environmental organizations, today released an assessment of the environmental platforms of the four major provincial parties. The joint assessment can be found at www.greenprosperity.ca.
“Overall, three parties – the Liberals, NDP and Greens – have provided us with important insights into how they will protect Ontario’s environment and build a green economy. The Progressive Conservatives, unfortunately, chose not to respond to our specific questions,” says Rick Smith, executive director of Environmental Defence.
While the three other parties provided detailed responses to the Green Prosperity election questionnaire and have included major environmental planks in their platform, the Progressive Conservatives opted not to provide any further detail on their plans to end the Green Energy Act’s Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program, build new nuclear units or repeal legislation designed to protect the ecology of Ontario’s vast wild Far Northern boreal region among other policies.
- Created on Thursday, 01 September 2011 18:56
Although the battle is far from over, this is a huge victory - congratulations to all the dedicated activists working on this issue! To read the statement released by the Ministry of the Environment today, please click here.
To learn more about this critical issue and the threats to southern Ontario's vital agricultural lands, please watch the video below:
- Created on Monday, 22 August 2011 11:38
Statement today from Jack Layton's wife and two children: "We deeply regret to inform you that The Honourable Jack Layton, leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada, passed away at 4:45 am today, Monday August 22. He passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by family and loved ones. Details of Mr. Layton’s funeral arrangements will be forthcoming."
OTTAWA–Jack Layton, the New Democratic Party leader who led his party to Official Opposition status in this year’s federal election, has died after a battle with cancer. He was 61.
“Your support and well wishes are so appreciated. Thank you,” Layton, posted to the social media site Twitter in July after announcing he was battling a new form of cancer. “I will fight this and beat it.”
It ended up being the last public announcement he would make in his long political career, which saw him evolve from campus activist to rabble-rousing left-wing municipal councilor to the most electorally successful leader of the federal New Democrats in history.
Layton had been on a leave of absence as party leader since July 25, when he temporarily stepped aside to fight a second — and evidently much more serious — bout of cancer.
It is cliché to say that a politician has politics in his blood, and yet there are few politicians who embody it the way Layton did, with his family involvement in the life reaching all the way back to the birth of the country.
To read more about Jack Layton's life and brilliant career, please view the full article here.
- Created on Thursday, 18 August 2011 22:14
(Toronto) – On August 16th the Grassy Narrows First Nation (Asubpeeschoseewagong Netum Anishinabek) won a major victory in their more than decade long battle to stop clearcut logging in their traditional territory. Grassy Narrows Chief and Council welcome the decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to protect the rights promised to the Anishinaabe from interference by Ontario. Madam Justice Mary-Anne Sanderson’s decision, over 300 pages in length, finds that the Government of Ontario does not have the power to take away the rights in Treaty 3 by authorizing development including logging and mining.
This decision will set the stage for proper recognition and protection of those rights and, even more importantly, will help protect the Anishinaabe way of life in Northwestern Ontario. Grassy Narrows hopes that this will be a turning point in this battle. We expect that real protection for the endangered boreal forest and our way of life will be put in place immediately.
- 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
- KI First Nation Says “No” to De Beers Exploration
- Earthroots featured on InsideToronto.com!
- Lakeridge update: Ruling temporarily halts dumping at Scugog gravel pit
- Groups hold funeral march to oppose caribou extinction under McGuinty plan
- Fears of contaminated soil on Oak Ridges Moraine
- Province fails to protect threatened caribou