- Created on Friday, 18 June 2010 12:08
Toronto - The Government of Ontario is planning to make disturbing changes to the rules that govern how forest management in Ontario is undertaken. The proposed changes will reduce the public voice in forest management and reveal a clear bias towards industry.
“The provincial government is trying to push through changes that will stifle the public’s ability to influence logging plans in our province,” says David Sone, Forest Campaigner for the environmental group Earthroots. “Existing laws are already opaque and unresponsive, but these new changes will make it nearly impossible for most members of the public to participate meaningfully,” Sone adds.
- Created on Tuesday, 15 June 2010 15:00
Earth Day Canada's Hometown Heroes Award - Recognizing Environmental Achievement
They overcome environmental obstacles. They engage others in support of a sustainable community. You may know them as a neighbour, friend or local volunteer group, but to Earth Day Canada, they’re Hometown Heroes working to support a healthier environment.
The Hometown Heroes Award Program, established by Earth Day Canada in 2004, recognizes and celebrates environmental leaders, whether an individual, group or organization, who foster meaningful, long-term community awareness and action.
Although Earthroots did not win the Hometown Heroes Group Award this year, we are honoured to be acknowledged as one of the top 10 organizations that is doing important environmental work in Canada. To see the list for 2010, please click here.
- Created on Tuesday, 18 May 2010 15:40
Some of the world’s largest clearcuts still planned in the province
Toronto - Despite announcements made today, the devastation of Ontario’s forests continues largely unabated. Giant clearcuts, which level forested areas as large as pre-megacity Toronto (10,000 ha), still make up 94% of the area logged each year in Ontario. Canada’s logging industry employs only 2/3 of the workers per tree cut that Sweden employs, and Ontario has still not respected the human right of Indigenous peoples to say “no” to logging on their traditional lands.
“Ontarians should not rest easily about the health of our forests,” said David Sone of Earthroots. “Our forests are still being decimated by the same cut-and-run logging industry giants who leave a trail of laid off workers, violated Indigenous land rights, and ecologically barren clearcuts before moving on to new jurisdictions with weaker environmental and human rights standards.”
- Created on Friday, 07 May 2010 15:41
Weyerhaeuser now only major logger refusing to respect human rights in Grassy Narrows
Toronto - Today Earthroots announced that North America’s largest office paper producer, Domtar Corporation (UFS-T), has committed to stay clear of Grassy Narrows conflict wood, subject to the longest running Indigenous logging blockade in Canadian history. This comes two days after Domtar’s annual share holder meeting during which the company stated it would bring back its dividend, having produced a record $546-million of free cash flow in fiscal year 2009.
“Weyerhaeuser now stands alone as the only major logger who refuses to respect our right to say ‘no’ to logging on our territory,” said Joseph Fobister of Grassy Narrows. “The days of ignoring our land rights with impunity are over. We will never stand by while the forests that sustain our health, our culture, and our livelihood are clearcut against our will.”
- Created on Thursday, 22 April 2010 03:39
Earthroots has some friendly suggestions for meaningful actions that can be taken to celebrate Earth Day!
1) Send a letter to the Minister of the Environment, John Gerretsen, asking him to increase protection for the Oak Ridges Moraine. To access our template letter click here.
2) Take action for Grassy Narrows right now by clicking here!
3) Attend the free festivities at Earth Day 2010 in Downsview Park this Sunday, April 25th, and stop by the Earthroots booth for a chance to speak with our staff and volunteers. 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 Thursday, 22 April 2010 03:22
Earthroots and STORM call for increased protection of the Moraine on Earth Day
(Toronto) April 22nd, 2010 marks 8 years since the establishment of the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, heralded at the time as one of the most progressive conservation-based policy frameworks in Ontario’s history. In 2001 the Province of Ontario enacted special legislation to protect the 160-kilometre Oak Ridges Moraine. Described as southern Ontario’s rain barrel, the Moraine is a groundwater recharge/discharge area that feeds 65 river systems and provides drinking water to over 250,000 people. The Moraine’s permeable sands and gravel absorb and collect precipitation, which slowly recharge underground aquifers.
However 8 years later, environmentalists and concerned citizens have unearthed glaring gaps in the conservation plan’s water protection policies that are being exploited by developers and municipal governments. These gaps allow developers to leapfrog the Moraine and by-pass protection by piping ‘Moraine groundwater’ from within protected areas to service water needs for new developments off the Moraine. “The intent of the conservation plan was to ensure that the cumulative impacts of major water-takings associated with development would be assessed through progressive watershed planning”, says Josh Garfinkel, Senior Campaigner for Earthroots. “However watershed plans are only required if new development happens within the Oak Ridges Moraine boundary. There’s nothing to stop Moraine waters being used to service development off the Moraine.”
- Created on Wednesday, 07 April 2010 01:00
The Canadian Press
TORONTO — Ottawa and the provincial government must take action to protect members of a northwestern Ontario First Nation whose water and fish are contaminated with mercury, residents said Wednesday.
Dozens of residents made the 1,800-kilometre trek to Toronto to take part in a march to the legislature. They held aloft a sea of blue fabric and cardboard fish to make it look like a river was flowing toward the legislature.
"That's a very basic life for us to have clean drinking water," said Grassy Narrows resident Judy Da Silva.
To read the full story, please click here.
To view photos from the River Run march and rally, please click here.
Grassy Narrows needs your support - take action now! Click here to find out what you can do to help.
- Created on Tuesday, 06 April 2010 01:00
By The Canadian Press
TORONTO – An international expert says the health effects of mercury poisoning on a First Nation reserve in northwestern Ontario are worse now than in the 1970s.
The environmental group Earthroots says between 1962 and 1970 a paper mill in Dryden dumped 20,000 pounds of mercury into the Wabigoon River.
Japanese mercury expert Dr. Masazumi Harada first visited the Grassy Narrows reserve in 1975 and found people with mercury levels over three times the Health Canada limit.
To read the full story, please click here.
To read the report, please click here.
For more information about the issue or to support Grassy Narrows First Nation, please visit freegrassy.org
- Created on Wednesday, 03 March 2010 17:39
Source: BY MIKE AIKEN, MINER AND NEWS
Section: News Page: 1
Treaty 3 Grand Chief Diane Kelly moved to assert aboriginal rights in area forests as chiefs met at Wauzhushk Onigum (Rat Portage) over the weekend.
"We expect that, through various discussions with the province of Ontario, that they will wake up from their slumber," Kelly said in a prepared statement.
"They will realize that it is the treaty framework that will provide economic benefits for all of our communities in Northwestern Ontario, and forgetting this framework is not only detrimental to Treaty 3 communities, but also to our local neighbours in the municipalities and industry," she continued
In the accompanying position paper, the grand chief made specific mention of the ongoing dispute between Grassy Narrows and the province of Ontario over the Whiskey Jack, where a roadblock has been in place for more than seven years.
Their position paper comes as Natural Resources is seeking input into forest management plans, particularly for the Whiskey Jack Forest, as well as accepting applications for the wood supply competitive process.
- Created on Wednesday, 17 February 2010 16:16
February 5th, 2010
By Josh Garfinkel and Josh Kohler
Residents in and around Millbrook have expressed substantial opposition to a proposed development of massive proportions in nearby Fraserville. Cavan Monaghan Township has planned an expansion to the Kawartha Downs casino, as well as nearly 700 homes, a golf course, big box stores, an entertainment complex, and so on. The crux of the issue is water; due to contamination of groundwater in Fraserville the township wants to pipe water from Millbrook's wells, 12 kilometres away.
One essential element missing from recent news reports is that two of Millbrook's three wells are within the protected area of the Oak Ridges Moraine. The moraine is a source of drinking water for more than a quarter million people. It acts as a giant filter for Southern Ontario, purifying water and then dispersing it into 65 rivers and streams that replenish the Southern Ontario lakes that millions more Ontarians draw their water from.
- Created on Wednesday, 03 February 2010 19:02
Earthroots is excited to see a new progressive plan for a Markham Foodbelt put forth by Markham Councilors Valerie Burke and Erin Shapero. In response to the extreme pressures of growth in Markham and concerns for the municipalities remaining agricultural land and long term food security, this proposal aims to preserve 2,000 hectares of prime agricultural land by freezing Markham’s current urban boundaries and focusing all future growth within these boundaries. While the benefits and necessity of preserving near-urban agricultural land have been clearly demonstrated in other parts of the world, Ontario is only starting to try and catch up with this progressive practice.
- Created on Friday, 29 January 2010 17:50
A massive proposed development in Fraserville, Peterborough County, has exposed a dangerous loophole in the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan (ORMCP); it appears that developments outside of the Moraine’s boundaries can by-pass protection and pipe water from within protected areas of the Moraine to service their water needs. The Fraserville development would involve an expansion to the OLG Slots Casino at Kawartha Downs, 684 residential units, a new golf course with club house and additional residential units, an entertainment complex, hotel, recreation centre, community centre, big box stores, auto-dealerships, and the list goes on.
- Created on Wednesday, 13 January 2010 15:20
An area in Northern Ontario, located in the James Bay Lowlands, has been the centre of media attention and public scrutiny because of the thousands of mining claims that have been staked in the area. The "Ring of Fire" is found within the pristine wilderness of Ontario’s currently industry-free Far North. The area, surrounded by muskeg wetland that comprises one of the largest wetlands in the world, drains half of Canada’s largest rivers and is a massive store-house of carbon dioxide, while providing habitat to a variety of wildlife species.
Despite recent changes to Ontario’s Mining Act and the newly developed Far North Protection Act, both of which require extensive public consultation before development can occur, Earthroots is alarmed that the mining industry may be circumventing these laws. Fears abound that the McGuinty government is viewing the Ring of Fire as a panacea to our economic woes, since the area boasts mineral potential that rivals those found in Sudbury.
- More Protection for Algonquin Park
- Media Release: Building Resilience Through Accountability
- Citizens from Across Ontario Gather in Temagami's Wilderness to Celebrate the Changing of the Seasons
- Temagami back on the chopping block
- Human rights must be the Priority at Grassy Narrows: Social justice groups say province’s efforts to resume clear-cut logging could derail progress in Grassy Narrows
- Take action to protect the Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Park