Background on Environment North

Environment North, as the name suggests, is involved in "Northern" issues. It has functioned as a regional coalition of individual members and environmental or citizen organizations for several decades since its formation in 1972.

ENVIRONMENT NORTH and other groups provided information and research re Federal and Ontario government plans, circa 1980, to dispose of Canada's nuclear reactor fuel waste and foreign nuclear wastes in the region. Regional opposition to this concept and test drilling was considerable. After a lengthy pause, meetings and hearings were reinitiated and members continue to monitor refinements in the process and make presentations.

We are often directly involved in various land use issues. These have included setting aside land for World Heritage and provincial parkland for protection of wildlife and ecosystems. Members worked directly the "Lands for Life – Living Legacy? and helped to increase the area of protected areas from 6% to 14% of the land area of Northwestern Ontario.

In the early 1990's, members lobbied City Hall to initiate a recycling program for household waste in Thunder Bay.

More recent issues include insisting that a fossil-fuel energy generation scheme that proposed use of a fuel and technology combination, never tried previously in Canada, be subject to a full environment assessment.

ENVIRONMENT north worked directly with other groups to protect fish habitat from development of a hydroelectric facility on the Steele River.

Climate Change is and will become a significant issue for Northwestern Ontario. ENIVIRONMENT north held two conferences in 2007, Climate Change Solving it Together I and II, sharing with the public the results of current academic research and potential solutions.

ENVIRONMENT north has a "pro-north" perspective, and attempts to represent interests and particular issues of the region. Northern Ontario has been regarded as a storehouse of resources with little concern about communities, secondary industries and economic diversity. Such practices have produced a "boom and bust" economy. The Northwest presently stumbles through the "bust" part of the cycle.

We believe that diversifying the economy while maintaining the natural resource base needs to be a central principle in regional practices; in other words, a "sustainable" North, where economic and social decisions contribute to the long-term viability of our region.

Consider participating in our organization. Attend our monthly meetings to find out more about current projects.

One of the best ways that we can communicate to you, the public, is through this website.

A website is always a "work in progress" Please feel welcome to make your suggestions.

By Graham Saunders