More Earth Abuse

Tenth Anniversary of Grassy Narrows Blockade

Anna Willow, Straight Goods News: Grassy Narrows blockade ten years later, Dec 10, 2012

A summary of the ten-year long logging blockade by members of the Grassy Narrows First Nation and their allies, this tells of successes and remaining challenges. The most significant success was a 2011 Ontario court decision “that the province of Ontario lacks legal authority to issue forestry licenses that interfere with treaty rights, an area of federal jurisdiction.” Other events in Grassy Narrows history are touched upon: Treaty Three in 1873, the Indian Act of 1876, forced relocation in the 1960s, and the discovery of mercury poisoning from paper mill waste in 1970.

Lisa Laco and Judy da Silva, CBC Thunder Bay: Grassy Narrows 10 Years Later (audio), Dec 3, 2012 (5 min)

A quick overview of the longest blockade in Canadian history. It started as a reaction to clear-cutting of traditional hunting grounds. Now mining companies are entering the area.


Lisa Laco and Allyne Gliddon, CBC Thunder Bay: Sachigo Lake First Nation Mess (audio), Dec 5, 2012 (10+ min)

A colossal mess was left behind when a mine site near Sachigo Lake First Nation was abandoned decades ago. Included in the debris are trucks, rusting fuel tanks, barrels of cyanide and spilled PCBs. An open shaft also remains. It wasn’t until 2012 that remaining accessible fuel was burned off. Efforts to have the site cleaned up are bogged down in red tape. The very remote First Nation on the Manitoba border still obtains its food from surrounding forests and waters.

Mega-Quarry vs Prime Farmland

Joe Friesen, The Globe and Mail: Coalition of farmers and urban foodies halts Ontario mega-quarry, Nov 22, 2012

A really good-news story, it illustrates how peaceful people power can stop the mega-projects of big corporations. A small number of rural dwellers were able to mobilize thousands in large urban centres.

David Suzuki, Taters versus craters: Mega-quarry pits farmland against industry, Oct 16, 2012

An aggregates company wants to remove a huge acreage of prime potato-growing farmland in order to get at a 20-storey-deep deposit of limestone. The company makes the incredible claim that it can restore this land north of Toronto by replacing the soil back into the mined-out pit and installing a system for water removal. That would be 60 metres below the water table. A lot of never-ending pumping required! Especially troubling is the fact that the site is at the headwaters of five major rivers whose watershed groundwater supplies close to a million people.