April 25, 2005

Finalists named for 2005 Canadian Environment Awards

Dr David Suzuki has been selected to receive the Canadian Environment Awards' Citation of Lifetime Achievement for 2005. The Canadian Environment Awards also marked Earth Day, April 22, by announcing the finalists for its 2005 Community Awards, which will be presented at an Awards Gala on Monday, June 6, marking the launch of Canada's Environment Week (June 5 through 11). The venue for this year's event is the Liberty Grand, Toronto.

The first name in Canadian environmentalism, Dr Suzuki is an award-winning scientist, broadcaster, writer and activist, and the founder and president of the David Suzuki Foundation, in Vancouver.

"David Suzuki has taught us more than any other Canadian about the damaging impact of human activity on the natural world," said Rick Boychuk, head of the awards selection panel. "But he has done much more than just alert us to the threat of environmental catastrophe. He has helped us imagine solutions for the future."

The Community Awards, now in its fourth year, is the flagship program of the Canadian Environment Awards. Seventeen finalists have been chosen by a panel of environmental specialists from nominations submitted by the Canadian public. Awards will be presented in six categories: Climate Change, Conservation, Environmental Health, Environmental Learning, Restoration and Rehabilitation, and Sustainable Living.

"Each year, we're finding out what environmental issues Canadians care about," said Boychuk. "The action they take at the community level shows leadership for the entire country," he explained. The list of finalists is as follows.

Climate Change: Brian McCarry, chair, Clean Air Hamilton, Hamilton, Ontario; and Mow Down Pollution, a lawn mower exchange program in Toronto.

Conservation: Nina Blussé Gould, Committee for the Protection of Patrimony for Nuns' Island, in Montreal; the Kawartha Highlands Local Stakeholder Committee, Kawartha Highlands Signature Site Provincial Park, Peterborough, Ontario; and Wildsight, an initiative of the East Kootenay Environmental Society, Kimberley, British Columbia.

Environmental Health: Sharon Batt, leader of the Drugs in Our Water campaign, Halifax, Nova Scotia; Laurie Hoekstra, an activist and intervener opposing the Sumas Energy 2 project, Abbotsford, British Columbia; and Yuga Juma Onziga, founder of the Environmental Centre for New Canadians (ECENECA), in Toronto.

Environmental Learning: Mary Ellen Grant, manager of education and volunteers, British Columbia Wildlife Park, Kamloops, British Columbia; Robert Litzler, of the CollËge de Rosemont, Committee on Environmental Action and Dialogue, in Montreal; and the North Vancouver Outdoor School, an environmental education program facility in Brackendale, British Columbia.

Restoration and Rehabilitation: Stephen Hawboldt, executive director for the Clean Annapolis River Project, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia; Rick Martin, senior project adviser for the Partners in Habitat Development, in Brooks, Alberta; and Ian Naisbitt, president of the Little River Enhancement Group, Tecumseh, Ontario.

Sustainable Living: Action Communiterre, an organic food production collective in Montreal; the Canadian Association of Food Banks' thINK FOOD/Phones for Food program, in Toronto; and Lynn Oliphant, of the Craik Sustainable Living Project, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Each of the finalists will be recognized at the Awards Gala, with gold award winners receiving $5,000 to donate to the environmental cause of their choice. Dr Suzuki will deliver a keynote address at the ceremony. The Canadian Environment Awards 2005 is a partnership between the federal government and Canadian Geographic Enterprises, which manages the program and publishes summaries of the winners and their accomplishments for distribution in various magazines and newspapers. The Canadian Environment Awards is also supported by 14 Canadian corporations, with Shell Canada as the lead corporate sponsor.

Full details of the Canadian Environment Awards 2005 may be viewed on-line at www.canadiangeographic.ca/cea2005. More information is available from Diane Chaperon-Lor, 416/653-0849, E-mail chaperonlor@canadiangeographic.ca.

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