June 26, 2006

Fifth Canadian Environment Awards honour community-based achievements

Individuals and local groups were honoured in Vancouver at the presentation of the Community Awards, the centrepiece of the Canadian Environment Awards. The June 5 event marked the fifth anniversary celebration of environmental achievement. Gold and silver winners in six categories were named to receive prizes of $5,000 and $2,500, respectively, to be donated to the environmental cause of their choice. All winners also received specially designed framed plaques donated by Canada Post.

In the Climate Change category, the gold award went to Scouts Canada, based in Ottawa, for its climate change education and action program. Two silver winners were named: Alysia Garmulewicz of the Canadian Youth Cimate Change Conference, in New Denver, BC, and Claude Villeneuve, a teacher and climate change activist in LaterriËre, Quebec.

The gold award in the Conservation category was presented to Bill Freedman of the Nature Conservancy in Canada, in Halifax, NS. The two silver award recipients were Wayne Sawchuk, representing the Muskwa-Kechika management area in Chetwynd, BC, and HÈritage Saint-Bernard, a community-based conservation group in Ch¿teauguay, Quebec.

The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) was named winner of the gold award in the Environmental Health category in recognition of the group's Operation Pesticide Bylaw campaign, carried out in Toronto. Families Against Radiation Exposure, a citizens' group fighting radioactive pollution in Port Hope, Ontario, received a silver award in this category, along with Montreal-based Groupe Eco-Action, for its model for sustainable health care practices.

The winners of the Restoration and Rehabilitation category awards included: the ComitÈ de restauration de la riviËre Etchemin, of Saint-LÈon-de-Standon, Quebec, recipient of the gold for its salmon restoration project; RiviËre Vivante, a Quebec City group awarded a silver prize for its Saint-Charles River restoration work; and Ralph Simpson of Fredericton, NB, who also received a silver award for the Bur Oak project.

In the Sustainable Living category, the gold award went to Nicole Rycroft, of Vancouver, for the Markets Initiative. The silver award recipients were the Kitchener-Waterloo YMCA Outdoor Centre, for its eco-friendly outdoor centre and camp in St Clements, Ontario, and the Quest Outreach Society, of Vancouver, for its food recovery program.

Ruth Foster, of Belcarra, BC, received the gold award in the Environmental Learning category for the Centennial School salmon project. The silver awards were presented to the ComitÈ de valorisation de la riviËre Beauport (Adopt a River), of Beauport, Quebec, and Paul Hanley, a writer and activist in Saskatoon, Sask.

The keynote address at the awards ceremony was delivered by Sheila Watt-Cloutier, chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, who received this year's Citation of Lifetime Achievement for her environmental protection and sustainability efforts on behalf of the Inuit. Noted wildlife artist Robert Bateman received the inaugural Ideas for Life award, given in recognition of efforts to promote conservation and elevate environmental awareness through excellence in the arts, entertainment and design.

The Canadian Environment Awards is a partnership involving the Canadian government and Canadian Geographic Enterprises, with the Shell Canada as the lead corporate sponsor and sponsor of Community Awards. Also among the 14 corporate sponsors are Hewlett-Packard (Canada), sponsor of the Citation of Lifetime Achievement; Panasonic Canada, sponsor of the Ideas for Life award; and TD Bank Financial Group, sponsor of the Green Team Challenge, a program that recognizes environmental projects carried out by junior and senior school groups.

Full details on the 2006 Canadian Environment Awards may be viewed on-line at www.canadiangeographic.ca/cea2006.

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