About Northwatch
Northwatch is the regional coalition of environmental and citizen organizations and individual members in northeastern Ontario. Founded in January of 1988, Northwatch has as a priority issues that are of a regional nature : energy use, generation and conservation; forest conservation and wild areas protection; waste management and water quality issues; mining; and militarization. In addition to acting on these issues as a representative body,  Northwatch provides support to local citizens groups addressing these and other environmental concerns in their community. Northwatch is currently working with members and member groups to improve forest management, promote community involvement in mine monitoring and management, and prevent northeastern Ontario from becoming the receiving ground for foreign wastes, including Toronto's garbage, Ontario's biomedical waste, Canada's nuclear reactor fuel waste, and PCB's from around the world.

Northwatch has a "pro-north" perspective, and represents the interests and particular issues of the region. Northwatch members believe that, historically, northern Ontario has been regarded as an economic commodity rather than community, and this must change; the north must realize a long-term objective of diversifying the economy while maintaining the natural resource base and making best best use those resources which are extracted. To this end, economic and social decisions must be made with the priority of creating and contributing to a "sustainable" north, largely done by recognizing the inseparability of environmental and socio-economic concerns.

Northwatch as a Coalition
Northwatch's membership grew from a half dozen groups in 1988 to more than twenty by the late 90's! Northwatch's membership is spread from the northern Muskokas to Cochrane District, and from Nipissing to Lake Superior. Northwatch, in turn, is affiliated with a number of provincial, national or international organizations, as a member group or project partner.

As the regional coalition in the northeast, Northwatch assists community based groups around the region to access government and policy-making processes and consultations, and provides representation based on regionally developed positions on environmental concerns and ecological protection.

Northwatch currently : 

  • works to end government support for any proposal to bury  nuclear fuel waste in the Canadian Shield
  • advocates for the most effective decommissioning of uranium mine tailings in the Elliot Lake basin
  • participates in local forest management planning,  local citizens committees, site visits and plan reviews 
  • provides support for local citizens committees and public participation in forest management planning
  • engages in provincial forest policy development and analysis, as it affects the northeast
  • plays an active advocacy and support role in the struggle for wild areas protection and the conservation of ancient and indigenous forests in the northeast
  • leads the struggle against the import of PCB's, hazardous and biomedical waste into northeastern Ontario
  • coordinated continued northern opposition to proposal to export Toronto's garbage to northern Ontario
  • intervenes directly on mine development, operations and closure plans and approvals
  • is developing an inventory of mine impacts and research papers on mine impacts and contaminated sites

Northwatch's support and information services for its members, member groups, and the general public are an important and integral part of its mandate to protect the environment by :

  • promoting environmental awareness in northeastern Ontario
  • promoting the integration of environmental concerns into economic and social decision making 
  • encouraging the public to become involved in activities which protect or restore the environment
  • gathering and disseminating information about environmental problems and sound responses

Northwatch holds quarterly regional meetings, with speakers, workshops and discussion sessions; publishes a quarterly  newsletter with information about environmental issues, environmental protection and legislation, and the natural environment in northeastern Ontario; and operates an environmental resource centre in North Bay which serves northeastern Ontario by providing information and acting as a resource, referral and information service on environmental issues, and operating as a speakers bureau for the northeast. 

Acting Together Today - for Tomorrow!

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