On March 21, 2011 Emma Lui, National Water Campaigner and Mark Calzavara, Regional Organizer for the Council of Canadians visited the Grey Bruce area. David Walton, the Local Representative and I joined them to discuss issues most notably Bruce Power’s proposal to transport the steam generators through Owen Sound’s harbour.
We walked down to the harbour so that Mark and Emma could familiarize themselves with the place that the generators could potentially be shipped from. We were talking when Mark pointed at a vessel called the Algomarine that is anchored by the grain elevators. He said with great enthusiasm that this particular carrier had been the object of a Greenpeace protest campaign at Nanticoke. Of course I had to know more about this. So I took a few pictures of the ship and we headed to a coffee shop for an interview.
According to Calzavara who formerly worked with Greenpeace, the organization brought their ship Arctic Sunrise in for this particular mission. The goal was to focus attention on the coal powered plant in Nanticoke located on Lake Erie, which happens to be the largest in North America. Dalton McGuinty had promised to close the plant by 2014.
On August 29th, 2007, 3 protesters took off from the Arctic Sunrise and boarded the bulk carrier Algomarine which was carrying 30,000 tonnes of coal. Other protesters in dinghys painted the side of the vessel with the slogans “No Coal. No Nuclear. Clean Energy.”
The occupation of the Algomarine caused a significant delay in the coal delivery. The 3 protesters were eventually arrested by the OPP and charged with mischief.
Calzavara says “although this was a temporary action it did bring attention to the issue. This is the philosophy of Greenpeace, that actions speak louder than words.”
I began my day, eagerly anticipating my meeting with the members of the Council of Canadians. Little did I know that I would learn that Greenpeace history is sitting in Owen Sound harbour….oh the irony right now:)