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WEENIE News Release




NEWS RELEASE

The Citizens’ Environment Alliance announces Weenie Nominations for 1999: 
Winner to be Selected March 20.
**Windsor 3/16/99

Detroit Edison:
Has been nominated for  attempting to bypass the new Clean Air Act regulations
and trying to restart the mothballed Conners Creek Coal-fired generating
plant.  Also for attempting to block environmental groups from intervening in
the federal court suit which calls for a settlement on fines facing Detroit
Edison for violations of permits to operate and construct,  this past summer.

Management of Essex Region Conservation Authority:
For uncooperative behaviour and a competitive approach towards  environmental
organizations in Essex County.  Their attitude has been “no one else should be
doing any environment-conservation work in this county”.   They have been a
significant problem for the CEA and others in the work of cleaning up the
Detroit River:  “control-control-control.”  This nomination squarely puts the
blame for the problems with ERCA on the side of management and not the union
and its workers.  

John Engler, Governor of Michigan:
He and his republican cronies are the biggest threat to Michigan’s
environment.  Under his leadership Michigan is suing the US Environmental
Protection Agency  (EPA) to block the ozone smog transport rule.  While doing
this,  Michigan never once discussed the air quality impact on its Ontario
neighbours.  He attempts to use the “jobs and economy argument” to defend
business interests and give a “thumbs down” to environmental protection and
human health.

David Collenette, Minister of Transportation, Canada:
For a lack of commitment to alternative transportation options.  For 
supporting the Ontario Frontier International Gateway Study which suggests the
need for more trucks, roads more bridges.  No help form him for urban areas
mass transit problems.  No help from him for (vehicle) urban air quality
problems nor human health.  What ever happened to the idea of a rapid rail
system?

Management of Casino Windsor:
Demanding diesel buses replace natural gas vehicles in its new tendered
contract,  without concern for air quality and the health interests of the
citizens of Windsor.  Also for the lack of a solid-waste recycling programme. 
Arrogance at Casino Windsor seems to be the preferred management-style when
dealing with citizens’ environmental concerns.  We expect to see more problems
in the future unless they shape up.

Ontario Hydro-Jim Wilson Minister of Energy:
A joint WEENIE nomination for both.  Ontario Hydro is last years winner of the
WEENIE.  Wilson has given Ontario Hydro an exemption from access under the
Freedom of Information Act.  In order to protect Hydro’s competitive position
and avoid political embarrassment citizens  or  organizations  will not be
able
to access Hydro records on safety,  operational information, etc.  Also for
adamantly sticking to a nuclear agenda that will see citizens of this province
kick in millions more to pay for Hydro’s debt and refurbishing of reactors at 
Pickering and Bruce.

Mike Harris Premier of Ontario and Norm Sterling Minister of Ontario
Environment:
Another joint WEENIE nomination.  Mike is Norm’s boss and therefore
responsible
for the mess that Norm has created in the environmental  portfolio from both
lack of interest and the priority of business interests.  Lack  of action on
tail-pipe emissions, or smog action.  Norm continues to ignore the call for
more recycling and less consumption  and  allowed Essex-Windsor Solid Waste
Authority to expand its site service area for the Colchester North landfill
while doing nothing to stop waste haulers from shipping Essex County
garbage to
the US.   Finally,  for continuing to keep information away from Ontario
citizens regarding prosecutions, air quality and water pollution problems.

Ford Motor, Daimler-Chrysler, General Motors:
Nominated together for their lobbying efforts to block the US EPA from
bringing
in tough, new tail-pipe emission standards for gas-guzzling sport utility
vehicles.  Their assembly and manufacturing plants continue to contribute at
least 10 lbs of pollutants per vehicle production.

Windsor Harbour Commission:
Nomination for a WEENIE because of their arrogance in attempting to tear down
and then place a death sentence over the last remaining natural shoreline on
the Detroit River, within the City of Windsor.  Only the efforts of the CEA
and
media attention has stopped the sentence from being carried out.  They soon
will become the Canada Port Authority and need watching since they will then
become a pseudo private corporation with even more powers then they already
possess.    This will give the City of Windsor very little input into affairs
governing the management of the 21 km of shoreline that the Harbour Commission
already controls along the waterfront.

Made in Detroit Developers:
A WEENIE nomination for attempting  to exterminate the last remaining natural
wetland on the US side of the Detroit River.  Even in the face of overwhelming
opposition to the plan, Made In Detroit has exploited current loopholes in the
Michigan wetlands policy to destroy some of the Humbug Marsh’s ancient trees,
while screaming racism at everyone who is opposed.  

Atomic Energy Commission Ltd.:
Nominated for trying to suggest that spent plutonium from nuclear warheads is
safe for shipping and can be successfully burned and destroyed in the CANDU
nuclear reactors in Ontario.  Once again they have tried to hood-wink the
public and have been bilking Canadian taxpayers for years.  Also for
convincing
the federal government that their concept for nuclear waste burial is ok.  The
federal government is trying to entice cash- strapped indigenous peoples to
allow the burial of  nuclear wastes on their lands.  This is a travesty and
the
Canadian government should be ashamed of its attitude towards native peoples
and their lack of social and environmental justice.   

The WEENIE Award draws attention to those organizations, industries and
governments who, in the past year, have not lived up to expectations by
mis-informing, obfuscating, and prognosticating on programmes, policies and
behaviour towards our Mother Earth and its defenders.   The awards are
particularly focused on  the ecosystem of southwestern Ontario and the
transboundary area of  southeastern Michigan. However, global perpetrators of
environmental degradation can also be fingered if their functions have an
impact on our local communities.

The word WEENIE was coined at the first presentation in 1987, when hotdogs on
sticks were used to highlight the proportion of chemical spills from each
industrial site in the Sarnia Chemical Valley, this was at the time of the
infamous "BLOB". Other WEENIE's have been presented to local auto scrap 
dealer
Zalev in 1988, former Mayor of Detroit Coleman Young for the Detroit
Incinerator in 1989, the federal cabinet of Canada for refusing to conduct an
environmental assessment of the BTI barge operation in the Detroit River in
1990, and the Executive Director of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
(CBC)
for the decision to close the local CBC TV station in 1991.Norm Sterling
Minister of the Environment was the WEENIE winner in 1996 and Ontario Hydro in
1997.

This years WEENIE winner will be selected democratically at the Windsor Press
Club,  83 Riverside Drive West, at 8:00 P.M.  The Awards are being made in
conjunction with the CEA’s celebration of ‘The Real Earth Day’. 
Enviro-Achiever Awards will be presented to each winner on the same programme.
(*News Release to follow)  Festivities begin at 6:00 P.M.   

*Windsor 3/16/99

Contact:  Citizens’ Environment Alliance 519-973-1116


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GreenPlanet Social Justice & Ecology Network
315 Pelissier Street, PO Box 548, Windsor ON  Canada,  N9A 6M6
Voice:  519-973-1116  Fax 519-973-8360
E-mail:  riccawu@mnsi.net  
web page: http://www.mnsi.net/~cea
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