DurhamCLEAR Annual Meeting - a Crossroads

DurhamCLEAR will hold its annual meeting on September 9th. We are at a crossroads. We need new blood. Without it, DurhamCLEAR will die.

Tuesday, September 9, 7:30 pm
111 Euclid St. Whitby (Doug's home, click for map)

I have lead DC since its beginning in 2009. When I conceived it, I saw a need for an umbrella organization that could respond to new environmental threats as they occurred without the need to form a new organization for each issue. I still believe in that concept, but the fact is that for the last year I've been doing 95% of the work - and I've got other things that I need to do. I will be 70 next year.

I assume that the 500 or so people who receive our emails are generally suppotive of what we do. Only a dozen or so have unsubscibed. However, most of those emails have included a call for donations, calls for membership and/or volunteer help with virtually no response.

We have involved ourselves in a number of issues and in the process, we have established a level of visibility and respect which is gratifying. Our ability this spring to persuade all 5 lakefront community Councils to unanimously adopt resolutions urging the province to ensure a safer Line9 pipeline was no small achievement.

With more help we could have done much more - there is no lack of environmental challenges.

So this annual meeting is crucial. I will continue for another year but only as a transition. Without new players, it will fade away. I have been actively seeking somebody to take over the presidency from me for more than 3 years but so far without success. If a successor is out there, I will certainly help in a supportive role. I will continue to advocate for environmental causes.

We have all the infrastructure of a strong organization. We have brochures, banners and a website, even a tent shelter to keep volunteers dry at public events. We even have some money in the bank.

Council of Canadians

One idea I have been exploring is to convert DurhamCLEAR into a chapter of the Council of Canadians. Our list of issues is quite similar to theirs and the cachet of national umbrella organization might attract more involvement. I was told by their local coordinator that all it took to form a local chapter was half a dozen members (of CofC) jointly requesting to form a chapter. So if you think this is a viable path, then a group of us needs to be members - either by joining (the CofC website doesn't actually specify a membership fee but I believe it is a minimum $10 donation) or by letting others know they are already members.

In my discussions with the Cof C coordinator, he told me that they had been advising the 'Friends of the Oshawa Waterfront' group and that forming a chapter had been discussed. As it seems that the ethanol plant at Oshawa Harbour may have run out of steam, it seemed to me a good opportunity to form a CofC chapter jointly. I contacted Gail Bates who is part of their steering group and she brought it up at a steering group mtg which discussed it briefly but took no action. ("Perhaps after the municipal elections are done we'll have more time to devote.")


So, if you would like to offer your support, volunteer for a position on the executive, or just want to discuss the situation prior to the meeting, please contact me.