A conversation with Nancy Pancheshan: save Ojibway Prairie Complex

Click here to hear the program: 68-The_Shake_Up-20100407-1200-t1270638000

The following information is from the website: http://www.saveojibway.info/

The Ojibway Prairie Complex  in Windsor, Ontario is a rare five park system that holds some of Canada’s and the globe’s most endangered ecosystems.

The Ojibway Prairie Provincial Nature Reserve is unique to Canada as it is one of the largest remnants of Tallgrass Prairie in Canada.  Tallgrass Prairie is one of the most endangered plant communities on earth.

Professor Larry Lamb of the University of Waterloo calls Ojibway Prairie an “important ecological reserve”, “it has greater biodiversity that Algonquin Park or the Bruce Peninsula” Harbouring more rare species than any other provincial park in Ontario.

Big Box Stores:

Four Big Box stores are being proposed in a 47 acre development that will total 500 000 sq ft. with  a 2 300 vehicle parking lot.

The City of Windsor gave approval in 2007 and the case is before the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).  Scientific evidence must be prepared to prove the Big Boxes’ negative impact on this provincially, nationally and globally significant landscape.  The hearing was to commence January 11, 2010 but has been delayed due to the developer’s Species at Risk Report.  The Hearing is now slated to occur Dec 6, 2010. The environmental case is likely to occur Jan 2011, and is expected to last 6 weeks.

Another proposed development is also proposed. It’s a 160 acre customs clearance centre for the new bridge to the United States (adjacent to Black Oak park). The customs centre is presently directly adjacent to Black Oak rated G1- occurring less than 5 times on the globe.   The new road also poses to impact eight threatened species, including 11 887 individuals.

Big Box Impacts

The Big Box proposal is directly adjacent to Ojibway Park and across the street from the Ojibway Prairie Provincial Nature Reserve.  Keep in mind, over        100 000 people from all over the world come to visit this rare area, researchers study here, top butterfly counts for North America are achieved here and endangered species cross Matchette Road.  Here are some of the negative impacts the proposed development will bring;

Construction of the four large big boxes is the beginning of  continual negative impacts to the ecological features and functions of Ojibway.  The noise, vibration, runoff and changes to the water table are just a few of the negative impacts this endangered ecosystem with 90 species at risk will incur

Parking Lot the 2 300 parking lot will impact on the ecological features and functions of Ojibway.  The green space that is there, will be replaced by asphalt, accelerating rain water runoff.  This will likely effect the perched water table by not allowing it to replenish.  Prairie plants need a high water table, change that and they die.  In addition, the parking lot will increase light, water and litter pollution.

Traffic Matchette Road has a current vehicle volume of 8 000 -11 000/day.  The traffic from the proposed Big Box will double vehicle volume to 18 628/day or 130 000/week.

Other The development also requires Matchette Road to widen by 30 ft, installation of at least 2 traffic lights and insertion of a 150 ft median to manage additional traffic.  All of this beside one of the most endangered ecosystems on earth.  How did proposal ever get this far?

What can we do?

Visit the website and follow the links.

1.  Write a letter or send an email (see sample letter) to;

Daraleigh Irving- MNR District Planner, Alymer District- daraleigh.irving@ontario.ca

Make sure to cc:

a)  Hon. Dalton McGuinty- Premier dmcguinty.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

b)  Hon. Linda Jeffrey- Minister of Natural Resources (MNR)-  ljeffrey.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org





Sunday 18 April 2010 6:30 PM


656 Pitt St. West
Human rights in Colombia cannot  be played with by the Liberals dancing to the tune of Harper & Uribe’s songs composed in the White House.


The debate on the infamous proposal of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) has continued for the third time in the Canadian Parliament.  Rejected twice already, BILL C-2 has been tabled again by the Harper Government, this time aided by the Liberal Opposition.

The Liberals added an amendment to come to the rescue of the Harper government as if human rights can be played with in discotheques by a Liberal MP (ex-Conservative)(Scott Brisson) dancing to the tune of Harper & Uribe’s songs composed in the White House.  (“Dining, dancing, free trade deal-making” – Globe & Mail, 26 March 2010 – http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/dining-dancing-free-trade-deal-making/article1513908/)

The main premise presented by the Conservatives and some Liberals is that increased trade will bring about “democracy” and respect for human rights, in this manner obscuring the anti-democratic nature of the Harper and Uribe regimes.

It must be asked, how does respect for human rights follow from giving “preferential tariffs” to monopolies anxious to exploit the wealth of Colombia for their own private gain?  In fact, a free trade deal with Colombia will confer undeserved legitimacy and rewards on a regime with the worst record of human rights violations in the hemisphere.  This cannot be covered up or excused with honeyed words about “helping with the economic recovery” and “helping Canadians prosper”, as if the conscience of Canadian workers could be so easily bought. (continues on the other side)

Even though the Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Colombia in 2009 by the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights appears to let Uribe off the hook, it provides valuable facts.  Like reports by other human rights organizations, it provides clear and convincing evidence of the ongoing fascization of the Colombian state over the last 8 years that correspond to Uribe’s reign of terror. The level of assassinations, forced disappearances, displacements, political persecution, etc. have all risen, along with the impoverishment of the population.

The debate on the Canada-Colombia FTA should center not only on rejecting Bill C-2, but on severing trade relations and imposing sanctions on Colombia till a convincing process of democratization has taken place in the country.

If in the past economic sanctions were successfully used to isolate the racist South African regime and its policy of apartheid, why could the same not be applied to Colombia’s death squad “democracy” today?

The Canadian people share the Colombian people’s sentiment for democracy and  peace with social justice.  The following are some measures that should be instituted before any investment or trade agreements are entered into with Colombia:

1) The war must be ended through a process of dialogue, initiated by an exchange of prisoners on both sides.

2) New political arrangements should be put in place in which all Colombians can participate without fear for their lives, imprisonment or persecution.

3) The sovereignty of the country must be respected by withdrawing all US military bases and personnel as well as foreign mercenaries from Colombian territory.

4) Canadians like Colombians welcome recent events and decisions by the Constitutional Court of Colombia and any other attempts to put a stop to impunity.  The truth must be known and all those who have committed crimes against humanity must be punished.

5) All lands taken by force or deceit should be returned immediately to their rightful owners.  The state must apologize to and compensate all victims of genocide and other crimes committed by the Colombian army, paramilitaries, other members of the security apparatus and state officials.

We invite you to an open discussion regarding these issues

Sunday 18 April 2010 6:30 PM


656 Pitt St. West wcsclo@hotmail.com

OPIRG Calendar

Every Wednesday 12:30 – 1:00 pm


Wyandotte Ave. W. at the University of Windsor
(across from the entrance to Ambassador Bridge)

All women and children welcome


Wednesday, April 7 @ 6 p.m.

Because boys will be girls…and girls will be boys

Out on Campus & OPIRG-Windsor Present


252 Dillon Hall, U. of W. Campus

everyone welcome

“In biology, nature abhors a category”

for more information call or email Out On Campus 253-3000 ext. 4093 oocwindsor@gmail.com or OPIRG 253-3000 ext 3872 opirg@uwindsor.ca


Thursday, April 8th at 7:00 p.m.

Cinema Politica Presents:

“CRUDE: The Real Price of Oil”

This cinéma-vérité feature from acclaimed filmmaker Joe Berlinger (Brother’s Keeper, Paradise Lost, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster) is the epic story of one of the largest and most controversial environmental lawsuits on the planet. The inside story of the infamous “Amazon Chernobyl” case, Crude is a real-life high stakes legal drama, set against a backdrop of the environmental movement, global politics, celebrity activism, human rights advocacy, the media, multinational corporate power, and rapidly-disappearing indigenous cultures. Presenting a complex situation from multiple viewpoints, the film subverts the conventions of advocacy filmmaking, exploring a complicated situation from all angles while bringing an important story of environmental peril and human suffering into focus.

Erie Hall 3123 University of Windsor Campus

Free Admission Open to the Public Donations accepted $2 parking

In association with: Dept. of Communication, Media & Film, The Council of Canadians, Windsor Essex, Windsor Peace Coalition, OPIRG Windsor, Toxic free Canada – Ontario, CAW Windsor Environment Council. www.cinemapolitica.org/windsor Windsor@cinemapolitica.org


Friday, April 9 @ 5pm

OPIRG – Windsor Annual General Meeting &

Poetry Reading, Door Prizes, 50/50 draw, free refreshments

Special Presentation by the Friends of Save Ojibway

Iona College, 208 Sunset
(located between Riverside Dr. & University Ave. on the east side)

Nomination forms for elections to the 2010-2011 Board of Directors are available on the web at http://opirg.uwindsor.ca
or at 252 Dillon Hall – weekdays 10 to 2pm

for more information call 519-253-3000 ext. 3872 or email opirg@uwindsor.ca


Every Saturday 11am to 12 Noon


11:00 AM to 12:00 Noon
Market Square
(On Ottawa Street, near the enterance for Market Square.)

for more information visit http://windsorpeace.org/


Every Sunday @ 3:30 p.m.


Every Sunday at Rose Bowl lanes on Dougall.

For more information email pauletteandginny@cogeco.ca


Monday, April 19 at 7pm


Meets third Monday of the month at 7pm at United Way building, Giles E at McDougall

For more information contact “James McAllister” macsnest@mnsi.net

Peace Action Fund of New York State and The Nation Institute present

2 thoughts on “A conversation with Nancy Pancheshan: save Ojibway Prairie Complex

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