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Winners of the inaugural GreenHeroes contest were announced at a
special awards ceremony at Toronto’s Green Living Show Sunday. These
seven category winners were introduced to the audience at the Direct Energy Centre:

Save our Seas and Shores’ Mary Gorman (In Our Backyard Hero)
Pedestrian Sundays’ Yvonne Bambrik (Simple Changes Matter Hero)
Eco-Laundry Room partner, Paul Bichler (Simple Changes Matter)
Carrot Greenroom’s Zora Ignajatovic (Groundbreaking Hero)
Planet Traveller’s Tom Rand (Energy Saving Hero)
Green Realtor, Chris Chopik (Energy Saving Hero)
Eco-Comedian, Josh Rachlis (Unique Hero)

Some of our category winners at our booth

The category winners were also finalists in a special juried competition
for the top prize – an appearance in their own TV episode of
GreenHeroes on TVO. The lucky winner of this Grand Prize was Mary Gorman!

Mary was inspired to take action to stop oil and gas development in
the Gulf of St. Lawrence after the Canada-Nova Scotia Petroleum
Board issued two leases for oil and gas development on both sides
of spectacularly beautiful Cape Breton Island where she lives. This
unstoppable hero’s story will be profiled in an episode of GreenHeroes
on TVO next season.

To find out more about the contest winners and to nominate yourself or someone you know in this year’s contest go to: http://www.GreenHeroes.tv/gallery

Who is a GreenHero? For John Bessai and Joan Prowse, creators
of the TV series and web channel GreenHeroes it is someone with a
good story to tell, someone who acted on an idea rather than waiting
for someone else to do it, and who applied “out of the box” thinking
to help solve an environmental problem. Despite adversity and critics
they are succeeding in their goal and are now sharing their experience
and insight with others. GreenHeroes is a selection of great stories about people turning apathy to action.


  1. Mary Gorman | April 20, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    Hi, I’m Mary Gorman, winner of the Grand Prize.

    First, on behalf of our coalition, I must take a moment to thank Green Heroes TV and TVO for awarding us this prize.

    Receiving this honour validates the importance of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, one of the most sensitive marine regions in North America.

    Canada’s Gulf is an inland sea where over 2,000 marine species spawn, nurse and migrate year around.

    It has counter clockwise currents that only empty into the Atlantic once a year. Which means, any oil spill could splash on the shorelines of NS, NB, PEI, QC and NL for a minimum of a year. In the case of the Exxon Valdez, there is still oil on the shores from that spill twenty years later.

    Canada’s Gulf is six and a half times smaller than the Gulf of Mexico – BP’s oil spill last year would have covered our entire Gulf!

    Speaking of the Gulf of Mexico, today is the first anniversary of the BP disaster, one of the largest oil spills in history.

    One year later, let’s consider for a moment how it’s going down there with just a few facts:

    1) Widows of the men killed are being sued by TransOcean under a one hundred and fifty year old law, to limit liability,

    2) People are still sick and dying from the spill.

    3) BP has abandoned the clean up. According to Parish presidents from Louisiana, every day, they lose more marsh land, due to lack of clean up.

    Kenneth Feinberg, the administrator of the $20 billion dollar fund, has thus far only distributed four billion, with the average payout to fishermen in the vicinity of seven thousand dollars. Meanwhile, Feinberg’s ‘team’ is spending $1.25 million dollars every month to administer the fund. In one parish, only 13% of fishermen have received any money at all a year later.

    4) According to Phillipe Cousteau, there is not enough science yet to even assess the long term damage above and beneath the ocean.

    I mention these few facts to point out how crucial it is that we PREVENT any offshore oil and gas development in our Gulf of St. Lawrence.

    While ‘prevention’ may not be a sexy story for Canada’s mainstream english national media, who continue to ignore this issue, it is the only road we can take to protect Canada’s Gulf of St. Lawrence.

    If you don’t believe me, ask the residents of the Gulf of Mexico. And please don’t be fooled by mainstream media spin.

    I implore each and everyone of you, to become engaged in this issue.

    The oil company has applied to drill an exploratory deepwater well in the Laurentian Channel, the main artery for migratory species (aka the blue whale highway) possibly by the end of this year.

    We cannot let this happen!

  2. Mary Gorman | May 26, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    I have been given the honor of being called a Green Hero for ongoing efforts to protect Canada’s fragile Gulf of St. Lawrence from offshore oil and gas development.

    Our gulf is home to over 2,000 marine species that spawn, nurse and migrate year around.

    The offshore oil industry is interested in developing a deposit in the Laurentian Channel (aka the endangered blue whale highway).

    They have named this deep water hydrocarbon deposit ‘Old Harry’ after the village of Old Harry on the Magdalen Islands.

    The offshore oil industry likes to talk about mitigation and co-existence. But how can you co-exist if nurseries are up for grabs?

    Gaps in scientific knowledge on these 2,000 species are so broad that we don’t even know what we are impacting.

    How do you mitigate the unknown?

    Due to exceptional effort from unsung green heroes such as Quebec’s environmental and community groups, Quebec’s provincial government recently issued a moratorium on all oil and gas development in the St. Lawrence River and estuary.

    This is cause for great celebration!

    But until a moratorium for offshore oil and gas development is issued for the entire Gulf of St. Lawrence, the river and estuary waters remain vulnerable to oil and gas contamination.

    Preventive battles are the most challenging because it is hard to wake people up, before the fact.

    Once the oil is on our shores, it’s too late.

    Please help us protect the sacred, beautiful Gulf of St. Lawrence.

    Before it’s too late.

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