3.1 Local environmental groups

Local environmental and public interest groups may already be involved in the case you are interested in and may have accumulated some information and documents that may help you. In addition, they may be able to provide you with media, government, or scientific contacts, which could save you time and money.

You should contact environmental groups such as the Waterkeeper Alliance, Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Western Canada Wilderness Committee, World Wildlife Fund, Friends of the Earth, or similar groups (see Appendix H) to see if they would like to become involved in the case. Local Native-Canadian organizations may also be interested in lending a hand. You may even find some allies in seemingly unlikely places: local sport fishing clubs, Ducks Unlimited, and other groups that may have vested interests in your case’s success. By obtaining the backing of a large group of citizens, such as a labour union, you can counter one of government regulators’ favourite arguments: “It is not in the general public interest to proceed with this matter.”

The Pollution Watch website, a collaborative project of the Canadian Environmental Law Association and Environmental Defence, is another information source that may be helpful to in acquiring knowledge about pollution and pollutants in your area. Visit the Pollution Watch website at http://www.pollutionwatch.org/.