MiningWatch Canada Proud to Announce Ugo Lapointe as New Canada Program Coordinator

(Ottawa) MiningWatch Canada today announced the appointment of Ugo Lapointe as Coordinator of its Canadian program. “We are extremely pleased –in fact we feel very privileged – to have Ugo working for MiningWatch. He has nearly twenty years of diverse experience in the Quebec, Canadian, and international mining sector. His knowledge, experience, and great sensitivity to social and environmental issues will undoubtedly contribute hugely to MiningWatch’s mission and work,” said Jamie Kneen, Communications Coordinator for MiningWatch.

Lapointe has an Honours degree in Geological Engineering from Queen’s University and broad experience in the mining sector, both within the industry and outside of it, for government agencies, non-governmental organizations, research groups, First Nation organizations, and ethical investment firms. Ugo’s work began ‘in the field’ in 1996 in mineral exploration in northern Quebec and Ontario, but took a different track about ten years ago when he began working and researching in communities affected by the mining industry, particularly First Nations’ communities.

In 2008, Lapointe co-founded the Coalition Québec meilleure mine, a small but highly effective not-for-profit organization which now has 30 member organizations, working to promote better social, environmental, and economic mining practices in Quebec. Under his leadership, the Coalition drove important and positive changes in Quebec’s mining laws and policies, including greater environmental protection, changes to the mining royalty regime, and increased protection of property owners’ and communities’ land rights. Recently, the Coalition has successfully initiated a broad public debate about the future of uranium mining in Quebec, triggering a public inquiry into the health and environmental risks of this industry.

“I am excited to join the MiningWatch team. Whether working collaboratively with communities, First Nations, governments, and industry representatives, or fighting unjust laws and practices in the courts, MiningWatch Canada has a strong track record of bringing forward positive changes in mining laws, policies, and practices over the last 15 years. I look forward to building on this excellent work and to continue working collaboratively with all interested parties across Canada to ensure greater environmental protection and healthier communities affected by mining,” said Lapointe.

MiningWatch Canada is a pan-Canadian initiative supported by environmental, social justice, Aboriginal, and labour organisations from across the country. It provides a co-ordinated public interest response to the threats to public health, water and air quality, fish and wildlife habitat and community interests posed by irresponsible mineral policies and practices in Canada and around the world.

For more information:       

• Jamie Kneen, Communications Coordinator, MiningWatch Canada (613) 569-3439 [email protected]

• Ugo Lapointe, Canadian Program Coordinator, MiningWatch Canada (514) 708-0134 (cell) [email protected]