Northwatch is a regional coalition of environmental organizations,  community groups and individual members in northeastern Ontario.

Founded in January of 1988, Northwatch has as a priority issues that are of a regional nature: sound energy planning, healthy forests, responsible mining, waste reduction, and conservation of our natural resources and environmental assets. Northwatch has worked with residents over the past two decades to prevent northeastern Ontario from becoming the receiving ground for foreign wastes, whether it’s Toronto’s garbage, Ontario’s biomedical waste, Canada’s nuclear reactor fuel waste, or PCB’s from around the world.  

Northwatch est la coalition régionale des organismes environnementaux et autres organismes communautaires du Nord-Est de l’Ontario et de membres individuels.

Fondé en janvier 1988, Northwatch se préoccupe principalement d’enjeux de nature régionale : une saine planification énergétique, des forêts en santé, une exploitation minière responsable, la réduction des déchets, ainsi que la conservation de nos ressources naturelles et de notre patrimoine naturel.


Northwatch collabore depuis deux décennies avec les résidents locaux en vue d’empêcher le Nord-Est de l’Ontario de devenir le récepteur des rebuts de l’extérieur, qu’il s’agisse des déchets de Toronto, des déchets biomédicaux de l’Ontario, des déchets de combustible nucléaire du Canada ou des BPC de partout dans le monde.

En plus de jouer un rôle actif dans ces dossiers en tant que groupe représentatif, Northwatch apporte son soutien aux groupes de citoyens locaux qui font face à ces problèmes ou à d’autres problèmes environnementaux dans leur collectivité et leur région.

Our History

Northwatch is the regional coalition of environmental and citizen organizations and individual members in northeastern Ontario. Northwatch was founded in January of 1988 by two overlapping networks in northeastern Ontario. One of these networks was primarily focussed on peace, disarmament and development concerns including the enviornmental and social impacts of military testing and training in northeastern Ontario and the links between civilian and military nuclear uses. The other was a network of environmental and safe energy groups. With a provincial enviornmental assessment of forest management practices about to go to a hearing and a federal review of a sheme to bury nuclear waste in the Canadian Shield about to get underway, these local and district based groups created Northwatch to provide a regionally representative voice for environment-related concerns, and to share resources and knowledge with each other.  Since our inception  Northwatch has had as a priority issues that are of a regional nature : energy use, generation and conservation; forest conservation and wild areas protection; waste management and water quality issues; mining; and militarization


Northwatch has a “pro-north” perspective, and represents the interests and particular issues of the region. Northwatch members believe that, historically, northern Ontario has been regarded as an economic commodity rather than community, and this must change; the north must realize a long-term objective of diversifying the economy while maintaining the natural resource base and making best best use those resources which are extracted. To this end, economic and social decisions must be made with the priority of creating and contributing to a “sustainable” north, largely done by recognizing the inseparability of environmental and socio-economic concerns.

Our Coalition

Northwatch’s membership grew from a half dozen founding groups in 1988 to more than twenty just a few years later. Northwatch’s membership is spread from the French River north to the James Bay coast, and from the Quebec border west to the north shore of Lake Superior, encompassing the federal districts of Nipissing, Temiskaming, Cochrane, Sudbury, Manitoulin and Algoma.

As the regional coalition in the northeast, Northwatch assists community based groups around the region to access government and policy-making processes and consultations, and provides representation based on regionally developed positions on environmental concerns and ecological protection.

In addition to acting on these issues as a representative body,  Northwatch provides support to local citizens groups addressing these and other environmental concerns in their community. Northwatch is currently working with members and member groups to improve forest management, promote community involvement in mine monitoring and management, and prevent northeastern Ontario from becoming the receiving ground for foreign wastes, including Toronto’s garbage, Ontario’s biomedical waste, Canada’s nuclear reactor fuel waste, and PCB’s from around the world. 

Our Services 

Northwatch’s support and information services for its members, member groups, and the general public are an important and integral part of its mandate of protecting the environment by :

  • promoting environmental awareness
  • promoting the integration of environmental concerns into economic and social decision making 
  • encouraging the public to become involved in activities which protect or restore the environment
  • gathering and disseminating information about environmental problems and sound responses

Northwatch holds quarterly  meetings, publishes general and issue-specific newsletters,and operates an environmental resource centre, information service, and a speakers bureau for northeastern Ontario.

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