In appreciation of the critical role citizen advocates play in preserving aquatic habitat in the Great Lakes Basin, we recognize the outstanding service to the community of April Fideli and Janet May with the 2008 Citizen Advocate of the Year Award.
April Fideli is a young mother of two who has devoted incredible time and energy into her position as president of Residents for Responsible Government. Through her work, she has gained command of a great reservoir of knowledge about the toxic waste industry and her community. “We in the environmental community in western New York are so proud of April Fideli, and agree that she deserves the award. She is an inspiration to us because of her dedication and effective work to protect Lake Ontario from toxic contamination” said Charles Lamb, Executive Committee of the Niagara Group of the Sierra Club.
Janet May of Pesticide Free Ontario has been the driving force behind the move to ban lawn pesticides in Canada. She and a group of housewives in Hudson, Quebec began as a concerned grassroots group that took their issue all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, and won! As a result, municipalities across Ontario have the right to pass a by-law banning pesticides in their community. The Premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty has promised to introduce a province-wide ban this spring. A promise that Janet May’s group will no doubt refuse to let him forget. Janet is a model for all grassroots environmentalists – enthusiastic, smart, dynamic, articulate, thorough, creative, and doesn’t give up! She is an inspiration that those of us fighting for our beautiful and threatened places so badly need.