GATINEAU, QC, July 12, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, the de Gaspé Beaubien
Foundation unveils its action plan, objectives and next steps
concerning the important RIVER MISSION project, announced in May and
aimed at better protecting the Ottawa River.
On May 29th, the de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation announced its participation in the RIVER MISSION project through a new partnership with Ottawa Riverkeeper (Sentinelle Outaouais) and Blue Legacy International. This project aims to mobilize
politicians, influential leaders, local communities and the entire
population of Quebec to protect the Ottawa River, one of the most
important rivers in Canada. Today, the Foundation unveils its action
plan, objectives and the project's next steps.
Clearly Defined Goals
A confirmed financial commitment of $490,000 by the Foundation will be
used to implement a series of activities that aim to raise awareness
among the population of Quebec about the health and preservation of
this major river. In addition, the goal of the project is to educate
citizens that water, one of our most important natural resources, must
be protected here in Quebec, as well as in Canada. Ottawa Riverkeeper (Sentinelle Outaouais), already well established on the Ontario side of the river, has been
working hard for several years to raise awareness among Anglophone
communities about this issue. However, two-thirds of the watershed is
in Quebec, and a concerted effort is needed to inform Quebeckers about
the importance of the river and the need to provide governance to
ensure its preservation.
"We often think that the problems related to water, including its
scarcity, are associated with underdeveloped countries, but the reality
is very different... Imagine if countries today that have abundant
water were to suddenly lack water; a major social crisis could ensue.
We must roll up our sleeves and get started here now, because nothing
is assured for future generations," explains Philippe de Gaspé Beaubien
IV, one of the initiators of the project, and project spokesperson for
the fourth generation of the family.
According to Riverkeeper, Meredith Brown, the help of the de Gaspé
Beaubien family is critical to Ottawa Riverkeeper's efforts to protect
the Ottawa River watershed. "We've been able to work very effectively
in Ontario, but to work respectfully and effectively in Quebec, we need
someone on our team who is completely at home with the laws, culture
and language, which are different than in Ontario. If we are truly
going to protect this magnificent river, we need to bring together
communities and stakeholders on both sides of the river to agree on a
Step 1: New Position - Director of Operations in Quebec
In order to achieve our RIVER MISSION goals, the first step is to
establish a permanent Director of Operations in Quebec for Ottawa
Riverkeeper. The mandate of this successful candidate will be to
represent Ottawa Riverkeeper in Quebec, and to bring together citizens,
policy makers, governments and municipalities to create a shared vision
of the river, a vision founded on a healthy, sustainable watershed for
the benefit of all.
Step 2: Ottawa River Expedition by the 4th Generation of the de Gaspé Beaubien Family
The main goal of this expedition, to be held from August 4th-8th, will be to allow four young philanthropists from the fourth generation
of the family to take ownership of their project and to understand how
they can make a difference and become engaged spokespeople for RIVER MISSION. They will also test the water at different locations on the river to
assess its quality.
Step 3: Ottawa River Expedition led by Blue Legacy's Alexandra Cousteau
During their next expedition on the Ottawa River, from September 11th-21st, 2013, the Blue Legacy team, led by Alexandra Cousteau, will capture
three short films exploring:
The quality of the water in the river
The impact of dams on biodiversity
The impact of the lack of collaborative governance on the river
The films will illustrate these critical issues and tell the compelling
story of the state of the river to help people realize its importance
Media interested in attending either of these expeditions, either
remotely, or on-site, may communicate directly with the Valérie
Gonzalo, Publicist for the de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation.
Step 4: The Decision-Makers Tour
A year-long tour will be organized in 2014 to meet people whose actions
and decisions could directly influence the state of the river,
including mayors, ministers of the Environment, First Nations
representatives, industries like Hydro-Quebec, Ontario Power
Generation, the Chalk River nuclear plant, and nine pulp and paper
mills that operate along the river. The de Gaspé Beaubien youth,
Alexandra Cousteau, and Riverkeeper representatives will be on this
tour; their mission will be to listen to the issues and concerns of all
stakeholders, and then hold an open dialogue to assess how each party
can contribute to improving the state of the river.
Step 5: Ottawa River Summit 2015
This project will wrap up at the second Ottawa River Summit, which will
bring together all decision makers and citizens whose activities may
have a significant impact on the river, to determine together an
appropriate means of collaborative governance, supported by a strategic
plan adopted by the majority of stakeholders.
About the de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation
The de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation, a private family foundation founded in
1990 by Nan-B and Philippe de Gaspé Beaubien, advocates an approach
that favours entrepreneurial philanthropy. The Foundation prefers to
actively invest in promising projects that are likely to experience
growth and become profitable, rather than by offering only donations.
With extensive experience in the field of business, as well as a
network of established local and international contacts, the de Gaspé
Beaubien family selects projects that help encourage individuals and
organizations to support sustainable social development.
SOURCE: de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation
For further information:
about the de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation's participation in the RIVER MISSION project, please contact:
de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation