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Captain Canada takes a stand for the Great Bear

Scott Niedermayer has had success at every level of his hockey career, racking up four Stanley Cups and two Olympic gold medals. Now, he brings that same spirit and winning record to his role as spokesperson for Canadians for the Great Bear, championing one of the richest and most spectacular ecosystems in the world.

Standing in the middle of a stream—literally up a creek— on B.C.’s North Coast, he reflects on nature’s amazing interconnectedness. Salmon swim upstream past his ankles to spawn, while the dead fish that line the banks provide food for wolves and bears and fertilize the soaring cedars. He realizes that it would only take one oil spill to destroy this delicate cycle.

“Here in Canada, I think we have a responsibility to do all we can to protect these amazing places,” says Niedermayer. That’s why he has chosen to work with WWF, inspiring other Canadians to speak up against the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline that would cut through the Great Bear region.

What lessons from the ice rink does he bring to ecological conservation?

“Persistence does pay off,” says Niedermayer. “You need to believe in what you’re doing and believe you can accomplish it.”

As a child in Cranbrook, B.C., he treasured the mountains, rivers, and lakes around him. Now, he volunteers with WWF to ensure this valuable wilderness remains a part of the Canadian experience.

“I will do whatever it takes to make sure that, one day many years from now, my grandchildren will be up a creek too,” Niedermayer promises.


  • C Quick

    It’s too bad there aren’t more people responding to this commentary about the Northern Gateway Pipeline. Which country will really benefit from the oil transported through this pipeline and of course which country could suffer from any leak or other catastrophe to the environment the pipeline will pass through? Transporting oil and selling off our natural resources doesn’t seem to provide any long term benefit for Canada. Instead, we as a country should be refocusing our efforts on renewable resource development such as solar, wind and wave generating power methods.
    We as a country should become world leaders in these technologies, we have the collective brain power to do so and the humility to research and adopt technologies developed by other conscientious societies. Let’s not continue to follow the old established patterns, let’s move forward into the future we could all create together and leave lasting natural wealth for many future generations to come and experience.

  • David Jackman

    Its so frustrating that so much effort has to be taken to protect future generations of Canadians from their elected federal government. I guess that is Canadian democracy at its finest?

  • Connie Miller

    I have written to Stephen Harper and have gotten nowhere. I hope he will listen to you. There is nothing more valuable than our environment and keeping our soil, water, air, and biodiversity healthy. That is the core of our wealth. We should not be exporting oil but using it gradually as a resource for our future instead of jeopardizing our environment forcing it though this pristine environment. Stephen Harper is one person. He cannot be allowed to take away our democracy and destroy what is really valuable to us.