Last year we lost a leading voice for the environment and a dear friend of Wildlands League. Peter Gorrie passed away at the age of 71 in Victoria, British Columbia. If you’ve been a long-time supporter of Wildlands, you’ll be very familiar with Peter’s work as a journalist for the Toronto Star.
Peter was always ahead of his time. He was a truth seeker, gifted communicator, friend of justice and he loved being in nature. We shared many adventures together including dodging a whirlpool while canoeing rapids in Northern Ontario, portaging through soggy, buggy terrain, listening to Indigenous leaders stand up for their ancestral lands, eating (Peter was always starving on our canoe trips!) and driving for hours. You could always find him scribbling away in his book at quiet times.
I once accompanied Peter to an area with a uranium exploration dispute that was subject to an injunction. Peter found a way to write the story. He always did. And he did it with grace, perseverance, humanity and an endless supply of curiosity.
Peter expertly helped us tell many stories over the years too, including the failure of self-monitoring at the De Beers Victor Mine via our graphic novel and the Ring of Fire – the industry nickname for an area of mineral potential in the carbon rich-peatlands and intact watersheds of northern Ontario.
Denise, his amazing partner to whom Peter was devoted, helped me speak to Peter before he passed. I told him there would always be a special place in my heart for him. I was grateful I had the chance to say it one last time.