<!– PUBLISH DATE TimeSincePublished(“2009-06-04-04:30:00″,”2009-06-04″,”Jun. 04, 2009”);–> Eric McGuinness, The Hamilton Spectator, (Jun 4, 2009)
Peter Hutton, who has devoted himself to environmental and social justice issues in Hamilton for more than 30 years, is the winner of this year’s Betty Blashill Environmental Prize, presented at the annual Environmentalist of the Year awards dinner last night.
Hutton, who lives in Dundas, was a founder of the McMaster branch of the Ontario Public Interest Research Group in the early 1970s and a member of Clear Hamilton of Pollution (CHOP), the city’s first anti-pollution organization.
He went on to chair CHOP’s successor group, the Conserver Society of Hamilton and District, and was a founder of the Hamilton Disarmament Coalition. He also served for several years as treasurer of the Ontario Environmental Network and co-chair of the Ontario Coalition for Social Justice, where he remains a director.
He is currently treasurer of both Hamiltonians for Progressive Development and the Transit Users’ Group; a member of the city transit steering committee and waste reduction task force and a member of the Hamilton Roundtable on Poverty Reduction representing the Hamilton Social Justice Coalition.
The environmental prize, first awarded last year to Audrey Gamble of the Hamilton Community Peregrine Falcon project, is given in memory of Betty Blashill, noted for work behind the scenes on behalf of many environmental organizations and efforts to minimize her personal ecological footprint. Blashill was named environmentalist of the year in 2004.
Environment Hamilton, sponsor of the Blashill prize, says Hutton’s car-free status symbolizes his lifelong commitment to walking and transit and his efforts to reduce his ecological footprint.
As previously announced, the Dr. Victor Cecilioni Environmentalist of the Year award went to Peter Rice, retired assistant director of the Royal Botanical Gardens. Awards of merit were presented to Dean Carriere, Peter Ormond and Julia Kollek.