MiningWatch Canada is pleased to announce the appointment of Rodrigue Turgeon as Canada Program Co-Lead, starting today.
Rodrigue is a lawyer and an engaged citizen with an impressive track record of environmental advocacy and solidarity with Indigenous peoples that will greatly contribute to the mission of MiningWatch.
Originally from Abitibi-Témiscamingue, one of Canada’s most well-known mining regions, Rodrigue understands firsthand the many social and environmental impacts of the mining industry.
In 2018, Rodrigue was one of the key leaders behind a powerful citizen-led movement that pushed the Quebec government to require Sayona Mining to carry out an environmental review of its Authier lithium project. Communities mobilized in an effort to protect the Saint-Mathieu-Berry esker, reputed to be one of the best natural spring sources of drinking water in the world.
In 2019, in the face of the growing demand for so-called “critical” minerals, Rodrigue was one of the primary architects behind the campaign “Don’t Undermine the Energy Transition” (“Pour que l’électrification ait meilleure mine”) brought before Legislative Assembly by the Coalition Québec meilleure mine and supported by a number of elected officials, experts, artists and other environmental organizations.
Rodrigue holds a master’s degree in law and life sciences and a graduate degree in common law and transnational law. He joined the Quebec Environmental Law Centre in 2020. His master's thesis is on the legal framework for the restoration of mining sites through biotechnologies. He became a lawyer and a member of the Quebec bar in 2021.
Sensitive to the realities facing Indigenous people in Canada, he joined the legal team of the Public Inquiry Commission on relations between Indigenous Peoples and certain public services in Quebec (the Viens Commission) from 2017-2018. In 2021, he practiced Aboriginal law, notably with the Anicinape Nation of Long Point, which is affected by Sayona Mining’s Tansim lithium project.
Rodrigue is the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, including the Quebec Lieutenant Governor’s Medal in 2011, the Solidarity award from the Université de Sherbrooke in 2017, and the 2019 “Bearer of Hope” award from Earth Day, Environnement Jeunesse and the Établissement vert Brundtland.
An avid outdoors-person, Rodrigue participated in a 26-day canoe trip along the Harricana River from his hometown of Amos, to James Bay, in the summer of 2021.
Welcome to MiningWatch, Rodrigue!