Silver Donald Cameron

Welcome to Silver Donald Cameron’s blog! Dr Cameron is the author of 19 books and of many plays, films, magazine articles, radio and TV scripts. He is currently the host and executive producer of and of its feature documentary, Green Rights: The Human Right to a Healthy World. In 2019, he was appointed the first Farley Mowat Chair in Environment at Cape Breton University, where he earlier served as professor, dean and writer-in-residence. He currently teaches an on-campus/online course called Green Rights.

A Rainy Day in Brampton — and on to Waterloo and Guelph

A rainy Sunday in Brampton, Ontario – part of a huge sprawl of malls, warehouses, factories and freeways spilling westward from Toronto. We’re in the Indian Line Campground, the closest one to downtown Toronto, but it’s not very close – about half an hour with light traffic, much more in busy periods. It’s a good base for the screenings and presentations I’ve been doing and will be doing over the next few days.

Coming up:
Tomorrow, Monday the 17th, is our screening of Green Rights in Waterloo. It’s at 7:00 PM in Room EV2-2002 at the University of Waterloo.

Tuesday, the 18th, we’re at the University of Guelph. I’ll be meeting with a management class from 4:00 to 5:20, and then at 7:00 we’ll have the public screening at 103 Rozanski Hall.

Wednesday, the 19th, I’m speaking and showing the film to participants and alumni of the University of St. Michael’s College (University of Toronto) certificate program in Corporate Social Responsibility. This is a private event.

Thursday, the 20th, Merlin the Marvellous Motorhome turns north, bound for Thunder Bay and more presentations and screenings on Monday, the 24th.

Update: Port Hope and Toronto

We left Kingston on Saturday the 8th, in time for me to read at a civic memorial for Farley Mowat. Farley’s monument in the town he lived in for 47 years is a overturned boat, a boat-roofed dwelling – a replica (as close as

PORT HOPE -- A boathouse dedicated to author Farley Mowat at 20 Catherine St. is slated to move because the landowner is selling his home. May 20, 2015

possible) of the vessels sailed by the Albans from Europe to the Canadian Arctic a thousand years ago. Did this actually happen? Nobody really knows. In The Farfarers, Farley made a persuasive argument that the Albans (whose name persists in names like Albion, Albania, St. Alban’s, and the like) were a pre-Viking people who overwintered under their inverted boats, and left behind them the outlines of the boats in the form of rock walls. It’s a lovely story, and it makes a great monument. After decades on a back street, the monument was being moved to a place of honour on the Ganaraska River, just opposite the public library.

The re-location was marked by two days of celebrations, including a reading in the library by three writers: Claire Mowat, Ken McGoogan (himself a distinguished writer on Arctic matters) and me. Claire read a very funny account of a library board meeting in an Newfoundland outport; Ken read a thoughtful and moving tribute to Mowat as his literary ancestor; and I ready a profile of Farley from 1979. “Farley Mowat, Prophet” appeared in Atlantic Insight, and won a National Magazine Award. If you’re curious, you’ll find it here:

The following day, Marjorie had a book-signing at one of the most attractive independent bookstores in Canada, Furby House Books – whose proprietor, Lou Pamenter, also wanted copies of my book.furby-house-clip So Furby House is the only bookstore in the world that’s carrying Warrior Lawyers. Otherwise you have to buy it online, either from or from Amazon.

Then Toronto, in time for a Thanksgiving dinner with family, and, on Wednesday the 12th, the only public screening in Toronto, at the Heliconian Hall, a charming old former church that since 1923 has been the home of the Heliconian Club, a club for women in arts and letters. (The club itself dates back to 1909.) The hall is charming, and the crowd, though small, engaged passionately with the film, which made for a lively question-and-answer session afterward.

In the audience was a pioneering environmental professor from the University of Toronto, Lino Grima, who later wrote to commend “your really spellbinding documentary… The photography is stunning and the message is clear. Your movie is a good example of what I would like to see more — a story line that goes from issue to protest to legal remedy/political pressure to establishing the rights to clean land, water and air. ”

How nice is that?

On Friday, the 14th, I was a luncheon guest and then made a presentation on Warrior Lawyers to students and faculty at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University. The students were so smart, savvy and engaged that I almost found myself homesick for the classroom. A personal point: when I was young, my mother thought I should be a lawyer – and dreamed that I might go to Osgoode Hall. So it was a pleasure to get there, at last – I’d never been before – and to dedicate that presentation to my mother, wherever she is now.