About CARC

CARC is a citizens’ organization dedicated to the long-term environmental and social well being of northern Canada and its peoples.
We believe in sustainable development and the application of the precautionary principle. Our policy and advocacy work is grounded in solid scientific and socio-economic research and experience.

Thirty years of advocacy and action in Canada’s Arctic.

What is CARC?

CARC is a citizens’ organization dedicated to the long-term environmental and social well being of northern Canada and its peoples. We believe in the application of sustainable development and the precautionary principle. Our policy and advocacy work is grounded in solid scientific and socio-economic research and experience.

We don’t want to keep the north as a theme park for visiting tourists, but neither do we want to let the pressures of development destroy the northern environment and society. We are committed to finding another path, which will allow northern peoples to benefit from development without compromising their future.

CARC was born more than thirty years ago as a response to the first Mackenzie Valley pipeline proposal. Since that time, CARC has been involved in numerous northern issues, from helping negotiate an international treaty on toxic chemicals, to ensuring that Canada’s first diamond mines are given the most thorough environmental assessments possible. CARC’s staff operates from our offices in Yellowknife and Ottawa. Meet the Staff.

Our Members and Board of Directors

CARC’s membership includes individuals with different backgrounds, expertise and of various political persuasions. All share a long-standing interest in Northern Canada and believe that we have a responsibility to treat the North with deliberation, car and good stewardship. Meet the Committee.

Who supports CARC?

CARC’s supporters include more than 3,500 people from every province and both territories, as well as many other countries. We do not receive any government funding for core operations, but rely on donations by individuals and grants from private foundations that share our commitment. CARC is directed by a volunteer board, and an advisory committee composed of northern residents, scientists, experts, business people, and others united by their passion for the North.

What challenges lie ahead?

Some very immediate challenges face the north, the first of which is a gas pipeline proposal for the Northwest Territories. Although much has changed in the thirty years since CARC first tackled the pipeline, this would still be the largest single industrial development in the territories, with the potential for massive disruption of northern ecosystems and societies.

Global climate change is rapidly affecting the north, threatening the fragile environment, and peoples who still depend on that environment for their well-being.

Toxic substances pose a present and future threat to the health of northern peoples.

Finally, the cumulative effects of all developments currently slated for the north is poorly understood. At present, nobody has a clear idea of how many roads, mines or hydro developments will be too many for the environment to support. This is a critical information gap.

Cumulative effects are of particular concern to the health of the north’s migratory caribou herds. These free-ranging herds, a symbol of Canada’s last true wilderness, currently number in the hundreds of thousands. Their continued health is vital to the health and well-being of northern peoples.

How is CARC meeting those challenges?

See the Programmes section of this site for up to date information on each of Issues.