Energy Probe mourns the passing of Irene Kock, a woman of remarkable commitment to environmental protection and to her community.
An indefatigable leader, Irene constantly demanded higher standards from responsible government officials - often higher standards than they were willing to meet. Irene's unsuccessful campaigns still mark some of the limits of environmental protection in Canada. Along with her partner, Dave Martin, she campaigned unsuccessfully to have the federal nuclear safety regulator force AECL to develop a decommissioning plan for its nuclear waste generating activities before permitting those activities. Irene and Dave organized a referendum on the municipal ballot in Pickering in 1997. A remarkable 87% of the voters -- over 17,000 people -- endorsed a full public environmental assessment of the plan to restart the troubled Pickering A nuclear station. The request was supported by all surrounding municipalities. In the end, the regulatory authority ignored the will of the voters and allowed the restart without full review.
Together, Irene and Dave never stopped promoting democratic and environmental values. Irene had just completed coordinating a coalition effort involving many environmental groups, including Energy Probe, seeking public oversight of abandoned nuclear waste dumps across Canada.
Irene distinguished herself not only by her work but also by her respectful disposition, even toward adversaries. She combined a well-developed sense of moral outrage with a personality that made her a real pleasure to work with, and to be with.
We have lost a great friend. The environment has lost a stalwart defender. Our hearts go out to Dave and Irene's family.
A commemorative service will be held Saturday January 5th in Uxbridge at the Low and Low Funeral Home, 23 Main St. South, Uxbridge, ph) 905-852-3073. Visitation will be from 12 to 2, a memorial service from 2 to 2:30, and at 3:00 a wake celebrating the life of Irene Kock will be held in her home with Dave Martin at 34 Church Street. Donations in lieu of flowers can be sent to Sierra Club of Canada 613-241-4611 or to the Uxbridge Conservation Association 905-852-6803.