Mae Burrows


Interviewed by Sean Griffin and Bailey Garden

Mae Burrows details her early life and influences, and then her work with the Labour Environmental Alliance Society (LEAS) which brought together trade unionists and environmentalists at a time when logging companies were instigating the “war in the woods.” The work evolved into grassroots education and campaigns for the “right to know” about exposures to toxic chemicals and carcinogens. The organization transformed into Toxic Free Canada but became dormant after the 2008 recession, which impacted funding and resources.

Keywords: Canadian Farmworkers’ Union; Workplace Health and Safety; OH&S; Labour Environmental Alliance; LEAS; Toxic Free Canada; War in the Woods; Cancer; Carcinogens; Cancer Smart Consumer Guide; SFU student radicals; Environmental activism; Prison reform; Vancouver & District Labour Council

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Suggested reading:

Burrows, M. E. (1996). Consensus negotiation: Conflict resolution or containment. Vancouver Island core: A case study. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.

Burrows, M. (2001). Just Transition. Alternatives Journal (Waterloo), 27(1), 29–32.

Burrows, M. “Grassroots Organizing”, in Durning, A. T. (1996). This place on earth : home and the practice of permanence / Alan Thein Durning. Sasquatch Books.

Burrows, M., & Hayvice, C. (1998). Green & blue together: environmentalists & workers find common ground. Our Times (Toronto), 17(5), 22.

Burrows, M. (1998). Allied Forces. Alternatives Journal (Waterloo), 24(4), 18–23.

Tatroff, D. (1994). Deep river blues: a B.C. union’s fight to save the Fraser. Our Times (Toronto), 13(1), 24.

Burrows, M. “Multistakeholder Processes: Activist Containment versus Grassroots Mobilization” in Salazar, D., & Alper, D. K. (2000). Sustaining the Forests of the Pacific Coast. UBC Press.

Mesley, W. (2006) Chasing the cancer answer. Marketplace. CBC Television.