Nicole Bruinsma was a mother, a popular family physician, and a grassroots community activist. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 38, with no known risk factors, she embarked on a fact-finding mission about the environmental causes of human illness. What she discovered led her to speak out about the alarming effects of pesticide use.
Nicole founded Action Chelsea for Respect of the Environment (ACRE), a grassroots organization dedicated to promoting and protecting the ecological integrity of Chelsea. Led by ACRE, Chelsea became one of the country’s first municipalities to ban the cosmetic use of pesticides, putting the health of their citizens over the appearance of their lawns. Nicole also inspired change on a larger scale. She appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development, encouraging them to recommend a ban on the cosmetic use of pesticides, which they did, and several cities across Canada followed Chelsea’s example.
While struggling with her own health, Nicole fought for the health of her village and her environment. When she died in 2002, she left a legacy of protective environmental legislation that has spread throughout communities across Canada.
Video: Precautionary Principale: The Nicole Bruinsma Story trailer. To view video click HERE
[PHOTO: COURTESY OF SCOTT FINDLAY]