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MEMORIAM: Windsor chapter activist Renzo Zanchetta passes away

Renzo Zanchetta, a founding member of the Windsor chapter and a long-time activist with the chapter, has passed away.

The Windsor Star obituary notes, “Renzo Zanchetta peacefully passed away surrounded by his family’s love at the age of 55 years on November 22. Cherished son of Palmira and the late Angelo. Loving brother of Adrian and wife Corinne. Adoring uncle and inspiration to Shanna, Ian and Darren Zanchetta. Lovingly remembered by his zio and zia Reno and Elisabetta Pessotto. Renzo’s life was enriched by his loving and supportive friends who shared common beliefs and actively worked for social justice.”

Renzo was a strong advocate for public power and renewable energy, for peace and justice, and for the local farmers market.

On energy, he took this message against deregulation to Windsor city council and to the Ontario Legislature. In a 2009 letter to the editor published in the Windsor Star he wrote, “The plan to have more than 50 per cent of our electricity needs met by nuclear power ignores history. No nuclear project in Ontario has come in on time and on budget, neither have they delivered the output promised. …Nuclear power is the most expensive way to generate electricity. It may be emission-free but it produces a deadly waste that will have to be monitored for thousands of years. The only reason for this approach to meeting our electricity needs is to stuff money in the pockets of corporations. These corporations have minimum liability in case of an accident and they are not responsible for the waste, leaving that for the people of Ontario to deal with. Making far more sense (except for those who stand to profit from the nuclear approach) would be to move toward electricity from renewable sources such as wind, solar, hydro and conservation. It would be a lot cheaper, too.”

He was also an active signer of petitions – in opposition to security certificates and the invasion of Iraq.

And as recently as this past September, Renzo wrote a letter supporting the local farmers market that was published in the Windsor Star. He wrote, “It is amazing that city council cannot find a proper home for the downtown farmers’ market currently at the old bus station property. Here you have something that is wanted and needed in what could be described as a food desert. Access to locally produced food supports local business, keeps farmers on their land, in general, good for the local economy.”

I had the pleasure to work with Renzo more than ten years ago now and I remember him fondly as a genuinely committed activist and a strong supporter of the Council of Canadians.

Our condolences to his family, friends and to his fellow activists in the Windsor chapter.