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The City of Windsor is saying goodbye to a long-time advocate for environmental and labour issues.

Ric Coronado passed away on July 30, 2019 and is survived by his son, Derek.

Ric established and chaired the environment committee at Unifor (than CAW) local 444 in the 1980s. In 1990, he was involved in establishing contract language between Chrysler and CAW that led to the creation of a joint-national environment committee.

According to the Citizens Environmental Alliance, Ric was also instrumental in the formation of the City of Windsor’s Environmental Advisory Committee.

“Ric believed that every citizen has a responsibility to inform themselves and contribute to the improvement of their communities however they are able,” reads a statement from representatives at the Citizens Environmental Alliance. “It is a testament to his character that many of the politicians and power brokers whom he held to account so fiercely later sought Ric’s friendship and approval.”

In 1985, he founded the Windsor and District Clean Water Alliance, later renamed the Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario (CEA). Well renowned environmentalist Dr. David Suzuki has referred to Ric as a “silverback” among environmentalists.

“This was fitting because Ric was both a fearless protector and a gentle and respected elder who had an enormous influence on his community,” a statement from the CEA reads.

“His wonderful sense of humour and unflinching loyalty will be missed by all those lucky enough to call him a friend,” reads the statement. “We mourn his passing and call on all those who remember Ric to honour his memory the way he would have appreciated most: keep pushing for clean air, clean water and healthy natural habitats in your community.”

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

Coronado was 78.