Thomas Kierans is a professional engineer and environmental innovator, having had the foresight to develop a means to recycle fresh water on a massive scale, long before the message to preserve natural resources had caught on.
Mr. Kierans's design for the Great Recycling and Northern Development Canal, or GRAND Canal, was first proposed in 1959. The GRAND Canal is a bold engineering concept that would separate James Bay from Hudson Bay, and turn James Bay into a freshwater reservoir, pumping its run off to the Great Lakes - water that could be redirected to regions of Canada and the United States.
Despite high profile interest from some members in Canadian government, the ambitious GRAND Canal concept was never realized. At 97, Mr. Kierans remains adamant about a vision that could increase the capture of fresh water run-off.
Mr. Kierans was formerly professor of engineering at Memorial University in Newfoundland, and worked on the massive Churchill Falls hydroelectric project in Labrador.
Nominator: Teresa Spurr, Coquitlam, B.C.