TORONTO – At 6:03 p.m. Saturday August 29th 16 year-old cyclist Zach Stabb arrived at the CN Tower Plaza.
That was the final destination in his 603 km cycling journey from Montreal to Toronto to raise funds for Water First and awareness about the Indigenous water crisis in Canada.
The Howard S. Billing high school student from Chateauguay, Quebec decided that this would be his senior school project, and last week stopped in Morrisburg on his way to his final destination.
He had hoped to raise $1,500 but ended up raising more than $6,000 for Water First.
“It was an amazing trip and the support I got from everywhere was unbelievable,” said Stabb.
His journey was not without adversity having endured thunderstorms, scorching sun, ferocious headwinds, tornado warnings and even being stung on the lip by a wasp.
Nonetheless, he was nothing but positive about the experience.
At the end of his six day ride, Zach’s mom Isabelle Cote and his 14 year-old brother Nicholas had taken the train to Toronto to surprise him at the end of his journey.
While pleased with the outcome of his efforts, Zach does not see this ride as the end because awareness of the water crisis was his main goal.
“The issue of access to clean water for northern communities keeps coming in and out of the public eye,” said Zach.
“With over 20 per cent of Indigenous communities across Canada suffering from some sort of water access challenge, I want to keep this problem at the forefront until it’s resolved. Progress has been made but there are still too many communities lacking access.”
Zach went on to say that, “organizations like Water First and many others are working day in and day out to bring pragmatic solutions to these problems. Governments need to continue working with the affected indigenous communities and these expert organizations to find the best long term solutions to these problems.”