Climate Leadership Team was announced on May 12th
Premier Christy Clark today introduced the team providing government with expert advice and recommendations as British Columbia begins developing a new climate action plan that will build on its climate successes.
“We’re taking the next step in climate leadership by engaging with British Columbians on new climate actions to support a growing economy,” said Premier Christy Clark. “The Climate Leadership Team brings together leaders from the business, academic and environmental communities, as well as First Nations and local governments, to consider the best actions to keep us on track toward meeting our greenhouse gas reduction targets. Thank you to the team members for accepting the challenge of helping B.C. develop our new Climate Leadership Plan.”
Member biographies are listed below by group.
Mike Bernier, MLA
Mike Bernier was elected MLA for Peace River South on May 14, 2013. On December 18, 2014 he was appointed as Parliamentary Secretary for Energy Literacy and the Environment for the Minister of Environment. He serves on the Cabinet Committee on Strong Economy. Before being elected as an MLA, Mike served as Mayor of Dawson Creek. He was first elected Mayor in 2008 and was re-elected in 2011, and also served as a Dawson Creek City councillor from 2005 to 2008. Mike has served on a many community and government associations and committees on energy, economic development and climate leadership in the Northeast. Mike has lived in Dawson Creek since 1993 and has 20 years of experience in the natural gas industry.
Prior to being elected, Jordan was a paramedic and served as Mayor of Pemberton since 2005. Jordan entered public service as a local trustee for the Pemberton Valley Dyking District, and was chair of the organization during the record floods of 2003. He has also served the community in a variety of other capacities, including Board Member of the Squamish Lillooet Regional District, President of the Whistler Farmer’s Market Society, Director of the Fraser Basin Council, Lower Mainland Treaty Advisory Committee Executive Committee Member, SLRD Hospital District Chair, Sea to Sky Regional Hospital District Director and Director of the BC Association of Farmer’s Markets. Jordan grew up in Vancouver, attending Magee Secondary School, Vancouver Community College, and the University of British Columbia. Jordan has lived in Pemberton since 1989, and he and his wife are the owners of North Arm Farm.
Susanna Laaksonen-Craig, Head, Climate Action Secretariat
Susanna Laaksonen-Craig was appointed as the Head, Climate Action Secretariat effective September 15, 2014. Susanna has worked in the BC Public Service since 2007 in a variety of roles including as an Executive Director in the Timber Operations and Resource Stewardship Divisions and has lead both Research and Product Innovation & Climate Change Branches. Susanna is originally a forest economist from Finland, with a Master’s degree from the University of Helsinki. She went on to receive a Ph.D. in Wildland Resource Science from the University of California at Berkeley. Before joining the BC Public Service, she worked as an assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Forestry, as the Assistant Director of the University of California Forest Products Laboratory, and as a researcher for the Finnish Forest Research Institute.
Nancy Olewiler, Professor, Simon Fraser University School of Public Policy
Nancy Olewiler was Director of the School of Public Policy since its founding in 2003 until September 2014. She has a PhD in Economics from the University of British Columbia. Prior to coming to SFU in 1990, she was an Associate Professor at Queen's University in Ontario. Nancy has held visiting positions at the University of Colorado, University of California, Berkeley, and University of New South Wales. She was Chair of SFU's Econonomics department from 1995 to 2000.
Nancy has held a number of positions serving many communities, locally and internationally. These include being a member the Board of Directors of BC Hydro from 2001 to 2010 and TransLink from 2008 to 2013 (where she served as its Chair from 2010 to 2013). She is a member of the National Statistics Council and Chairs the National Accounts Advisory Committee for Statistics Canada. Her areas of research include natural resource and environmental policy, the impact of environmental regulation on the economy, and environmental tax policy. She has published in academic journals, edited books, has written two widely used textbooks, and produced numerous reports for the Canadian federal and provincial governments on a wide range of environmental and natural resource issues. From 1990 to 1995 she was Managing Editor of Canadian Public Policy, Canada's leading public policy journal. Nancy is a research mentor to the Environment and Economy Program for Southeast Asia and the Latin American and Caribbean Environmental Economy Program.
Dr. Thomas F. Pedersen, Executive Director, Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions
Dr. Thomas Pedersen was appointed Executive Director of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions beginning September 1, 2009. His previous positions included Dean of Science (2003-2009), Professor of Oceanography and Director of the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria (2002-2003), and Associate Dean, Research for the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of British Columbia (2000-mid2002). Pedersen holds a degree in geology from UBC and a PhD in marine geochemistry from the University of Edinburgh. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and of the American Geophysical Union. He is an internationally recognized authority on ocean chemistry, has published extensively in the field of paleoceanography, and has longstanding interests in climate change issues and the application of government policy to climate-change mitigation and adaptation.
Dr. James Tansey, Associate Professor, University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business and CEO/Co-Founder of Offsetters
James Tansey is an associate professor at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business and is the Executive Director of the Sauder Centre for Social Innovation and Impact Investing (SauderS3i), a Research Centre at the Sauder School of Business dedicated to social innovation and sustainability. He has taught in MBA, EMBA, Executive Education, MSc and Undergraduate programs in the UK and Canada. He is the founder and CEO of Offsetters Climate Solutions, Canada’s largest carbon management company. Following the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Tansey was selected as one of four international advisers working with the United Nations Environment Programme on the environmental strategy for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
Tansey has worked as an advisor and contributor to the World Economic Forum, the UK National Audit Office, Oxford Analytica, Cisco, ISIS Innovation (Oxford), Environment Canada and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.
Tansey received his PhD from the University of East Anglia in 1999. After a number of years in the Faculty of Graduate Studies at UBC, he returned to the UK as a lecturer in Science and Technology Studies at the Said Business School in Oxford, where he was also deputy director of the James Martin Institute for Science and Civilization. He returned to UBC in 2006 where he joined the Sauder School of Business. In 2013 he was awarded a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to the Province of British Columbia.
Linda Hepner, Mayor, City of Surrey
Linda M. Hepner was elected Mayor of Surrey on November 15th, 2014 after serving nine years on City Council. Her commitment to the community is a product of a life nurtured there, having worked up the ranks within the City of Surrey for over 20 years, most recently as the Manager of Economic Development before being elected to Council in 2005. She has directed several key initiatives on City Council, such as advocating for the inclusion of approximately 468 acres into the regional Green Zone, spearheading the continued economic development of Surrey’s City Centre, and spearheading the Clean Energy & Technology Action Plan. The Mayor’s work on City Council to date has focused on providing residents from City Centre to Semiahmoo with the ability, opportunity and amenities to live in well-balanced communities that provide jobs and promote economic viability, sustainability and livability.
Paul Ives, Mayor, Town of Comox
Paul Ives practiced as a lawyer in Comox for several years before being elected to the Town of Comox council in 2002 and re-elected in 2005. In 2008, Paul was elected Mayor of the Town of Comox and then re-elected in 2011 and 2014. From 2005 to 2011, Paul served on Comox Valley Regional District Board and chaired the Comox Valley Sports, Water and Sewer Commission as well as serving as CVRD’s member on the Municipal Finance Authority and the Town’s voting member on the Municipal Insurance Authority. In 2012, Paul was elected Vice Chair of the North Island Sunshine Coast Regional Advisory Committee, as part of Island-Coastal Economic Trust. Paul and his wife Paula reside in the Town of Comox and enjoy walking their dog, Hannah, the Golden Retriever, in the Northeast Woods, along with cycling, skiing, squash, tennis, baseball and hockey. Their three adult children live on Vancouver Island.
Luke Strimbold, Mayor, Village of Burns Lake
Tzeporah Berman, Former Co-Director, Greenpeace Global Climate and Energy Program
Matt Horne, BC Associate Regional Director, Pembina Institute
Matt Horne is the Pembina Institute's associate regional director for British Columbia. He has been with the organization since 2003, focusing on policy change that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in British Columbia and provide replicable models for the rest of Canada. In pursuit of this goal, he has worked on initiatives with the province, municipalities and First Nations. Prior to joining Pembina, Matt worked extensively with energy-economy models on projects attempting to estimate the costs and benefits of climate change policy in Canada. Matt holds a Bachelor of Engineering from Dalhousie University and a Master of Resource and Environmental Management from Simon Fraser University.
Merran Smith, Executive Director, Clean Energy Canada
As the executive director of Clean Energy Canada, Merran Smith leads a team that is working to transform our nation's energy systems to reduce fossil fuel dependence and the risks of climate disruption. Merran’s team conducts original research and modeling to understand the opportunities for Canada in the global low-carbon economy, and shares those findings with policy makers and the public via high-impact communications products. During her career, Smith has brought together business, government, and civil society organizations to create innovative solutions to some of the most challenging issues of our age. She received the Clean16 award for sustainability and clean capitalism, the Wilburforce Foundation Award for Outstanding Conservation Leadership, and a transformative leadership award for the Seasons Fund. She was recently named a fellow of Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue.
James Gorman, President and CEO of the Council of Forest Industries
James assumed the role of Vice President of Corporate and Government Relations for West Fraser Timber on May 19. Prior to that he served as the President and CEO of the Council of Forest and the President of the BC Lumber Trade Council which is responsible for representing the BC forest industry’s interests in Softwood Lumber negotiations with Canada and the United States. Prior to joining the forest industry, James served the Government of British Columbia for nearly twenty years. His most recent roles in government were as the Deputy Minister of Advanced Education, Deputy Minister of Education (K-12) - a position he held for six years – and Deputy Minister of the Public Service Agency.
David Keane, CEO, BC LNG Alliance
Greg McDougall, CEO, Harbour Air
Bio coming soon
Tim Newton, P.Eng, Former BC Hydro and PowerEx Engineer and Executive
Tim Newton has engineering and economics degrees earned at Cape Town and then at Oxford on a Rhodes scholarship. As a professional engineer he held various positions at BC Hydro during his 33 year career there. While there Tim also spent 30 years working on the Columbia River Treaty. He was subsequently a Board member of the Western Electricity Coordinating Council, a tri-national electric transmission reliability organization, for 10 years, one of which he served as Board Chair. Tim has been a member of the Columbia River Treaty oversight body, the Permanent Engineering Board, since nominated by British Columbia in 2003. Also since 2003 he has been a member of the Columbia Basin Trust Water Advisory panel.
Ian Campbell, Chief, Squamish First Nation
Michelle Edwards, Chief, Cayoose Creek Band
Zach Parker, Chief, Ulkatcho First Nation
Bio coming soon
Quick Links to each member: