Rita is Co-Chair and a co-founder of Green 13, Toronto Ward 13 residents concerned about the impact humans are having on our climate and environment. Green 13’s goals are to increase public awareness about climate and other environmental concerns, to encourage public discourse on sustainability, to advocate for policy and behavioural change, and to build resilience in the community.
Green 13 has partnered with Project Neutral to help older Toronto neighbourhoods find a pathway to a low carbon future. Together, the organizations work to help people in Ward 13 measure their carbon emissions and identify concrete steps to reduce their carbon footprint. Larger change requires more organized effort. The orgaizations are engaging with educators and leaders in the renewable and energy efficiency sectors to find solutions that go beyond the individual level.
Green 13 initiated SaveOurAsh as part of its work in caring for the urban forest. The severe damage caused by the 2013 Central and Eastern Canada ice storm brings fresh challenges which Green 13 hopes to address in collaboration with various other community groups.
Green 13 is a member of both Climate Action Network Canada and Toronto Climate Action Network. Green 13 has initiated a network of community-based groups in Toronto to collaborate on climate preparedness, given what is known through Toronto’s Future Weather and Climate Driver Study, and through last summer’s storms as well as December’s ice storm.
Rita has been on the Steering Committee of the Green Awakening Network since its inception, and is currently a board member of Science for Peace, as well as an active participant in ClimateFast.
Patrick Bonin has worked as a climate change expert for nearly 10 years. He holds a Masters in Environmental Science from the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQÀM) and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Sherbrooke. In 2005, he began his environmentalist work as a spokesman for the Québec-vert-Kyoto Coalition. From 2007 to 2008, he was responsible for managing the Projets Saint-Laurent agency for Earth Day Quebec. Patrick Bonin was named Environmentalist of the Year at UQÀM in 2005 and won two Phenix Environment awards (2004 and 2011). He participated in the Rio +20 UN conference as well as several international UN climate change meetings. Director of Climate and Energy Campaign for the Association Québécoise de Lutte Contre la Pollution Atmosphérique (AQLPA) for four years , Patrick Bonin has also served on several boards of directors and committees concerned with environmental and sustainable development issues.
Clare Demerse manages policy engagement on federal and national issues for Clean Energy Canada. Her work is focused on renewable energy, climate policy and sustainable transportation. Before joining Clean Energy Canada, Clare worked on federal climate policy with the Pembina Institute, was a Gordon Foundation Global Fellow and is a current fellow of the Broadbent Institute. Clare holds a master’s degree in journalism from Carleton University. She is based in Ottawa.
Erin Flanagan is the director of the Pembina Institute’s federal policy program. In this role she spearheads national advocacy campaigns on climate and energy issues and supports the Institute’s regional staff to advance their policy priorities in Ottawa. Erin is the co-author of more than 10 publications and frequently represents the Institute at regulatory and multi-stakeholder processes.
Day-to-day Erin researches and promotes public policy solutions that reduce the environmental impact of fossil fuel development and that support Canada’s transition to clean energy. As a technical analyst at the Institute, she contributed to public- and private-sector projects on a range of issues in the oilsands, including greenhouse gas and water management, tailings treatment, and land reclamation. Her technical and opinion work has been published in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and PostMedia newspapers across Canada. As a frequent spokesperson for the Institute, she appears regularly on national current affairs television programs, including CBC’s Power and Politics.
Erin holds a bachelor of science in chemical engineering with a minor in public policy from the University of New Brunswick. Her contributions to technical and humanitarian issues have been highlighted by organizations including the Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation, the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of New Brunswick and the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering. In 2016 she was named one of Canada’s top 30 under 30 in sustainability by Corporate Knights magazine, and has twice been named one of Ottawa’s “Top 100 lobbyists” by The Hill Times.
Equiterre cofounder and deputy director Steven Guilbeault is an environmentalist who has focused on climate change since the early ‘90s. He worked for Greenpeace Canada and Greenpeace International for ten years, was senior advisor for Deloitte and Touche, and has contributed to such media outlets as the Métro newspaper, Radio-Canada, La Presse and Corporate Knights Magazine.
Throughout his career, Steven, who co-chaired Climate Action Network International for five years, has attended the majority of UN climate meetings – an experience that in 2009 served as the topic for his first book.
He is a member of Quebec’s Cercle des Phénix, an honorary society for environmentalists, and an honorary fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. French newspaper Le Monde has called him one of the world’s top 50 players in sustainable development.
In 2012, the Université de Montréal awarded him its medal for lifetime achievement, a rare distinction shared by the likes of Christopher Reeve and Oliver Jones.
Dr. Christian Holz is the Senior Research Associate of the Climate Equity Reference Project, a position which he assumed after a SSHRC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Ottawa’s School of Political Studies. His focus is on advocacy and research in the context of climate change politics, especially the multilateral UN climate regime. Recently, he co-authored the influential Fair Shares: A Civil Society Equity Review of INDCs (civilsocietyreview.org/report) which was described as the single most influential climate justice intervention at the 2015 UN Paris Climate Summit (and even made it into the speeches of some Heads of States). Christian is also a past Executive Director of Climate Action Network Canada (2012-2014). An active and long-standing participant in the UN climate negotiations, he aims to combine rigorous scholarship and effective advocacy to address the global climate crisis. In general, this research and advocacy work centres on the role of equity and fairness as enablers of ambitious domestic and international action on addressing climate change while protecting the right of the world’s poor to a better life.
Brent Kopperson is the founder and Executive Director of Windfall Ecology Centre, a non-profit social enterprise dedicated to building sustainable communities. The creation of Windfall was inspired by a vision of sustainable communities, where economic, social, and environmental needs achieve balance through social innovation, community partnership, and community action.
Brent is a founding Director and former Chair of the Community Power Fund, a founding Director and Chair of the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA), the former Chair of Green Communities Canada, and past Director of the World Wind Energy Association.
Brent has a significant record of accomplishment in Business, Organization Development, and Community Service. He was born and raised on Vancouver Island and obtained an Honours Degree from the Schulich School of Business at York University. In 2010, Brent was elected a Senior Fellow of the Ashoka Foundation, in recognition of his leadership as a social entrepreneur.
Dale Marshall is National Program Manager for Environmental Defence Canada. He has over 15 years of experience working in environmental protection, the vast majority on climate change and energy issues. Most of Dale’s work has been in policy advocacy and campaigning. However, Dale also developed VSO International’s climate change strategy, with a focus on adaptation, and spent two years in Cambodia building the capacity of local NGOs to integrate climate change impacts and adaptation into their programs.
Dale has a Master’s in Resource and Environmental Management from Simon Fraser University, a B.Sc. in Environmental Science and Biology from the University of Western Ontario and a Mechanical Engineering degree from McGill University. Dale grew up in Sept-Iles, Quebec and now lives in Ottawa with his partner and two kids.
Retired ESL teacher, Margaret is the current President of Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice (CUSJ), a faith-based network promoting peace, justice and harmony with the natural world.
A member of the Board of COMER (Committee on Monetary & Economic Reform),this advocacy group has launched a lawsuit against the federal government to restore the Bank of Canada’s original mandate, promoting public infrastructure and the interests of the Canadian people over the interests of privatized central banking and financial institutions.
A member of ClimateFast, Margaret is committed to a first of the month fast in solidarity with the international group’ Fast for the Climate’. Climatefast advocates for an end to fossil fuel subsidies, a proper price on carbon and a renewable energy plan for Canada through lobbying and letter writing to federal and provincial politicians. The latest local campaign is ‘Carbon-Free T.O.’, working with the mayor and city councillors to reduce Toronto’s carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.
Margaret also sits on the Ontario Council of the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace (vowpeace.org), a national network promoting peace and justice through education and advocacy at the United Nations.
Gaile Whelan-Enns spent twenty years working for new protected, achieving 5 million hectares of new protected areas, plus significant changes in Manitoba legislation and policy. This campaign role was through World Wildlife Fund Canada and Nature Canada. The protected areas focus on Manitoba’s boreal forest regions resulted in the decision to include climate change in all technical and public interest activities.
She has many years’ experience in public interest research for licensing of projects on public lands and waters, including four sets of Manitoba Hydro hearings, and two pipeline regulatory processes.
Ms. Whelan-Enns participated on non-profit boards in social services, youth agencies, daycares, libraries, museums, environmental organizations and unions. She is currently director of Manitoba Wildlands, was a Sierra Club Canada board member and volunteer for 15 years, and is a three-time member of the Board of Climate Action Network Canada.
Ms Whelan-Enns is also principal of Whelan Enns Associates Inc., a social enterprise that provides technical services to First Nations regarding regulatory processes, consultations, negotiations, and traditional lands planning.
Kiki is a white, queer, settler, from Toronto working and living on unceded Mi’kmaq territory in Kjipuktuk (Halifax), Nova Scotia. She has been working and volunteering on issues of social justice since 2007. She now works primarily in climate justice organizing as the National Director for the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition – a national grassroots organization that works to connect and empower youth towards environmental justice. She believes in the ability of people power to create system change and further a just transition towards a better future. In both her work and life, Kiki is interested in building resilient communities towards social and environmental justice. When not travelling or working, she spends time on a small homestead in Tatamagouche, NS.