Chief Rudy Turtle of the Grassy Narrows First Nation has long-been advocating for the clean-up of mercury in the English and Wabigoon river systems – which has been impacting and poisoning Grassy Narrows and Wabaseemoong members for generations. In 2012 he joined the Mercury Working Group to discuss issues and solutions with representatives from the Ministries of Environment, Aboriginal Affairs and Natural resources, and has since spoken out many times on the need for proper mercury testing and rehabilitation of the people and land.
Last year Turtle announced a ban on future industrial activities like logging, mining and mineral staking in the Whiskey Jack Forest, much of which is included in the Grassy Narrows First Nation traditional territory. Traditional hunting, fishing and trapping (of which Turtle takes part) are allowed, as well as building traditional cabins, sustainable harvesting of plants and animals, eco-tourism, scientific study and environmental remediation.
Prior to being elected MP, Stetski worked for 29 years for the BC Ministry of Environment in the East and West Kootenays. As Regional Manager for Environment, he was responsible for parks and protected areas, fish and wildlife, and ecosystems. In this role he also co-chaired the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program and was the Provincial Authority Member overseeing the management of the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area.
After being elected MP, Stetski was quickly named NDP National Parks Critic. In this role he worked to uphold Canada’s international conservation commitments and implement an action plan to meet UNESCO’s requirements for the preservation of Wood Buffalo National Park. In 2018, he became a member of the Environment Committee and was appointed vice-chair later that year. He is a member of the All-Party Climate Caucus, and founder and co-chair of the Parliamentary All-Party Cycling Caucus.
Philpott has experience spanning three decades dealing with the health impacts of drought and famine in Niger and West Africa. As Minister of Health, she kept environmental determinants of health in mind, improving regulations on pesticides and increasing funding for disaster mitigation. As Minister of Indigenous Services, she implemented the plan to lift over 85 long-term drinking water advisories for water systems on reserve. Most recently, she helped overhaul Canada’s Food Guide to be more inclusive and feature sustainable food choices.
Locally, Philpott has been active in the protection and promotion of the Rouge National Urban Park. She has hosted annual community clean-ups, participated in local environmental initiatives and advocated for sustainable housing and green infrastructure.
Phillip has been the Penticton Indian Band’s Lands Administrator for more than two decades. A well-known environmental activist in her community, Phillip has stood up against the Site C dam, Kinder Morgan pipeline, Ajax open-pit copper mine and the salmon farm industry, among others. She has co-organized various community forums to discuss safe methods of transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy, including but not limited to Gathering of Eagles: Convergence for a Pipeline and Tanker Free BC and For Our Earth: Join the Movement to Stop Kinder Morgan.
In 2017, Phillip was awarded the Eugene Rogers Environmental Award from The Wilderness Committee for her decades-long commitment to preserving and protecting lands, waters and the environment for future generations.
Gord Miller is an ecologist best known for his 15-year long career as Ontario’s Environment Commissioner, the province’s environmental watchdog. In this role he was responsible for upholding and protecting Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights, overseeing the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, and publishing Greenhouse Gas Progress Reports to the Ontario legislature. He also supported the Ontario government in taking action on number of environmental measures, including protecting bees from neonicotinoid pesticides, adopting the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, and ending logging in Algonquin Provincial Park.
Prior to his role as Environmental Commissioner, Miller worked for 14 years at the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. He has also served as President of the Ontario Chapter of the Canadian Land Reclamation Association, and as a Vice-President and Co-Founder of the Roadside Heritage Trees Society of Puslinch Township.
Darcie Lanthier is a staunch advocate for renewable energy and has worked for years to make homes and workplaces more sustainable. After training as an energy systems technologist, Lanthier worked as an Energy Auditor for the City of Charlottetown to evaluate current energy use, research opportunities to reduce energy consumption and facilitate the transition to newer, more efﬁcient equipment. She later started working with Renewable Lifestyles Inc., where she designed, specified and sold residential solar installations in PEI.
Lanthier is active in various environmental groups in her community, including the Green Economy Network, the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Water, the Voluntary Resource Council and Pesticide Free PEI, where she worked to establish cosmetic pesticide bans in many local municipalities. She is a founding member of the PEI Food Exchange, which organizes distributing non-commercial crops on organic farms to families and service agencies.
Kooy has often been a spokesperson for First Nations communities on social justice and sustainable development projects. She was the communications lead for a project led by the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation to successfully reject the KGHM-Ajax copper and gold mine in Kamloops. She worked to help bring Chiefs’ views forward to the United Nations about the impacts of the Mount Polley tailing ponds spill on their local environment. She has also attended a number of climate strikes in Victoria and written op-eds for local press on environmental issues.
Kooy is a member of Samahquam First Nation with strong family ties to Stswecem’c Xgat’tem. As Co-Chair of the Assembly of First Nations Annual General Assemblies and Special Chiefs Assemblies, Kooy has facilitated in-depth discussions between First Nations Chiefs and with the Prime Minister and other Ministers.
Keenan started her career working in climate change science communication for the Australian Conservation Foundation, organizing candidates’ forums and public outreach for the 2007 election, and creating partnerships with the Public Sector Union on climate change. She later worked for Avaaz in Europe, training activists in media and communications in the lead-up to the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit. From 2010-2015 she worked for Greenpeace International as a Climate and Energy Campaigner, where she focused on communication of the 100% Renewable Energy Revolution and a campaign to shift Facebook’s energy procurement policy for their data centres away from coal and towards renewable energy.
Keenan currently works for 350.org as a Fossil Free Community Manager, expanding locally-led climate campaigning, coaching regional staff and using online community spaces to scale up their network.
Bruce Hyer is a lifelong environmental champion passionate about conservation, halting pollution and promoting climate action. He has worked throughout North America on pesticide research and regulation, first helping to ban DDT in the US as a Senior Environmental Analyst, and then later in Canada as a researcher for Pollution Probe and member of the Pesticides Action Committee. Bruce earned the Conservation Trophy from Ontario Nature and the “Eco-Olympian Gold” from the Sierra Club for his essential role in winning protection for Wabakimi Provincial Park, the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area, and numerous other wilderness areas.
In Thunder Bay—Superior North, Hyer was elected twice as an NDP MP prior to crossing the floor to join the Green Party in 2011. As an MP, he tabled Bill C-311, the Climate Change Accountability Act, to ensure that Canada would meet its global climate change obligations.
Steve Dyck is committed to building healthy and environmentally responsible communities, and is a big supporter of sustainable infrastructure. He started his career in air pollution testing before building what he has called his dream company, Guelph Solar, from the ground up. As founder and president of Guelph Solar, he is a local leader on modelling and installing solar panels, and has been instrumental in creating green economy jobs in Guelph since 2009.
Dyck is active in several groups in Guelph, including serving as the coordinator for the local People’s Climate March and Guelph’s Rise for Real Climate Action, and volunteering as the longtime organizer of Guelph Green Drinks. Dyck has also been involved for many years with Citizens’ Climate Lobby, where he worked to engage elected officials on the issue of carbon pricing.