Whiff of Grape

Vancouver, BC, Canada


Next dinner meeting: Wed. April 24th, 2024

Guest speaker: Kenny Chiu

Time: 6:15 – 6:30 cocktails, followed by dinner at 7:00

at the Arbutus Club


Kenny Chiu
Former MP, Richmond

Kenny Chiu started calling Canada home over four decades ago, initially in Winnipeg then Saskatoon and eventually settling in Richmond BC. He has fulfilled his many roles spanning the high-tech sector as a software engineer, to a senior software development manager, to developing local education as Richmond’s school board trustee and a partner of a health clinic in Richmond providing hyperbaric oxygen treatment to clients.

Richmond is where Kenny worked, raised his family, and has been serving his community for over 30 years. He and his girlfriend (who happens to be his wife) raised two French-immersion educated beautiful and talented young ladies. While the younger Christa is finishing her education at U of Ottawa, Rachel is pursuing her Instagram & TikTok performance dream after graduating from the UBC in French and spent a year as a TA in Quebec.

A true, trusted, community leader, Kenny is familiar with providing leadership and fiscal responsibility. He is constantly building relationships with members of Richmond’s ever-growing diverse community.

In 2019 Kenny Chiu replaced the Conservative-turned-Liberal MP he helped elect some 20 years prior, was elected as the Conservative MP for Steveston-Richmond East. His focus included areas such as Citizenship and Immigration, International Development, and International Human Rights. As the House of Commons sub-committee on International Human Rights Vice-Chair, he championed the merits of democracy, human rights, and Canada’s role as an advocate abroad. In 2021 he also introduced a private member’s bill (C-282) to promote transparency of foreign interference in Canada. He was the Chair of the Canada-Hong Kong Parliamentary Friendship Group, and served as Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition Shadow Minister for Diversity, Inclusion, and Youth.

Though he lost his re-election attempt during the pandemic election in 2021, Kenny remains active in delivering positive changes to Canada, including his role as BC co-chair of Hon. Pierre Poilievre’s Conservative leadership campaign. It is commonly believed his persistent advocacy for freedom, democracy & human dignity, as well as his introduction of The Foreign Influence Registry Act made him a target of authoritarian regimes active in interference operations in Canada.

He was broadly identified by NGOs & subject matter experts, Canadian and international media, CSIS & its whistle-blower as well as Special Rapporteur Rt. Hon. David Johnston as the target of a misinformation campaign on Chinese speaking media platforms. According to the Globe and Mail, the PRC Consul General in Vancouver once quoted by CSIS that Mr. Chiu’s loss proved “their strategy and tactics were good, and contributed to achieving their goals while still adhering to the local political customs in a clever way.”

Mr. Chiu proudly wears the reported moniker as “vocal distractor of the Chinese government”.

April 24th, 2024

Future Meetings




Past Meetings

Ujjal Dossanjh
Former MLA, MP and Minister for Health

Born in a village of India’s rural Punjab in 1946, mere months before the midnight of India’s independence in 1947, Ujjal migrated to Britain in 1964 where he shunted trains in the British Rail goods yard in Derby, made crayons in a Bedford factory, worked in a car parts plant in Letchworth and helped edit a Punjabi weekly in London while immersed in reading and learning to speak English listening to BBC One. In search for better opportunities he immigrated to Canada in 1968 and began working in a saw mill pulling lumber off the green chain while attending night school. A serious back injury ensured his speedier return to Langara which helped him earn a B.A. (SFU) and LLB (UBC).

A lifelong activist for social and economic justice, Ujjal campaigned for better legal rights for farm and domestic workers, practiced law and jumped into electoral politics becoming a BC MLA, Attorney General and Premier and subsequently a member of parliament and Minister of Health for Canada.
Retiring in 2011, he wrote his autobiography Journey After Midnight published in 2016-it made BC’s Best seller list for several weeks—before turning to fiction to write stories that he had encountered in his life some of which had travelled with him. Living in Vancouver since 1968, all his Canadian life, he enjoys gardening, walking, writing and spending time with his six grandchildren.

Ujjal’s debut novel, The Past Is Never Dead, set in Banjhan, Punjab and in Bedford, England in the British Midlands of the mid-20th century, published by Speaking Tiger in India, delves into the life of an untouchable Punjabi lad who immigrates to England and how the stranglehold of the caste system travels and remains with him as he fights for equality in Britain

March 27th, 2024

Mark Milke
Public Policy Analyst
Aristotle Foundation

Mark Milke Ph. D. is the founder and president of the Aristotle Foundation for Public Policy. Mark is a public policy analyst and author with six books, over 70 studies, and over 1,000 columns published in the last 25 years. His policy work has been published by numerous think tanks in Canada and internationally, including the Fraser Institute, the Montreal Economic Institute, American Enterprise Institute, Heritage Foundation, and Brussels-based Centre for European Studies.

He is editor of the Aristotle Foundation’s first book, The 1867 Project: Why Canada Should Be Cherished–Not Cancelled, an Amazon bestseller. Mark is also currently president of the Sir Winston Churchill Society of Calgary and a past-president of Civitas. His sixth book, The Victim Cult: How the culture of blame hurts everyone and wrecks civilizations is an Amazon bestseller. You can find Mark’s columns in media across Canada including in the National Post, Globe and Mail, Maclean’s and also in the United States in National Review. For more, see www.aristotlefoundation.org and www.markmilke.com . Follow Mark on X (Twitter) at @milkemark or on Linked In.

Source: https://www.amazon.ca/stores/Mark%20Milke/author/B001K8Y75K/about

February 28th, 2024

Brennan MacLachlan
CAF, Fire rescue

Born in Canada, Brennan spent most of his formative years overseas in the Middle East and Europe. Brennan's unique experiences living abroad and travelling parts of the developing world fostered an interest in international diplomacy and conflict resolution.

With a passion for service and problem-solving; following his return to Canada and graduation from UBC, he pursued a 13-year career as an Infantry Officer in the Canadian Armed Forces. During this time he was employed in various command and staff roles, supporting both domestic emergency response operations and an international deployment to the Congo with the United Nations.

Following his full-time service with the military, Brennan pursued an opportunity to apply his planning skills and operational experience with Richmond Fire-Rescue as an emergency manager. He continues to serve as a part-time reservist with the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada and, outside of his professional life, is kept busy living in Langley with his wife and their four children.



January 31, 2024

Andrew Gow
Historian, writer

Andrew Gow – like thousands of other Canadians, including Corey Hart, the Vancouver songster – is a descendant of Aaron Hart, who arrived in Montreal in 1758 with the British Army, having marched up the Hudson from New York. Aaron was one of the very first Jews to establish a Jewish family and community in what would later become Canada.

Like many founding members of the Whiff, Andrew thinks of Montreal as home – from a comfortable distance. Andrew is special projects manager and copy-writer at a boutique grocery/dry-goods store in Victoria, and has recently worked as an inventory auditor and editor.

In a former life, from the mid-1980s until his retirement in 2018, he wrote and taught about pre-modern Europe, publishing academic books and articles on Jews in the Christian imagination, male witches, early modern cartography, apocalypticism, demonology, and many other publications on related and unrelated topics.



November 29, 2023

Dr. Kevin Elwood
Professor, UBC Medicine

Dr. Kevin Elwood MB Bch, MRCP(UK),FRCP(C)

Dr. Elwood graduated in Medicine from University College Dublin in 1970, completed his Internal Medicine training in Ireland and came to British Columbia in 1978. He completed a Fellowship in Respiratory Medicine followed by 2 years of research training in St. Paul's Hospital.

He joined the BC Center for Disease Control in 1982, eventually becoming Director of the Division of TB Control. He was a member of the Osler Society from 1988-2000, Secretary and President on two separate occasions. He was a previous President of the BC Thoracic Society and the North American Region of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease from 2007-2009.

He is currently Clinical Professor of Medicine and semi-retired.



October 25, 2023

Nancy Hermiston
Professor, UBC Music

Nancy Hermiston’s operatic career has taken her throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. Her New York debut took place in Carnegie Hall with Marilyn Horne and Mario Bernardi. Her European début led to a permanent engagement with the prestigious Nürnberg Opera. She has held numerous appointments as voice teacher, and as stage director at the Meistersinger Konservatorium, Nürnberg, and the University of Toronto Opera and Performance Divisions.

She was appointed to the UBC faculty in 1995 as Coordinator of the Voice and Opera Division. In 2008, Professor Hermiston was the recipient of the Dorothy Somerset Award for Performance and Development in the Visual and Performing Arts and in the 2009/2010 academic year received a Killam Teaching Prize. Hermiston is chair of the School of Music’s Voice and Opera Divisions and also serves as University Marshal.

In 2014, she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada for her achievements as an opera singer, stage director and educator.

(source: https://music.ubc.ca/profile/nancy-hermiston/)


September 27, 2023

Daniel Pauly
UBC, Ocean and fisheries

Dr. Daniel Pauly, born in Paris and now both French and Canadian citizen, completed his high school and university studies in Germany; his doctorate (1979) in Fisheries Biology, Zoology and Oceanography is from the from the University of Kiel.

After many years at the International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM), in Manila, Philippines, in 1994, Daniel Pauly became Professor at the Fisheries Centre of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, of which he was the Director for five years (Nov. ’03-Oct. ’08). Since 1999, he is also Principal Investigator of the Sea Around Us Project (see www.seaaroundus.org), initiated and mainly funded mainly by the Pew Charitable Trusts, and devoted to studying, documenting and promoting policies to mitigate the impact of fisheries on the world’s marine ecosystems (see AMBIO, 34: 290-295, 2007).

Daniel Pauly is also co-founder of FishBase (www.fishbase.org), the online encyclopedia of fish covering over 30,000 species,  and he contributed to the development of the widely-used Ecopath software for modeling aquatic ecosystems. He is the author or co-author of over 1000 scientific papers, book chapters and other contributions on fish, fisheries and related topics.

(source: https://biodiversity.ubc.ca/people/faculty/daniel-pauly)


June, 2023

Dan Fumano
Journalist, Vancouver Sun

Dan Fumano is the City Columnist at the Vancouver Sun and The Province, his hometown daily newspapers, where he was first hired in 2013 as a reporting intern.

He currently covers municipal politics and a range of urban issues. Fumano has won the Jack Webster Award, B.C.'s top journalism honour, five times, and has been selected as a finalist three times for the National Newspaper Awards, winning once.

He completed his Bachelor of Arts at the University of B.C. and his Master of Journalism at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University).


May 31, 2023

Donovan Tildesley
Paralympic swimmer

Donovan Tildesley is a 38-year-old Vancouver native. He has a BA in English Literature from the University of British Columbia, and works full-time as an insurance broker.
He is also an accomplished swimmer who has traveled the world extensively. In the winter, he loves nothing better than to rip down double-black Diamonds on Blackcomb Mountain.
He has a passion for radio, and was the co-founder of 101.5 Whistler FM. Many have said that Donovan has accomplished much in his 38 years. But there’s one more thing you should know about him … Donovan is totally blind, and has been since birth. Donovan was born with a condition known as Leiber’s Congenital Amaurosis, which left him without the use of his retinas.
Despite this fact, his parents were determined to expose him to any and all activities that a sighted child would be a part of. They first put him in the pool before he was six months old, and by age nine, he had joined his first swim team. Three years later, at a provincial competition in Kamloops, he first heard about the Paralympics.
Intrigued, the then twelve-year-old Donovan made it his mission to one day compete in the Games. Four years later, that childhood dream became a reality! Donovan joined the national team at age sixteen, where he competed in the Sydney 2000 Paralympics, winning a bronze medal in the 200 m individual medley (IM).
Donovan’s first splash onto the international stage marked the beginning of an illustrious fourteen-year career in the pool. Coached by his father, he late Dr. Hugh Tildesley, career highlights included five Golds and one Silver medal at the 2002 IPC World Championships, participating in the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, multiple gold medals at the 2007 Para PanAmerican Games, two silvers and one bronze medal at the 2004 Athens Paralympics, and a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics. He also competed in the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Having retired from competition in 2014, Donovan now focuses his energies on building his book of clients at Vancouver’s Buntain Insurance Agencies Ltd. as a General Insurance Agent, as well as inspiring audiences of all ages to overcome their own life challenges.


April 26, 2023


John Rustad, MLA
Nechako Lakes

John Rustad was re-elected MLA of Nechako Lakes in 2020.

First elected in 2005, John previously served as Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation and Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and as Parliamentary Secretary for Forestry. He also previously served as the Official Opposition critic for Forest, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations. In the 41st Parliament, he was appointed to the Select Standing Committee on Parliamentary Reform, Ethical Conduct, Standing Orders, and Private Bills.

In August 2022, John was ejected from the BC Liberals for speaking out in support of his riding against the party narrative and he now serves as Conservative MLA from Nechako-Lakes.

John has been speaking out about Climate Realism since leving the Liberal caucus. In particular, he engages on the topic of the unintended consequences of climate based policies and how there is a better way to address our changing climate.

Prior to his election as MLA, John worked in the forest industry for more than 20 years. In 1995, he formed Western Geographic Information Systems Inc., a consulting service to the forest industry. John was also elected as a school trustee in 2002, where he worked on a variety of innovative projects.

Born and raised in Prince George, John has lived in northern B.C. all his life. When time permits, he enjoys golfing and watersports. In 2009, he and his wife Kim moved to Cluculz Lake, where they enjoy the quiet beauty of rural living, as well as social calls from family and friends.

adapted from https://www.leg.bc.ca/learn-about-us/members/42nd-Parliament/Rustad-Johnhttps://www.leg.bc.ca/learn-about-us/members/42nd-Parliament/Rustad-John


March 29, 2023

David Elstone, RPF
Forester, Spar Tree Group

David is a professional forester and a highly regarded forest industry expert with over thirty years of experience within the sector. David is the managing director of Spar Tree Group Inc., a consultancy firm, and the publisher of the View From The Stump newsletter as well as the associated blog, Right From The Stump.

Prior to founding the Spar Tree Group, David was the executive director of the Truck Loggers Association (TLA), advocating on behalf of the businesses supporting the BC forest industry's supply chain. Before the TLA, David worked for ten years as a senior financial analyst for ERA Forest Products Research, advising institutional investors, manufacturers, and governments on global forest product markets. In the earliest part of his career, David spent over a decade working in British Columbia’s forests.

David’s consulting clientele and newsletter subscribers benefit from his unique background in BC forest policy and politics, the forest products sector and forest management by providing an independent perspective of the trends and issues affecting the British Columba forest industry.

David has a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from Simon Fraser University and a Bachelor of Science in Forestry from the University of British Columbia.



Feb 22, 2023

Kevin Falcon
MLA Leader of the opposition

Kevin Falcon was born and raised on the North Shore and he graduated from SFU and the Real Estate Program at UBC. Falcon was elected MLA for Surrey-Cloverdale in 2001, a position he held until 2013. Elected to the Legislature once again, Falcon now serves as the MLA for Vancouver-Quilchena and as the Leader of the Official Opposition.

When he was first elected, Falcon was one of the youngest MLAs to serve in cabinet. In his twelve years at the cabinet table, Falcon held a number of senior Cabinet roles including Deputy Premier, Minister of Finance, Minister of Transportation, Minister of Health and Minister of Deregulation.

After leaving politics, Falcon took on the role as Executive Vice President for Anthem Capital and served on the boards of several non-profits including Canuck Place, Lions Gate Hospital Foundation and the Street-to-home Foundation, an organization working to house the homeless on the Downtown Eastside.

He lives in North Vancouver with wife Jessica and two daughters, Josephine and Rose, and their cats Lucky and Feather.


Jan 25, 2023

Mario Conseco
Research Co.

Mario Canseco has analyzed and conducted public opinion research since 2003, designing and managing research projects for clients across private and public sectors. Mario is a sought-after commentator on political and sociological issues, and writes a column for Glacier Media. His articles have also appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Globe and Mail and the National Observer.

Starting in 2007, Mario’s work as an electoral forecaster in four different companies has resulted in 101 correct predictions of democratic processes in Canada and the United States, including the 2008, 2011, 2015, 2019 and 2021 Canadian federal elections, 21 Canadian provincial elections, the 2015 Metro Vancouver Transportation and Transit Plebiscite, and the 2012, 2016 and 2020 United States presidential elections.

Throughout his career, Mario coordinated research teams for a global public opinion firm that operated in Canada, the United States and Britain, worked as an editorial researcher for Peter C. Newman’s books “The Secret Mulroney Tapes” and “Here Be Dragons”; as a researcher at the Liu Institute for Global Issues at UBC; and in various journalistic roles around the world.

Mario holds a Masters of Journalism from the University of British Columbia and a Bachelors in Communications.


October 26th, 2022

Dr. Brian Day
Founder of the Cambie Surgery Center

Brian Day is an orthopedic surgeon and health researcher in Canada, a past president of the Canadian Medical Association, and a prominent sometimes controversial advocate for privatization of Canada's health system.

As the founder and medical director of a private clinic Cambie Surgery Centre and Specialist Referral Clinic in Vancouver, British Columbia, Day is a spokesperson for a high-profile, multi-year and ongoing lawsuit against the provincial government, Cambie Surgeries Corporation v. British Columbia (Medical Services Commission) that is sometimes cited publicly as 'The Day Case'. (source: Brian Day on Wikipedia)

Day was raised in Toxteth, a working-class area, of post-war Liverpool, England. He was one of five children in a family with strong Labour views. Both his mother and father were socialists. The area could be tough. He has a permanent scar on a finger from a knife fight when he was 10 years old. His father, a pharmacist, was killed in the mid-80s by a hooligans looking for drugs. He was one of very few students from his elementary school who went to university. Day attended the Liverpool Institute, the same high school as Paul McCartney and George Harrison.

He obtained post-graduate qualifications in Britain, in both internal medicine and general surgery, and in 1978 completed his training and a M.Sc. degree at UBC. In 1979, Day received the Canadian Orthopaedic Association's Edouard Samson Award, for outstanding orthopaedic research in Canada. Following a fellowship in traumatology, in Basel, Switzerland, Oxford, and Los Angeles, he began practice at the Vancouver General Hospital. After starting in trauma, he developed an interest and expertise in orthopaedic sports medicine and arthroscopy. As an orthopedic surgeon, he earned an international reputation for performing arthroscopic surgery on knees, shoulders and elbows. Day is regarded as being instrumental in the introduction of arthroscopic joint surgery in Canada.


September 28, 2022

Jonn Matsen and Douglas Swanston
Squamish Streamkeepers

Feb. 26th, 2020


Vivian Krause
Independent researcher and writer

Vivian Krause is a researcher and writer based in Vancouver.

Having worked with the United Nations, including six years in the slums of Guatemala and five years in Indonesia, Vivian has seen first-hand the importance of charity. Upon her return to Canada she got involved in salmon farming and on the frontlines of the campaign against it. She has done extensive analysis of environmental and elections activism funded through registered charities and U.S. foundations. Her most recent project is a documentary film called Over a Barrel about a Rockefeller-funded campaign to land-lock Canadian oil, keeping Canada out of the global oil market.

Vivian has testified to standing committees of the House of Commons and the Senate. Her work prompted investigations by Elections Canada and the CRA. Of the 42 charities audited by the CRA, 41 were non-compliant, the CRA found. Vivian’s work is now the basis of a public inquiry by the Alberta government.

Vivian has done extensive analysis of grant-making within the charitable sector. Her research contributed to a front-page report by Kathy Tomlinson, published in The Globe and Mail, “Inside the charity network that has helped wealthy donors get big tax breaks – and their donations back.”

Vivian a graduate degree in science from the Université de Montréal and a B.Sc. from McGill University.

Vivian will present the findings of her recent analysis of questionable funding practices within the charitable sector. Considering that Canadian charities tax-receipt approximately $17 billion annually, this is an important issue for Canada.

Twitter: @FairQuestions

Jan. 29, 2020

Dianne Ramage
Pacific Salmon Foundation

Dianne has been the Director of Salmon Recovery Programs with the Pacific Salmon Foundation since 2006. She develops programs and initiatives that link science, resources and opportunities to make a positive difference for salmon in the wild. Her background in natural resource management and community engagement enable her to build momentum and trust between community groups, industry and governments resulting in direct benefits for salmon. She has directed over $26 million dollars to 2,500 projects with a combined total project value of over $116 million dollars.

Dianne has also been a Streamkeeper since 1998 when she volunteered in the Fisheries and Oceans Canada Salmon Enhancement Program and helped bring together a group of passionate locals to protect and restore Maple Creek and the Coquitlam River in Coquitlam.

She has received environmental achievement awards from 3 municipalities, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and other conservation organizations for her significant contribution to wild salmon protection and recovery.

Her greatest concern for Pacific salmon are the impacts of climate change. Her current and future efforts will be applied to this challenge


November 27, 2019

Capt. Brennan MacLachlan
Seaforth Highlanders

Capt MacLachlan was born in Calgary, Alberta and thought that he would be raised, married and settle all within 100m of his house in Chinook Park...until January 8th 1996 when he found himself in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He spent the next four years living in Saudi Arabia where his father worked as a doctor. In 2003 he took off on his own to attend high school in the South of France. Upon graduating with an International Baccalaureate diploma he was accepted into UBC and graduated with a degree in Arts, majoring in History.

Capt MacLachlan’s military experience began with the British Army when he went to Glasgow on a university exchange program in 2005/06 and joined the University Officer Training Corps. During his time with the GSUOTC he learned to fire artillery guns, jump out of airplanes, spent some time with 29 Commando being wet cold and miserable, and competed against Canada in a marksmanship competition. Upon returning to Canada he joined the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada as a 2Lt in September of 2008.

Captain MacLachlan was fortunate enough to complete the mechanized platoon commander’s course in the fall of 2011 and in the fall of 2012 he was successful on the Canadian Special Operations Regiment assessment phase. During the summer of 2013 and 2014 he competed at the National Service Conditions Championship and the Canadian Armed Forces Small Arms Competition winning a number of matches while representing 3rd Canadian Division. He was promoted to Captain in February 2014, and completed his Army Operations Course in 2016. Capt MacLachlan has been working at 39 Canadian Brigade Group Head Quarters since the summer of 2013.

Capt MacLachlan was lucky enough to spend four years as a platoon commander with the Seaforth Highlanders. In the fall of 2014 he was appointed A Company 2IC, and became Acting Officer Commanding A Company in the spring of 2015. In 2017 Capt MacLachlan volunteered for a deployment to the Democratic Republic of Congo on Operation Crocodile - Canada’s military contribution to the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo otherwise known as MONUSCO. For seven months he worked as the Deputy Chief of Staff Operations and Plans - Coordinator, based out of Goma. On 31 May 2018 he returned to Canada and now works in the G1 (Human Resources) overseeing G1 support to operations for members of 39 Brigade while also being A Company Commander for the Seaforth Highlanders.

Capt MacLachlan is an avid outdoorsman and spends lots of time each fall out hunting with bow and rifle to provide meat for his family. He enjoys rock climbing, Olympic lifting, SCUBA diving, competitive shooting, and Downhill Mountain biking. He currently lives with his common law partner Reta, step daughter Charlee, and son Caius in Langley BC.


October 30, 2019

Aaron Boley
Profesor of Physics and Astronomy, UBC

Prof. Boley earned his PhD from Indiana University.

Before joining UBC as a Canada Research Chair in Planetary Astronomy, he was a postdoctoral researcher at The University of Zurich and a NASA Carl Sagan Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Florida.

Prof. Boley investigates the birth of planets, and seeks to put the Solar System in context with the many worlds now known to exist. His research program addresses processes such as the rise of planet-forming discs, the formation of solids found in meteorites, and the long-term evolution of planetary systems and their debris (asteroids and comets).

In 2018, Boley co-founded the Outer Space Institute, an organization that addresses major problems facing the sustainable development of space in the NewSpace era, including orbital debris, consequences of in situ resource utilization (space mining), and space governance.


Sept. 25, 2019

boley pic

Michael Geller
Architect AIBC, FCIP, RPP

Michael Geller is an architect, planner, real estate consultant and property developer with four decades’ experience in the public, private and institutional sectors. He is President of the Geller Group and serves as an Adjunct Professor in Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Sustainable Development.

Michael is a past President of the SFU Community Trust, overseeing the planning and development of UniverCity on Burnaby Mountain. Prior to joining SFU, he managed a variety of major projects in Vancouver including Bayshore in Coal Harbour, expansion of the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre, Deering Island, and numerous residential and mixed-use projects. From 1981 to 1983, he was Vice-President Development, The Narod Group.

Prior to joining Narod, he was an official with CMHC in Vancouver, Ottawa and Toronto for ten years. Michael is a past president of the Urban Development Institute and has served on numerous boards and panels. He writes a regular column for the Vancouver Courier and is a frequent media commentator on urban issues. He has been honoured as a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Planners and Life Member of the Architectural Institute of BC.

His website is www.michaelgeller.ca and his blog is found at www.gellersworldtravel.blogspot.ca




June 19, 2019

Ashley Stedman
Fraser Institute

Ashley Stedman is a senior policy analyst working in the Centre for Natural Resources at the Fraser Institute. She holds a B.A. (Honours) from Carleton University and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Calgary.
Ms. Stedman is the co-author of a number of Fraser Institute studies, including the annual Global Petroleum Survey and Survey of Mining Companies. Ms. Stedman’s research has been covered by various prominent media outlets including the Wall Street Journal and her commentaries have appeared in major Canadian and American newspapers such as the Globe and Mail, National Post, The Hill, and Washington Times.




May 29, 2019

Eric Stubbs
Assistant Commissioner, RCMP

Assistant Commissioner Eric Stubbs joined the RCMP in 1993 and was posted to E Division in British Columbia. Over the course of the next 20+ years, he worked in 6 BC communities. Highlighted by his role as the Chief of Police in the communities of Queen Charlotte City, Terrace and Prince George.

In 2014, he transferred to RCMP Headquarters in Ottawa as the Director General, National Criminal Operations, where he served until July of 2017. His portfolio included the National Use of Force, Operational Policy, Traffic Services and the Research Units.

In July 2017, Assistant Commissioner Eric Stubbs returned to BC and is now in charge of Core Criminal Operations in E Division. This includes oversight of the province’s 144 RCMP detachments that respond to more than 1 million calls for service each year. He is also responsible for managing the numerous units that support those detachments. Some of which include: the Emergency Response Teams, Aboriginal Policing, Crime Prevention, Traffic and Marine Services. He’s excited to be living back in British Columbia and working the with exceptional members in this province.


April 24, 2019

Bacchus Barua
Associate Director, Health Policy Studies, Fraser Institute

Bacchus Barua is the Associate Director of the Fraser Institute’s Centre for Health Policy Studies. He completed his B.A. (Honours) in Economics at the University of Delhi (Ramjas College) and received an M.A. in Economics from Simon Fraser University.

Mr Barua has conducted research on a range of key health-care topics including hospital performance, access to new pharmaceuticals, the sustainability of health-care spending, the impact of aging on health-care expenditures, and international comparisons of health-care systems. He also designed the Provincial Healthcare Index (2013) and is the lead author of Waiting Your Turn: Wait Times for Health Care in Canada (2010–2018).

Mr. Barua is a frequent commentator on radio and television, and his articles have appeared in well-known news outlets including the National Post, Financial Post, Maclean’s, Vancouver Sun, Toronto Sun, Ottawa Citizen, and forbes.com.

March 27, 2019

Nina Horvath
Executive Director of the Vancouver Bach Choir

Nina Horvath is an active musician in the Vancouver scene whether it is on stage or behind the scenes. She is excited to continue to work with the Vancouver Bach Family of Choirs, now as Executive Director. Previously, she has sung with, played piano for and worked as Operations Coordinator for the organization.

Raised in Rossland, BC, Nina completed her Teacher’s ARCT before going on to further studies in solo and collaborative piano at the University of Victoria, University of Denver and University of British Columbia.

Nina’s greatest passion has always been collaborating with other artists, especially in the creation of new works. She has always been an active leader in the musical community working as a co-founder and director of three new vocal ensembles while in Victoria, and as the creator of the First Tuesdays concert series in Denver.

As a performer, Nina has been fortunate to perform as a chorister and pianist on three different continents. She has collaborated with artists throughout Canada and the United States with a special focus on vocal and brass music. She is committed to bringing music to small communities like those in her home region of the West Kootenays, where she regularly returns to perform.

Nina recently returned to Vancouver after spending a year as a staff pianist and vocal coach at Dalhousie University in Halifax. In addition to her role with the VBC she sings with the Vancouver Cantata Singers, and plays for singers in the college program at the Vancouver Academy of Music as well as continuing to play as a freelance musician in the Vancouver area. She also serves on the board of the BC Choral Federation and when not involved in music spends as much time as possible in the mountains.

February 27, 2019

Paul Doroshenko, Q.C.
Vancouver Criminal Lawyer, Acumen law Corp.

Paul Doroshenko was born and raised in Edmonton. In his late 20s he became interested in theories of morality. Instead of joining the priesthood, he studied law. He moved to Vancouver after completing his studies and began his life as a criminal lawyer with a particular interest in impaired driving cases.

Significant changes to the law in 2008 suddenly made his interest in breath-testing equipment extraordinarily useful. Paul became the lawyer who the media would contact to explain the downside of changes to impaired driving law.

In December 2018, the Criminal Code was substantially overhauled introducing controversial new impaired driving offences, authorizing new investigative techniques and that, Paul claims, will likely tie up the courts for years to come.

January 30, 2019

Capt. Roy Haakonson
President of the B.C. Coastal Pilots Association

With 45 years of marine service under his belt, Captain Roy Haakonson is a seasoned mariner. He is honoured to have served as President and Vice President of the BC Coast Pilots, an organization which he has proudly been a part of for 17 years.

His call to sea came at the young age of 15, when he started his journey with the west coast fishing industry, followed by a handful of years spent in Beaufort Sea for oil and gas exploration. This experience eventually led him to study navigation at what is now the BCIT Marine campus in North Vancouver. Though he enjoyed his other time at sea, it was the memory of seeing pilots berthing ships at Alberta Wheat Pool with his father that drove him to submit an application to become what he always knew he wanted to be.

“Piloting makes a difference to the people and the environment of Canada every day”, he says. “It is that responsibility that, for me, makes piloting an extremely rewarding career.” When he’s not at sea, you can find Roy spending time with his family or riding his motorcyle.

(Bio and photograph shamelesssly copied from the BC Coast Pilot site.)

November 28, 2018 


Hon. Suzanne Anton
Director of the No BC Proportional Representation Society

Suzanne Anton is a Director of the No BC Proportional Representation Society.

Suzanne recently served as the Attorney General and Minister of Justice for BC. She also served as Minister Responsible for Public Safety, for Emergency Management and for Liquor Policy.

Suzanne’s career in politics began in her community, where she was active in sport and community organizations. She ran and was elected to the Vancouver Park Board in 2002, elected to city council in 2005, and re-elected in 2008.

Prior to elected office, Suzanne served as a prosecutor with the Criminal Justice Branch of the Province of BC and worked as a high school mathematics teacher in Nigeria and Lisbon.

She serves as a director of the following organizations:
  - Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (director)
  - Frontier College (national literacy organization)
  - Business for the Arts (national organization promoting relationships between businesses and arts organizations)

Suzanne and her husband Olin have 3 adult children and three grandchildren. They like to cycle, and have cycled from Vancouver to Istanbul. They recently completed a trip from Land’s End in Cornwall to Orkney.

October 30, 2018 

Paul Sullivan

Paul Sullivan
Principal at Burgess, Cawley and Sullivan

Paul Sullivan joined Burgess, Cawley, Sullivan and Associates (BCS)in 1992, and became a partner in 2004. On graduation from the University of British Columbia, he approached Geoff Burgess, who persuaded Paul to join the firm. He began learning the appraisal side of the business, but soon found his passion in the tax appeal aspects of BCS.

Mr. Sullivan is not only head of the property tax division here at BCS, he is the most renowned property tax specialists in British Columbia. Every year, Paul and his team save clients millions of dollars in annual property taxes. He not only negotiates on clients’ behalf; he appears as an advocate during BC Assessment appeals process.

Paul spends his leisure time playing polo, cycling, windsurfing and skiing. He enjoys spending time with his wife and daughters and their equestrian pursuits.

(lifted from www.bcappraisers.com )

September 24, 2018 

Paul Sullivan

Kevin McCort
President and CEO of the Vancouver Foundation

Kevin McCort is President and CEO of Vancouver Foundation. With more than 30 years of service to the non-profit sector, both in Canada and around the world, he has earned a reputation as a smart, strategic leader who always puts community at the heart of his work.

Since 2013 Kevin has led Vancouver Foundation through a period of significant growth. The foundation’s assets have increased to over $1-billion, while more than 500 new funds have been created by individuals and organizations. As a result, more than $50-million is now being granted each year to build healthy, vibrant, livable communities across BC.

As the scale of Vancouver Foundation has grown Kevin has also worked to expand its impact, pioneering new initiatives and innovations that create meaningful change at a community level. Highlights include Fresh Voices, a unique partnership that empowers racialized immigrant and refugee youth — and Fostering Change, an initiative that supports youth living in foster care as they transition to adulthood. In 2015 Kevin led a transformation in Vancouver Foundation’s approach to community granting, with a new focus on social innovation that does more than ever before to solve the underlying root causes of pressing issues.

Before joining Vancouver Foundation Kevin worked with some of Canada’s leading humanitarian aid organizations, including six years as President and CEO of CARE Canada. In 2013, he was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal for his leadership in promoting Canadian values of tolerance and social justice across the world. In his volunteer life, Kevin serves on the boards of Community Foundations of Canada, Friends of Vancouver Foundation, and the B.C. Unclaimed Property Society. He is also a member of British Columbia’s Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) Action Group, and the Young Presidents’ Organization — a global network for business leaders.

Kevin graduated from the University of Toronto in 1989 with a B.Sc. (Specialist/Honours). In 2005, he earned a Master of Business Administration from Queen's University. .

June 20, 2018 


André Gerolymatos
Professor of history at SFU

Dr. André Gerolymatos is a Professor of History, the Hellenic Canadian Congress of BC Chair in Hellenic Studies, and Director of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies at Simon Fraser University. He also serves the Director of the Hellenic Studies Program and as a co-director of the Terrorism, Risk, and Security Studies Professional Master’s Program.

Dr. Gerolymatos served as a Senior Policy Adviser in the Ministry of Canadian Heritage from 1993 to 1994, served as a Member of the Board on the Canadian Association of Security and Intelligence from 2000 to 2002, and on the Canadian Advisory Council on National Security from 2010 to 2012.

Dr. Gerolymatos received his MA in Classics and PhD in History at McGill University. His most recent book is An International Civil War: Greece 1944-1949, Yale University Press.

May 30, 2018 

Gerolymatos pic

Larry Blain
Senior Director, Global Infrastructure at KPMG

Larry is a consultant to KPMG as a Senior Director, Global Infrastructure. Other clients include the World Bank and governments in Canada. He is also a member of the Technical Advisory Panel of the Public Private Investment Advisory Facility (World Bank); advisor to the Sustainable Investment Fund; a Director of GeoStabilization International; a Director of the Canada West Foundation; a member of the UBC Dean of Arts Advisory Council and the Vancouver School of Economics Advisory Board; and a member of the Firethorn Advisory Committee. Previously, Mr. Blain served as Partnerships BC's President and CEO, and subsequently as Chair of the Board of Directors. Under Mr. Blain's leadership, Partnerships BC participated in more than 45 partnership projects with an investment value of $15 billion. Mr. Blain has also been a Director of BC Hydro, the Chair of Powerex, a Director of the Transportation Investment Corporation; a Director of the UBC Investment Management Trust; and a member of the Pacific Autism Building Committee. Before joining Partnerships BC, Mr. Blain was an investment banker with Pemberton Securities, which became RBC Capital Markets. Over a 20-year period, he was responsible for senior coverage of major corporations and governments in western Canada, with specialization in public finance, utilities and infrastructure finance. Previously, Mr. Blain was an economist with the Bank of Canada and Director of Central Borrowing with the B.C. Ministry of Finance. Mr. Blain holds a Ph.D. (Economics) from the University of British Columbia.

Sarah Clark, P.Eng.
President and CEO at Fraser River Pile and Dredge

Sarah Clark is the President and Chief Executive Officer at Fraser River Pile and Dredge (FRPD). FRPD is Canada’s largest marine contractor, is privately owned and conducts operations primarily in Western Canada and the Northwest Territories. Until the spring of 2014, Ms. Clark was the President & CEO of Partnerships British Columbia Inc., a provincial crown agency with a mandate of planning, structuring and implementing public private partnership and other complex project procurements. Prior to PartnershipsBC, Ms. Clark was with Bombardier Transportation where she was involved in transit projects in North America and in Asia, projects included the Millennium Line Expansion in Vancouver and the LRT2 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In 2015, Ms. Clark was awarded the National P3 Champion award by the Canadian Council of Public Private Partnerships to recognize her contribution to this innovative means of infrastructure delivery. Ms. Clark is a member of the boards of Translink, Construction Labour Relations and Covenant House Vancouver.

April 25, 2018 



Michael Geller
Architect AIBC, FCIP, RPP

Michael Geller is an architect, planner, real estate consultant and property developer with four decades’ experience in the public, private and institutional sectors. He is President of the Geller Group and serves as an Adjunct Professor in Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Sustainable Development. Michael is a past President of the SFU Community Trust, overseeing the planning and development of UniverCity on Burnaby Mountain. Prior to joining SFU, he managed a variety of major projects in Vancouver including Bayshore in Coal Harbour, expansion of the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre, Deering Island, and numerous residential and mixed-use projects. From 1981 to 1983, he was Vice-President Development, The Narod Group. Prior to joining Narod, he was an official with CMHC in Vancouver, Ottawa and Toronto for ten years. Michael is a past president of the Urban Development Institute and has served on numerous boards and panels. He writes a regular column for the Vancouver Courier and is a frequent media commentator on urban issues. He has been honoured as a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Planners and Life Member of the Architectural Institute of BC. His website is www.michaelgeller.ca and his blog is found at www.gellersworldtravel.blogspot.ca

Craig Rowland

Craig was born and raised in Vancouver.  He graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from UBC in 1974.  He started his career as a City Planner for the City of Burnaby followed by a stint in the Vancouver Planning Department.  As a planner, Craig was responsible for several area planning programs and was a senior member of major development teams, including the planning team for the north shore of False Creek (former Expo lands).  Following the planning experience, Craig joined Bosa Development Corporation as Vice President Development.  There he was responsible for managing the design and approvals of 3,500 housing units throughout greater Vancouver.  Following Bosa, Craig joined Intrawest.  There he was project manager for large planned mixed use projects in Kelowna, Parksville and Vancouver.  In 1994 Craig started his own development and construction company, Listraor.  The company focuses on infill residential projects in existing neighbourhoods ranging in size from 15 to 50 homes.  Craig is married and has three grown sons, all of whom are involved in construction and development

Tony Hepworth
PhD Civil E.g, Developer

After a few years as dirctor of Energy resource management at the BC Energy Commission, and a firrst success in real estate development, Tony founded Pennyfarthing with Ken Stevenson in 1980. They expanded the company and moved into separate Pennyfarthing offices. At the end of their first year Tony was on personal guarantees of more than fifty million dollars and Pennyfarthing had several high rise towers in Burnaby on the go. Since then Pennyfarthing and more recently, after Ken’s death, personal Pennyfarthing Group companies, have together developed about 3,500 homes in B.C. as well as two continuing care retirement communities in Washington State and California. Their developments include The Clipper and Harbour Cove Buildings on Creekside Drive in Vancouver – projects you will see to the east when you drive towards downtown over the Burrard bridge. Currently they have three projects underway on Cambie Street and one in North Vancouver.Tony is avid though incompetent golfer, and (in the past) a keen heli-skiier.HeI was a board member at York House School for six years ending in 1996, and for four of those years was chairman of the Building Committee overseeing a major capital expansion of the school buildings. He has also served as a director of the Urban Development Institute.

March 28, 2018 




Daniel Firth
City Transportation Planner

Daniel Firth was appointed Executive Director of the Metro Vancouver Mobility Pricing Independent Commission in June 2017. He brings many years’ experience of designing, implementing and evaluating road user charging and performance parking systems in London and Stockholm, as well as experience of aligning and integrating mobility pricing with other urban policy goals and plans.

Daniel was most recently Chief Strategy Officer for roads and streets at the City of Stockholm. He was project manager for the City’s Urban Mobility Strategy, including overseeing programmes to prioritise people walking, cycling and using transit, as well as goods movements. He was responsible for implementation and evaluation of the Stockholm congestion tax in 2007, for recent changes to the tax in 2015 and 2016, as well as for a large expansion of parking management. As project manager for the City’s public space strategy he was also involved in work on the Global Streets Design Guide.

Before arriving in Stockholm, Daniel was involved in the implementation and expansion of the Central London Congestion Charge, responsible for delivering a programme of complementary measures for bus priority and streetscape improvements. Daniel is an urban planner with qualifications from the University of Newcastle, England and the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.

February 28, 2018 



Sam Wadsworth
Chief Scientific Officer & Co-Founder, Aspect Biosystems

Imagine a world where drugs are developed without the use of animals, and where replacement organs are 3D printed from a patient's own cells, rather than being donated. Sam is working towards making this a reality. He is a world leader in the field of human airway tissue engineering and has published many peer-reviewed papers on related research.

After completing his Ph.D. in respiratory cell biology in the UK, Sam moved to Vancouver, BC for a Post-Doc at the UBC Centre for Heart + Lung Innovation at St. Paul’s Hospital, where he spearheaded an inter-disciplinary, cross-Canada research project to build living 3-Dimensional human airway tissues.

In 2013 Sam co-founded Aspect Biosystems with Konrad Walus, Simon Beyer and Tamer Mohamed. Aspect is a tissue engineering company with proprietary 3D-bioprinting technology capable of fabricating a variety of physiologically-relevant human tissues.

Sam will be discussing Aspect’s unique technology, and will describe how this has the potential to revolutionise the fields of pharmaceutical drug development, disease research, personalised and regenerative medicine by providing living human tissues on demand..

January 31, 2018 


Stan Ridley
President of West 2012 Energy Management

Stan is a well qualified broadly based power and energy executive with 40 years of hands-on experience working with the private sector, governments and NGOs on projects on five continents.

Over his long career in the power and energy business, Stan has held a number of senior executive positions including President of B.C. Hydro International, Senior Vice President (power) for SNC-Lavalin and President of West Energy Management (his own power and energy Consulting company).

In addition to his hands-on experience on fossil fueled projects, large, medium and small hydroelectric projects, and renewable wind and biomass projects, Stan has had considerable experience with environmental impact and socio-economic assessments and reports.

Over the last few years, in addition to consulting power/energy assignments for major clients Stan has been presenting Seminars at the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia and elsewhere, with specific reference to Global Warming and Climate Change, covering technical engineering, environmental, financial, commercial, political and social aspects..

November 29, 2017 


Sarah Weddell
President of the NPA (Non-Partisan Association)

Sarah provides senior counsel on energy, transportation, infrastructure and natural resources files as well as various communications files. She has detailed knowledge of and relationships with key elected and non-elected decision-makers in B.C.

Sarah brings 25 years of business, policy and stakeholder outreach experience to clients. She has a deep understanding of the political and municipal stakeholder environments both in Metro Vancouver and across the province.

Sarah’s experience in communications and government relations spans a number of areas, having worked for another leading public relations and public affairs consulting firm, the provincial and federal government, a national broadcaster and a group of mining companies. She has provided senior counsel on public affairs, issues management, procurement issues, community relations and stakeholder relations and engagement to several international corporations in the transportation, infrastructure, natural resource and energy industries.

Sarah is active in the community as President of the NPA and having volunteered for the B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation on its Communications Advisory Committee. Sarah has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Western Ontario and is currently completing her MBA in Aboriginal Leadership at Simon Fraser University..

October 25, 2017 


Darryl Lamb
Brand manager at Legacy liquor Stores

Darryl is a graduate of the Wine and Spirit Education trust which is based in London England. He studied with James Cluer Master of Wine at the University of British Columbia and has worked in the private wine store system and the private liquor store system. He has education accreditation for Beer, Wine, Spirits, and Sake.

Darryl was a key contributor to the BC liquor review and continues to advocate for the liquor industry across Canada to all levels of government.

Darryl lives in North Burnaby with his wife Heather and their two daughters Lily and Rose. Darryl is such a big Scotch whisky fan that Rose’s middle name is Islay after the famed Whisky producing island in Scotland.

Darryl’s next project is preparing for Legacy’s 10th anniversary coming up in 2020. Darryl is embarking on a six country tour to purchase exclusive single barrels of spirit for the event.





September 27, 2017  


Tricia Smith
President of the Canadian Olympic Committee

Tricia Smith is a lawyer and businesswoman based in Vancouver. A four-time Olympian in rowing, Smith was a medalist at Olympics, World championships and Commonwealth games.

Elected President of the Canadian Olympic Committee (“COC”) in 2015, member of the International Olympic Committee in August 2016, member of the International Olympic Committee (“IOC”), member of the IOC Medical and Scientific Committee and of the IOC Legal Affairs Committee.

Vice President of the International Rowing Federation (“FISA”). Smith was elected as a member of the Board of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport in 2001. Deputy President of the Ordinary Division and Chair of the Commission for CAS Membership.

With her passion for the ideals of sport, she always puts the athletes and coaches first and believes strongly in the Olympic values and the positive power of sport.

June 21, 2017 
T. Smith

Andy Yan
Director of The City Program at SFU

Born and raised in Vancouver, Andy Yan has extensively worked in the non-profit and private urban planning sectors with projects in the metropolitan regions of Vancouver, San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles and New Orleans. He specializes in the fields of urban regeneration, applied demographics, Geographic Information Systems, neighborhood development, public outreach, social media and quantitative research.

Andy holds a Master of Urban Planning from the University of California – Los Angeles and a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours distinctions in Geography and Political Science from Simon Fraser University. Andy is a registered professional planner with the Canadian Institute of Planners and a Certified Geographic Information Systems Professional.

With academic service, Andy is also an adjunct professor in Urban Studies at Simon Fraser University and in Planning at the University of British Columbia School of Regional and Community Planning.

In community service, he has been a two-term appointee to the City of Vancouver City Planning Commission and a former member of the City of Vancouver’s Development Permit Board Advisory Panel. He was a member of the Board of Directors for the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House.

(from SFU.ca)




May 31 2017 



Dr Shinder Purewal
Professor of Political Sciences at Kwantleen College

Dr. Shinder Purewal teaches political science at Kwantlen University. He formerly taught at Simon Fraser University, University of British Columbia and University of Victoria. His main focus is on Canadian and comparative politics.

A published author by Oxford University Press, he has written extensively on multiculturalism in Canada, and ethnic and fundamentalist politics in South Asia.

Shinder also served as a Citizenship Judge for British Columbia and Yukon region.

After arriving in Canada at the age of 17, he attended Princess Margaret Secondary School in Surrey, British Columbia. Upon graduation, he went on to do his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby. For his master’s thesis, “The Politics of Multiculturalism in Canada”, he had the privilege of speaking with former Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau. Later, he earned his Ph.D. from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

Shinder is an active community member and has worked with new immigrants on settlement issues.

He served as the director of Progressive Inter-Cultural Service Society in Surrey and International Peace Project in Ontario. He also worked as an advisor to the Employment Equity Directorate in British Columbia, specifically on the issue of foreign credentials for new immigrants. Currently, he works as a Volunteer Advisor with the community youth, and is also a motivational speaker.

Shinder lives in Surrey with his wife, Jeetender, who is a High School teacher. The couple has three daughters, Tavleen, Avneet and Mehtab..





April 26 2017 



Stephanie Simmons
Assistant professor, Silicon Quantum Technology Lab, Simon Fraser University

Dr. Stephanie Simmons is an Assistant Professor at Simon Fraser University.

She received an undergraduate double degree in Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Physics at the University of Waterloo in 2008. She earned a Ph.D. in Materials Science at Oxford University in 2011 as a Clarendon Scholar, and stayed on at Oxford jointly with a Glasstone Research Fellowship and a Junior Research Fellowship at St. John’s College, Oxford.

In 2014 she took up a joint position in UNSW’s Electrical Engineering department and the Australian Centre of Excelllence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technologies in Sydney.

She Joined Simon Fraser University in the fall of 2015. She has worked on silicon-based spin qubits with the particular aim to develop CMOS-compatible scalable quantum technology solutions. Her work on silicon qubits was awarded a Physics World Top Ten Breakthrough of the Year of 2013 and again in 2015!

She has published in the Nature family of journals (Nature, Nat. Phys, Nat. Comms, Nat Nano, etc), Science, the Physical Review family of journals, and her work has been covered by the New York Times, CBC, BBC, Scientific American, the New Scientist, and others.





March 29, 2017 


Photo from SFU web site

Etienne van Eck
Coll of Physicians and Surgeons, Former bodyguard of N. Mandela

Etienne van Eck was raised in a small rural town in South Africa during the apartheid years. After high school, at the age of 18, he joined the South African Police, rising through various leadership positions to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, and obtaining his LL.B while in the police. In 1994 he was appointed as a commander of the protection team of President Nelson Mandela following his election as president.

Prior to his appointment to the side of Nelson Mandela, Etienne was a commander of the security team responsible for securing the multi-party negotiation process (known as CODESA, Convention for a Democratic South Africa) which resulted in the adoption of South Africa’s first democratic Constitution.

Through his experience at CODESA and especially his work at the side of Nelson Mandela, Etienne was afforded an unique opportunity to see first-hand the underlying strategies employed by Mandela to understand the diverse people of South Africa, to bring them together as the Rainbow Nation and to restore hope in the country’s future.

Etienne moved to Canada in 1999, and lives in Vancouver. Currently he is the Director of Investigations with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC.

Tonight he will share his thoughts on how President Mandela achieved what many at the time thought was impossible.


February 22, 2017 

van Eck

Hon. Peter Fassbender
Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development

Peter Fassbender was elected MLA for Surrey-Fleetwood on May 14, 2013.

On July 30, 2015 Peter was appointed Minister of Community, Sport, Cultural Development and Minister Responsible for Translink. He previously served as Minister of Education and currently serves on the Cabinet Committee on Secure Economy, the Priorities and Planning Committee and the Cabinet Working Group on Climate Leadership.

Prior to his election to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, Peter served as a Councillor for the City of Langley for three years before being elected as Mayor in the November 2005, 2008 and 2011 Civic elections.

Peter also served the community and region in a host of volunteer capacities and on numerous national, provincial and civic committees. Peter was recognized as a leader in his community and the region and was recently awarded a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.

In his business career Peter worked in radio and television as well as a number of other communications fields. For 29 years in his career he was a partner and senior executive with DDB Canada (formerly Palmer Jarvis), one of Canada’s largest and most successful marketing and communications firms. In that capacity he dealt with both public and private sector clients at the local, national, and international levels. A major focus of his private sector career was social marketing campaigns including smoking cessation projects for Health Canada and international marketing activities for Industry Canada.

Peter and his wife Charlene have been married for 49 years; they have two adult sons and three grandchildren. Peter and his wife were both raised in Surrey and are still active members of their community.

(from https://www.leg.bc.ca/learn-about-us/members/40th-Parliament/Fassbender-Peter)

January 25, 2017 


Greg Mackie
Assist. Prof. at UBC

Originally from Winnipeg, Dr. Gregory Mackie received his BA in English Literature from UBC and his MA and PhD from the University of Toronto.

An Assistant Professor in UBC’s Department of English, he specializes in Victorian Literature, Drama, and Book History. He is currently completing a book called “Beautiful Untrue Things”: Literary Forgery and Oscar Wilde, which examines a lost archive of Wilde forgeries that flooded the rare book market in the 1920s. He has been the recipient of research fellowships from the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA and the Bibliographical Society of America.

He received a UBC Faculty of Arts Research Award for 2015-16, and enjoys the unofficial post of Special Acquisitions Advisor to UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections.

He will speak to us about UBC's acquisition of a rare and exceptionally expensive book, the Kelmscott Chaucer, and he will be speaking of the author, the contents, the context, and the exceptional craftsmanship, artistry and beauty of the book.

November 30 , 2016 

Greg Mackie

George Garrett

George Garrett was a reporter for CKNW for over 40 years, covering everything from the police beat and courts reporting on a number of homicides, fires, riots, labour disputes and most fun of all... politics. His years of reporting covered the tenures of Premiers W.A.C. Bennett, Dave Barrett, Bill Bennett, Bill Vander Zalm, Rita Johnston, Mike Harcourt and Ujjal Dosanjh.

Vaughn Palmer wrote: “George was a great reporter and a legend in our trade. He covered all kinds of news – police, political and scandal in a province that had many of them. He knew everyone... was on top of everything and was invariably first.”

Rafe Mair – called George ”The Intrepid Reporter.” He said, “George was the standard by which all reporting should be judged.”.

You can read more at http://bcradiohistory.com/Biographies/GeorgeGarrett.htm


Photo source: http://www.pugetsoundradio.com

October 26, 2016 


Dr. Pitman B. Potter
Professor of Law at UBC

We are very pleased to have Dr. Pitman Potter as our Guest Speaker. See his bio below. Dr. Potter will be using his research and experience to speak to us on the subject of China. This is a particularly timely topic given the recent G20 Summit Meeting in Hangzhou that Canada attended, given our Prime Minister’s recent visit to China and his meeting with senior government officials and given the upcoming visit to Canada of Premier Li Keqiang this month. We ask you to kindly attend as this evening will be particularly informative and insightful.

Dr. Pitman B. Potter is Professor of Law at UBC Law Faculty and HSBC Chair in Asian Research at UBC’s Institute of Asian Research.  His teaching and research focus on PRC and Taiwan law and policy in the areas of foreign trade and investment, dispute resolution, property law, contracts, business regulation, and human rights.  Dr. Potter has published several books, including most recently Assessing Treaty Performance in China: Trade and Human Rights (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2014)and The Legal System of the People’s Republic of China (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2013).  He has also published over 100 articles and essays.

In addition to his academic activities, Dr. Potter is admitted to the practice of law in British Columbia, Washington, and California (inactive), and serves as a consultant to the Canadian national law firm of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP.  Dr. Potter is engaged in international trade arbitration work involving China and is on the panel of arbitrators for the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission as well as several regional arbitral bodies. He has served on the Board of Directors of several public institutions, including the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada where he is currently a Senior Fellow. He recently chaired the APFC Taskforce Report, “Advancing Canada’s Engagement with Asia on Human Rights: Integrating Business and Human Rights” (2013).  Dr. Potter is ordained a Deacon in the Anglican Church of Canada (Diocese of New Westminster). Dr. Potter is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

BA (1978) Chinese Studies (History), George Washington University.
MA (1980), Political Science, University of Washington.
JD (1985), Law, University of Washington.
Ph.D. (1986, with distinction) Political Science, University of Washington.
M.Div. (2008) Vancouver School of Theology.


September 28, 2016 


Doug Curran

…Douglas Curran is not only a photographer but also a reporter, and an extremely gifted one. …he also qualifies as an anthropologist, but I think I will leave it at “reporter”. To be a reporter of Douglas Curran’s caliber is a lofty enough achievement.” - Tom Wolfe, foreword to “In Advance of the Landing”

Beyond his career as a photographer in the motion picture industry, Douglas Curran has pursued a wide range of subjects through his personal work, ranging from born-again travelling tent preachers in the southern U.S., to remote Metis settlements in Alberta and the secret spirit masking society of the Chewa in Malawi.

Best known for “In Advance of the Landing: Folk Concepts of Outer Space”, Curran spent over 8 years traveling throughout the United States, much of it living in his trusted Renault 16. Over the course of his epic 130,000 mile journeys, Curran encountered a broad spectrum of believers who sought communion and contact with extraterrestial beings. From discovering a 30 foot “free energy” spaceship in a Michigan barn, to the elaborate costumed rituals of the Archangel Uriel and the Aetherius Society, all became subjects for Curran’s camera and his recounting of their deeply human desire for a greater human destiny.

A North Vancouver resident since 1992, Curran recently became another of the “economic refugees” from Metro Vancouver, moving to Victoria where he is presently engaged in community organizing and restoring his vintage TR6.

Alien Crash 1947

June 2016 


Lynda Kearns
CanaDares Project Director

Lynda Kearns is CanaDares’ Project Director and is a founder and serves on the board of both CanaDares and Vijaliwa Vingi Societies. Lynda currently spends about six months of the year at the project in Tanzania; the other six months are spent recovering from the African heat in the Canadian winter. There she spends her time fundraising and raising awareness for the work being done at Vijailiwa Vingi. If you were a Canadian tourist in Africa, which many of you have been, and came out of your comfortable hotel one morning to see large numbers of children, of all ages, obviously in poor health and roaming the streets in gangs, what would you say, where would you go, whom would you seek out, and most importantly, what would you do? Our Guest Speaker for May 25 is Lynda Kearns; please come to our evening, hear her amazing story and see what one ordinary Canadian can create from scratch: a truly formidable charitable for children in Africa


May 25, 2016 


Dr. Neil Cashman
Professor of medicine at UBC

Dr. Neil Cashman is a neurologist-neuroscientist working in neurodegeneration and neuroimmunology.  His special areas of work are the motor neuron diseases, particularly amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and the amyloid encephalopathies, including prion illnesses and Alzheimer’s disease.

He is Professor of Medicine at the University of British Columbia, where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Neurodegeneration and Protein Misfolding Diseases.

He is Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of ProMIS Neurosciences in Toronto.

Special honors include the Jonas Salk Prize for “a lifetime of outstanding contributions to basic biomedical research,” his Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in at the UBC (2005-2018), election to the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2008, and Genome BC award for Scientific Excellence in 2012.

April 27, 2016 

Nail Cashman

Robin Silvester
President and CEO of Port Metro Vancouver

Mr. Silvester was appointed president and chief executive officer of Port Metro Vancouver in 2009, bringing to the position extensive international experience in both the port and property sectors. Prior to joining Port Metro Vancouver, Mr. Silvester served as chief executive for the property and facilities management business, United Group Services ANZ in Australia.

Mr. Silvester spent a significant portion of his career serving in senior roles internationally with P&O Ports. As chief development officer, Mr. Silvester led the company’s strategy and global acquisition program, including the businesses that became P&O Ports Canada. Having completed that acquisition, in 2003 Mr. Silvester was appointed the first president and chief executive officer of P&O Ports Canada, based in Vancouver.

In 2004, Mr. Silvester relocated from Vancouver to London, United Kingdom, and later to Sydney, Australia, as a member of the P&O Ports global executive team. Following the acquisition of P&O, then the world’s fourth largest container terminal operator, by Dubai Ports World in 2006, Mr. Silvester remained in Sydney and joined United Group Limited, an ASX 100 listed Engineering and Property Services firm, as chief development officer. He led the $500 million acquisition of U.S. facilities management business Unicco. He was later appointed chief executive of United Group Services ANZ, responsible for leading the company’s property and facilities management business in Australia and New Zealand.

Mr. Silvester began his career in the chemicals industry in the United Kingdom. He also worked in business management and strategy roles in the steel industry and was involved in British Steel’s acquisition program.

Mr. Silvester is a chartered engineer and a graduate of Cambridge University. He completed a corporate finance program at the London Business School. Mr. Silvester is a board member and former chair of the Association of Canadian Port Authorities, an executive member and past chair of the Greater Vancouver Gateway Council, senior vice-chair of the Vancouver Board of Trade and past chair of its Policy Council, a director of the Western Transportation Advisory Council, a board member of the Canada West Foundation, a member of the executive committee of the British Columbia Business Council and a past board member of the British Columbia Maritime Employers’ Association.

March 30, 2016 


Doug Todd
Columnist at the Vancouver Sun

Douglas Todd is one of the most decorated writers on spirituality, diversity and migration in North America. Writing mainly for The Vancouver Sun newspaper and Religion News Service in Washington, D.C., he has received 32 national and international journalism prizes, including on the subjects of science, health and psychology.

He is a two-time winner of the Templeton Religion Reporter of the Year Award and has been given the top prizes for commentary from the American Academy of Religion. His blog garners more than 600,000 views a year. See(www.vancouversun.com/douglastodd).

He is the author of two books and editor of Cascadia: The Elusive Utopia – Exploring the Spirit of the Pacific Northwest. Ronsdale press (2008)

In 2015 he was elected chair of the International Association of Religion Journalists.

February 24, 2016 



Dr. Thomas Ruth
Senior research scientist at TRIUMF

Thomas Ruth, PhD, is Emeritus Senior Research Scientist at TRIUMF and Emeritus Senior Scientist at the British Columbia Cancer Research Centre. Dr. Ruth holds Adjunct Professorships in Chemistry at Simon Fraser University, Physics at the University of Victoria and Medicine at the University of British Columbia. He is a leader in the production and application of radioisotopes for research in the physical and biological sciences. He has served on a multitude of national and international committees, including the US Institute of Medicine's Committee on Medical Isotopes (1995) and on the US National Academy of Science's Committee on the State of the Science in Nuclear Medicine (2009), the panel for the Production of Medical Isotopes without Highly Enriched Uranium (2010) and the Nuclear Physics Decadal Report 2010-2020 and the State of Molybdenum-99 Production and Progress toward Eliminating Use of Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) (2015-2016).

He serves as an expert on radioisotope production for the International Atomic Eenergy Agency (IAEA). He served on the Subcommittee of the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee’s (NSAC) Subcommittee on Isotopes for the Nuclear Physics Program of the US DOE (2009 and 2014); in a related appointment he is serving on a Subcommittee for NSAC to review the National Nuclear Safeguards Administration’s program for removing HEU from civilian use and the development of a domestic (US) source for Molybdenum-99 . He has published more than 290 peer reviewed papers and book chapters. Dr. Ruth received a Masters of Arts in Nuclear Chemistry from the College of William and Mary in Virginia and his Ph.D. in nuclear spectroscopy from Clark University in Massachusetts.

He is the 2011 recipient of the Michael J. Welch Award from the Society of Nuclear Medicine for his contributions to Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry. In 2014 the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) appointed Dr. Ruth to the Standing Advisory Group on Nuclear Applications (SAGNA). In 2015, along with 5 of his colleagues he received NSERC’s Brockhouse Award for their work in producing 99mTc (Technetium) using medical cyclotrons.

He will be speaking to us about TRIUMF's Medical Isotope Program and why we should care!

TRIUMF possesses the most powerful array of isotope producing accelerators in the world. Over the last several decades scientists at TRIUMF in collaboration with a broad array of researchers, locally, nationally and internationally have been developing the tools to help understand disease processes, find non-invasive diagnostic techniques, develop the ability to track the efficacy of disease treatment and ultimately provide better treatment modalities. This talk will provide examples of these efforts showing how the could impact your life.

January 27, 2016 

T. Ruth

R. C. Weslowski, with Jacob Gebrowold & Everett Montinola

R.C. Weslowski is the éminence grise, the animating spirit of poetry in Canada, the founder of Vancouver Poetry House, the godfather of Wordplay (taking poets into schools) ,the founder of the first Canadian Poetry Festival, founder Vancouver Youth Slam, and the co-director of Hullaballoo, the big youth poetry festival, as well as being a published author and a multiple-award winning poet in his own right. He has created and helped create an amazing artistic infrastructure to bring forth and nurture young talent in Vancouver & B.C., and he will be telling us about the thinking and history behind the structure.

RC Weslowski is the 2012 Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Champion and has been a 2 time World Cup of Poetry Slam Finalist in Paris, France. RC has recently been published in two separate anthologies: The Nights are Twice as Long from Goose Lane Editions and “Red Reads First” by Sargent Press and has been published in Arc Poetry Magazine, CV2, Quills and The Liar. RC is the co-director of Hullabaloo: The BC Youth Poetry Slam Championships as well as founder and curator of the Vancouver Youth Poetry Slam and Dewey Decibel Youth Poetry Slam

Jacob Gebrewold is an entrepreneur, poet and activist who speaks at events all across British Columbia. An award-winning poet, Jacob often clashes with key systemic social issues through the medium of spoken word. He was the 2013 Vancouver Youth Grand Slam Champion, the captain of the 2013 Hullabaloo championship team, and made finals at the 2013 YouthCanSlam national poetry slam representing the Vancouver Youth Slam. Jacob has coached a number of young individuals and teams across the Lower Mainland, contributing to their competitive spoken word success since 2010. His students have earned bronze, silver and gold medals in regional, provincial and national slams. More importantly, Jacob takes pride in helping young people develop a genuine voice to impact both audiences and themselves.

Everett Montinola is an LGBTQ+ activist, a student, and an avid fan of change. They are known for their ability to hit home, make people feel, and speak about matters much more mature than someone of their age. They have won the city-wide youth talent show Burnaby's Got Talent in 2015, as well as won "Most Inspirational" for Edmond's City Fair. They have made a place for themselves as captain and coach of their school team, as well as Vancouver's Youth Slam Team. Everett has been performing since April 2014 and has been coaching peers and youth since September 2014.

Jacob pic Everett pic
Jacob Gebrewold Everett Montinola



November 25, 2015 

rc w

RC Weslowski


Peter Elliott
Dean & Rector of Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver

The Rennovation & Renewal of Christ Church Cathedral Christ Church Cathedral is one of the big-3 iconic Vancouver buildings (the other 2 being the Hotel Vancouver & the Art Gallery); old stalwarts defining our city to ourselves. Christ Church Cathedral pre-dates both the Art Gallery and the current Hotel Vancouver, and, as such, anchors itself to our earliest memories. Yet, many, if not most of us, have never been inside our Cathedral or are much aware of its people, programs or architecture. It is time we addressed this, given the huge construction covering over the Cathedral, the new bells and bell tower, the new roof and all of the associated renovations. We are privileged to have Peter Eliot, Dean and Rector of Christ Church Cathedral come to speak to us on Wed.Oct.28 to help correct our oversight.

The Very Reverend Peter Gordon Elliott

Rector of Christ Church Anglican Cathedral Vancouver BC and Dean of the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster British Columbia, Peter was born and raised in St. Catharines Ontario. Educated at public schools in St. Catharines, Peter holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Trent University Peterborough (1976), a Master of Divinity degree from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge Massachusetts (1980) and a Doctor of Divinity degree (honoris causa) from the Vancouver School of Theology (2009).

Ordained in 1980, Peter has served parishes in Hamilton, Oakville and Toronto prior to his appointment as Dean in Vancouver in 1994. An adult educator, Peter coordinated adult Christian education programs for the Diocese of Toronto and served as Director of Ministries in Church and Society for the national Anglican Church of Canada. Since moving to Vancouver he has continued his work with the national church serving as an officer of the General Synod, and from 2004-2007 was the Prolocutor of the Canadian Church, the highest elected office for clergy or laity within the Canadian Anglican Church. He continues to serve the church nationally, chairing, from 2008 -2010, the General Synod’s strategic planning process, Vision 2019 which was adopted by the General Synod of 2010 and currently guides the work of the national church. He represents the Anglican Church of Canada on the Anglican Consultative Council and is chair of the Anglican Communion Relations Council.

He served as Chancellor of Vancouver School of Theology from 2011 to 2015.

In 2013 he was awarded with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal by BC Premier Christy Clark in recognition of his contribution to the community.

His movie reviews for the Anglican Journal (1994-2001) received an Award of Excellence from the Associated Church Press in 1999.

His article Faith, Vocation and Intimacy: My Journey from Secrecy to Openness on his spiritual journey as a gay man was included in the Anglican Book Centre’s publication Living Together in the Church: Including our Differences (edited by Grieg Dunn and Chris Ambidge, Toronto: ABC Publishing, 2004). He was included in North America’s Out magazine’s 2004 list of the top 100 most intriguing gay people. In 2005, he was appointed by the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada to lead the Canadian delegation to the Anglican Consultative Council where Canadian and US Anglicans made a presentation on the position of the Anglican Church of Canada regarding the inclusion of lesbian and gay people in the life of the church to this international gathering in Nottingham, England. In

Christ Church Cathedral is Vancouver’s oldest surviving church building and during Peter’s tenure an extensive building restoration and renewal program has been completed and this $12 million program has been recognized as an excellent example of heritage rehabilitation. In 2015 the final phase of Cathedral building restoration and renewal was launched with a $7.5 million campaign to complete the seismic upgrade, install a new standing seam zinc roof, expand the kitchen and construct a new stained glass bell spire on the Cathedral’s north east corner, with four custom cast bells.

Christ Church Cathedral is a growing Christian community with a strong commitment to social justice, practical spirituality and excellence in liturgy and preaching.

Wikipedia entry about Peter can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Elliott

October 28, 2015 



Jacques Barbeau, Q.C.
Art lover

Jacques Barbeau coming to talk to us about E.J.Hughes …

‘E.J. Hughes, The Other Great Artist in B.C.’

Everyone knows Emily Carr, less well known is E.J.Hughes and the argument could easily be made that he is as good as Emily Carr.

E.J. Hughes was born in North Vancouver, educated in Vancouver, and died in Duncan. He was recognized by the Group of Seven, Jack Shadbolt, and, aside from his honorary degrees, was awarded the Order of Canada in 2001 and the Order of B.C. in 2005.

Jacques Barbeau began his career as a young lawyer in Vancouver and started and grew his own successful law firm. He began collecting E.J. Hughes in 1958 and went on to become the largest private collector of Hughes works; Jacques befriended Hughes and often visited him in his studio on Vancouver Island. Recently Jacques and his wife Marguerite endowed the Audain Art Museum (created by Michael Audain) in Whistler, B.C. with a selection from their Hughes collection.

We are honoured to have Jacques Barbeau come and talk to us about E.J. Hughes.


September 30th, 2015 


Geoff Plant
Chair of the Board of Providence Health Care

Geoff is Partner in the Vancouver law firm Gall Legge Grant and Munroe LLP, where he provides public law and policy advice and representation. He was a member of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly from 1996 to 2005, serving as attorney general and the minister responsible for treaty negotiations from 2001 to 2005. He was recently named one of Canada’s top 25 most influential lawyers by Canadian Lawyer Magazine, and is a recognized expert in the field of aboriginal law.

Geoff Plant joined the Providence Health Care Board in 2009 and became chair in 2010.

In addition to his service to Providence, Geoff is vice-chair Covenant House Vancouver, chair of the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education, the Chair of the Canada West Foundation.

On May 1st he became Chancellor of Emily Carr University of Art and Design.


June 17th, 2015 



David Scholefield
Director of Wine Strategy at Trialto

David Scholefield is one of Canada's most experienced and well-travelled wine personalities. His renowned palate, sharp wit and great passion for wine have established him as a much sought-after wine speaker, teacher and judge.

David's devotion to wine sustained him throughout his long career as senior wine buyer for the BCLDB, where he earned a global reputation for his ability to shepherd disproportionate allocations of the world's finest wines onto the shelves of BC liquor stores.

He has judged at international wine competitions in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Chile, and Brazil. He was Chief Judge at Vancouver Magazine’s International Wine Competition from its inception until 2010, when he became Vice President of Wine Strategy at the Trialto Wine Group, attracted by the company’s maxim ‘Wines of People, Place, and Time’.

David is a passionate advocate for BC wine, and was a key player in the emergence of BC’s wine culture throughout his career at the BCLDB and his subsequent work with the British Columbia Wine Institute. As a partner in Okanagan Crush Pad, he is now directly involved in the dream of producing wine that is the purest possible expression of the Okanagan’s unique environment.



May 27th, 2015 

Scholefield pic

Doreen Gregson
Senior Financial Planning Consultant at ScotiaMcLeod

Doreen Gregson (Dee) has worked for over 35 years in the financial services arena in various planning, sales, management, training and leadership roles. She has provided comprehensive financial planning advice for individual and corporate clients for a number of high profile organizations and taught retirement, financial and estate planning at colleges in Ontario and BC.

A sought-after speaker and seminar leader, Dee has also provided consulting services to governments, charities and various corporations. An experienced and accredited financial planner, Dee is actively involved in the industry as Past Chair of the Insurance Council of BC and holds four professional planning designations. When not helping families and businesses plan their financial roadmaps, Dee is busy with her friends and family. Blessed with a son and a daughter, both in university, Dee continues to learn and grow, herself, through continuing education.

For fun, she enjoys skiing, boating, hiking, gardening, music and living in beautiful Lions Bay..



April 29th, 2015 



Art Sterritt
Artist and Executive Director of the Coastal First Nations

Art Sterritt is currently the Executive Director of Coastal First Nations-Great Bear Initiative (CFN) in Vancouver, British Columbia. As Executive Director, he provides leadership and vision to ensure CFN achieves its goal of an ecologically and economically sustainable coast.

CFN is an alliance of First Nations on British Columbia's North and Central Coast and Haida Gwaii working together to develop and implement regional conservation-based economic strategies in forestry, fisheries and tourism.

Art, a member of the Gitga’at First Nation, has more than 30 years of experience in the areas of Aboriginal Rights and Title, as well as self-government and community economic development. 

During the course of his career Art has served in numerous capacities for First Nations organizations, as well as with the federal government.

Art was appointed to a two year term by the First Nations Summit as one of the founding Commissioners for the B.C. Treaty Commission, an independent and neutral body responsible for facilitating treaty negotiations between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations in B.C.   The Summit, which is comprised of a majority of First Nations and Tribal Councils in B.C., provides a forum for First Nations in B.C. to address issues related to Treaty negotiations as well as other issues of common concern.

Art served as the founding chairperson and later first full-time president of the Tsimshian Tribal Council for five years. 

He later served as elected president of the North Coast Tribal Council, an alliance of Tsimshian, Nisga’a and Haida communities, during a time when the federal government was devolving programs to First Nation communities and organizations. For 10 years Art was the chief negotiator for the Gitga’at First Nation. During this time he negotiated economic measures agreements with governments, as well as developed strong relationships and partnerships with industry that has led to economic opportunities in his community.

Art’s first love is carving. He is a well-known carver (wood, stone and jewelry) in B.C. and Canada. His work can be found in museums and private collections throughout North America.

March 25th, 2015

Art Sterritt

Tony Gallagher
NHL Columist at The Province

Tony Gallagher has been around hockey for well over 40 years, working his first NHL game in Oakland in 1972 when the original coach Hal Laycoe was behind the bench.

He took over the hockey beat at The Province in 1977 and did that until becoming a general columnist in 1985, leaving to host his own radio talk show “Gallagher on Sport” in 1989.

He returned to the columnist duties two years later and has spent time with every coach, general manager and player in Canuck history.

He also co-hosts part of the Canucks pre-game show with Barry MacDonald and Don Taylor on TSN Radio 1040 in Vancouver....

February 25th, 2015


Doug Schmitt
Partner at Alexander, Holburn, Beaudin + Lang

Doug Schmitt is a Partner with Alexander Holburn Beaudin + Lang LLP, practising maritime law.

He has a special interest in meteorite law and is one of the world’s few published authors in the field. As a member of the Meteoritical Society, a non-profit scholarly organization with members in over 40 countries that promotes the study of extraterrestrial materials, he is a part of the organization’s Working Group drafting a code of ethics for collecting and distributing meteorites.

Before his legal career, Doug served as Chief Oceanographer on the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Quadra. Doug’s distinct scientific and legal backgrounds ideally position him to offer insight into a fascinating topic: The possible consequences for humankind of a failure to study meteorites and the near Earth asteroids from which they come.

Doug presented on this topic at TEDxVancouver in 2012.


January 28th, 2015 


Grace Pastine
Litigation Director, BC Civil Liberties Association

Grace Pastine is the Litigation Director for the B.C. Civil Liberties Association.

Ms. Pastine conducts litigation and manages the strategic direction of the legal activities of the BCCLA on a broad range of civil liberties cases. She has directed cases on issues including freedom of speech and expression, national security issues, access to governmental information, police misconduct, privacy rights, women’s rights, voting rights, right to counsel, and prisoner rights. She has appeared as counsel for the BCCLA on a variety of public interest cases before commissions and at all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada.

Prior to joining the BCCLA, Ms. Pastine was a lawyer with Bull, Housser & Tupper LLP in Vancouver, B.C. Ms. Pastine is a frequent public speaker and media commentator on civil liberties issues.

She has taught law school courses as an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria.

November 26th, 2014 


Dr. Steve Easton
Simon Fraser University

Steve Easton joined the Department of Economics at SFU in 1975.

He received his A.B. (1970) from Oberlin College, and his M.A.(1972) and Ph. D.(1978) from the University of Chicago.

He has had visiting appointments at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business; the Department of Economics of the University of Rochester; and l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris. Professor Easton’s main teaching areas are international trade/finance and economic history.

Current research interests include the nature of international debt; the economics of education, and the economics of crime and punishment.

October 29th, 2014 


Gordon Price
The City Program, Simon Fraser University

Gordon Price is the Director of the City Program at Simon Fraser University.

In 2002, he finished his sixth term as a City Councillor in Vancouver, BC.  He also served on the Board of the Greater Vancouver Regional District (Metro Vancouver) and was appointed to the first board of the Greater  Vancouver Transportation Authority (TransLink) in 1999. He also sits on the Board of the Sightline Institute.  

He writes a monthly column for Business in Vancouveron civic issues, and conducts tours and seminars on the development of Vancouver.   He also blogs on urban issues, with a focus on Vancouver, at “Price Tags”, and occasionally publishes an electronic magazine, also called “Price Tags,” highlighting a city or issue (all 111 issues are archived here).   

Gordon is a regular lecturer on transportation and land use for the City of Portland, Oregon and Portland State University. 

Price is committed to community engagement, frequently serving on community panels, hosting city tours for visiting delegates, and making public presentations.

Price uses his voice “to keep reminding people about the importance of urban planning, of good transportation policy, of the way that buildings and bridges and other parts of our designed physical world affects us.”  

Awards and recognition:

In  2003, he received the Plan Canada Award for Article of the Year - Land Use and Transportation: The View from ’56 - from the Canadian Institute of Planners.  

In 2007, he received The Smarty - an award of recognition by Smart Growth B.C. – in the People category.  That year he  was also made an honorary member of the Planning Institute of B.C.

In February, 2013, he received the Simon Fraser University 2012 President’s Award for service to the university through public affairs and media relations 

In July, 2013, he received the President’s Award at the annual meeting of the Canadian Institute of Planners “in recognition of an outstanding lifetime contribution to education and professional planning in Canada.”

September 24th, 2014 

gordon price

photo stolen from sfu.ca

Susan Anton
B.C. Attorney general

Suzanne Anton, Q.C. is a Canadian politician and the current Minister of Justice and Attorney General of British Columbia. Elected to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in the 2013 provincial election, Anton represents the riding of Vancouver-Fraserview as a member of the British Columbia Liberal Party, which follows a career at the municipal level. She was appointed British Columbia's Attorney General and Minister of Justice on June 10, 2013. Prior to her political involvement, Anton was a lawyer and former prosecutor with the Criminal Justice Branch of British Columbia.

June 18th, 2014 


Dr. Michel Laberge
Founder and Chief Scientist, General Fusion

Dr. Laberge is a renowned plasma physicist and a pioneer in the research and development of fusion energy. In 2002, Dr. Laberge founded General Fusion which has raised $50 million and currently employs 65 people in Vancouver. The company is viewed as a leader in the pursuit of commercial fusion energy.

Dr. Laberge has deep experience in electronics, computers, materials, lithography, optics and fabrication. In his work with General Fusion, he has acquired practical experience in plasma physics and with all the modern plasma diagnostic techniques.

Dr. Laberge completed his B.Sc. in physics from Laval University in 1983. In 1985 Dr. Laberge graduated from Laval University with a M.Sc. in physics. In 1990 Dr. Laberge earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of British Columbia in laser fusion and in 1991 undertook Post Doctoral studies at L'ecole Polytechnique in Paris, France. Dr. Laberge also did a Post Doc. at the National Research Council, Ottawa in 1992

Following his education, Dr. Laberge was a Senior Physicist and Principal Engineer at Creo Products, Vancouver, Canada, from 1992 to September 2001 where he led development of many of the company’s core innovations.

Since 2002 Dr. Laberge has been working on the General Fusion project. Dr. Laberge has written numerous scientific papers, has been awarded ten patents, and has nine more pending

See his presentation on TedTalks, as an appetizer.

May 28th, 2014 


Zaccheus Jackson
A poet, a native, a recovered drug addict, a convict, a citizen, a tax payer and a good guy

Raised by wolves since birth, Zaccheus Jackson Nyce came of age on the streets of Western Canada. Having battled through addiction, apathy and a nasty case of 'Virgo' - Zaccheus has twice been honored to represent Vancouver and Western Canada at the Individual World Poetry Slam, as well as tying for 3rd at the inaugural 2011 Canadian Individual Poetry Slam.

A 6-time Vancouver Poetry Slam team member with over 9 years’ experience work-shopping at high schools all across Canada, and locally under the umbrella organization WordPlay, Zaccheus’ rapid-fire delivery, gritty street tales, intricate rhyme patterns and social criticism will leave you counting syllables in your sleep.

Beginning in early 2005 with a chance encounter on Vancouvers Commercial Drive, my experience in Spoken Word has been a diverse and educational journey that has taken me from one side of North America to the other; and allowed me to share my work and words w/ tens of thousands of students all across Turtle Island.

As a Spoken Word artist of international calibre,with/ a heavy focus on Workshop Facilitation for Youth,he's continually striving to further develop himself as an artist, writer, performer and teacher .He has put broad effort into developing his in-class presentations and creative writing workshops, to the point where he is now able to travel internationally presenting them to students on a regular basis.

Zaccheus has 9 years experience presenting Spoken Word/Creative Writing workshops in a multitude of schools, community centre's, businesses and organizations; including work w/ the Ministry of Child & Family services, Corrections Canada, Urban Native Youth Association, Boys & Girls Club, and many more. He has been invited to travel North America performing at several festivals, some of which have included: NXNW, SXSW, Bumbershoot, National Poetry Slam, Individual World Poetry Slam, Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, Vs. Festival, Hullabaloo, Vancouver International Writers, CBC Poetry Face-off & the Talking Stick Festival to name a few.

He has been a Featured Performer at a plethora of performance series' and Poetry Slams across the continent, entertaining and educating Spoken Word enthusiasts from Whitehorse to Wisconsin, and San Francisco to Saskatoon.

April 30th, 2014 

Janet Holder
Exec. V.P., Enbridge, Northern Gateway Pipeline

It only takes a few moments in conversation with Janet Holder to know that she is one of a kind.<Janet Holder headshot 2.png>

A one-time competitive weight lifter, a chemical engineer, scuba diver, dog lover, and a leader in Canada’s corporate world, this proud British Columbian defies stereotypes. And she has always defied the odds.

Janet’s unconventional spirit was forged in a family that immigrated to Northern BC at the turn of the last century to work in the lumber industry. And it’s that spirit that brought Janet back to Prince George from Toronto to lead the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline. “British Columbia is in my bones,” says Janet. “So when this opportunity to move back home came up, it was an easy decision. I love BC. And I am passionate about what this project will mean for our province.”

As a young woman, Janet began her career journey by leaving Prince George to study chemical engineering at the University of New Brunswick. Though Janet loved her chosen field, she found the skills she learned to become an engineer also applied to management – a career that held increasing attraction for her. So it wasn’t long before Janet was back at university earning an MBA. From there Janet quickly established herself as one of Canada’s emerging corporate leaders in a world still dominated by men, rising to President of Enbridge’s gas distribution system.

Janet is known for her approachable and down-to-earth management style – an approach she has applied in the boardroom and in her charitable service, including as chair of to the Toronto United Way campaign. “For me, leadership is about working with an incredibly talented group of people to get important things done,” says Holder. “It’s about taking a compelling vision and translating it into action. For me, that’s what is so exciting about this job and why I moved back Prince George to take it on.”

From her home-base in Prince George, Janet isn’t one to sit at the office. Getting out and around the province to hear directly from British Columbians is the most important part of her job. “By nature, British Columbians are very practical people. I learn more listening to them than I ever will sitting in a boardroom. And their message is clear: The Northern Gateway Pipeline must be the safest pipeline ever built. It must be environmentally responsible, fully involving and providing lasting benefits to Aboriginal communities. And it must create well-paying jobs and an economic legacy for B.C. Those are the conditions British Columbians have set for us. And those are the conditions we will meet, drawing on the best expertise the world has to offer to build the safest, most environmentally secure pipeline ever built.” For now, that is Janet’s main focus.

But when not on the road, you will likely find her with her husband Neal hiking with their dogs and enjoying the outdoors. “Life has taken me on a pretty incredible journey. But it’s good to be home. And it’s good to be working on a project that I believe will make such a difference for the people and the place I grew up in.”

March 26th, 2014 

janet holder

Keith Schaefer
Oil and Gas Consultant

Keith Schaefer is Editor and Publisher of the Oil & Gas Investments Bulletin. It is a paid subscriber service that follows Schaefer’s personal trading portfolio in the energy sector.

He researches and invests in fast growing small and mid-cap companies. He then explains how and why he’s investing to subscribers in simple English—no words over 9 letters!—so you don’t need a background in energy to understand the profit potential of his trades.

The Shale Revolution is constantly creating new opportunities—in oil and gas producers, pipeline and midstream companies, and in refineries. There is always a bull market in some sector of the energy complex in North America. For more information about the Oil & Gas Investments Bulletin: www.oilandgas-investments.com


February 26th, 2014 


Hon. Thomas R. Braidwood, QC
Retired BC Supreme Court Justice

    Following the completion of his law degree at the UBC., Mr Braidwood founding member joined the law firm of Braidwood, Nuttall, MacKenzie. He was called to the bar of British Columbia in 1967 and to the Yukon Territories 10 years later. He was granted a QC on December 3, 1971. On December 6, 1990, Mr. Braidwood was appointed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia and in December 1996 to the Court of Appeal of British Columbia and the Yukon Territories, positions he held until the end of 2006.

    Mr Braidwood has been an active participant in continuing legal education. He was elected as a bencher of the Law Society of British Columbia and was appointed as a Life Bencher. He is a member of the ADR Chambers, a group providing alternate dispute resolution services at the national and international level. He has served as a tutor in the articles programme and a guest lecturer in the Faculty of Law at UBC. He was elected as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers in August 1982. He is a member of the British Columbia International Commercial Arbitration Centre. He is an associate ethics commissioner for the Olympics.

    Mr Braidwood continues to practice with the law firm of MacKenzie Fujisawa LLP. He was active in many areas of law, practicing in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal of British Columbia and the Supreme Court of Canada. Currently, he is focusing on opinions and arbitrations, including but not limited to commercial real estate, construction, business partnerships and domestic.


January 29th, 2014 


Dr. Hugh Tildesley
Endocrinologist at St. Paul's Hospital

Dr. Hugh Tildesley is a provincial and national leader in the field of diabetes. He obtained his medical degree at McGill University and his internal medicine and endocrinology fellowship at the University of Alberta. He is currently at the University of British Columbia at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. He is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology. His career has touched many lives professionally and personally
    While at the University of Alberta he was inspired by the work of the late Dr. Gordon Brown. His research was mentored by Drs George Molnar, Tony Morrison, Bill McBlain and Peter Crockfor . In 1984 he joined St Paul's Hospital and the University of British Columbia. He founded the Diabetes Teaching and Training Center which offers comprehensive diabetes education in a group setting. The database which was set up at the same time allows for ongoing outcome evaluations to assess effectiveness of the program and to facilitate clinical research. The clinic was also designed to be a teaching module for diabetes care for undergraduate and post -graduate trainees.
    In 1988, along with Dr. John Hunt, he was instrumental in convincing the Provincial Government to fund test strips as a pharmacare benefit. This benefit was the first to be linked to a diabetes education requirement. This initiative helped to stimulate the growth of diabetes centers in BC. Over the next five years the number of centers tripled. It also led to a certification process for teaching centers incorporating CDA standards. Coupled with this was the establishment of the annual Diabetes Directors meeting , an educational program for the medical directors of these centers which has continued for the last 22 years.
Dr. Tildesley has initiated a number clinics including the fellows clinic at St Paul's, the endocrine clinic at Kelowna General Hospital. In addition he was the medical director of the children’s diabetes camp and helped with integration with the YMCA Camp at Elphinstone.
    In 2007, he founded the Western Canadian Insulin Pump Center to ease access for patient desiring this form of therapy. The clinic was invaluable in contributing to the recently completed study on the effectiveness of sensor augmented pump therapy in type 1 diabetes. The clinic is also applying internet platforms to follow patients remotely He has always been an active teacher of medical students, residents, graduate students and fellows. He has created a student program which provides clinical research experience and whose graduates have gone on to attend medical school. He has published extensively in many topics in diabetes including: self monitoring of blood glucose, microalbuminuria, diabetes education, diabetes in the elderly, insulin pumps, gestational diabetes to name a few. He is an active researcher and has received a number of grants in the field of diabetes and its complications.
     In 2010 he was honored by the Canadian Diabetes Association with the Gerald Wong Award for outstanding service.In that seem year he won the Dufton award for his ground breaking publication on Apo B levels in type 2 diabetes.
   Outside of diabetes, he has served as his son’s coach in swimming, where his son Donovan has medaled in three Paralympic Games. His two other children Hamish and Catherine are pursuing post graduate degrees in film and law. He is an avid golfer and has served for 6 years as a director of Point Grey Golf Club.


November 27, 2013


The Honourable Robert J. Bauman
Chief Justice of British Columbia

     The Honourable Robert J. Bauman was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in 1996, was appointed to the British Columbia Court of Appeal in 2008 and appointed as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia on 9 September 2009. He was appointed Chief Justice of British Columbia on 16 June 2013.
     Prior to his judicial appointment in 1996, he was in private practice with Bull, Housser & Tupper in Vancouver. He worked largely in the areas of local government and administrative law. While practicing law, he also taught administrative law at the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Law, as an adjunct professor from 1991 to 1996.
     Chief Justice Bauman was born in Toronto, Ontario. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Ontario in 1971 and his Bachelor of Laws (with high honours) from the University of Toronto in 1974.
     Chief Justice Bauman practiced with Wilson, King and Company of Prince George, British Columbia from 1974 until September 1977. He then joined in partnership with J. Galt Wilson as Wilson, Bauman in Kelowna, British Columbia until 1982. In that year, Chief Justice Bauman joined Bull, Housser & Tupper in Vancouver, British Columbia where he remained as a partner until his appointment to the Bench.
     In practice, Chief Justice Bauman worked largely in the areas of local government and administrative law. He acted as solicitor and counsel to numerous municipalities and municipal organizations throughout British Columbia. He appeared frequently before the British Columbia Utilities Commission, the National Energy Board, and the Canadian Radio Television Commission in utility regulation proceedings. Finally, he had an extensive practice acting for both owners and authorities before the Expropriation Compensation Board of British Columbia.
     Chief Justice Bauman lectured and wrote on legal subjects widely while in practice. He taught administrative law at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Law as an adjunct professor from 1991 until 1996.
     On the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Mr. Justice Bauman (as he then was) served as Chair of the Court’s Civil Law Committee and for two terms on the Attorney General’s Rules Revisions Committee.
     In 2012, and again in 2013, Chief Justice Bauman was named by Canadian Lawyer Magazine as one of the “Top 25 Most Influential” in the justice system in Canada. He was also presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Commemorative Medal for contributions to Canada. As well, Chief Justice Bauman is the 2012 recipient of the Anthony P. Pantages, QC Medal for outstanding contribution in the field of justice presented by The Justice Institute of British Columbia Foundation. Chief Justice Bauman was the recipient of the 2013 TLABC Bench Award by the Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia.
      Chief Justice Bauman has been married for over 35 years to Susan, who is the past Executive Director of Family Services of the North Shore. They have two married sons.


October 30, 2013


Robert Buckley
Director of Business Sales, Rogers Communication

Robert has been in the Canadian Telecommunications Industry for 20 years. He started his career with Sprint Canada, a division of CallNet Carrier Services, and joined Rogers as a result of an acquisition of CallNet in 2005. In this time he has held a number of roles of escalating responsibility and seniority and is currently the General Manager, Business Sales in BC, and Government Sales in BC and Alberta for Rogers Communications Inc.

Robert is a graduate of the Economics program at Wilfrid Laurier University with a minor in Political Science. He is also a graduate of Critical Thinking and Strategic Problem Solving Program at York University. In addition Robert has extensive Sales and Technical training including, but not limited to TCT Technical Training, Acclivus, Holden, DCI, ICMI, and extensive one on one Executive Coaching with Knightsbridge.

As a member of the Business Council of BC’s Emerging Leader’s steering committee, Robert has an opportunity to influence public policy here in BC. The BCBC is a collaborative, non-partisan organization, the Council strives to be a venue where members, policy experts, elected officials and government decision makers can address problems and form solutions together. Robert is also actively engaged in the Vancouver and Victoria Boards of Trade, as well as other Business and Community Groups.

Robert is also very engaged in a number of charitable efforts across the Province, including The Rogers Santa Claus Parade, The Rogers Youth Fund, CIBC Run for the Cure, and United Way Campaign. In addition Robert participates in events that raise money for the Vancouver Food Bank, Raise a Reader, Ronald Macdonald House, The Canucks Place, and the Canucks Autism Network. As a big believer in giving back Robert has always prioritized his time to either help organize events that raise money for worthwhile causes, or participate in the events that others have organized.

Robert lives in North Vancouver and is happily married to his University Sweetheart and the proud father of three Children. He enjoys golfing, hiking, and skiing

September 25, 2013

R. Buckley

Penny Ballem, MSc, MD, FRCP
City Manager, City of Vancouver,

Dr. Ballem joined the City of Vancouver in December 2008 as the City Manager. She served as a director on the Board of VANOC, Canada Line, and currently on the Street to Home Foundation, and as the City’s representative on the Immigrant Employment Council, in association with the Vancouver Foundation.

Dr Ballem has had a diverse career in the health sector as a senior health administrator, practitioner and teacher/researcher. From 1985 to 1991 Dr. Ballem served as the Deputy Medical Director of the Canadian Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service for B.C and the Yukon.

Following this, she served as a senior vice president, responsible for operations at BC Women's Hospital and Sunny Hill Health Centre. During these years she was also instrumental in establishing the BC Centre of Excellence in Women's Health, a national policy research centre.

In 2001 Dr Ballem was appointed Deputy Minister of Health Services for the Province of BC and over the next five years went on to lead two health Ministries (Health Services and Health Planning) and serve a total of eight ministers. She was one of the longest serving Deputy Ministers in the Health portfolio (2001-2006) in BC and Canada. While she was Deputy Minister, Dr. Ballem also served as the co-chair of the Federal Provincial Territorial Conference of Deputy Ministers of Canada. During her tenure, she was responsible for implementing the ActNow initiative across government and associated sectors and worked to obtain funding for the BC Healthy Living Alliance.

After leaving the provincial government, Dr Ballem worked as a consultant to governments and government agencies at the provincial and national level across Canada. She was appointed to the Board of Bentall Capital by BCIMC. She also returned to part-time medical practice in internal medicine at St Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. She is President of the JustAid Foundation, a charitable Foundation which raises funds and awareness about the humanitarian crisis in Burma.

June 19, 2013


Dr. Tim Cheek
Director of the Centre for Chinese Research at UBC

Dr. Timothy Cheek is a historian, professor at the UBC Institute of Asian Research, where he holds the Louis Cha Chair in Chinese Research.

His research, teaching and translating focus on the recent history of China, especially the role of Chinese intellectuals in the twentieth century and the history of the Chinese Communist Party. His historical scholarship comes out of the “China centred” turn in the 1980s with a strong focus on inductive research on Chinese contexts, rather than testing comparable theories of modernization or post modernism. However, he has found Thomas Bender’s approach to “cultures of intellectual life,” or communities of discourse, to be very helpful. In recent years Cheek shifted from “working on China” to “working with China” and has been working with some Chinese colleagues to explore avenues of communication across our social-cultural divides in order to address the problems of global change that confront us all, particularly problems of environment.

He has published several books on China; most recently Critical Introduction to Mao (2010) and now in the final edit of a new one: Mao's Road to Power (2012). See more at his Institute of Asian Research web page.

Dr. Cheek received in Ph.D. in History and East Asian Languages from Harvard University.

May 29, 2013


Dr. Carlos Ventura
Director of Earthquake Engineering Research Facility, UBC

The title of the talk will be "A Megathrust Earthquake in the West Coast - The clock is ticking"
The theme of the talk is about the lessons learned from megathrust earthquakes in the last ten years and the lessons that we have learned from them. These are helping us understand better what would be the possible effects of the "big one" on the West Coast of BC.

Carlos Ventura is a Civil Engineer with specializations in structural dynamics and earthquake engineering. He has been a faculty member of the UBC Department of Civil Engineering since 1992. He is currently the Director of the Earthquake Engineering Research Facility (EERF) at UBC, and is the author of more than 300 papers and reports on earthquake engineering, structural dynamics and modal testing. He is a member of several national and international professional societies and advisory committees, including the Canadian Academy of Engineering and Fellow of Engineers Canada.

Dr. Ventura has conducted research on effects of earthquakes for more than thirty years. His current research is focused on the development of performance-based guidelines for seismic retrofit of schools.

In addition to his academic activities, Dr. Ventura is a recognized international consultant on structural vibrations and safety of large Civil Engineering structures.

His presentation at the Whiff on March 28, 2007 was such a great success, still remembered by some, that we've asked him to return for fresher news and developments.


April 24, 2013

Ventura pic


John Winter
President and CEO of the British Columbia Chamber of Commerce

Prior to joining the Chamber in 1997, John was a Senior Executive with Canada’s largest brewing firm and held the position of President, Western Division, Molson Breweries. John’s 30 year career in the private sector included management assignments in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and Los Angeles. He has extensive experience working with governments at all levels as a result of that experience in a regulated industry.

Throughout his business career, John has been active in support of community endeavors including Lower Mainland United Way, Vancouver Art Gallery, Science World of BC, Jack Webster Foundation, Society for the Advancement of Education, Asia Pacific Foundation, Tourism Vancouver, the Molson Indy Vancouver, and Vancouver Canadians Baseball Club (President).

John’s Chamber related activities include a member of the Province’s Small Business Round Table, Degree Quality Assessment Board, Immigrant Employment Council of BC, Minister’s Council on Employment Opportunities for Disabled Persons, Pacific Corridor Enterprise Council, and Lower Mainland Chamber’s Transportation Advisory Panel.

John is active in the Cypress Park Little League in West Vancouver where he has been a coach and umpire instructor over the past 20 years. He has coached Little League in various parts of Canada for the past 36 years.

John is the Chancellor of University Canada West. He was awarded the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal for his community service in 2012. He is a graduate of Memorial University of Newfoundland and the recipient of the Variety Club’s Community Heart Achievement Award in 1994 for his work in bringing the Molson Indy annual event to Vancouver.

March 27, 2013


Dr. Max Cynader, C.M., O.B.C., Ph.D., F.R.S.C.
Director, Brain Research Centre, UBC
Djavad Mowafaghian Center for Brain Health

Dr. Max Cynader is Director of the Brain Research Centre, and the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health at Vancouver Coastal Health and The University of British Columbia (UBC). In addition, he holds the Canada Research Chair in Brain Development at UBC and is Professor of Ophthalmology. He is also a Member of the Order of Canada (CM), Member of the Order of British Columbia (OBC), Fellow of The Royal Society of Canada (FRSC), Fellow of The Canadian Academy for Health Sciences (FCAHS), and a Principal Investigator in Canada’s Network of Excellence in Stroke.

Dr. Cynader was born in Berlin, Germany in 1947 and obtained his B.Sc. at McGill University in 1967, and his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1972. Following postdoctoral training at the Max Planck Institute, Dr. Cynader held positions at Dalhousie University in Halifax, and in 1979 was awarded the E.W.R. Steacie Fellowship of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council as one of Canada’s outstanding young scientists. He attained the rank of Professor of Psychology in 1981 and Professor of Physiology in 1984, and held the position of Killam Research Professor from 1984 to 1988. On arriving at UBC in 1988, Dr. Cynader headed the Ophthalmology Research Group at UBC until 1998, at which time he was appointed Founding Director of the Brain Research Centre.

Dr. Cynader’s research has focused on the nature of the processing performed by the cerebral cortex, especially the sensory cortices dealing with vision and audition, and on the neural and molecular mechanisms underlying the development and adaptability of the cortex. He has made important contributions to understanding the mechanisms by which early use or misuse of the brain affects its functioning for the rest of the organism’s life. He is the author of over 200 articles published in scientific journals, has presented over 350 papers at national and international scientific meetings, and is the holder of several patents. Dr. Cynader has made important contributions to technology development, and to the commercialization of research results. He is one of the scientific founders of NeuroVir, a Vancouver-based biotechnology company which has developed gene therapy products to treat brain diseases. This company, which grew to over 60 employees, was eventually sold to a German biotechnology company, which then took the NeuroVir technology into clinical trials. He was also the co-founder of Wavemakers Research, a software company which developed new and proprietary noise reducing technology. This technology is now in widespread use in over 20% of the world car market. He continues to play a mentoring/angel role in our technology community.

Dr. Cynader has received many honors during his career. Included among these are the Order of Canada (2008), the Order of British Columbia (2007), the Researcher of the Year award from Life Sciences BC (2007), the Science and Technology Champion award by Innovation BC (2004), the Canada Research Chair (2002), Gold Medal in Health Sciences (1995), Killam Research Prize (1981), and E.W.R. Steacie Fellowship (1979), among others. He was a semi-finalist in the Canadian Astronaut Programme, has served as President of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience. He currently co-chairs the Proof of Principal Committee of the CIHR, and has served on advisory/review panels for CIHR, United States Air Force, the International Human Frontiers of Science Program, the National Institutes of Health (U.S.A.), on the editorial board of many scientific journals including Brain Research, Developmental Brain Research, Clinical Vision Sciences, Neural Networks, and Visual Neuroscience.

As a Centre Director, Dr. Cynader has tried to communicate the importance of Brain Research to the lay public. A gifted communicator, who has received several Excellence in Teaching awards, Dr. Cynader has appeared on over a dozen television programs in the last 3 years, has made numerous radio appearances, and has made presentations to many lay groups including the Vancouver Institute, Probis, Avocis, Rotary Club, and various seniors groups. He has served as a spokesperson for the Alzheimer’s Society of British Columbia, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Literacy BC, and currently sits on the Board of the Brain Canada Foundation.

February 27, 2013


Dr. David Sweet, O.C.
Associate dean, Dentistry, UBC

Doctor David Sweet O.C. is professor of forensic odontology and oral diagnosis and Associate Dean of Students at The University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Dentistry.

He is currently the lead forensic odontologist for Disaster Victim Identification Canada and Disaster Victim Identification B.C. He was chief forensic scientist for the INTERPOL Disaster Victim Identification Standing Committee from 2005–2011. He has been involved through his modern DNA and forensic odontology laboratory at UBC in over 1000 cases on behalf of regional, national, and international police agencies and courts of law.

Dr. Sweet was invested into the Order of Canada in 2008 for his work as a forensic scientist, teacher, and consultant.

The title of his presentation is: How do you cope?

January 30, 2013


Ross McMillan
President and CEO of Tides Canada

Ross is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Tides Canada, the country’s largest public foundation focused on the environment and social justice.

Ross has worked in association with Tides Canada over the past twelve years, identifying opportunities to bring philanthropy, civil society, business, and government together in pursuit of positive social change and advising donors and partners on a range of issues concerning social and environmental philanthropy. He was appointed President of Tides Canada in 2007.

Ross was a key participant in the 2006 deal to protect Canada’s 21 million acre Great Bear Rainforest – the largest integrated conservation program in North American history – and he was a principal architect of the $120 million conservation financing deal in early 2007 to secure conservation and sustainable economic outcomes in coastal British Columbia.

In addition to his work in philanthropy, Ross has wide-ranging experience in consulting and in the public sector, including appointments with the British Columbia government, the Government of Canada, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and the City of Vancouver. He has worked extensively on resource management and environmental matters, as well as diverse social policy subjects, including housing, urban social change, and the interests and rights of indigenous peoples.


November 28, 2013

McMillan pic


Michel Vetterli
Professor, SFU, High Energy Physics

Michel Vetterli is a professor of physics at Simon Fraser University where he holds a joint appointment with TRIUMF, Canada's National Laboratory for Subatomic Physics. Prof. Vetterli is a senior member of the ATLAS collaboration at CERN (Geneva), which consists of about 3,000 physicists and engineers from 34 countries. ATLAS is studying the fundamental building blocks of Nature and their interactions. Vetterli is the deputy chair of the ATLAS Publications Committee (PubCom) and will become chair in March 2013 for one year, during which time he will be resident in Geneva. The PubCom chair and his deputy organize the review of all ATLAS publications, including the soundness of the analysis techniques and results. ATLAS publishes about 100 journal articles and 150 scientific notes per year.

Vetterli has also played a leading role in the field of high-performance large-scale distributed computing. He is the project leader of the ATLAS Tier-1 Data Analysis Centre at TRIUMF and, until recently, was the computing coordinator for ATLAS-Canada and the chair of the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid Collaboration Board. He is also a founding principal investigator of WestGrid, a network of high-performance computing facilities in Western Canada serving the needs of academic computing in the sciences and engineering.

Prof. Vetterli was born in Montreal, did his undergraduate studies at McGill University and received his PhD from McMaster University in 1985. Following his graduation, he went to TRIUMF, first as a postdoctoral research associate, then joining the staff in 1989. He moved to SFU in 2001. Prof. Vetterli has worked on a broad range of projects around the world from intermediate-energy nuclear physics at TRIUMF, to particle physics at DESY (Germany) and CERN (Switzerland). He was the Canadian project leader for the HERMES project (Germany) from 1989 to 2001 and the deputy spokesman of the international collaboration during the construction, installation, and commissioning phases of the experiment (1994-95). He has focussed on the ATLAS experiment since 2001.

October 24, 2012

Vetterli pic


Dr. Thomas Kerr
Director, Urban Health Research Initiative, BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/ AIDS

Dr. Thomas Kerr is the Director of Urban Health Research Initiative at the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of British Columbia (Division of AIDS). Dr. Kerr has extensive research experience in the areas of behavioural science and public health, especially in evaluating programs and treatments designed to address addiction, injection drug use, and HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Kerr has a long history of involvement in healthcare issues in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Several years ago, he collaborated with other scientists and community members in an effort to alert policy makers to the health and social emergencies in the neighbourhood. This work involved demonstrating the scientific basis for several public health interventions, including the expansion of Vancouver’s needle exchange program and the initiation of a scientific pilot study of North America’s first medically supervised safer injecting facility. Dr. Kerr has also conducted work aimed at improving the health and human rights conditions of marginalized populations at national and international levels, and has worked on HIV prevention and treatment projects for injection drug users and prisoners in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Australia and Thailand.

Dr. Kerr has published more than 300 scientific papers in international peer-reviewed journals and has received numerous local and national awards for his contributions to public health, and the fight against HIV/AIDS. In 2007, Dr. Kerr received the National Knowledge Translation Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for his efforts to promote scientific discussion on the topic of illicit drug policy. In 2010, Dr. Kerr was a recipient of the inaugural Population and Public Health Research Milestones Initiative award for his outstanding contribution to developing Canada’s research base for harm reduction and health equity approaches to HIV prevention and control.

September 26, 2012

kerr pic

Jim Chu
Chief Constable, VPD

Chu grew up in East Vancouver, the oldest son of four children of immigrants from Shanghai. He graduated from Sir Charles Tupper Secondary School, where he played rugby, in 1978. Joining the police department a year after his high-school graduation, he continued his education at the same time, going on to earn a Bachelor of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University, and an MBA from the University of British Columbia. His police training includes the FBI Advanced SWAT course.

Chu has served in a number of investigative and support roles. As Sergeant in charge of recruiting, he developed the VPD's applicant guide and the department's first website in 1996. In 1997, he became an Inspector, and since then has supervised a number of transitions in the VPD's electronic communications technology, including the introduction of its current radio system and mobile computing system. In 2001, Chu was given command of District 4, which roughly corresponds to the Southwest quarter of Vancouver. Chu became a deputy chief in 2003, and was put in charge of the Support Services division, which handles human resources, information technology, planning and communications. It also includes the department's Financial Services Section, and Chu has earned recognition for his role in dealing with the department's cost overruns. In July 2007, Chu was placed in charge of the Operations Support division, which oversees criminal intelligence, emergency response and the gang and drug squads.

He is the author of a 2001 book, Law Enforcement Information Technology.

In May 2007, the Governor General awarded Chu the Order of Merit of Police Forces, for service beyond the call of duty. In 1999 he received the Super Trustee award from the British Columbia Library Trustees Association.

On June 21, 2007, Chu was named as the successor of Chief Constable Jamie Graham, who was set to retire in August. Chu assumed command of the department on August 14, the day police fatally shot a violent man on Granville Street.

On June 15, 2011, Chu was the Chief Constable of Vancouver as riots erupted in downtown Vancouver at the conclusion of game seven of the 2011 Stanley Cup final. Chu admitted that his department had not anticipated the events and was sorry that his department had not been able to respond earlier. He has rejected calls for his resignation over the riots.

June 20, 2012

Jim Chu

(Photo from SFU)

(Bio from wikipedia)

John Cummins
Leader of the BC Conservative Party

John Cummins brings to the leadership of the new BC Conservatives experience, common sense and a passion for fighting for the people of British Columbia.

For nearly 18 years John represented the people of Delta and Richmond in the House of Commons. During that time he earned a reputation for speaking his mind, standing up for his constituents and doing what was right, even if his party disagreed. He was elected six times through the evolution of Canada's conservative movement first as a Reformer, then Canadian Alliance and finally as a Conservative MP. He fought for the people who sent him to Ottawa, for equal rights in the fisheries, for an elected Senate and for BC to have a true voice in Ottawa.

John earned a reputation as a maverick, an honest leader who tells it like it is. That's why Rafe Mair called him "the most trusted politician in B.C." All that time he was in Ottawa John became more and more worried about the state of provincial politics in BC. He was concerned there was no common sense party for hard working middle class peopl, just two old parties who listened to the special interests. It is to give the people of BC a real choice that John decided to run for the leadership of the new BC Conservatives.

John decided to run for the leadership of the new BC Conservatives, because of a desire to give British Columbians real choice:

  • a choice between transparency and deception
  • a choice between listening and arrogance
  • a choice between a government of the people and a government of special interests
  • a choice between common sense and political correctness

John Cummins believes that "Common sense is neither left wing, nor right wing", and that will be his approach to government. Besides being an MP, John owned and operated two fishing boats. He gained the respect and support of many in BC's fishing community for standing up for them, and against the race-based fisheries imposed by the federal and provincial governments.

John has worked as a teacher, at various times teaching Grade 1 and later high-school math. He first came to BC in the 1960's to work underground on construction of the WAC Bennett Dam which now powers so much of our province.

John has an MA from UBC and a BA from the University of Western Ontario. He is a proud father and grandfather, who lives in Langley with his wife Sue.


May 30, 2012



Nigel Holmes
Director of Security and Forsensic Information at TCS Forensics Ltd

Nigel Holmes, Forensic Technician & Security Specialist, has achieved Levels I and II EnCase©, ACE (Access Data) certification and is completing his certification process for CISSP designation in May. He is also recognized by the BC Supreme Court as a Forensic Expert. Mr. Holmes has significant experience and responsibilities in networking and client support, (over 1000 users)undertaking enterprise server management, internal penetration testing, server development and deployment as well as advising senior management on IT security matters. In addition to his duties as a forensic examiner, Mr . Holmes performs comprehensive security audits, ethical hacking and live incident response. He has also presented to a conference of government Ministry’s Security Experts on the topic of wireless security best practices and implementation. In addition Mr. Holmes is guest lecturing at UBC Law Facility and teaching at BCIT in the science of Computer Forensics.

Mr. Holmes has continued to further his education while gaining practical experience by completing education through the University of Victoria’s Computer Based Information Systems program and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology’s Leadership Development program.

April 25, 2012


Donald Grayston

Donald Grayston is a theologian and spiritual director/soulfriend who lives in Vancouver.

A retired priest of the Anglican diocese of New Westminster, he taught from 1989 until 2004 in the Humanities Department at Simon Fraser University, for the last three years of which he was director of its Institute for the Humanities.

Until 2011, he was director or co-director of the Pacific Jubilee Program in Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Direction, which he co-founded with Jack Gorsuch in 1988.

Past President of both the Thomas Merton Society of Canada and the International Thomas Merton Society, he is also Past Chair of Building Bridges Vancouver, a public education program which showcases those who in various ways are engaging the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His previous publications have been concerned with Merton, pilgrimage, marriage, and the Holocaust. 

Currently, he is working on a book on Thomas Merton's mid-life search for deep solitude, when he can find time away from his salsa lessons.

March 28, 2012


Dr. Roy Purssell
Emergency phyician

Dr. Roy Purssell has been an Emergency Physician at Vancouver General Hospital since 1982. He is an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia. He is also the Medical Director of the Drug and Poison information Centre of BC. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons and the American College of Medical Toxicology.

Roy was born and grew up in Vancouver. He completed his undergraduate and medical education at the University of British Columbia. He completed his specialty training in Emergency Medicine at McGill University in Montreal. He completed subspecialty training in Medial Toxicology in New York, Denver, Calgary and San Francisco.

With Dr. Wood, he founded the Royal College Specialty Training Program in Emergency Medicine at UBC and he was the Director of the residency program from 1987 to 1993. Dr. Purssell was Head of the Emergency Department at Vancouver General Hospital and Head of the Division of Emergency Medicine at UBC from 1994 to 2007. He was President of the Canadian Association of Poison Control Centres from 2004 to 2009. He is an Associate Editor of the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine. He is also the Chairman of the Emergency Medical Services Committee at the BC Medical Association and is a Member of the National Board of MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving. He has completed research in the prevention of injury and death due to impaired driving. His studies on conviction rates of injured impaired drivers generated a great deal of media interest. He was interviewed by Carol Off on CBC Radio’s “As it Happens.” Editorials were about the findings of this research were written in the Vancouver Sun and the Globe and Mail. He received the MADD National Citizen of Distinction Award for this research.

Dr. Purssell is married and has three children age 26, 23 and 16. He enjoys outdoor sports including skiing and hiking.

February 29, 2012


Wally Oppal, Q.C.
Former MLA; Chancellor of Thompson Rivers University.

Wally has dedicated his entire working life to improving social justice and community safety. He was born in the Vancouver-Fraserview neighbourhood, attended law school at UBC, and then practised law for 14 years. He was Crown Counsel and Defence Counsel on numerous high-profile criminal cases. Wally was appointed to the County Court of British Columbia in 1981 and to the Supreme Court of British Columbia in 1985. In 2003, he was appointed to the British Columbia Court of Appeal. Wally served as Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism from 2005 to 2009. Wally’s passion for the Canadian legal system is exemplified by the various positions he has held throughout the years:

  • Frequent guest lecturer for Continuing Legal Education Society seminars
  • Frequent lecturer and speaker on criminal justice, violence against women and women’s justice issues
  • President, Law Courts Education Society of British Columbia
  • Former Director, Family Services of Greater Vancouver
  • Member, Advisory Committee, Law Reform Commission of Canada
  • Member, 1993 Ad Hoc Advisory Committee for a National Strategy on Community Safety and Crime Prevention
  • Former Director, B.C. Coalition for Safer Communities
  • Past Member, Supreme Court National Criminal Law Programme Judges Criminal Law Committee
  • Member, Delegation to South Africa on Access to Justice
  • Author, 1994 Oppal Report on Policing

Wally has been recognized with several awards, including:

  • Georges A. Goyer, QC, Distinguished Service Award (2000)
  • Lawyers Assistance Program of B.C., Lawyer Helping Lawyer Award (2007)
  • Anthony P. Pantages, QC, Medal for Outstanding Contributions in the Field of Public Safety (2005)
  • RBC Mehfil Magazine, Lifetime Achievement Award (2010)
  • Honorary Doctor of Laws, University of the Fraser Valley (2010)

Wally has recently been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation. In May of 2011 Wally was appointed Chancellor of Thompson River University

Wally is a frequent lecturer and keynote speaker at National and International conferences and seminars on Policing He was appointed Commissioner of the Missing Women commission of Inquiry in September 2010

Wally is an avid reader, enjoys staying physically fit by playing basketball, as well as coaching in the Steve Nash basketball league.

January 25, 2012

Wally Oppal

November 30, 20011
Matthew Carter

President, Great Northern Way Campus Trust

Matthew Carter is president of the Great Northern Way Campus Trust, a joint venture collaboration between UBC, SFU, BCIT and Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

Matthew’s position is focused on developing Great Northern Way Campus Trust’s 20 acre parcel of land on the False Creek Flats into a revitalized district in East Vancouver that stimulates B.C.’s creative economy through strong collaboration among creators, entrepreneurs and educators. Great Northern Way Campus is home to the Centre for Digital Media, which offers a Masters of Digital Media graduate degree for which students get to collaborate with entertainment and computer games industry leaders. Construction is currently underway on a new home for the Centre for Digital Media, which will welcome students in September 2012. This building is the catalyst for the redevelopment of this former-industrial brownfield site.

Prior to his current position, Matthew was vice-president at UBC Properties Trust, a real estate development company owned by the University of B.C. He led initiatives to advance UBC’s vision to build a mixed-use community while creating significant endowment for research and learning.

Prior to joining UBC Properties in 2002, he worked with Citigroup in London, England in various real estate financing roles.

Matthew and his wife live in the Douglas Park neighbourhood of Vancouver with their three children

November 30, 2011

Matthew Carter

October 26, 2011
Marvin Storrow

You may find a profile of Marvin Storrow at: http://www.blakes.com/english/people/lawyers2.asp?las=MRVS

Our friend Marvin replaced Susan Anton at the last minute.

June 22, 2011
Gregor Robertson
Mayor of Vancouver

In November 2008, the people of Vancouver chose Gregor Robertson as their new Mayor. He was elected on a platform of ending street homelessness in the City of Vancouver by 2015, and making Vancouver the greenest city in the world.

Mayor Robertson is committed to building a sustainable and thriving economy in Vancouver. By working to foster economic hubs in the burgeoning green economy, including digital media, clean technology, and renewable energy, Mayor Robertson is establishing Vancouver internationally as the Green Capital—a City where going green is good for business. Vancouver was recently named the greenest city in Canada by Corporate Knights, as well as predicted to have the fastest growing economy in 2010 by the Conference Board of Canada.

Under Mayor Robertson’s leadership, Vancouver has taken swift action on becoming more sustainable by doubling the City’s bicycle infrastructure budget, setting the highest electric vehicle charging standards for new buildings in North America, and approving laneway housing. Vancouver now has the greenest building standards in North America, requiring all new buildings to be LEED Gold. Since being elected, Mayor Robertson and City Council have also expanded the popular car-free days throughout the city, installed protected bicycle lanes on the Burrard Street Bridge and Dunsmuir Viaduct, and launched curbside compost pick-up in Vancouver.

On his first day in office, Mayor Robertson moved quickly on homelessness and established the Mayor’s Homeless Emergency Action Team (HEAT). HEAT rapidly opened five low-barrier shelters that immediately filled to capacity, providing close to 500 people a night with a safe, secure place to sleep. The Mayor has since secured over $333 million in new funding from the provincial government for social housing throughout the City.

Prior to entering politics, Gregor co-founded Happy Planet, and grew the Vancouver-based socially responsible company up to 50 employees in 10 years. Happy Planet produces organic juices and promotes health and nutrition. For his achievements as a successful entrepreneur and community leader, Gregor was named one of Canada’s “Top 40 under 40” by The Globe and Mail in 2004.

Gregor and his wife Amy have four children: Terra, Satchel, Jinagh and Johanna. He is a dedicated cyclist, avid soccer fan, and plays the tuba, guitar, and drums.



May 25, 2011
Thomas Berger

Now a practicing lawyer in Vancouver, Thomas Berger has been prominent in defending minority rights and establishing the rights of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples.

He served as a Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia from 1971–1983. During that time, he was Chairman of the Royal Commission on Family and Children’s Law, B.C, 1973-74, Commissioner of the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry 1974-77, and of the Inquiry on Indian and Health Consultation 1979-80 for the Government of Canada. From 1983-85, he was Chairman of the Alaska Native Review Commission. In 1991–1992 he served as deputy chairman of the World Bank’s Sardar Sarovar Commission in India.

Thomas Berger is the author of Northern Frontier, Northern Homeland (1977); Village Journey: a Long and Terrible Shadow (1985); Fragile Freedoms: Human Rights and Dissent in Canada (1981), and One Man’s Justice: A Life in the Law (2002).

He acted as Conciliator in 2005-2006 with respect to a series of disputes between the Government of Canada and the Government of Nunavut; his report is called “The Nunavut Project.”

To read more about Thomas Berger, click here.


April 27, 2011
Hon. Thomas J. Gove
Presiding Judge at the Downtown Community Court

Judge Thomas Gove is Vancouver's Downtown Community Court presiding judge, since it opened in September 2008. Judge Gove was instrumental in the design and establishment of the court and is dedicated to reforming how crime is addressed in the community.

Called to the B.C. bar in 1974, after studies in Commerce and Law at UBC, Judge Gove's early professional years included criminal and youth defence work. In 1990, he was appointed to the Provincial Court of British Columbia where he has presided over criminal, youth, child and civil cases. From early 1994 to December 1995, he was the commissioner of the Gove Inquiry into Child Protection, which resulted in the redesign of B.C.'s child welfare system.

Judge Gove is the recipient of the 1996 Tony Pantages Medal from the Justice Institute of British Columbia. The award recognizes "a person in the justice system who has made a significant contribution to improving the system for the benefit of British Columbians."


March 30, 2011
David Emerson

David Lee Emerson is a former Member of Parliament for the riding of Vancouver Kingsway. He was first elected as a Liberal (2004) and served as Minister of Industry under Prime Minister Paul Martin. After controversially crossing the floor to join Stephen Harper's Conservatives, he served as Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics (2006-2008), followed by Minister of Foreign Affairs (May-Oct. 2008).

Emerson attended the University of Alberta and obtained his Bachelor of Economics degree in 1968 and his Master of Economics degree in 1970. He then went on to Queen's University where he received his Ph.D in Economics. In 1975, after working as a researcher for the Economic Council of Canada, Emerson moved to British Columbia and joined the public service. In 1984, he became Deputy Minister of Finance.

In 1986, Emerson was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the Western and Pacific Bank of Canada. He transformed it into the Western Bank of Canada- the only regional bank to survive and prosper. Four years later, he returned as Deputy Minister of Finance and was quickly promoted to Deputy Minister to the Premier and President of the British Columbia Trade Development Corporation. From 1992 to 1997, Emerson was President and Chief Executive Officer of the newly created Vancouver International Airport Authority.

In 1998, Emerson was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Canfor Corporation, a leading integrated forest products company and Canada's largest producer of softwood lumber. With 8,100 workers and annual revenues of $3.2 billion servicing 10 % of the U.S. market, Canfor operates pulp and paper mills as well as 19 sawmills across B.C., two in Alberta and one in Quebec. Despite US duties and a higher Canadian dollar, Emerson managed to increase profits and raise share prices through a major acquisition deal and efficiency upgrades, which increased capacity by 30% while reducing production costs by 24%.

In 2008, Emerson joined private equity firm CAI Capital Management as a senior advisor.

Emerson's directorships included: Terasen Inc; Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada; Vice-Chairman of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives; Chair, British Columbia Ferry Services Inc.; and Chairman and Director of Genus Resource Management Technologies Inc.


February 23, 2011
Rex Weyler
Writer and ecologist

Rex Weyler is a writer and ecologist. His books include Blood of the Land, a history of indigenous American nations, nominated for a Pulitzer Prize; Greenpeace: The Inside Story, a finalist for the BC Book Award and the Shaughnessy-Cohen Award for Political Writing; The Jesus Sayings, an analysis of first century history, a finalist for the BC Book Award; and The Story of Harmony, the history of musical knowledge and technology.

In the 1970s, Weyler was a cofounder of Greenpeace International and editor of the Greenpeace Chronicles. He served on campaigns to preserve rivers and forests, and to stop whaling, sealing, and toxic dumping. He remains active in ecological campaigns, worked on water quality legislation in BC and forest preservation in Canada and South America.

He currently writes the “Deep Green” column for the Greenpeace International website and appears on The Tyee and other websites, including his own site, rexweyler.com. He writes and consults on film and television projects, speaks on issues of ecology and literature, and is currently writing a book about “Ecology and Economy.”

In 1982, Weyler cofounded the Hollyhock education centre on Cortes Island in Canada, which continues to offer seminars in practical and creative arts. He has 3 grown sons and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with his wife Lisa. He and his wife are foster parents and members of the Foster Parents of British Columbia.

Weyler's photograph

January 26, 2011
Rev. Bruce Curtiss
Senior chaplain at Union Gospel Mission

Rev. Bruce G. Curtiss is the Senior Chaplain/Manager of Chaplaincy/Coed-Outreach/Men’s Emergency Shelter/Mobile Mission-Rescue Vehicle at Vancouver’s Union Gospel Mission. He has over 10 Years experience in Urban Pastoral Ministry and has spent multiple years in Hospital Chaplaincy, Prison Chaplaincy, and Police Chaplaincy with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the past.

Bruce has a Bachelor of Theology Degree and is near completion of his Masters of Divinity Degree. He has many other certificates and diplomas in such things as Law Enforcement Chaplaincy Diploma, Non-Violent Crisis Intervention Trainer Certificate, and Auxiliary Constable - Tier 1 Diploma - Justice Institute of British Columbia, and Emergency Medical Responder - First Responder - Tactical Level 1. Bruce teaches many classes and seminars on a regular basis to church groups, business professionals, and college and seminary students.

Bruce teaches many classes and seminars on a regular basis to church groups, business professionals, and college and seminary students.

Bruce is married to the wonderful Stephanie has no children as of yet. He and his wife live in Kerrisdale at present and he also actively volunteers in his spare time with the RCMP as an Auxiliary Constable in the Province of British Columbia.


November 24, 2010
Honourable Colin Hansen
Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier

Colin Hansen was re-elected to represent Vancouver-Quilchena on May 12, 2009. He was first elected in 1996, and re-elected in 2001 and 2005.

He was appointed Minister of Finance on June 23, 2008. He previously served as Minister of Economic Development, Minister of Health Services, and a previous appointment as Minister of Finance.

Minister Hansen served as health critic for the Official Opposition, as well as the critic for Employment and Investment, and for Labour. He sat on the Select Standing Committees on Crown Corporations and on Economic Development, Science, Labour, Training and Technology. He also sat on the Official Opposition Caucus Committees on Health and Economy.

Minister Hansen received his bachelor of arts degree in political science from the University of Victoria in 1975.
Before his election to the Legislative Assembly, he and his wife Laura owned and operated a small business they established in 1988. Prior to that, he was vice-president of finance and administration for the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada.

Colin Hansen pic

June 23rd, 2010
Dan Doyle
Chair, BC Hydro

Dan Doyle was appointed Chair of the BC Hydro Board of Directors on July 16, 2009
In May 2006, Doyle was appointed Executive Vice President at VANOC with responsibility for the $580 million development and building of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games venues. In addition to venue construction, Doyle oversees aboriginal participation, legal, people and sustainability, and special projects.
Large complex building projects are second nature to Doyle. With more than 35 years of experience with B.C.'s Ministry of Transportation, most recently as deputy minister, he has overseen some of the province's landmark construction initiatives. Highlights include the rehabilitation of Vancouver's Lions Gate Bridge and the development of the Sea-to-Sky Highway Improvement project. Doyle also served as chairman for Rapid Transit 2000, the company responsible for building the Millennium Line extension to Vancouver's rapid transit system.

A civil engineer by training, Doyle’s lengthy career has been recognized with many accolades, including the APEGBC President's Award in 2007, the Canadian Transportation Person of the Year (2005) and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Institute of Transportation Engineers. In addition, he was awarded the Lieutenant Governor's Silver Medal for Excellence in Public Administration (2002).



Dan Doyle

May 26th, 2010
Tim Hayman
Retired Air Traffic Controler

Tim’s career began “in the Levesque era” in Montréal before his career path took him to Kelowna and then on to Vancouver where he served for eight years in the YVR tower and sixteen in the mysterious bowels of the regional radar centre.

April 28th, 2010
Paddy Gooderham

Paddy Gooderham was born in South Africa in 1940, and immigrated to Canada in 1965.

He is by profession a Mechanical Engineer with a degree in Business Administration. In 1978, he and two partners founded Burtek Systems Inc, a security products distribution company, which surprised everyone by growing to 10 warehouses and 150 employees. He was CEO of Burtek for 25 years before retiring in 2002.

Other interests include boating, skiing, golf and squash. He is a past President of the Evergreen Squash Club. Currently, with time on his hands, he dabbles in sundry projects, which with more sense he would avoid; hence this evening's topic!


January 27th, 2010
Bruce Flexman
President of IFC BC

Bruce Flexman, formerly Canadian Managing Partner, Tax at KPMG LLP, is the President of the IFC BC. He is currently Chair of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) Tax Policy Committee, which includes the managing partners of the six largest accounting firms in Canada. Bruce is also a member of the Vancouver International Financial Sector Steering Committee, which has been tasked by the BC Ministry of Small Business, Technology and Economic Development and the Ministry of Finance to present recommendations to enhance Vancouver as an international financial centre. During his tenure at KPMG, Bruce Flexman was responsible for managing the Canadian Tax Practice of approximately 900 tax professionals as well as long-term strategic business and financial planning. He brings a wealth of international experience from serving as one of six members of KPMG’s International Tax Steering group tasked with coordinating the global tax practice. He served on KPMG’s Board of Directors and was elected Chair.

Bruce also served for two years on KPMG America’s Board of Directors. He is well-known in the Vancouver business community having served as KPMG Vancouver’s Partner-In-Charge, Tax from 1995 to 2003 and Office Managing Partner of the New Westminster office from 1986 to 1989. In 1989, Bruce transferred to the Ottawa office of KPMG to assist the firm in preparing for the introduction of the GST as its National Partner-in-Charge, GST. During the time in Ottawa, Bruce acted as Technical Advisor to the Senate Banking and Finance Committee on hearings into the GST. From 1991 to 1993, Bruce was on loan to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) as Deputy Director General, Policy and Legislation in Headquarters.

Bruce obtained a degree in Engineering Mathematics from Queen’s University and followed that with an MBA with Distinction from Cornell University. After a short stint with the Ford Motor Company as a financial analyst, Bruce volunteered for two years as a Lecturer at the Zambia Institute of Technology under the auspices of Canadian University Services Overseas (CUSO) before joining KPMG.

Bruce will be leading a discussion on the implications of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) which will be introduced in BC and Ontario on July 1, 2010. What can we believe about the HST? What impact will it have on our economy? Is it another tax grab by the government? Will there be a shift of tax from businesses to consumers? Will businesses pass along any of their savings to consumers? Why did the government decide to introduce HST immediately after being re-elected?

Bruce was the technical advisor on the implications of the GST to the Senate Banking Committee in 1990 when the Liberal majority in the Senate were resisting the introduction of the GST. He was also asked by the House of Commons Finance Committee to be part of a panel looking at replacements to the GST during the early 1990s.




January 27th, 2010
Ken Georgetti, CM, OBC
President of the Canadian Labour Congress

Like his father, Ken Georgetti went to work at the giant smelter in Trail, B.C., where he earned his trade ticket as a pipefitter.

Active with the United Steelworkers of America, in 1986 he became president of the British Columbia Federation of Labour. Advocating what he calls "intelligent militancy," he has demonstrated a rare ability to bring together labour and management in joint projects that benefit all British Columbians. Kenneth Georgetti wears a number of hats to improve the lot of British Columbian’s, and he chairs and sits on a score of educational and sporting committees.

He is honourary chairperson of the Association of Learning Disabled Adults, chair of the Pacific Region Labour Education Studies’ Centre, and chair of the Working Opportunity Fund. He is director of the Whistler Olympics 2010 Bid Committee and on the steering committee of the 2001 Pacific Games bid. He sits with the UBC Board of Governors.


November 25th, 2009
Dave Dickson
Outreach Worker, Downtown East side
Former Vancouver City Police Constable

Dave Dickson was born and raised around Vancouver; he left school early to go seek fortune pumping gas in Cache Creek. He held a number of different jobs over the years before going back to school, getting a Grade 12 degree and being accepted into the Vancouver Police in 1980.

He spent his entire career in the Downtown Eastside out of choice even after the Department tried to transfer him out in the early 90's. He became an advocate for the Youth and the Women that worked the Streets and from the year 2003-2008 received 8 or 9 different awards for Community Policing including an International Safety Award for a program that he and Inspector John McKay designed for Women in High risk occupations. He retired in 2005 but was contracted back as the Department's Sex Trade Liaison person.

He now works as an Outreach worker for Lookout Emergency shelter.



October 28th, 2009
Suzanne Anton
Vancouver City Councillor

Suzanne Anton was elected to Vancouver City Council in 2005 and re-elected in 2008. Before becoming a City Councillor, she served three years on the Vancouver Park Board.

Since being elected, she served three years as the Vancouver director for the Federation of Canadian municipalities, where she also served as the vice-chair of the Committee to Increase Women's Participation in Municipal Government. She served as a director of Metro Vancouver, where she was a member of the Waste Management Committee, the Land Use and Transportation Committee, and the UBC/ Metro Vancouver joint committee. She served two years on the Translink Board.

Outside public office, Suzanne has had a career as a mathematics teacher (Nigeria and Portugal) and a lawyer (Crown Counsel). She served many years as a community volunteer, particularly in the community sport area. Advocacy for better facilities and sport programs for all children led to her interest in the political realm and she was elected to the Park Board in 2002.

Suzanne has served with many organizations, including:

- MoreSports (founding member);
- ARKS (Arbutus Ridge Kerrisdale Shaughnessy) CityPlan
- Visioning community liaison group;
- Vancouver City Planning Commission;
- Rick Hansen Wheels in Motion Vancouver event;
- Kerrisdale Soccer Club (past President);
- Vancouver Field Sport Federation (past Vice-President);
- Achilles Track Society;
- Riley Park community association.

Suzanne and her husband Olin recently completed a cross Canada cycling trip. They have three adult children: Elizabeth, Robert and Angus. Suzanne is a gardener and is working on a local native plant rehabilitation project.

Suzanne received her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of Victoria. She went on to complete her Bachelor of Law from the University of British Columbia in 1979.




June 17th 2009

Doug Kelsey

President and Chief Executive Officer of the British Columbia Rapid Transit Company


President and Chief Executive Officer of the British Columbia Rapid Transit Company which encompass the SkyTrain system and the West Coast Express commuter rail system. He is responsible for the operating assets exceeding $4.5 billion that cover much of Greater Vancouver and parts of the Fraser Valley.

Doug has a strong private sector background in leading significant change to achieve top performance in both the private and public sectors including multi-national organizations, such as Shell Canada and Starbucks Coffee.

During his current tenure operating the Vancouver region’s urban passenger rail systems, he has significantly improved fiscal, operating performance and cost recovery. SkyTrain has reduced its costs by many millions of dollars while now carrying over 75 million riders per year and achieving an operating cost recovery of over 104%, unique among transit operations. West Coast Express has improved its operating cost recovery by well over 100% to 92.6% in 2008 or one of the elite top performers in North America.

Doug’s background includes; strategic planning, finance, mergers and divestitures, operations, asset management, marketing, distribution and real estate.

In addition to President/CEO of British Columbia Rapid Transit Company, Doug was the leader responsible for the development and defence of the transportation plan with the International Olympic Committee during the successful Vancouver 2010 Olympic bid phase. He was the Chairman of the Transportation Advisory Committee for 2010 Olympic Games and now is responsible for the Spectator and Workforce transportation for the Metro Vancouver area and TransLink’s strategic planning and all operations for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. He is the co-founder and past CEO with the HSBC Basketball Classic, now the largest High School tournament in North America. He does personal mentoring with at risk youth.

He is a graduate from the CEO program at the Kellogg School of Business.



May 27th 2009

Malcolm Hunter

President and COO of Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada


Malcolm Hunter is President and Chief Operating Officer of Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada, the exclusive Canadian distributor of Harley-Davidson® .

As a graduate of Simon Fraser University’s Economic in Commerce Department, Malcolm brought a background of finance, accounting and business systems to the company. Malcolm is also a graduate of Queen’s University Executive Program and the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Advanced Management Program.

One of Mr. Hunter’s most impressive accomplishment is through Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada earning the prestigious Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies award for fourteen consecutive years (1995-2008). This award program, sponsored by Deloitte & Touche, Queen’s School of Business, CIBC Commercial Banking and the National Post, inducted Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada into the 50 Best Platinum Club in December 2003 in recognition of this outstanding achievement. Malcolm also sits on a number of committees with the Harley-Davidson Motor Company in the United States.

Malcolm is a member of the Rotary Club of Vancouver, he is past Chair of the Vancouver Community College Foundation Board, and also the past Chair of the Board of Directors of the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada, The Foundation for Fighting Blindness (formerly the RP Foundation) and he is the Past President and Director of the Hollyburn Country Club and Past President of the BC Safety Council.



April 29th 2009

David Schreck

Political pundit


Dr. David Schreck is the secretary and treasurer of the "No BC-STV Campaign Society" currently working to defeat the proposal to change how MLAs are elected, and most probably the subject of his talk and our debate this evening.

David has had a long and varied career in BC politics. He was the NDP MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale from 1991 to 1996; he was an active member of the B.C. Legislature's Public Accounts Committee, served on the Parliamentary Reform Committee and on the Health and Social Services Committee, and served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier and to the Minister of Employment and Investment. He also was a special advisor to the Premier twice from 1998 to 2001, for both Clark and Dosanjh.

Prior to being elected David managed one of BC's largest dental insurers for ten years. He was involved with community management of social services in the 70s as chief executive officer of the Vancouver Resources Board, and was later involved in putting together B.C.'s first Pharmacare program. He currently works as an economic and management consultant, and as a political commentator, online and on the radio station CFAX in Victoria and posing questions on Vaughn Palmer's Voice of BC cable show. Visit his web site at www.strategicthoughts.com.

David Schreck has a BA in Economics from Grinnell College (Iowa), and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of British Columbia.


Don Cayo

March 25th 2009

Don Cayo



Don Cayo is a journalist with a penchant for analysis and passion for fair play. He came to the Vancouver Sun eight years ago as editorial page editor, and four years ago switched to column writing.

His beat is loosely defined. It includes those areas — taxation, regulation and much more — where government policies and business practices intersect. Plus stewardship issues involving how well we take care of public money, public resources and/or each other. Plus mass poverty and international development issues. Plus other things that catch his fancy. His main qualification, he says, is a low threshold of outrage. This is manifest in his championing of causes that range from reining in over-zealous tax collectors, to protecting suckers from usurious lenders, to helping the destitute in more than two dozen dirt-poor countries.

Cayo has has spent all his adult life in journalism or related fields. For five years he taught journalism, and for two years he ran a business-funded think-tank in Atlantic Canada. Over his career he has won more than two dozen fellowships or other prizes. He now serves as volunteer project leader for Jack Webster Foundation’s Seeing the World Through New Eyes program, which gives young or beginning B.C journalists their first chance to report on mass poverty.

Visit Cayo's blogs:
Globalization: For Better or Worse
Taxing Issues

Don Cayo

February 25th 2009

Dr. Brian Day

President of the Canadian Medical Association


Brian Day is a physician and the 2007-2008 president of the Canadian Medical Association. He is known as Dr. Profit by opponents and Dr. Prophet by supporters for his advocacy of a role for private health care.

Day was raised in Toxteth, a working-class area, of post-war Liverpool, England. He was one of five children in a family with strong Labour views. Both his mother and father were socialists. The area could be tough. He has a permanent scar on a finger from a knife fight when he was 10 years old. His father, a pharmacist, was killed in the mid-80s by a hooligans looking for drugs. He was one of very few students from his elementary school who went to university. Day attended the Liverpool Institute, the same high school as Paul McCartney and George Harrison.

He obtained post-graduate qualifications in Britain, in both internal medicine and general surgery, and in 1978 completed his training and a M.Sc. degree at UBC. In 1979, Day received the Canadian Orthopaedic Association's Edouard Samson Award, for outstanding orthopaedic research in Canada. Following a fellowship in traumatology, in Basel, Switzerland, Oxford, and Los Angeles, he began practice at the Vancouver General Hospital. After starting in trauma, he developed an interest and expertise in orthopaedic sports medicine and arthroscopy. As an orthopedic surgeon, he earned an international reputation for performing arthroscopic surgery on knees, shoulders and elbows. Day is regarded as being instrumental in the introduction of arthroscopic joint surgery in Canada.

In 1997, Day founded Cambie Surgery Centre, a for-profit Vancouver hospital. Day is the facility's medical director and is one of over 40 shareholders. The centre operates outside Canada's publicly-funded health care system and sees about 5,000 patients a year. It caters mainly to people who have third-party insurance for their operations and has also been controversial for allowing patients waiting for surgeries in the public system to "jump the queue." (excerpted from Wikipedia)


Don Cayo

January 28th 2009

Bob Rennie

Director and Chairman AlterNRG


Bob maintains relationships with major developers throughout Canada and the United States specializing in the pre-sales of condominium developments. He has played a key role in many of Vancouver’s major development projects including Woodward’s, Yaletown Park, and the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Athletes’ Village (Millennium Water).

Bob has been marketing residential real estate for over 33 years. Since 2006, Rennie Marketing Systems has consistently maintained total sales in dollar volume exceeding $1 billion per year.

Bob’s dedication to the community and various charities has earned him a Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002. His commitment to his passion for art has also allowed him to sit on the acquisitions board of the Tate Museum of Modern Art in London as well as the Deans Advisory Board to the Faculty of Arts at UBC.

Earlier this year, Bob was presented with an Honorary Doctorate from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design.


Bob Rennie


November 26th 2008

Mike Heier

Director and Chairman AlterNRG

Mr. Heier is the founder and Chairman of Trinidad Energy Services. Mr. Heier also held the position of Chief Executive Officer of Trinidad or its predecessor from June 1998 until January of 2008. He is a journeyman millwright and has been involved in the oil and gas industry in Western Canada since 1976. Mr. Heier played a key role in the growth of a family group of companies from that time until early 2000. At its peak activity level in 1997, this group of companies had combined revenues in excess of $50 million and employed just fewer than 400 people throughout western Canada.

Mr. Heier also served as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Trinity Energy from 1987 to 1998. Trinity Energy Ltd. grew from 25 barrels of oil per day to an average of over 2,000 barrels of oil per day making it one of the largest private independent oil and gas producers in the Province of Saskatchewan. During this same time frame, Trinity Energy Ltd. developed and sold over $75 million worth of oil and gas assets. Trinity Energy Ltd. became Trinity Energy Inc. in 1998 and went on to find one of the largest concentrated deposits of coal bed methane in the plains region in Alberta. This land position was successfully joint ventured with Nexen Canada in 2000. Trinity Energy Inc. operated as a public non-trading entity with approximately 135 shareholders.



October 29th 2008

Warren Buckley

President and CEO Of BC Pavilion Corporation

Warren Buckley returns to the helm of PavCo as President and CEO following a six-year term as the CEO of Suntec Singapore, International Convention and Exhibition Center.

Prior to his post overseas, he had worked with the PavCo organization for 20 years, initially as Sales Manager at BC Place and then through various senior positions at PavCo culminating to his promotion as President and CEO in the mid-90s. Warren has taught facility management at industry schools in West Virginia and Australia.

The former Chairman of the World Council of Venue Management, he is also past Director of the Asia Pacific Exhibition and Convention Council and past Board Director for the International Association of Convention Centres.



June 18th 2008

Brendan McLeod, Mighty Mike McGee, and RC Weslowski

Poets of the Spoken Word Group

Brendan McLeod has been Vancouver's SLAM poetry Champion, the Canadian SLAM poetry champion, and finished second at the 2005 World SLAM championships, held in Holland. As a novelist, he beat out over 500 original entries to win the 2006 International 3 Day Novel Contest for his book, "The Convictions of Leonard McKinley". He has performed all over the world, at over 200 poetry readings, and is a touring member of The Fugitives spoken word and music troupe.
Brendan is a high energy storyteller equally at home with social and political commentary, family histrionics, surreal love poems, obscure adventure stories, and powerful personal stories. He runs the gamut of performance poetry, making him an effective live performer and an artist well equipped for collaboration.
He has an MA in Philosophy from the University of Waterloo. See more at: http://www.brendanmcleod.ca/



Michael Matthew McGee, more commonly known as Mighty Mike McGee is an American slam poet. Born in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, in 1976 McGee is the oldest of 8 children from several marriages. McGee was born with the neural tube defect spina bifida and was never expected to walk or talk as an infant. However, his case of spina bifida is relatively mild, and McGee has been able to live a relatively normal life.
Mike McGee is an international spoken word artist, writer, performer, speaker, slam poet and comic. He has performed in thousands of venues all over North America, and was one of the first Americans ever to perform poetry at the University la Sorbonne in Paris, France. McGee began performing comedy and poetry to audiences at home in San Jose, California in 1998.
In 2003, McGee won the coveted National Poetry Slam Individual Grand Championship, besting over 300 nationally ranked poetry slammers. He has since toured over 300,000 miles throughout the United States and Canada where fellow National Poetry Slam Indy Champ, Shane Koyczan and beat-boxer poet extraordinaire C.R. Avery (of Vancouver, B.C.) joined him to form the group Tons of Fun University in 2004. They have since headlined music festivals across Canada, bringing their unique blend of poetry-laden “talk rock” to massive audiences all over the great north. In 2006, McGee became the first person to win two separate individual titles by being crowned the 2006 Individual World Poetry Slam Champion, besting over 70 of the world’s best ranked slam poets. His “stand-up poetry” has been written about in Writer’s Digest magazine, and been featured on NPR, HBO and CBC. http://www.mikemcgee.net/


RC Weslowski has been a clown mouth full of bologna in the Vancouver Poetry Scene since 1998. As a performer RC is a 5 time member of the Vancouver Poetry Slam Team and has performed at Festival across Canada, including The Calgary International Poetry Festival, The Winnipeg Writer's Festival, The Saskatchewan Festival of Words, The Vancouver Folk Festival, The Vancouver Storytelling Fesival, Music West, The Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. RC has also performed his poetry on the Eiffel Tower while snorting the remains of Orson Welles and along the Rhine River in Germany while debating Schopenhauer with a schnauser.
As an event organizer RC Weslowski was the Artistic Director for the 2005 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word and the Publicity Coordinator for the 2007 Individual World Poetry Slam. RC is the current President of Vancouver Poetry House and he is one of the main people making the Vancouver Poetry Slam run. The VPS is Canada's longest running poetry slam, now in it's 11th year. He is also on the board of the Spoken Word Arts Network (SWAN).



May 28th, 2008
Hon. William (Bill) Kitchen,
Provincial Court Judge

By way of a CV Judge William Kitchen received his law degree from the University British Columbia 1971 and then studied at the London School of Economics in 1972/1973.

Judge Kitchen return to Canada and then work for Law Reform Commission for 1973/1974. Judge Kitchen and then joined the Vancouver Prosecutor's Office and practiced as a Crown Prosecutor in 1975. Judge Kitchen joined the Defense bar and practiced as a criminal Defense attorney during the period 1975-1986. Judge Kitchen was appointed as a Judge of the Provincial Court of British Columbia in 1986 and has adjudicated numerous criminal matters at 222 Main St to date. Judge Kitchen acted as the Administrative Judge at 222 Main St. during 2003-2007.

Judge Kitchen was raised in the downtown Eastside and he has over 60 years of experience with the changes that have occurred, both to the Vancouver Eastside and the justice system, and will provide his insight into that setting and their respective issues.



April 30 th, 2008
Peter Ladner ,
Councillor, City of Vancouver

Councillor Peter Ladner was first elected to Vancouver City Council in 2002 and re-elected in 2005. Councillor Ladner is vice president and part owner of the Business in Vancouver Media Group, which he co-founded by establishing the award-winning Business in Vancouver weekly newspaper in 1989. He has more than 35 years of journalistic experience in print, radio and television and is a frequent speaker on business and community issues.

His community and business experience includes participation in the Vancouver City Planning Commission and the Capital Campaign for the Vancouver Public Library. He has also served on the boards of Leadership Vancouver, International Centre for Sustainable Cities, The UBC Alumni Association, New Media BC, the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs and the international Association of Area Business Publications.

He is the Honorary Chair of the Subaru Vancouver International Half-Iron and Sprint Triathlon.

His current local and regional appointments include:

  • Vice-Chair, Metro Vancouver board
  • Vice-Chair, Metro Vancouver Sustainable Region Initiative
  • Member, Metro Vancouver Waste Committee
  • Chair, Vancouver Standing Committee on City Services and Budgets
  • Member, Vancouver Standing Committee on Transportation and Traffic
  • Member, Vancouver Standing Committee on Planning and Environment
  • Member, Vancouver Economic Development Commission
  • Council Liaison, Food Policy Council

Councillor Ladner is a fourth generation British Columbian. The town of Ladner is named after his great-grandfather. He lives in Kitsilano with his wife, Erica. They have four children ranging in age from 19 to 28. He is a long-time commuter cyclist as well as a keen runner, skier, kayaker and singer. He holds his age-group record for the 50 km Knee-Knackering North Shore Trail Run.

peter ladner

March 26th, 2008
Sam Sullivan,
Mayor of the City of Vancouver

Since accepting the Olympic Flag at the closing ceremony of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games, Sam Sullivan has become one of the world’s most recognized mayors.

Mayor Sullivan is a recipient of the nation’s highest honour, the Order of Canada, for his community service on behalf of marginalized people. He is the founder of six non-profit organizations that have improved the lives of thousands of North Americans with disabilities.

After being elected to Vancouver City Council in 1993, Sullivan served as a Councillor for 12 years. He was elected Mayor in November 2005.

Among the initiatives he has introduced is EcoDensity, an innovative policy to reduce the City’s impact on the environment, reduce housing prices and improve the vitality of neighbourhoods through high quality densification. The Mayor has also introduced Project Civil City (PDF, 1.7Mb), a broad initiative aimed at improving public order and civility on Vancouver streets which includes four key goals to significantly reduce homelessness and incidences of crime and public disorder in the City by 2010.

A believer in life-long learning, Mayor Sullivan has devoted himself to studying a broad range of topics. He obtained a Business Administration degree from Simon Fraser University and has also taught himself the basics of several languages including Cantonese.

He is an avid sailor using a specially designed boat he helped to create, and also enjoys hiking in the Coast and Rocky Mountains using an assistive device he co-invented.

Mayor Sullivan’s achievements are noteworthy due to the fact that they were accomplished since he became a quadriplegic after breaking his neck in a skiing accident at the age of 19.

sullivan pic

February 27th, 2008
David Baines,
Reporter and columnist, Vancouver Sun

David Baines has been working as a reporter and columnist with The Vancouver Sun for the past 22 years. His beat is the Vancouver stock market and white-collar crime in general. His stories not only focus on perpetrators, but also professional facilitators such as lawyers, accountants and geologists, and the regulatory bodies that are supposed to be protecting the public interest. He has been sued 18 times, none successfully.

He has won four National Newspaper Awards, second highest in Canadian history.

David Baines earned his BA from Queen's and his MBA from Western.



January 30th, 2008
Adrian Dix, MLA,
Vancouver Kingsway

Adrian Dix was elected as the MLA for Vancouver Kingsway on May 17, 2005. Adrian is the Opposition Caucus Deputy House Leader, and serves as Opposition Critic for Health. Adrian has extensive experience as a non-profit director, education community leader, government strategist and media commentator.
Prior to the 2005 election, Adrian travelled the province for five years as Executive Director of Canadian Parents for French - BC & Yukon Branch, a non-profit organization promoting language education. Adrian is a commentator on public policy whose regular columns were published in the Victoria Times-Colonist and The Source, a Vancouver multicultural newspaper. Adrian also served as the Chief of Staff to Premier Glen Clark from 1996 to 1999.

Adrian grew up in Vancouver, graduated from University of British Columbia and lives in the Collingwood neighbourhood.

Here's what the press has to say about our next guest:

"the most effective NDP MLA" Keith Baldrey, Global TV.

"Adrian Dix, the most effective member of the Opposition shadow cabinet, was shifting to health. He'd been devastatingly effective in his previous role as critic for children and family development. His almost-daily exposés led to a shakeup in the ministry and an independent review by Ted Hughes -- whose findings ultimately embarrassed the premier himself."Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun.

"James' most significant change was to shift Adrian Dix from children and families critic to health. Dix was extraordinarily effective. There are two goals for critics, or there should be. They certainly want to score points for their side and make the other guys look bad. But they also have a chance to produce meaningful improvements in the way government works. Dix's efforts highlighted the Liberals' failures in the children's ministry. They also produced Ted Hughes' review of the ministry, the creation of an independent advocate for children and an overhaul of ministry management. By moving him to health, James confirms that's going to be an NDP priority." Paul Willcocks, Victoria Times-Colonist


November 28, 2007
Dr. Gail Anderson,
Forensic Entomologist, SFU

Dr. Anderson graduated from Manchester University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology. She then pursued a Masters degree and a PhD in Pest Management at SFU. Today, Dr. Anderson is an associate professor in the Criminology department at SFU. You might be asking yourself how her degrees in Biology transfer to a professorship in criminology. The answer lies in Dr. Anderson's innovative application of her training in entomology. One of her major research interests is in forensic entomology, which is the use of insects in death investigations. Dr. Anderson is one of two full-time forensic entomologists in Canada (the second being a former student). Her work has been featured on several television programs, including "Go Deep", "Journeys," "Forbidden Places" and "The Nature of Things".

Dr. Anderson is internationally known for her pioneering work. She actively handles forensic death cases for the RCMP and city police with whom she has been involved in over 130 homicide investigations. Dr. Anderson uses insects to determine the elapsed time since death; information that is often vital to the successful resolution of murder cases. Dr. Anderson is developing a canada-wide database on the habits of flesh-eating insects, a tool which has been a great help to forensic scientists in pinpointing both the time and cause of death. She was also involved in establishing one of the first North American labs founded solely to refine the ways that insect biology can be used to help solve crimes.

In 1995, Dr. Anderson was awarded the Simon Fraser University Alumni Association Outstanding Alumni Award for Academic Achievement. In March of 2001, she was named one of six leading international innovators in the field of crime and punishment by TIME Magazine.


October 2007: Roger Woodhead, Ph.D, P.Eng.
Technical Director, Canada Line

Roger Woodhead has worked for both consulting engineering and construction companies for the past 30 years. He was Chief Engineer with Dillingham Construction when it was one of the largest construction companies in BC. From 1990 to 1995 he worked in Newfoundland for the design/build contractor on the $1.5 billion Hibernia Gravity Base Structure (GBS). Roger returned to Vancouver in 1995 and since then has worked on an eclectic mix of projects including:

  • Design Manager and Project Director for SNC-Lavalin on a $50 million cut and cover tunnel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Project Construction Engineer for three “Sinking Caissons” and several sheet piled excavations for conveyor tunnels at Vancouver Wharves.
  • Quality Systems Manager on the $1.2 billion SkyTrain Millennium Line.

Roger is a P.Eng. in BC, a structural P.E. in Washington and an Internationally registered Lead Quality Auditor. He is an Adjunct Professor in Construction Management at UBC. He is also a tutor for the University of Bath M Sc in Construction Management which is being delivered in North American by BCIT. He was selected by the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering to present its National Lecture Tour in 1997-8. In 2007 the American Concrete Institute presented him with its Construction Award for the best paper published in 2006.

He is currently Technical Director for SNC Lavalin Inc. the Engineering Procurement and Construction Contractor for the Canada Line Project. In this role he is responsible for overseeing all engineering and quality management on the $1.9 billion Public Private Partnership which is presently the largest infrastructure project in Canada.


Past Meetings (2006-07 season)

June 2007: Dwight Jefferson, 2004 Vic to Maui racer

May 28th, 2007: Jamie Graham, Chief Constable of the Vancouver Police Department

April 25th, 2007: Bob Lenarduzzi, Vancouver Whitecaps

March 28, 2007:Dr. Carlos Ventura, Director of the Earthquake Engineering Research Facility at UBC

February 27th, 2007: Hon. John Bouck, Former member of the BC Supreme court

January 2007: Olga Ilich, BC Minister of Labour and Citizens’ Services

November: Christopher Gaze, Artistic Diredtor, Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival

October: Russel J Anthony, President, Vancouver Convention Center Expansion Project

Past Meetings (2005-06 season)

June 22nd, 2006 - Alister Browne, Ph.D. (philosophy), Faculty of Medecine of UBC

May 25th, 2006 - John F. Helliwell, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and UBC

April 26th, 2006: Warren Gill, Vice President, University Relations – Simon Fraser University

March 2006: James W. Wright, Director and CEO of Vancouver Opera

February 22nd, 2006 - Michael Geller, B.Arch MAIBC, MCIP, President and CEO SFU Community Trust

January 25th, 2006 - Jonathan Manthorpe, Vancouver Sun Columnist

November 30 th, 2005 - Ms. Faye Wightman, president and CEO of the Vancouver Foundation
October 26th, 2005 - Geoff Plant, Q.C., Partner at Heenan Blaiki

Past Meetings (2004-05 season)

June 22nd, 2005- Larry W. Campbell, Mayor of Vancouver -

May 25th, 2005- Peter Armstrong, President and CEO of Rocky Mountaineer

April 27 , 2005 - Dr. David W. Strangway, O.C., Ph.D., Founder, Chair and C.E.O., Sea to Sky University

March 30, 2005 - Pat Jacobsen, CEO of Translink

February 23rd, 2005 - "King" Richard Brodeur, Hockey player extraordinaire, former Canuck (1970-88) NHL Goaltender 1972-1988.

January 26th, 2005 - Dr. Johanne Cashman, Pathologist, Head of Research at ARC Pharmaceuticals Inc., Vancouver

November 24 th, 2004 - Lorne Mayencourt, MLA Burrard
October 27th, 2004 - John Morgan, retired President and CEO of Labatt Breweries

Past Meetings (2003-04 season)

June30th, 2004 - Arthur Erickson, Architect, Principal of Arthur Erickson Architectural Corp., Vancouver
May 26th, 2004 - Michael Stevenson, President and Vice Chancellor of SImon Fraser University
April 28th, 2004 - Mr. Richard Mahler
March 31st, 2004 - Mr. David Baines, Vancouver Sun
February 25th, 2004 - Dr. John McDonald, chairman and CEO of Day 4 Energy, Inc
January 28th, 2004 - Ian Pitfield, BC Supreme Court Justice
November 27th, 2003 -The Honourable Lloyd Axworthy, P.C., O.C., O.M., Ph.D.
October 29th , 2003 - Jim Green - Vancouver City Councilor

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