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AGM 2014

Nature Canada’s 2014 Annual General Meeting was held on Friday September 26, 2014 beginning at 11:30 AM Eastern time. The Meeting was held at the Royal York Hotel, 100 Front Street West, Toronto, Ontario.

Nature Canada’s Annual General Meeting is an opportunity to receive a report on Nature Canada’s successes in conserving nature in the past year, review the audited financial statements, appoint the auditor for fiscal 2014-15 and vote on the slate of Nature Canada’s Board of Directors.

Nature Canada provides, through the use of proxy votes, the options for members unable to travel or for those concerned about the cost of travel or its effects on our environment to participate without these concerns.

Your vote is important. This year, members will have a choice of voting in person or by using a traditional proxy card. Your proxy must be returned by September 21, 2014.

Completed proxy forms can be sent to Nature Canada using any one of the following modes:

#1. By email:Scan and email to: info@naturecanada.ca #2. By mail:75 Albert Street, Suite 300
Ottawa ON K1P 5E7
#3. By fax:Fax to 613 562-3371.


 If you are not yet a member of Nature Canada but would like to become one, you can sign up here.


Biographies of the slate of candidates for election to the Board of Directors:

Ken Thorpe

Ken Thorpe is a long time birder and has serves on the boards and executives of several  charities. A Certified Financial Planner (CFP) by profession, he served terms as  president  and as Treasurer of the board of the Responsible Investment Association, Canada’s national organization that promotes  responsible investing.  He is married to Janice Linder, a sometime birder and alltime nature lover;  they appreciate nature together from background birds to exotic species particularly  when vacationing.  Currently Ken is working with Nature Canada conservation staff and Earth Values Inc. on the Binocular Exchange Canada project that collects used field equipment and passes it on to appropriate projects in Latin America, IBA stewards in the James Bay lowlands and to a youth -at-risk camp. And  on a recent trip to Texas Ken hit the ABA  area 650 milestone.

Richard Yank

Richard Yank has recently relocated from Australia to Ottawa at the end of a 33-year career with Alcan Inc. Yank joined Alcan Inc after graduating from the University of Ottawa with a BA.Sc in Chemical Engineering. He held a variety of positions within the company and retired as the president of Alcan’s bauxite and alumina operations in the Pacific Region, based in Brisbane. A former Nature Canada director, Yank has been a guest speaker at international conferences on the topics of aluminium recycling, industry initiatives in climate change, and the future of the industry. He has specific interests in wilderness and habitat conservation, biological diversity, and a global response to climate change, and hopes to contribute by sharing his knowledge and experience of management and business.

Joan Czapalay

Raised in rural Nova Scotia, Joan Czapalay is an avid naturalist, educator and conservationist. She is a committed member and representative of Nature Canada and Nature Nova Scotia. She was President of Nature Nova Scotia (2000-2005), a former Director of the Nova Scotia Bird Society and former Provincial Coordinator of the Ducks Unlimited Greenwings program. Joan is also an active participant of the Regional Affiliates Meetings for Atlantic Canada and is one of the original board members of the Young Naturalist Club of Nova Scotia. She holds an M.Ed in Education Administration and post graduate courses in Language Acquisition and Communication, and continues to enrich her understanding of biological sciences through university courses. She is presently a supervisor of student teachers for the Mount St. Vincent University and to this day continues to engage youth with the natural world while instilling conservation ethic.

Sheefra Brisbin

Sheefra Brisbin is a partner of Greenbridge Consulting Group a government relations and strategic communications firm with a special focus on health and safety, environment and business issues.

Sheefra’s interest and passion for the environment began when she was appointed publisher and editor of Communique, the national industry publication for the Petroleum Association for Conservation of the Canadian Environment (PACE) and   subsequently the Canadian Petroleum Products Institute (CPPI).   She was a recipient of the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Conservation and Protection of the Canadian Environment’ Award by both PACE and CPPI.

Her experience and reputation at CPPI led her to be recruited by the federal Minister of the Environment to head Environment Canada’s Conservation and Protection Program.    During her tenure with the Minister of the Environment, Sheefra immersed herself in a wide range of issues that included Ozone Depletion, Global Warming, Climate Change and Pollution Prevention policy.

Sheefra’s leadership was acknowledged by the Minister when chosen to attend the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone layer in Copenhagen, Denmark.

In 1995, Sheefra founded Greenbridge and in this capacity she led a delegation through three cities in India and organized the Asian Regional Workshops on Ozone Depleting Substances Phase Out on behalf of Environment Canada, the CII and the World Bank.

More recently, Sheefra organized a panel on energy production, environmental responsibility and economic growth on behalf of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s Science and Technology Committee in the United States.   Sheefra also organized for three consecutive years Earth Hour for the City of Ottawa, for which she received the Agent of Change Medal from the Mayor of Ottawa.

Sandra Schwartz

Sandra Schwartz was appointed VP, Policy Advocacy of the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) in November 2010. As VP, Policy Advocacy, Ms. Schwartz oversees the association’s communications, public affairs and government relations on issues of national interest to the Canadian electricity industry.

Prior to joining the Canadian Electricity Association, Ms. Schwartz served in the Office of the Leader of the Opposition as policy advisor on environment and energy issues.  She was previously employed as the Director of Policy and Government Relations with the Canadian Wind Energy Association, and was employed for several years as policy advisor to the federal Minister of Environment where she specialized in energy policy, climate change and the federal clean air agenda.

Ms. Schwartz has also worked both as a regulatory affairs consultant to federal government departments as well as a government relations consultant to several national voluntary sector organizations.

Tuma Young

Tuma Young was born into the Squirrel clan for the Rabbit clan and grew up in the Malagawatch First Nation. He was raised traditional by his parents, the late William Fred Young and Veronica Phillips, trapping, hunting, fishing and gathering for his family.

Tuma subsequently obtained a Diploma in Addictions Counseling (Dalhousie University), a B.A. in Mi’kmaq Studies (Cape Breton University), an LL.B. (University of British Columbia), and an LL.M in Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy (University of Arizona). He is currently completing his SJD (Dalhousie/University of Arizona).

Tuma became the first Mi’kmaq-speaking lawyer in Nova Scotia when he was called to the bar in 2001. He currently teaches as an Assistant Professor at Cape Breton University.

Tuma’s community involvement is extensive and includes the following activities:

  • Board Member, Nova Scotia Bird Society
  • Senator, Cape Breton University
  • Pro Bono Legal Clinic, Cape Breton University
  • Mi’kmaq Traditional Knowledge holder in plants, birds and medicines (Mi’kmaq Ethnobotanist)
  • Member, Photographic Guild of Nova Scotia (particular expertise-photographing birds)
  • Member, Canadian Water Network Research Project: Integration of Traditional & Western Knowledge for First Nation, Inuit, & Metis Water Management.

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