Former Nature Canada President appointed federal Environment Commissioner

Our heartfelt congratulations go out to Julie Gelfand for her recent appointment to Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainability. On behalf of the Auditor General, she will be responsible for providing analysis and recommendations to parliamentarians on the federal government’s efforts to protect the environment and foster sustainable development.

Julie Gelfand has a long, rich history with Nature Canada, having served as President from 1992- 2008. She continues to be an ardent supporter of Nature Canada’s efforts to conserve and protect habitat and wildlife in Canada through her involvement in Women for Nature. As Co-Chair of Women for Nature, Julie is a driving force behind this unique partnership of motivated and influential women who champion Nature Canada’s work to their network of colleagues and friends.

On her recent appointment to Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainability, Ian Davidson, Executive Director of Nature Canada remarked, “This is a very noteworthy appointment and a testament to Julie’s abilities – we are very proud, both in her accomplishments but also because of her leadership in Women for Nature.”

Under Julie’s leadership, Nature Canada led the struggle to win increased recognition of protected areas, establish many new parks and marine conservation areas protecting hundreds of kilometers of wild nature, and bring about new federal legislation to protect nature, including the Species at Risk Act in 2002, among several others. While Julie was President, Nature Canada also completed the significant undertaking of identifying Canada’s Important Bird Areas, and helped provide tens of thousands of children with experiences in nature through the Parks and People Program.

She was instrumental in growing Canada’s commitment to BirdLife International, the global alliance of conservation organizations working together for the world’s birds and people. Her dedication to Canada’s community of naturalists has helped strengthen ties with like-minded groups everywhere, ensuring conservation success through effective partnerships. Julie created and chaired the Green Budget Coalition, one of Canada’s most successful environmental coalitions working to promote ecological fiscal reform.