Climate Solutions and Clean Growth Advisory Council
The Climate Solutions and Clean Growth Advisory Council will provide strategic advice to government on climate action and clean economic growth. It includes members from First Nations, environmental organizations, industry, academia, labour and local government.
The advisory council will also report on progress towards meeting legislated carbon pollution reduction targets.
- Council Co-Chairs
- Council Members
- B.C. Government (Ex Officio)
Merran Smith is a fellow at Simon Fraser University and the founder of Clean Energy Canada, a leading think tank advancing clean growth and climate solutions. She works with industry, government, and civil society influencers to solve pressing social and ecological challenges. Her leadership in the landmark Great Bear Rainforest conservation agreement helped ensure the protection of thousands of kilometres of coastal ecosystem. Merran is a Canadian representative on the International Clean Energy Ambassador Corps and is the recipient of numerous distinctions, including the 2016 Wendy McDonald ‘Community Catalyst’ award from the Vancouver Board of Trade and the ‘Clean 16’ award in 2014 for leadership in clean capitalism.
Marcia Smith is the Senior Vice President, Sustainability and External Affairs with Teck Resources. Under her guidance in the areas of health and safety, sustainability, environment, communities, government relations, corporate affairs and relationships with Indigenous Peoples, Teck has been named to the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations, as well as the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and FTSE4Good Global Index. Marcia is currently a representative for Teck on the International Council on Mining and Metals and is Chair of the Business Council of British Columbia. Marcia serves on the board and executive council of the Mining Association of Canada and is active on the Council for Clean Capitalism.
Taylor Bachrach has served in local government since 2008 and as the Mayor of Smithers since 2011. He is a founding member of the BC Mayor's Caucus, a member of B.C.’s Municipal Climate Leadership Council, and a director with the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako. Taylor also owns and runs a graphic design and web development company in Smithers, where he lives with his wife and two daughters.
David Collyer is past President and CEO of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, a position he held from 2008 until 2014. Prior to being President of CAPP, Mr. Collyer was President and Country Chair for Shell in Canada. During his 30 year career with Shell, Mr. Collyer held a broad range of technical, business, marketing and senior leadership roles in the oil and gas industry. He currently provides consulting services related to the Canadian energy sector and serves on a number of not-for-profit and corporate boards.
Matt Horne is the City of Vancouver’s climate policy manager. He is responsible for delivering on the City’s commitment to have 100% of the energy used in Vancouver come from renewable sources before 2050. Matt previously worked for the Pembina Institute, supporting policy in B.C. and across Canada to reduce carbon pollution, improve air quality, and grow the clean energy economy. Matt has worked extensively with energy-economy models designed to estimate the costs and benefits of climate change policy in Canada. He has a Master of Resource Management degree from Simon Fraser University and a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering degree from Dalhousie University.
Lee Loftus is the Business Manager for the BC Insulators Union and the former President of the BC Building Trades Council. He is also a member on the Collaborating Researcher and Steering Committee for the Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces Project. This project, an initiative through York University and Simon Fraser University, involves working across an international group to explore ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Lee is also an active member of GreenJobs BC and the BC Federation of Labour’s Climate Action Working Group. Lee has been a leading advocate for building retrofits as a way of creating green jobs and increasing energy efficiency in buildings.
Gavin McGarrigle is the BC Area Director for Unifor, the largest private-sector union in Canada. Gavin co-chairs the BC Federation of Labour’s Climate Action Working Group and has been very active in promoting public transit as part of the solution to addressing climate change. Gavin served as the co-chair of the Better Transit and Transportation Coalition, comprising union, business and environmental groups that were promoting public transit. He is also a vice-president of the BC Federation of Labour.
Michelle Molnar works at the David Suzuki Foundation as an Environmental Economist and Policy Analyst, where she focuses on the conservation of natural capital using various tools of ecological economics, policy analysis, and public outreach. She teaches Introduction to Ecological Economics at the British Columbia Institute of Technology through the Sustainable Business Leadership Program and sits on the board of the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics. Michelle has an M.A. in Public Policy from Simon Fraser University and in Philosophy from the University of Western Ontario.
Nancy Olewiler is an economist and professor of public policy at Simon Fraser University. Nancy served as Director of SFU’s School of Public Policy since its founding in 2003 until 2014, and Chair of the Economics Department from 1995 to 2000. She has a PhD in Economics from the University of British Columbia. Her areas of research include natural resource and environmental policy, the impact of environmental regulation on the economy, and environmental tax policy. She has published in academic journals, written textbooks, edited books, and produced numerous reports for the Canadian federal and provincial governments. She has served on the board of directors for BC Hydro and TransLink.
Josie Osborne has been the Mayor of Tofino since 2013. She was raised on Vancouver Island and earned a BSc in Marine Biology from the University of British Columbia and a Masters of Resource Management from Simon Fraser University. In 1998, she moved to Tofino to work as a fisheries biologist for the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. She has served as a board member for the Raincoast Education Society and the Tofino Botanical Gardens Foundation where, as a woman scientist, she saw it as her responsibility to inspire girls and young women to consider science as a career.
Gordon’s traditional name is Hya-quatcha, named after his great grandfather from Scianew, the salmon people. Elected Chief of the T’Sou-ke Nation for the past 10 years, he sits on many boards encompassing the Salish Sea and currently serves as a Director of the Lands Advisory Board. Previously, Gordon was a back country operations manager for Parks Canada’s West Coast Trail. He is a Coast Salish carver, artist, traditional singer and captain of T’Souke traditional dug-out canoes. Gordon and his wife Marcella reside in the village of Sia-osun, and have 6 children and 6 grandchildren. He is working closely with the community in renewable energy, food security, cultural renaissance and economic development.
Danielle (DJ) Pohl is President of the Fraser Valley Labour Council and a member of the BC Federation of Labour’s Climate Action Working Group. DJ works for the Prosecution Service of BC in Chilliwack and is a member of the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union. Within the BCGEU she is an elected local officer and is appointed to the Provincial Executive Environment Committee where she helps set policy and direction for environmental issues. DJ is also passionate about water rights and has been active in Chilliwack's WaterWealth Project. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice and sits on the board of directors for Chilliwack Restorative Justice.
Judith Sayers is a member of the Hupacasath First Nation, President of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council and a strategic adviser. She also serves on Clean Energy BC’s Board of Directors and is an adjunct professor for the Schools of Environmental Studies and Business at UVIC. As Chief of the Hupacasath First Nation for 14 years and Chief Negotiator for 15 years, Judith focused on restoring and rehabilitating Hupacasath territory. Judith has a business and law degree, an honourary Doctor of Laws from Queen’s University, and a long career practicing law in Alberta and B.C. She is the recipient of human rights and leadership awards, and was inducted into the Aboriginal Business Hall of Fame.
Sybil Seitzinger, Executive Director, Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, University of Victoria
Dr. Sybil Seitzinger is the executive director of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions and a professor in the School of Environmental Studies at UVIC. She holds a PhD in biological oceanography from the University of Rhode Island and is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her research has centered on local and global impacts of human activities on nutrient biogeochemistry in coastal marine and freshwater ecosystems. She has been the executive director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme based in Sweden, director of the Rutgers/NOAA Cooperative Marine Education and Research Program, and visiting professor at Rutgers University in the US.
Chief Aaron Sumexheltza (formerly Aaron Sam) was elected in 2013, and served on the Lower Nicola Indian Band Council between 2007 and 2010. His work includes capacity building, governance, Chief and Council support, communications, community engagement and Nlaka’pamux Nation Affairs for a community of more than 1,200 members. He is the Chairperson of the Lower Nicola Indian Band Development Corporation, which has been successful in creating jobs for community members. He has practised as a lawyer for more than 10 years and has a degree in Environmental Studies. He is currently an elected member of the BC Aboriginal Justice Council.
Karen Tam Wu is the acting B.C. director at the Pembina Institute, Canada’s leading clean energy think-tank. She is also the director of the institute’s Buildings and Urban Solutions Program. Through cross-sectoral consultation and engagement, Karen leads initiatives to advance clean energy solutions and improve energy efficiency in B.C. and across Canada. Previously, Karen worked with First Nations, communities, government, and industry on important conservation initiatives in B.C. A registered professional forester, Karen worked with forest companies worldwide for over a decade developing and implementing sustainable forest management systems.
Kathryn Teneese is the Chief Negotiator for the Ktunaxa Kinbasket Treaty Financing Society and the Chair of the Ktunaxa Nation Council, which represents 1,200 Ktunaxa Nation members in four communities. Kathyrn is active in making Ktunaxa Nation a visible part of local communities, from participating in economic development to revitalizing language and culture. She has been instrumental in building relationships and negotiating an Incremental Treaty Agreement. She has served on the Board of Directors for the New Relationship Trust, dedicated to strengthening First Nations in B.C. The Ktunaxa Nation Council’s commitment to environmental stewardship includes the installation of a 119 panel solar array and a public electric vehicle charging station at its government building.
Jill Tipping became the President and CEO of BC Tech Association in 2017. She was previously VP Operations and CFO with Schneider Electric Solar, a global supplier of solar power solutions. Jill started her career as a director with Deloitte in London, U.K. In 2006, she joined Xantrex Technologies as Director of Finance and played a pivotal role in its strategic sale to Schneider Electric. She holds an MA in Economic History from St. Andrews University and an MSc in Management from Stanford. Jill is a strong advocate of BC's technology sector. In 2014, she was nominated for the Association of Women in Finance’s PEAK award for Excellence in the Private Sector.
Tesicca Truong is a sustainability activist and engagement innovator. Her passions lie at the intersection of youth empowerment, citizen engagement and community building. She kick-started Vancouver Youth4Tap, a movement to promote tap over bottled water and co-founded the Vancouver School Board Sustainability Conference. She has served on the Mayor’s Engaged City Task Force, the Simon Fraser Student Society, SFU Senate, and as board chair of Sustainable SFU. For her work, she was awarded the Vancouver’s Greenest City Leadership Award and the President’s Leadership in Sustainability Award from SFU. Tesicca has also been named on Top 25 and Top 30 under 30 lists by Corporate Knights, North American Association for Environmental Education, and Starfish Canada.
Susan Yurkovich is the President and CEO of the Council of Forest Industries. She also serves as President of the BC Lumber Trade Council representing the majority of BC lumber producers on trade matters. Prior to her position with COFI, she spent nearly 20 years in the resource sector in BC including as Executive Vice President at BC Hydro and Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Canfor Corporation. She currently serves as a Director of the Business Council of BC and member of the Faculty Advisory Board for the Sauder School of Business at UBC. In 2015, Business in Vancouver named her one of BC’s most Influential Women in Business.
Bobbi Plecas was appointed Deputy Minister, Climate Change in the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy in 2017. In this role, Bobbi has responsibility for meeting British Columbia’s greenhouse gas reduction targets by coordinating climate action activities across government and with stakeholders, and providing executive leadership and strategic advice on the implementation of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. Prior to this, Bobbi was Associate Deputy Minister, Corporate Initiatives in the Office of the Premier. She has also served as Assistant Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Advanced Education and the Ministry of Citizens’ Services. Bobbi has over 25 years of diverse government experience.
Susanna Laaksonen-Craig was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister, Climate Action Secretariat in the Ministry of Environment in 2016. She was Head of the Climate Action Secretariat since 2014. Susanna has had a variety of roles in the B.C. government including as an Executive Director in the Timber Operations, Pricing and First Nations, and Resource Stewardship Divisions at the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. Susanna is originally a forest economist, with a Master’s degree from the University of Helsinki. She went on to receive a Ph.D. in Wildland Resource Science from the University of California at Berkeley. Susanna is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Forestry.