Council Members

The Climate Solutions and Clean Growth Advisory Council is made up of leaders representing First Nations, environmental organizations, industry, academia, labour and local government.

Quick links to members:

Council Co-Chairs

Merran Smith, Executive Director, Clean Energy Canada

Merran Smith

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, Senior Vice President of Sustainability and External Affairs, Teck Resources Limited

Marcia Smith










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.

Council Members

Taylor Bachrach, Mayor, Town of Smithers

Taylor Bachrach










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.

Dave Collyer, past President & Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers

Dave Collyer










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, Climate Policy Manager, City of Vancouver

Matt Horne

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, past President, BC and Yukon Territory Building and Construction Trades Council

Lee Loftus

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, BC Area Director, Unifor

Gavin McGarrigle

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, Environmental Economist, David Suzuki Foundation

Michelle Molnar

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, Professor, Simon Fraser University School of Public Policy

Nancy Olewiler

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, Mayor, District of Tofino

Josie Osborne

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.

Danielle (DJ) Pohl, President, Fraser Valley Labour Council

Danielle Pohl

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.

Sybil Seitzinger, Executive Director, Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, University of Victoria

Sybil Seitzinger

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.

Aaron Sumexheltza, Chief, Lower Nicola Indian Band

Aaron Sumexheltza

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, A/Director, Pembina Institute

Karen Tam Wu

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, Chair of the Ktunaxa Nation

Kathryn Teneese

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, President & Chief Executive Officer, BC Tech Association

Jill Tipping photo

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, Co-Founder and Co-Director of CityHive 

Tesicca Truong

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, President and Chief Executive Officer, Council of Forest Industries 

Susan Yurkovich

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.

B.C. Government (Ex Officio)

Mark Zacharias, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy

Mark Zacharias, Deputy Minister

Mark Zacharias was appointed Deputy Minister of Environment in 2017. He is responsible for: parks and protected areas, climate action, environmental assessment, environmental protection, environmental sustainability and the conservation officer service. He joined the provincial government in 1995 working on land and marine planning issues and has since worked in eight different ministries in a variety of increasingly senior capacities. Since 2008 he has held ADM positions in post-secondary education, land management, and environment within the BC public service. Mark is also an Adjunct Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Victoria and Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre.