January 12, 2023
Dear Member of CARP Nova Scotia,
As Chair of the Nova Scotia Chapter of the Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP-NS), I am pleased to provide an update regarding the evolution of our Environment Committee.
The Environment Committee was initially established in 2010 as a made-in-Nova Scotia response to CARP’s national priority on encouraging healthy lifestyles amongst seniors, in part through promotion of walking and hiking in outdoor settings. This priority interest soon expanded to identifying trails and parks where outdoor activities could be accessed and enjoyed, and in turn to a growing understanding and appreciation of the role of Nova Scotia’s parks, nature reserves and wilderness areas in protecting our natural environment.
More broadly, we are all aware that the environment has emerged as a predominant issue and concern, not only globally as we see and hear almost every day in the media but also provincially and locally based on direct observation and experience within our communities and daily lives. As seniors (or as members approaching senior years), our thoughts therefore increasingly turn to the environmental legacy that our generation will leave to our grandchildren and those that follow.
In recognition of the environmental challenges ahead and following a slowdown of activity during the height of COVID, the Environment Committee has undergone a process of re-building through the addition of new members, who are contributing added perspectives and energies. A particular priority of the renewal process has been the updating and refinement of the Committee’s mandate, through the adoption of statement of mission and vision which can be viewed immediately below.
This effort is supported by the Board, and members are invited to provide any feedback that you may wish to offer. James Boyer (firstname.lastname@example.org), as committee chair, will be pleased to receive any comments or questions that may be advanced.
By way of introductions, bios of current committee members can be accessed by scrolling further down.
Regards and best wishes for the New Year.
Ron Swan, President/Chairman of the Board
CARP Nova Scotia Chapter
Environment Committee – (CARP-Nova Scotia)
To advocate for the responsible stewardship of Nova Scotia’s natural environment.
In the broader context of the world facing the twin global crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, our mission is to advocate for environmental policy and action, by government (federal, provincial and municipal), the private (corporate and small business) and not-for-profit sectors and individual Nova Scotians, in support of:
Our intended focus and emphasis is on environmental issues and opportunities that are provincial in scope and/or of provincial significance. However local issues also may be considered where exceptional circumstances involve broader implications or precedent-setting circumstances.
Recognize and understand the environmental issues and challenges of our time, including:
CARP Nova Scotia, as a provincial chapter of the Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP), subscribes to the mandate of its national counterpart.
‘CARP is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to a new vision of aging for Canada, promoting social change that will bring financial security, equitable access to health care and freedom from discrimination. CARP’s mission is to promote and protect the interests, rights and quality of life for Canadians as we age’.
To date, the national mandate has focused primarily on social and economic values and benefits perceived as being directly relevant to aging Canadians. The Nova Scotia chapter’s environmental advocacy committee, the first amongst all 27 provincial and local chapters across Canada, recognizes that social and economic well-being ultimately are dependent upon the quality of the environment as the foundational natural asset upon which we all depend, and therefore was formed to advocate for policies and actions that support the natural integrity and health of the environment – locally, provincially, nationally, internationally and, ultimately, globally.
The CARP-NS interest in the environment reflects the age and perspective and of its membership, which includes seniors and others 45 years of age and older. At this stage of life, senior generations have born witness and contributed to the evolution of the current state of our environment and, looking forward, bear responsibility for constructive action toward the legacy that will left to our grandchildren and those who will follow.
The Committee operates essentially autonomously, but within the framework of the CARP-NS organization, by:
In practical terms, we take actions as follows:
James is the founding member of the Environment Committee and current Chair. James had a distinguished career as an educator for 32 years. He has a Masters of Education from MSVU, an Education Degree from Acadia, and a Bachelor Degree in Arts from Trent University. James is a founding member of the Friends of BMBCLS and a long-time supporter of EAC. James is a proud father and outdoor enthusiast. James’ early love of nature was developed over his formative years on canoe/camping trips exploring the Magnetawan, French, Lady Evelyn, and Miramichi Rivers. He is concerned for the marginal groups that will suffer the most during our climate crisis. He hopes a cultural paradigm shift will occur that views clean air and water as basic human rights for all.
Having retired as the founding director of Nova Scotia’s Protected Areas Program, Dale has remained engaged in a wide variety of related public policy and planning initiatives. Following his return to the province from Ontario where he attended university and began his career, he played a direct role in essentially all facets of provincial parks and protected areas planning during his tenure with the provincial civil service. As a volunteer since retirement, he has continued to pursue his many interests ranging from environmental conservation to community development. Dale attended Lakehead, Guelph, Waterloo and Dalhousie universities, where he studied geography, land use planning and public administration. He is the proud father of two children and grandfather of five.
Carol has carried an active concern for the harm humans are doing to the natural world since she heard the original Club of Rome folks present ‘The Limits to Growth’ (Montreal 1974). She has recycled –and supported many environmental causes– since then, though she’s not yet a vegetarian! Starting working life as a computer programmer, her later training was in real estate appraisal and then experience in community development with the City of Halifax. Since 1983, she’s lived in West Hants, working on permaculture and improving the natural habitat on her small acreage. She networks with many organizations, locally CAPE (Citizens Acting to Protect the Environment), Don’t Spray Nova Scotia, and KAIROS (Canadian churches working for ecological justice and human rights)
Charles served as an Anglican parish priest for 35 years, ministering to congregations in Ontario and Nova Scotia. Since retiring in 2020 he has become increasingly aware of the sixth mass extinction and of impending economic and societal collapse. At the same time, he rejoices in the deconstruction of old cultural norms that have become toxic and is excited about the transformation of human consciousness.
To help bring about the needed changes in business and government, he is exploring ways to engage in the long work of helping to shift public attitudes through education and advocacy. He acts from the conviction that we are all in this together and everything we do makes a difference.
Charles nurtures his connection with the natural world through hiking, sailing, and amateur astronomy.
Prior to retirement, Susan enjoyed a long career in public and post-secondary education during which she fulfilled a variety of teaching and administrative roles and published a number of professional articles and books. Her involvement in many efforts to effect systemic change led her to complete a doctoral degree with a focus on organizational change and leadership. She is acutely aware of the urgent need for action to address the existential threat of climate change and biodiversity loss but is cognizant of the socio-economic, cultural, and institutional practices that impede efforts to protect our fragile and precious natural environment. Participation on this committee reflects her desire to contribute her knowledge, skills, and prior experiences to positive advocacy and action.
Alan is a filmmaker with a keen interest in First Nations culture and the teaching of Albert Marshall, a respected Mi’kmaw Elder whose concept of two-eyed seeing recognizes the strength of Indigenous ways of knowing and the strength of Western science and uses both competencies together. Alan’s documentaries include “The Beauty of my People” (NFB) on the life and work of Ojibway artist Arthur Shilling, “October Stranger” based on the writings of George Kenny, Ojibway poet and “Climate Rebellion, Halifax Canada” about the 2019 Halifax Climate Strike, awarded Best Short Documentary, China Canada Film Festival, 2021.
This environment CARP member has been a lifetime gardener and a sporadic field tramper who wishes that the flora, fauna, and the forests fair better than the present conditions allow. Some things in life are not replaceable. The outdoors provides us an opportunity for better physical and mental health. She welcomes the opportunity to help the environment in some small way.
Ann-Noreen Norton was a career educator and community supporter. Early work included psychological assessments, curriculum development, and an interest in neurology to understand how we process language, symbols, and learning differences. With an undergraduate degree at St. F.X. and graduate degrees at Dalhousie, she continued her studies in the United States in law and administration coursework.
With more than thirty years of professional experience in both the public and private sectors, Mr. Morrison has provided senior leadership, advice and corporate direction in the natural resource and energy sectors in environmental planning and sustainable development.
He has managed and directed environmental assessments of major natural resource development projects and development planning assignments at the community level across Canada. He has also advised on mega energy projects in the oil sands and others of varying scales, extending from the Canadian Arctic to the Caribbean.
Subsequently, he served as Vice-Chair of National Initiatives Advisory Committee of the Canadian Institute of Planners and on the Board of Directors for the International Society of Sustainability Professionals.
Violet began her artistic career as a textile artist, apprenticing with the indigenous people in Mexico and Guatemala. Her scarves and shawls were sold at exclusive boutiques on Madison Avenue and at the department store, Bonwit Teller in New York. Her tapestries explored colour, texture and abstraction. Upon graduating with a BFA in 1989 from Concordia University in Montreal, she became a painter. After completing her B Ed at McGill University as an art specialist, Violet taught mostly art for twenty years in the public school system, first in Toronto at Jarvis Collegiate Institute and then in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
Violet creates mixed media abstract paintings and enjoys plein air painting as well. She has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Quebec, Ontario and now in Nova Scotia. She gives Multimedia Painting courses at Craft NS as well as teaching painting for HRM.
Paul left Nova Scotia Environment Department in 2015 after 37 years of service. He served as manager in various positions during the last 17 years with the province. Staff training, public education and Nova Scotia Youth Conservation were some of the areas he managed.
Paul has a Master’s in Adult Education from St. Francis Xavier university. Currently completing a graduate certificate in theology at Atlantic School of Theology.
Paul currently works as coordinator/advisor to Pitu’paq Partnership Society. Pitu’paq brings First Nation and municipal Councillors together every month to protect the Bras d’Or Lakes watershed.
Wendy is always thinking of new ideas to improve our community. Wendy worked as a Community Nutritionist for the Department of Health and later as a library technician in several local schools. Appreciation of nature, birdwatching, and the outdoors are passions of Wendy and her late husband Dr Bob McDonald.
Wendy is strongly involved in many community groups and organizations: Friends of Blue Mountain Society; Nova Scotia Nature Trust; the Nature Conservancy of Canada; Engage Mainland North; and Hike Nova Scotia. Wendy’s 18 year involvement with the Halifax North West Trails Association helped connect neighbourhoods and community and was the first connection with CARP by way of trail promotion and nature walks. The Environment Committee is another good fit for Wendy.
Wendy recently received the Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal from her MLA.
Margaret MacDonald is a lawyer and retired a few years ago as a deputy minister in the Nova Scotia provincial government. During her time in Government, Margaret worked on legislation respecting endangered species, protected areas and conservation easements, and was legal counsel for the Province regarding the protection of Jim Campbell barrens and Kingsburg Beach. Margaret was a member of the Board of Directors and past president of the Nova Scotia Nature Trust and is a current member of the Board of Directors of the Clean Foundation.
In 2015, the CARP NS Board established an Environmental Stewardship Award. The criteria to be nominated for this award is the following:
The first recipient was Dr. Silver Donald Cameron. Recently Dr. Cameron’s Green Interviews have been placed in the Canadian Archives for all to access.
For more information regarding these interviews: CLICK HERE
Silver Donald Cameron was one of Canada’s most versatile and experienced professional authors. Silver Donald Cameron was also the Host and Executive Producer of the TheGreenInterview.com, an environmental website devoted to intense, in-depth conversations with the brilliant thinkers and activists who, he believed, are leading the way to a green and sustainable future. His literary work includes plays, films, radio and TV scripts, an extensive body of corporate and governmental writing, hundreds of magazine articles and 20 books, including two novels. He passed away on June 1, 2020, of complications arising from lung cancer.
At the time of his death, Silver Donald Cameron was completing the first year of a three-year appointment as the first Farley Mowat Chair in Environment at Cape Breton University.
Bob is a wildlife biologist and the current president of Nature Nova Scotia. Originally from the Annapolis Valley, Bancroft spent almost three decades with the provincial government in Nova Scotia as a wildlife biologist and fisheries biologist. Bancroft is known for his work on forest conservation, river restoration and wildlife rehabilitation. He has been a regular guest on CBC’s Maritime Noon, answering the public’s questions about wildlife. Bancroft has served in various roles as president and executive members of wildlife organizations, including the Nova Scotia Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Canadian Association of Small Mouth Anglers, Canadian Wildlife Federation and the Nova Scotia Nature Trust. He has co-authored a forestry-wildlife manual and writes for various magazines and journals, including the Atlantic Salmon Journal, Eastern Woods and Waters, and Saltscapes. He spent time as an assessor for Smartwood (FSC), which promotes ecologically sensitive forest practices. Bancroft also worked with the tribal council, the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq, developing management plans for First Nations lands.
David Patriquin was a member of the Biology Department at Dalhousie University 1973-2008 where his research focussed on nutrient cycling in seagrass beds, salt marshes and organic farms. As he approached and went into his retirement, he set out explore and learn all he could about his “bioregion” which he arbitrarily defined as the lands and waters within 50 km driving distance of his home on peninsular Halifax; he also volunteered in several trail and natural history groups. His documentation provided the ecological arguments for protection of the Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area, the Williams Lake Backlands (now Shaw Wilderness Park) and two properties acquired by NS Nature Trust. David continues with these activities and also serves as a webmaster and writer for several groups. “Halifax is one of the most gifted cities in the world when it comes to our natural surroundings”, he says, “but we have to work to ensure those will be around for future generations and the wildlife they support”.
Joan Baxter is a journalist, award-winning author, and development consultant. She has raised two children and worked in seven countries in Africa. In recent years, she has written, reported and spoken widely on issues such as foreign direct investment, extractive industries, land rights, food sovereignty and sustainable farming.
Joan grew up in Nova Scotia graduating from University of King’s College with First Class Honors in Journalism. After working for the CBC in Halifax on the daily radio programs, Information Morning and Mainstreet, she headed to West Africa. Joan was the Executive Director of the Nova Scotia – Gambia Association which promoted health education.
Her non-fiction work, A Serious Pair of Shoes – an African journal, won the Evelyn Richardson award for best non-fiction work published in Atlantic Canada.
Jamie Simpson is a man of many talents. A forester, writer, sailor, rock climber and lawyer. Jamie has received many awards for his conservation work including the Elizabeth May Award for Environmental Service, the Honour in the Woods Award from the Nova Scotia Environmental Network, and the Environmental Law Prize from Dalhousie University.
Walter knows the local water ways and trails like the back of his hand and has appointed himself the voice for his community in speaking out for their protection. Walter is well known for helping to navigate all the various layers of provincial and municipal government. He is a passionate spokesperson for all living creatures and The Sandy Lake-Sackville River-Regional Park Coalition. He is also a champion of the Sackville River-Lewis Lake Wilderness Park promised for protection by the Nova Scotia government in 2013.
Walter is also a member of the Sackville Community Development Association and serves as a director with community groups overseeing First and Second lakes and the Cobequid Cultural Centre Society. He also represents the SRA on the Halifax Regional Trails Association and on the municipality’s active transportation committee. Regan is also chairman of HRM’s Regional Watersheds Advisory Board.
Nina Newington’s first novel, Where Bones Dance, won the Writers’ Guild of Alberta Georges Bugnet Award for Novel in 2008. Guernica Press is publishing her second novel, Cardinal Divide, in September 2020. She is currently finishing a memoir about living illegally in the US for twenty years.
A former Kennedy scholar with an MA in English Literature from Cambridge, she makes her living designing gardens and building things. She is an active member of Extinction Rebellion in Annapolis County. English by birth, she and her American wife immigrated to Canada in 2006. They raise sheep on unceded Mi’kmaw territory near the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia.
Stella Marguerite Bowles, is a Canadian environmentalist, writer, and the youngest recipient of the Order of Nova Scotia. Canada also recognized Stella with a Meritorious Service Medal. As an advocate for youth activism, Stella co-wrote a book for children titled My River: Cleaning up the LaHave River with Anne Laurel Carter. Stella gave a TEDx talk about her project on the LaHave titled Oh poop! It’s worse than I thought.
At age 11, Stella wanted to swim in the LaHave River, but her mother said the water was contaminated by illegal straight pipes that flush unprocessed sewage directly into the river. Her mentor, Dr. David Maxwell, helped her start testing bacteria levels in water samples from the river. Stella drew national attention when she reported the bacterial pollution levels that she measured. Stella’s project influenced the allocation of $15.7 million from federal, provincial, and municipal governments to remove the straight pipes by 2023. She attends school at Dalhousie University.