Members | Mission | CARP Nova Scotia Environment Stewardship Awards | Queen’s 70th Platinum Jubilee Medal

Environment Committee Members:

James Boyer – Chair
Dale Smith – Vice Chair
Carol Bradley
Susan Church
Don Church
Alan Collins

Mohammad Ehsan
Wendy McDonald
Ron Morrison
Ann-Noreen Norton
Violet Rosengarten
Paul Schwartz

James BoyerChair

James was 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.  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.

Dale SmithVice Chair

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. Originally from Smithville, a rural community near Mabou on Cape Breton Island, Dale now resides in HRM.

Carol Bradley Founding Member

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, KAIROS (Canadian churches working for ecological justice and human rights), and has long supported the

Charles Bull

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.

Susan Church

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 Collins

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.

Wendy McDonald

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.

Ann-Noreen Norton

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.

Recent and Past Experiences:

  • Chair – editing group for writers
  • Heritage Trust – proofreading and editing
  • Membership – Halifax Field Naturalists
  • Nova Scotia Solar Policy Committee
  • Past membership in a variety of NSTU Committees
  • President for the Retired Teachers Organization
  • President of Peninsula South, a community organization

Other Past experiences:

  • NSCC Solar Building Course
  • Certification Programme for Negotiation, Mediation and Conflict Resolution (Dalhousie)
  • Internship – Human Rights Commission
  • Pearson Peacekeeping Centre – Border Dispute Training

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. All these learning experiences encouraged creativity and independent thought. Along the way friends were made, challenges met, and many things were learned.

Ron Morrison

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.

In his recent practice, he manages Sustainability North Inc., a consultancy offering advisory services to government and industry in ESG performance metrics and baselines, risk management, climate change planning and mitigation in the transition to a low carbon economy. Mr. Morrison holds a Masters in Environment Studies, Bachelor of Science in Geography, and a Diploma in Forest Technology. His previous professional memberships include the Canadian Institute of Planners, Alberta Professional Planners Institute and International Society of Sustainability Professionals.

Violet Rosengarten

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 Y. Schwartz

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.


Environment Committee – Canadian Association of Retired Persons – Nova Scotia Chapter (CARP-Nova Scotia)

Healthy Environment – Healthy People – Healthy Planet


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:

  1. protecting the ecological integrity of Nova Scotia’s natural environment; and
  2. utilizing our province’s natural assets in accordance with the principles of sustainability.

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.


The Environment Committee, and CARP-NS, will have earned a creditable record of environmental advocacy and leadership here in Nova Scotia and have encouraged and inspired parallel efforts on the parts of other CARP chapters. 

What We Value

Science-based information and analysis to inform understanding, advocacy and actions, and to serve as the essential counterbalance to political pressures, private sector self-interest and the increasing public demand for goods and services within our consumer society.

Openness and transparency of government in regard to legislation, policies, programs and actions, so as to limit tendencies (or deliberate attempts) to avoid public scrutiny, criticism, opposition or controversy.

Public consultation and stakeholder engagement to inform, support, guide and enhance government decision-making for the benefit of Nova Scotians.

Principled, coherent and concerted government action to address opportunities, issues and priorities that are in the greater public interest over the long term, as distinct from short-term political gain, special interest group demands or profit-taking through resource exploitation.

Complementary efforts of others, including individual Nova Scotians, not-for-profit organizations, the private sector and government, in assuming leadership and commitment respecting positive environmental initiative.

Intergenerational perspectives to maintain currency and relevancy of efforts and priorities in a constantly-evolving and fast-changing world, environmentally, economically, socially and culturally.

Partnership and collaboration, where the combination of energy and effort across any and all sectors can contribute to the achievement of goals and objectives of mutual benefit.

Diversity and inclusivity in to enable all Nova Scotians to benefit from and enjoy a healthy natural environment.

Two-eyed seeing as “the gift of multiple perspective treasured by many aboriginal peoples and explains that it refers to learning to see from one eye with the strengths of Indigenous knowledges and ways of knowing, and from the other eye with the strengths of Western knowledges and ways of knowing, and to using both these eyes together, for the benefit of all.”

(Cheryl Bartlett, Murdena Marshall and Albert Marshall, Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, November 2012.)

Primary Interests and Priorities

National, International and Global Contexts

Recognize and understand the environmental issues and challenges of our time, including:

Climate Change: The implications of climate change as an existential environmental crisis, global in scale, and to advocate for and support mitigation, ecosystem restoration, adaptation and risk reduction efforts locally, provincially, nationally, internationally and globally;

Biodiversity Loss: The implications of biodiversity loss as an existential environmental crisis, global in scale, and to advocate for and support mitigation efforts locally, provincially, nationally, internationally and globally;

Sustainability: The fundamental importance of sustainability in the use of the earth’s natural capital (or natural resources), as population and wealth continue to grow and consumption demands and impacts increase accordingly; and

Social Equity: The challenge of achieving social equity in light of the complex inter-play of economic, social, cultural and environmental pressures impacting cross-cutting objectives, policies, priorities and practices.

Provincial Orientation

Maintain a provincial focus in regard to the Committee’s efforts and energies.

Monitor environmentally-related issues and opportunities and selectively advocate for and support policies, priorities and actions aimed at the protection and responsible use of Nova Scotia’s natural assets, including land, water and air.

Support and encourage the timely implementation of EGCCRA (Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act), and related environmental or land use legislation.

Advocate for the Government to update FOIPOP (the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act).

Promote consideration of the enactment of an environmental bill of rights for Nova Scotia.

Promote comprehensive/integrated land use and environmental planning at the provincial and municipal levels in Nova Scotia.

Consider engagement in local issues on a selective basis, where there are province-wide policy implications and partnership options warrant and enable participation within the limits of the Committee’s expertise, energy and resources

Background – Context and Rationale

The Environmental Advocacy Committee is a committee of CARP Nova Scotia.

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:

  • providing updates to the CARP-NS board regarding ongoing activities, and recommending policy direction and/or corresponding action(s) for board approval (when such undertakings are represented as being on behalf of CARP-NS);
  • reaching out to the membership of CARP-NS to provide information and updates regarding ongoing activities of the committee and to invite input in identifying or confirming environmental interests, concerns and priorities; and
  • promoting and/or encouraging parallel complementary undertakings on the parts of other CARP chapters and/or at the national level.

What We Do

In practical terms, we take actions as follows:

  • Advocate for the responsible stewardship of Nova Scotia’s environment, within the limits of our mandate, understanding, energy and resources as members of a volunteer organization.
  • Develop and advance policy positions and recommendations relevant to Nova Scotians and the supporting environment in which we live.
  • Coordinate and partner with others – government agencies, corporate and business interests, not-for-profit organizations and individual Nova Scotians – as opportunities or needs are identified to further environmental objectives or to address environmental issues and concerns.
  • Add support to emerging or ongoing environmental priorities, through meeting with and letter-writing to responsible government agencies, inputting to stakeholder engagement and public consultation processes, speaking out through op eds and letters to the editor, participating in social media, and attending special events.
  • Recognize individual effort, contribution and achievement, through the annual presentation of the ‘Environmental Stewardship Award’.
The CARP NS Environment Stewardship Award

In 2015, the CARP NS Board established an Environmental Stewardship Award.  The criteria to be nominated for this award was as follows: 

To have made a significant contribution to protecting the environment of Nova Scotia and the Maritimes in general. 

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.


Environmental Stewardship Award
Donald Cameron Award
Silver Donald Cameron

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, 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 Bancroft

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.

Links: Nova Scotia Forest Notes

David Patriquin
David Patriquin
Dr. David Patriquin

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”. View for more about David’s activities. Pic: David P on the Woodens River in 2010.


I was given the Colin Stewart Conservation Award for 2016 by the
Halifax Field Naturalists 2016 and the Environment Stewardship Award from CARP (Canadian Association of Retirees and Pensioners) in 2017.


PDF doc
Documents on DalSpace
Google Scholar listings

Nova Scotia Forest Notes (blog, begun June 21, 2016)

Joan Baxter

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.

In 2006, The Hermit of Gully Lake: the life and times of Willard Kitchener MacDonald, topped best-seller lists in Nova Scotia for nearly a year.   Her most recent publication, The Mill:  Fifty Years of Pulp and Protest, is catching the media’s attention across the Maritimes! 


Jamie Simpson

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. 

Jamie has represented many legal cases in environmental law.  Jamie is the author of two regionally best-selling booksJourneys through Eastern Old-Growth Forests and Restoring the Acadian Forest.


Environmental Award
Walter Regan

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.


Blue Mountain
Queen’s 70th Platinum Jubilee Medal
Environment Stewardship recipient recieves Queens 70th Platinum Jubilee Medal for his work with the Sackville Rivers Association.

Wow what a day. Thank you Peter Stoffer and Counsellor Paul Russell for presenting me with the Queen’s 70th Platinum Jubilee Metal for my volunteer work with the Sackville Rivers Association and the Environment.