Dear Friends & Supporters of Ecotrust Canada,

Last autumn, Jean Pogge made the decision to step down at year end as CEO of Ecotrust Canada. As incoming CEO, I want to take this opportunity to formally thank Jean for her leadership over the last three years, and the efforts she made to ensure a smooth transition. Coming from the role of VP of External Affairs and Development at Ecotrust Canada, I’m very familiar with the work of the organization, but it’s still been an exciting start to the year as I take over the reins.

While only a few weeks in, all indications are that 2019, like the year previous, will be marked by growing social, political, economic, and environmental divides – in Canada, and the world at large. Unfortunately, Canada’s rural and remote communities disproportionately suffer the consequence of this pulling apart, as they find themselves on the front lines of accelerating climate change, deepening energy poverty, unsustainable fish harvesting, and a continuing crisis of housing for Indigenous communities.

These realities do not simply flip on and off with elections, or the political flavour of the day.  These are problems deeply rooted in our political and economic systems, and it’s on the latter – the economy – that Ecotrust Canada will continue to apply itself in order to create solutions for the future.  In particular, we understand that the economic system that has created, and exacerbated the social and environmental crises we face, is not an immovable, unchangeable force.  Rather, together with our community partners, we have witnessed time and time again, that people have the generosity, ingenuity, and energy necessary to build innovative economic solutions – solutions that can repair and sustain the environment, while also creating prosperous, vibrant, and thriving communities for people to live and work.

In that spirit, in 2019 we will resist the trends that are pulling people and places apart, and instead focus on creating an economy that connects us.  This includes coming together with our community partners, our supporters, our funders, and within our own team of dedicated professionals.  Of particular note, the start of the new year brings with it several exciting additions to our staff, including Pamela Perreault as Director of Indigenous Homes & Housing, and Joseph Pallant as Director of Climate Innovation.  We are also pleased to announce that Graham Anderson has been promoted to Director of Community Energy. Meanwhile, our community fisheries team continues to make waves as it lays the foundation for a fundamental shift in how fisheries on the BC coast will be managed for the future.  These programs are all supported by dedicated operational and finance teams, and by leaders such as Sarah Stott who is stepping up to become VP of Development and Communications.

I could not be more excited to be part of this inspiring team, and the extended family of Ecotrust Canada partners, friends, and alumni.  Together, we look forward to the year ahead in which we build and accelerate toward our goal of creating a more equitable, prosperous, and sustainable Canada.

Chuck
CEO & President
Ecotrust Canada