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Resilience through solidarity — A message from our CEO

First and foremost, the board and staff — the family — of Ecotrust Canada hope that you and your family are healthy and secure during these difficult times. We are grateful that our team is safely repositioned at our respective homes, and rising to the challenge of delivering on our mission in a rapidly changing environment.

How did things get so bad, so quickly? Along with that question comes an instinct, and an imperative to shrink from the world, to pull in, and to isolate. But keeping our physical distance does not mean surrendering our capacity for solidarity. Indeed, more than ever, we need to pull together for the common good.

While it is a global pandemic that rightfully holds our focus now, it is our deteriorating economic system that will reverberate and intensify the damage out into our future. It is a system that, despite its immense size and scope, is exceptionally fragile. Just ask Canada’s rural, remote, and Indigenous communities — places and people that have been held in a state of perpetual crisis by a boom and bust economy.

That is why Ecotrust Canada will not be shrinking away from its mission in the weeks and months ahead. Now is precisely the time when our approach, skills, and partnerships are needed most. This is the time when we must push back against an economy defaulting to its most base, true colours — privateering, hoarding, and the impulse to look out only for “that which is mine.”

“Keeping our physical distance does not mean surrendering our capacity for solidarity.”

— Chuck Rumsey, CEO & President, Ecotrust Canada

To meet this challenge, Ecotrust Canada’s staff, funders, partners, and friends are coming together in solidarity to lay the groundwork for communities to build new, more inclusive, more sustainable, and more local economies — in short, resilient economies. This means redoubling our current initiatives, including:

Climate Innovation, where we are helping to re-invent a sustainable forest economy through community-led natural climate solutions.

Indigenous Home-Lands, which supports Indigenous communities in creating their own, culturally appropriate and resilient housing economies.

Community Fisheries, which is revitalizing BC’s coastal economy through the renewal of local, sustainable, fisheries management.

Community Energy, where community-led clean energy solutions are putting an end to energy poverty.

Taken together, this is an unprecedented suite of resilience initiatives well matched for responding to these unprecedented and precarious times.

Chuck Rumsey, CEO and President of Ecotrust Canada