Director, Clean Energy Canada, Tides CanadaMerran Smith is a champion for a reduced carbon Canada. The founder and leader of Clean Energy Canada at Tides Canada was instrumental in ensuring the dual imperatives of fighting climate change and transitioning the nation to a lower carbon economy are included in the draft Canadian energy strategy. It was Merran’s tireless efforts to mobilize a broad and diverse group of stakeholders that kept the initiative alive. She and her team convinced policy makers that energy and carbon are two sides of the same coin. Merran has a long track record of forging groundbreaking partnerships between unlikely bedfellows.
Executive Director, Yukon Conservation SocietyIf it’s a case of protecting the environment in Yukon, you can bet Karen Baltgailis is somehow involved. As Executive Director of the Yukon Conservation Society, she lead the team that helped to achieve a ban on garbage burning at landfills in the territory, prevent mining in Tombstone Territorial Park, and stop a proposed sulfuric acid heap leach mine near salmon spawning habitat on the Yukon River. With CPAWS Yukon she has helped raise huge public support for protecting the Peel River Watershed. Karen helped found, and for five years was on the board of, a grassroots organization working to protect Whitehorse’s most important wildlife corridor, McIntyre Creek.
Ontario Director, Pembina InstituteAs Ontario Director of the Pembina Institute, Cherise Burda has become a leading voice in the debate around funding public transit in the Greater Toronto Area and a champion for location efficient development to "Live Where you Go"- with a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving quality of life. Under Cherise's leadership, Pembina Ontario is a leading research and advocacy group that is producing new and unique analysis that combine the transit and urban development files. She has brought together the right group of allies and stakeholders to invent new ground. Policymakers, media, critics and business leaders are hearing her uniquely credible and accessible voice in this noisy debate.
President, Ecotrust CanadaBrenda Kuecks and her team are creating business ventures that are proving it is possible to have financial success together with improved ecological and social conditions. The latest is ThisFish, a seafood tracking system involving more than 700 fishermen that is building transparency and accountability into the seafood value-chain. ThisFish represents a new level of collaboration in that industry. Sobeys, Whole Foods and MGM Las Vegas have introduced ThisFish into their produce departments and restaurants. Fishermen are receiving better prices, better contracts, and better market intelligence. Consumers are getting the information needed to make informed purchase decisions. As the President of Ecotrust Canada, Brenda leads a group of passionate, determined, and savvy sectoral and business professionals who are all about creating a Canadian economy that works better for people and for places.