I was on a panel today at the Green Living Show.  There was an interesting discussion on the environment, political activities, and charities.


6:30 P.M. – 7:30 P.M.

The Federal Budget Blueprint: What’s Really at Stake
Panel Discussion & Private Reception

The Conservatives’ proposed budget aims to ease environmental hurdles to speed up the construction of Canadian oil pipelines, eliminates the National Round Table on the Environment and Economy altogether and limits the role of charities with regard to advocacy and participation in the public policy process.

Join this panel of leading experts, including a lawyer, economist and environmental stakeholders as they explore important questions including:
Is the federal government overstepping its power?
Are constitutional law issues around freedom of speech being labeled as partisan?
What are the legitimate economic concerns and how do they stack up against environmental costs?

Please join us for this discussion followed by a private reception where there will be an opportunity to speak with like-minded friends and, learn how you can help support our response to this critical situation. Space is limited so get your tickets now.

MODERATOR: Andrew Heintzman, Co-founder of Investeco, author of The New Entrepreneurs, Director of Sustainable Prosperity… more»

Andrew Heintzman is a co-founder of Investeco. Andrew is also the Chair of the Premier’s Climate Change Advisory Panel for the Province of Ontario. He sits on a number of corporate boards, including Lotek Wireless, Triton Logging and Horizon Distributors. In addition, he is on the board of directors of the Tides Canada Foundation, and the Steering Committee of Sustainable Prosperity. Andrew is the author of The New Entrepreneurs, and was co-editor of Fueling the Future: How the Battle Over Energy is Changing Everything, Feeding the Future: From Fat to Famine, and Food and Fuel: Solutions for the Future, all published by the House of Anansi Press. Before Investeco, Andrew was a co-founder and publisher of Shift Magazine.

Dr. Matthew Turner, Economist, Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Toronto… more »

Matthew Turner is a Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Toronto. His current research focuses on the economics of land use and transportation and he is broadly interested in understanding the economics of environmental regulation. He holds a bachelors degree from the University of California, a Ph. D. in economics from Brown University, has held post-doctoral fellowships at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Hoover Institution, and is an associate editor at the Journal of Urban Economics, the Journal of Economic Geography and Regional Science and Urban Economics. His research appears in the American Economic Review, the Journal of Political Economy, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Review of Economic Studies, and is regularly featured in the popular press.

Stephen Hazell, Environmental Lawyer and the founder of Ecovision Law… more »
Stephen Hazell is an environmental lawyer and the founder of Ecovision Law. His experience is unique in that he has held senior management positions in four national environmental organizations, a federal government agency, and a leading Ottawa-based consulting firm. Stephen also served as legal counsel to these organizations, other than the federal government. Stephen also teaches environmental assessment law at University of Ottawa law school.  Stephen served as executive director of Sierra Club Canada where he launched key campaigns to obtain a timeout in expansion of the tar sands oil industry and ensure that Canada meets its international climate change obligations. Stephen co-chaired a joint industry-environmental group initiative that successfully brought provincial and federal governments together to produce a Canada-wide regulatory framework to reduce smog emissions. He also led a successful campaign to ensure that the $16 billion Mackenzie Gas Project is not built until it is demonstrably sustainable.  In the mid-1990s, Stephen led the team at the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency that developed the regulations for the implementation of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. In other leadership roles with the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Canadian Arctic Resources Committee and Canadian Wildlife Federation, he initiated successful campaigns to expand Nahanni National Park Reserve, and create the Mealy Mountains National Park and Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area. He led successful interventions against environmentally harmful development projects, including the the Great Whale hydroelectric project in northern Quebec, the Kiggavik uranium mine near Baker Lake Northwest Territories, and the White’s Point basalt quarry and marine terminal near Digby Nova Scotia.  He initiated pivotal, precedent-setting law suits against the proposed Rafferty-Alameda dams in southern Saskatchewan and the proposed Cheviot open-pit coal mine near Jasper Alberta.  In the late 1980s, he led a coalition of 40 Canadian environmental and indigenous organizations that developed Greenprint for Canada, a comprehensive set of environmental policy and program recommendations which directly led to the Mulroney government’s $3 billion Green Plan. He initiated a similar initiative Tomorrow Today, launched by eleven national environmental groups in 2008.  In his consulting career, Stephen has been engaged to work on a host of environmental management projects with various Canadian federal, provincial and territorial departments, as well as the governments of Jamaica, Zimbabwe, Slovakia and Costa Rica.  Stephen holds a Master of Science degree in Plant Ecology from the University of Toronto and a Law degree from Queen’s University. He is a noted public speaker and has written numerous scholarly articles, as well as Canada v.The Environment, his 1999 book on federal environmental assessment law and policy. Stephen is an Olympic-distance triathlete and an avid wilderness traveler. His most exciting experience was seeing the Porcupine caribou herd crossing the swollen Firth River in northern Yukon.

Dr. Rick Smith, executive director, Environmental Defence and co-author of bestseller, Slow Death by Rubber Duck… more »

Rick Smith is a prominent Canadian author and environmentalist. He is Executive Director of Environmental Defence Canada (www.EnvironmentalDefence.ca) and co-author, with Bruce Lourie, of “Slow Death by Rubber Duck: How the Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Life Affects Our Health”, a surprising look at common pollutants and the ease with which they accumulate in the human body. To illustrate this issue Rick and Bruce experimented on their own bodies, raising and lowering levels of toxic chemicals in their blood and urine through the performance of ordinary activities. A major Canadian and Australian bestseller and a Quill & Quire “Book of the Year” for 2009, “Slow Death by Rubber Duck” was recently released in the U.S. and has already been featured by the Washington Post (which said it “is hard-hitting in a way that turns your stomach and yet also instills hope”), Dr. Oz, Fox News, and Oprah Magazine. The book has now been translated into 6 languages.

With a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Guelph and a stint as Chief of Staff of the federal New Democratic Party, Rick’s career has been equal parts science and policy. He is regarded as one of the country’s leading environmental campaigners and has spearheaded efforts to achieve important new environmental and health protections such as Canada’s first federal Endangered Species Act; the world’s largest Greenbelt, now enacted around Toronto; and Canada’s decision to ban the toxic chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in baby bottles (becoming the first country in the world to do so), and get hormone-disrupting flame retardants out of consumer electronics and phthalates out of kids toys.

Rick lives in Toronto with his wife and their two young sons.

Mark Blumberg, partner at the law firm of Blumberg Segal LLP… more »

Mark Blumberg is a partner at the law firm of Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto and works almost exclusively in the areas of non-profit and charity law. He provides legal services and advice to Canadian charities and foreign charities operating in Canada. He has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Toronto, an LLB from the University of British Columbia and a LLM from Osgoode Hall Law School in Tax Law.

Mark is on the Executive of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) National Charities and Not-for-Profit Law Section and Ontario Bar Association (OBA) Charity and Non-profit law section.  Mark is the lead trainer for the Charity Law Information Program (CLIP), which is a project of Capacity Builders, funded by the Charities Partnership and Outreach Program (CPOP) of the Charities Directorate of the Canada Revenue Agency. The project’s goal is to help Canadian charities become more aware of their legal obligations under the Income Tax Act, and to increase compliance with those requirements. (http://www.capacitybuilders.ca/clip/clip.php)  Mark is also the editor of at https://www.canadiancharitylaw.ca/ – a Canadian charity law website and http://www.globalphilanthropy.ca/ – a Canadian website dedicated to news about the Canadian charitable sector as well as legal and ethical issues for Canadian charities operating in Canada or abroad.

Toby Heaps, Co-founder and President of Corporate Knights Inc. more »

Toby Heaps is the co-founder and president of Corporate Knights Inc. Toby has a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University in Economics, with a minor in International Development. From 1997-98, he spent one year in the Belgrade Field Program (LLB in Management Studies) with the London School of Economics and Political Science. He worked for Conflict Resolution Catalysts in Bosnia, and for several international publications and social organizations in the former Yugoslavia including B-92 in Belgrade. He has written for the Financial Times, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail and Investors Digest. Toby has experience working on political campaigns, including in 2006 as campaign manager for City of Toronto Councillor A. A. Heaps. Before founding Corporate Knights, Toby was the managing editor of the Mutual Fund Review magazine and Planning for Profits magazine. In 1998, Toby played centre field for Yugoslavia’s National Baseball Team.