John Bacher - Chapter Chair
John has been an active environmentalist since the early 1970 's, working primarily on issues involving the protection of the landscape of Southern Ontario. This has led to some quite varied forms of environmental activism. One is transportation expansion, which most successfully, contributed to the defeat of the proposed mid-peninsula (Niagara) expressway. Another is waste management, which contributed to the defeat of numerous proposals to establish garbage incinerators in the Hamilton-Niagara region. He also played an important role in the defeat of Dump Site 41 in Simcoe County and the proposed Dufferin County mega quarry, while working closely with his friend Danny Beaton (of the Mohawk Six Nations).
John was recruited into Sierra Club Ontario through his extensive involvement in Greenbelt issues. This was important in the defeat of proposals which had they been adopted, would have greatly weakened the Greenbelt as a land use planning tool.
Thaia Jones - Greenbelt Campaign Chair
Thaia was raised in rural Southern Ontario by nature-loving parents before the days of Rachael Carson, when the environment was considered endlessly rich and unchangeable. She moved to the city to attend university in Toronto and start a career in psychology, keeping a connection with nature through outdoor activities and a 6-year stint in Northern Ontario, becoming increasingly overwhelmed by word of environmental change throughout the world. Upon retirement she explored ways to become "a part of the solution", eventually connecting with Sierra Club Ontario's Peel Group Chapter. For the last decade she has been an active participant and advocate for local environmental issues.
Under the mentorship of the late Dan McDermott she added participation in the Ontario Chapter, serving for the last year as Ontario Chapter's Greenbelt Campaign Chair, helping to grow the Ontario Greenbelt into a more complete and sustainable ecosystem.
Rosemary Keenan - Peel Region Group Chair
Rosemary is a founding member of the Peel Group Chapter at Sierra Club (covering Brampton, Mississauga, and Caledon). Representing Sierra, she has participated as a stakeholder during policy review roundtables for Credit Valley Conservation, Toronto Region Conservation Authority, City of Brampton, City of Mississauga, and Region of Peel. Currently she serves as a committee member on the Brampton Environment Advisory Committee and the CTC (Credit, Toronto, and Central) Source Protection Committee. A committed environmentalist, Rosemary loves to be out in the community working with Sierra Volunteers and Conservation partners on tree plantings, invasive species pulls, and sustainable neighbourhood projects.
She and her team plan and participate in education and outreach at a variety of community events including Seedy Saturdays, Mississauga Earth Market, and Bike the Etobicoke Creek. "One of my favourite places is the Medicine Wheel Garden at Heart Lake Conservation Area in Brampton. I was very happy to be involved when First Nations representative Anthony Templar led us through the establishment of the garden. Each year in early June we gather with community partners for a Drum Circle and to work on the garden.
Dr. Lino Grima - Great Lakes Campaign Chair
Dr. Lino Grima received his education at Manchester, London and Toronto universities. After teaching at the primary and secondary level in Malta, Lino taught undergrad and graduate Environmental Management and Water Policy courses at the University of Toronto for three decades, as well as at Khartoum and Hanoi University in Asia. His research focused on policy options for environmental sustainability and he has authored seventy academic papers and a few monographs on municipal water pricing and conservation; public participation; environmental risk analysis. He has consulted in Malta, Sudan, Vietnam, China, Indonesia, and Thailand, in addition to Canada and US. In spite of the many pressing global and local environmental problems, Dr Grima optimistically maintains that we can achieve a more just society, sustainable economy and healthy ecosystem.
Dr. Grima is also currently the Chair of Ontario Chapter's Great Lakes Campaign.
Christine Elwell - Green Energy Campaign Chair
Christine is has been with Sierra Club Ontario for more than 20 years, and is the Chair of Ontario Chapter's Green Energy Campaign.
Joseph is a 3rd year Outdoor Recreation student at Lakehead University. He previously graduated from the Justice Institution of British Columbia, and Ontario Police College. Being Indigenous provides him with the natural link to natural and environmental issues, he believes that Indigenous people should maintain and strengthen the distinctive spiritual relationship with the traditional territories and land. Joseph is interested in creating a dialogue among both First Nations and Non-First Nations Communities. After hiking through John Muir Park and completing a 6-month journey, it has opened his eyes towards environmental issues, and the importance of preserving, promoting and protecting land resources.
Wendy graduated in 1993 with a Masters in Natural Resource Management from the University of Leicester, England. She subsequently worked for 2 years as conservation assistant with Kenfig SAC before taking a role in habitat biodiversity surveying with the Countryside Council for Wales. In 1997 She emigrated to Canada and since then have been active in a number of groups including Ontario Director of the Canadian Society for Environmental Biologists, and Founder of the Women’s Environmental Alliance. Since 2000, she has managed ElectricGreen Canadian Environmental News and is member of the Reseau Canadian Environmental Network (RCEN) biodiversity caucus Steering Committee. Wendy has also been active on the Ontario Environmental Network (OEN) Steering Committee since 2011, taking on roles such as communications and volunteer recruitment coordination, before being promoted to Co-Chair in 2014.
Caroline has a solid background in outreach, organizing, campaigning and fundraising in the NGO sector, with excellent comprehension on how to build capacity and access resources. Her work experiences include development and communications in the NGO Sector for the Broadbent Institute, Environmental Defence, Climate Action Network Canada, Upasana Dance Company, One World Arts, Torchlight Shakespeare Festival and Ecology Ottawa. She has also championed many environmental, community organizing, social justice and arts mediums as well as started her own projects like Urban Shades, a communal community garden in the city in Ottawa. Caroline has a Bachelor of Science from the University of New Brunswick and a Certificate of Environmental Practise from the Royal Roads University with a concentration in communications and public relations.
Leslie has been involved with the environmental community for more than 35 years. Originally from Montreal, the GTA is now her home. With a background in psychology and land use planning, she believes that we have a responsibility to the planet and all life. She is involved with several environmental organizations, including Ontario Environment Network and the Reseau Canadian Environmental Network, and sits on a United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) advisory committee. Leslie is engaged in mainstreaming the Sustainable Development Goals, and, Biodiversity, as understood through the CBD. She is interested in taking action now for life on Earth and strives to enable collective understanding and connection so that we can work together towards a more peaceful planet for all.
Mihaela's passion for environmental issues started out at a young age. In pursuit of this, she studied environmental chemistry to focus on pollution chemistry and climate change. She also completed a Masters in public policy so that she could better understand the political and economic challenges of environmental issues. Since then, she has learned about flood mitigation while working for Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and water resources engineering firm Civica Infrastructure. Currently, she is most interested in green energy, since the energy sector is drastically changing - being driven by economic and technological forces along side environmental ones. She feels that by working with Sierra Club Ontario as part of the Executive Committee, this would be a great opportunity and platform to raise funds and awareness, and take action.