This April the Courtenay—Alberni Federal Green Party Association will host four Thursday afternoon chats in the Courtenay Westerly Hotel main lounge. Four experts will facilitate discussions regarding interesting Canadian issues, with local relevance and national significance that rarely make headlines. This is a great opportunity to delve into some interesting subjects and meet some local experts!

  1. How Cruise Tourism is Changing the Arctic with Jane Sproull and Callum Thomson – April 5, 5-7pm

    1. Jane Sproull and Callum Thomson are professionals in the fields of northern art history and archeology and for 30 years have worked as freelance guides and lecturers for small-ship expedition tours in Canada and worldwide.  They will chat about how cruise tourism is changing the Arctic, and how different companies handle the responsibility to protect this fragile area and its people.
  2. How to Reduce Human-Wildlife Conflicts with Naturalist Glenn Naylor – April 12, 5-7pm
    1. Naturalist Glenn Naylor will provide tips on how to reduce human-wildlife conflicts, particularly with bears and cougars. These animals may be backyard visitors or encountered along a hiking trail. Glenn was an Alberta Conservation Officer for 36 years in Canmore, and has built a reputation as a photographer.
  3. Health Impacts of Environmental Contaminants in the Arctic with Dr. Jay Van Oostdam   April 19, 5-7pm
    1. Dr. Jay Van Oostdam will outline the human health impacts of environmental contaminants in the Arctic. Jay retired to the Comox Valley after a career as a senior researcher with Health Canada in which he was a member of the management team for the Canadian Northern Contaminants Program. He also co-chaired the Human Health Assessment group of the International Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme  (AMAP).
  4. A People, Planet, Profit Approach to Sustainability with Sandra Hamilton – April 26, 5-7pm
    1. The final fireside chat leader will be Sandra Hamilton, Canada’s First Social MBA, who poses the question ”Why is it so difficult to get a local potato into the local hospital?”  Join us for a conversation about the power of leveraging taxpayer funded contracts to support sustainable food systems; community economic development; skills training and other important public policy goals such as indigenous reconciliation. Sandra was the catalyst behind the NIC FEED Comox Valley local food projects and has more than 20 years of experience in business, including to Business Manager to Vancouver 2010 Olympics CEO John Furlong, Olympian Silken Laumann, and publisher of BC Women’s Magazine.


Host for all four events will be Dr. Betty Donaldson, professor emerita, University of Calgary. Drinks may be purchased at the bar prior to the events. Green-inspired menu options will be available in the Westerly restaurant after the chats. It has a growing reputation for creative, affordable dinners.  

Hope to see you there.

Betty Donaldson

Courtenay—Alberni Federal Green Party Association