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Environmental Assessment Advisory Committee members

Committee co-chairs:

Bruce Fraser is an ecologist by training and has worked extensively in B.C. as an educator, government official and consultant. He is past president of both Selkirk College in Castlegar and Malaspina College in Nanaimo. He spent six years as chair of the Province's independent Forest Practices Board, and was chair of the Province's Task Force on Species at Risk. He held the position of area director for Shawnigan Lake in the Cowichan Valley Regional District. He served as a member of the Cowichan Watershed Board and was president of the Shawnigan Basin Society.

Lydia Hwitsum graduated from University of Victoria's law school in 1997, and has held a number of prominent leadership positions, including Chief of Cowichan Tribes, Task Group member of the First Nations Summit, B.C. region-elected representative on the Assembly of First Nations National Women's Council, and former chair of the First Nations Health Council. She has served on the FNHA Board of Directors since 2012 as chair.

Committee members:

Sunny LeBourdais is Pelltíq’t te Secwepemc Nation member and the Director of Governance at Secwepemc Governance Initiative and Project Coordinator for the Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwepemc Nation (SSN). Sunny holds an M.Sc from Simon Fraser University and has managed and co-ordinated businesses and projects for the Okanagan, Ktunaxa and Secwepemc Nations. She was the project co-ordinator on the SSN’s Indigenous Impact Assessment Process for the proposed KGHM Ajax Mine near Kamloops, which was successfully completed in 2017.

Colleen Giroux-Schmidt brings over 15 years of experience in B.C. and Canadian resource development, with extensive knowledge in renewable energy. As vice-president, corporate relations, western region for Innergex Renewable Energy Inc., her focus is working with all levels of government, Indigenous communities and stakeholders to increase renewable energy opportunities to help the jurisdictions Innergex works in meet their climate change goals. She is a member of the board of directors for Clean Energy BC (CEBC).

Aaron Bruce is a lawyer at Ratcliffe and Company and a member of the Squamish Nation. He advises on land and resource issues, Aboriginal rights and title, matters under the Indian Act, First Nation governance issues, economic development opportunities, and acts as general counsel for First Nations governments. He specializes in the negotiation of impact-benefit agreements, accommodation agreements with the Crown, and other interim agreements concerning land and natural resources.

Marla Orenstein is the president and founder of Habitat Health Impact Consulting, and president of the International Association for Impact Assessment. She holds an M.Sc. in epidemiology from the University of Edinburgh, is a founding member of the Society for Practitioners of Health Impact Assessment, and an international leader in the field of Health Impact Assessment. She co-authored the textbook, Health Impact Assessment in the United States, 2014.

Karen Campbell has more than 20 years’ experience in environment and natural resource law, focusing on climate, energy, mining and environmental assessment law. She obtained her JD from Dalhousie University, and LLM international environmental law from the University of London. She is a staff lawyer at Ecojustice, which uses the power of the law to defend nature and fight climate change.

Kevin Hanna is the director, Centre for Environmental Assessment Research and associate professor, geography at the University of British Columbia. His work focuses on the effectiveness of environmental assessments as an environmental management tool, the role of EA in resource management, planning and decision-making by Indigenous communities, and the implementation of cumulative effects assessment. He develops applied knowledge that can help management, policy development and operational activities.

Mark Freberg is the director, permitting and closure for Teck Resources. He has over 35 years of experience in the permitting, operation and closure of mines. His current role is to co-ordinate and support permitting and closure planning activities across Teck and he works primarily in British Columbia, Chile and Peru. He is the chair of the Environment Committee of the Mining Association of Canada and has been very involved in the federal government’s review of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

Edie Thome is the president and CEO at the Association for Mineral Exploration (AME). Prior to AME, she was the director of environment, permitting and compliance, Aboriginal Relations and Public Affairs at BC Hydro, responsible for permitting and compliance, Aboriginal relations and public affairs for the Site C Clean Energy Project. Her earlier experience includes regulatory affairs, risk management, environment, operations and customer service for BC Hydro, among other regulated industries.

Arjun Singh is serving his third term on Kamloops City Council. He is a trained facilitator and is currently an associate of the SFU Centre for Dialogue. He has an MA in professional communication from Royal Roads University and a certificate in dialogue, deliberation, and public engagement from Fielding Graduate University. He is a past president of the Rotary Club of Kamloops and past chair of the Kamloops Technology Industry Association.

Josh Towsley is the assistant business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 115. IUOE Local 115 has played a critical role in resource and transportation development in B.C. since its formation in 1931. During his career in the labour movement, he has represented the interests of B.C. workers in the mining, hydroelectric, roadbuilding and other industrial sectors.