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First Nations well-represented on new Environmental Advisory Committee

A newly appointed Environmental Advisory Committee featuring extensive First Nations experience met for the first time on Tuesday at North Cowichan municipal hall.

The seven-member committee, chaired by Councillor Mike Caljouw, will advise council on environmental issues over the next four years.

New members to the committee include: long-time Cowichan Tribes staffer Dianne Hinkley; Jana Kotaska, an environmental consultant to First Nations, including Cowichan Tribes; Bill Valentine, a former senior BC government bureaucrat, including treaty negotiator, currently consulting to Esquimalt Nation; and Carolyn Drugge, former senior policy analyst for the City of Vancouver who has worked on water conservation and stewardship.

Two other members have been reappointed to the committee, including: Cam Campbell, a specialist in forest landscape planning and visual resource management, who is also an adjunct professor at the University of BC; and Sandy McPherson, a self-described “environmental generalist” with a background in nursing and health care administration.

In the coming months, the committee will consider issues such as solar power, biodiversity protection, a climate action and energy plan, electric vehicles, and a master transportation plan.

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— Larry Pynn, May 23, 2023


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