Mark de Bruijn Nominee for the Green Party of Canada Candidate for NIPR
Much of my passion for the natural world and it’s wonders comes from leaving my urbanized European homeland at the age of 3, and moving to a country with nothing but wilderness everywhere. My father was smitten by it, and our family spent countless weekends and summers exploring the wilds, from our home in the Calgary foothills to the California Sierras. I grew up hiking, canoeing, trail riding and rock climbing my summers away in the glorious Rockies, much of it as a counsellor with a YMCA wilderness camp near Banff.
Upon graduating from the University of Calgary with a 1st class honours B.Sc. in zoology, I worked as a fish biologist in the Arctic on Canada’s first major environmental assessment for a pipeline destined to bring Alaskan natural gas to Edmonton. Our work ultimately contributed to the Canadian government’s decision to decline the development application – the huge pipe was never built.
Gradually I discovered my real interest lay in helping others appreciate and treasure the wonders of nature. I became a college biology instructor at Mount Royal College in Calgary. Later I completed the training to teach high school chemistry, biology and math, including a stint as school principal.
As economics, interests and lifestyles changed, I gathered an eclectic range of skills working as general contractor, sporting goods buyer, healing program coordinator, and employability teacher and coach. But always I returned to education and the natural world as my primary passion.
Along the way I discovered an interest in exploring the potential of creative community building. For 20 years I was part of a large intentional community, serving on the board and experimenting with cooperative governance and sustainable approaches to living. It was a deeply life-affirming time, which continues to enrich my life with another great passion it kindled: the evolution of human consciousness and human potential.
These interests in the global issues of environmental education and preservation, social justice, sustainable living, cooperative governance, and the evolution of human consciousness led me to become active in the GPC in 2014. I resonate deeply with its six guiding principles – for me the only basis for approaching the many-faceted dilemmas of climate change, and creating a new and sustainable society.
Our local riding is deeply affected by environmental issues, many of which are linked to or exacerbated by climate change (logging, fish farms, wild fish stocks, rising seas, droughts, farming practices, landfills) and social issues (housing, food security, homelessness, poverty). As a potential candidate, I want to work with the many concerned, motivated and inspired people in our communities striving to bring fresh and innovative solutions to these challenges. It is a work we do together, and everyone has a part to play.
My partner Carol shares my passion for the wellbeing of our planet. As well as supporting local political initiatives, we feel privileged to act as volunteer stewards of Mitlenatch Island. We enjoy outdoor activities (hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, kayaking), and practice the spiritual wisdoms of meditation.
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