NIPR Greens Executive Members
Jay Van Oostdam
Director at Large
Jay strongly supports the six values of the Green Party and has been involved with the party since 1983 – supporting the party as a campaign worker through many elections, acting as a financial agent between elections and running as a candidate in the 1991 BC election.
Jay first landed in BC as a veterinarian in the Nanaimo region in 1981, followed by a post doc at the UBC Pulmonary Research Lab. A Master of Public Health allowed Jay to branch out into human / environmental monitoring for BC Environment and then for the last eighteen years with Health Canada in Ottawa on human biomonitoring and health impacts of contaminants in high Arctic peoples and southern populations. Jay’s work in the high arctic, his wife and two sons have brought to the fore the need for real changes in how the human race relates to the world and how we need to make the six Green values (Ecological Wisdom, Non-violence, Participatory Democracy, Respect for Diversity, Social Justice and Sustainability) the values we all live by on this planet.
Jay and his family have settled in the Comox valley. The Climate Crisis (heat dome, forest fires, atmospheric rivers/flooding) plus the non-sustainable forestry practices in BC (decimation of old growth, need for carbon sequestration in all forests) shows how we need radical changes now if our children are to survive on this planet. The NIPR Greens must elect a Green Party candidate so these “radical” Green values are incorporated into decision making in Parliament.
Mark de Bruijn
CEO (Candidate for 2019 Federal election)
24 years ago Mark moved to the Comox Valley as a school principal and sciences teacher in the Campbell River district. Prior to that he had a variety of careers, including human resources director, sporting goods buyer, general contractor, college instructor, and fisheries biologist.
Since retiring, his lifelong interest in the global issues of environmental preservation, cooperative governance, and social justice led him to join the Green Party of Canada in 2014. Since then he’s been an active member of the North Island-Powell River Electoral District Association’s executive, serving as its CEO for a year and becoming its candidate in the 2019 federal election.
His passion for collaboration and cooperation beyond the limits of our current partisan politics continues to fuel his Green involvement. Canada must move from a never- ending growth economy to embrace bold policies that will usher in a modern society that is circular and sustainable, equitable for all, and in harmony with natural systems. Greens are the only political group with the values and vision, the global reach, and the will to accomplish this.
Mark lives with his partner Carol Thatcher, enjoying living by Green values, exploring a low-impact spiritually based lifestyle, growing their own food, and being in nature. Their twin 9-year old grandsons live in Calgary where their dad is an environmental consultant and mom a high school counsellor.
From the days that I was a child I have been concerned about the environment. The future of the planet was my motivation for being involved as a volunteer during elections. It is time, now, to step it up. There is no longer the luxury of waiting hopelessly for the current government – or other parties – to take the drastic steps that are necessary to avert climate disaster. To mitigate the effects of climate warming it is imperative to elect many Green candidates to seats in Parliament. Being ready for the next election is key. Now is the time to volunteer between elections.
As part of my career in mental health, I was a Program Coordinator in a volunteer centre for eleven years. The program supported people with mental illnesses to find volunteer opportunities that they enjoyed and supported them until they were comfortable on their own. Matching skills to required tasks, training, and supervision brought out the best in the volunteers. My team of Peer Support Workers worked with our clients and networked with organizations that valued the volunteers and their contributions.
Now, as a retiree, after decades as an environmentalist, I work at reducing my footprint as much as possible. I had solar panels installed on my roof and an electric vehicle charger installed in my garage. One of my first tasks when moving here at the end of 2019 was to put up a clothesline in the Spring. There have been many other tweaks to my home to reduce my footprint. My hybrid vehicle will soon be giving way to an electric bicycle.
While it is certainly very important to do our part as individuals, unless there is system change and policy change, we will follow our current path to mass extinction and societal collapse. It is crucial that we make a difference with our energies and our voting.
“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Prairie born and Victoria raised, Carol is a true West Coast girl who has witnessed, firsthand, the radical environmental and social changes we’ve seen on Vancouver Island and throughout our province. A passion for health and wellness, personal development and social change carried her through 20+ years executive team management in the field of integrated health and cancer care. Education, program development and facilitation, and the co-creation of a progressive organizational model of health and healing, were her focus.
Carol’s latent interest in politics surfaced in 2013 when she co-created a local political group called ‘Y-vote’, a setting in which to create political awareness and foster intelligent political action. A Green Party member since 2014, Carol is currently a member of GPC’s NIPR Election Readiness committee as well as holding the role of Volunteer Coordinator.
My history with the Green Party began in 2019 as a member and then NIPR Executive member; we then immediately dove into the 2019 election campaign! I became an Electoral District Agent and in 2020 became the NIPR Financial Agent. In 2021, I volunteered with Jessica Wegg’s election campaign and I continue to be excited about the vision, the values and the passion that Green members have for our community, country and planet. My working background is in the field of accounting and office administration, which allowed me to work in a variety of businesses, charities, a university and a seniors’ cooperative. I have volunteered for over 40 years in various not-for-profit organizations, including Habitat for Humanity.
This North Island – Powell River riding is a beautiful part of the west coast with lakes, forests, rivers, mountains, and with both rural and urban communities that are never too far away from vistas of our natural setting. We live on the traditional lands of many indigenous nations and I am thankful to learn more of our shared history, understanding why reconciliation is necessary and how we move forward together. I appreciate also that in BC, we have had a resource-extraction based economy that is not sustainable or good for our environment. Now is the time for facing hard facts and coming up with creative solutions and the Green Party is addressing these issues.
I continue to enjoy working with the people on the NIPR Executive as we engage with our communities about the issues confronting us today, and welcome those who would support and join us in this work.
Director at Large/Policy Director
New to BC and Powell River in 2021, I’ve been following the GPC since the mid 2000s when I started to learn more about climate change and have increased my involvement in recent years. Originally from Ontario, I studied cultural and communication theory and have worked in food retail, house painting, and cooking. The Global Greens represent an opportunity for international cooperation defined by our six core principles. Greens have an important role to play in Canada to push the cultural and political imagination towards a system not based on colonialism, exploitation, and extraction. We can help define a democratic economy centered on people and ecology together rather than profit, capital accumulation, and GDP. Anything we can do to move towards a healthier future is worth the time, and helping with the Green Party is a part of that for me.
Director at Large (Candidate for 2021 Federal Election)
North Island Area Team Lead
I was born and raised in Vancouver but had lived in Sydney, Australia for 30 years, where I raised my 2 daughters. We moved back to Vancouver in 2005 where I continued my career in the education field as admissions administrator. My eldest daughter lives in Calgary, Alberta raising her family of 2 little boys and my youngest daughter is living back in Australia having realized her dream of working with animals and becoming a Veterinary Nurse. Eight years ago and after semi retiring from my school career I moved from Vancouver to the north island. I now manage a fledgling book shop in Port McNeill.
My move to the island has brought me so much closer to our natural environment and reinforced to me the necessity of reducing our dependence on fossil fuel, preserving what we have in terms of old growth forests, replenishing our wild salmon population and all that depend on these to survive. Our planet is deeply in crisis. We cannot be oblivious any more to what is happening and we must act rapidly to make a drastic course change. It is so clear that we have run out of time.
My involvement with the Green Party of Canada began after I volunteered on the 2019 federal election campaign and knew I couldn’t stop at just one election. Part of my role within the current North Island Powell River EDA includes the position of North Island Area Team Lead. This covers the communities of Port McNeill, Port Hardy and Port Alice, Sointula, Alert Bay and Woss.
My belief is that the Green Party is the only party that has the political will, policies and philosophy to move Canada forward at the pace we must go to begin healing this earth. The only party to hold the government of the day accountable for the environmental and economic decisions it makes, to demand a cessation of burning fossil fuels and to develop greener economic initiatives.
We live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. I do not take it for granted and I will work within the Green Party of Canada, with the goal of making sure our politicians don’t take it for granted either.
Green Party Core Values
The Green Party of Canada and Green Parties around the world share common values based on six fundamental principles. Non-violence, sustainability, social justice, ecological wisdom, participatory democracy, respect for diversity.