NIPR Greens Executive Members
Mark de Bruijn
Director at Large (Candidate for 2019 Federal election)
Mark de Bruijn moved to the Comox Valley 15 years ago as a high school sciences teacher and school principal 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, he has had a growing interest in global issues of environmental preservation, social justice, cooperative governance, and the evolution of human consciousness. Modern politics and global corporatization impact these issues, and the lives of virtually all citizens of the world. This realization has led Mark to a desire to be more politically involved, and the values of the Green Party of Canada were a natural fit. In 2014 he joined the GPC, and the North Island-Powell River riding EDA in 2015. His hope is to engage more people in the upcoming federal election, and to help transform Canada to a collaborative and cooperative society beyond the limits of our current partisan politics. Mark has twin 3-year old grandsons living in Calgary, where his son is an environmental consultant and his daughter-in-law a high school counsellor. He shares his life with his partner, a Vancouver-based life coach and meditation instructor.
Jay Van Oostdam
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, a financial agent between elections and 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 environmental monitoring for BC Environment and then for the last eighteen years with Health Canada in Ottawa on human biomonitoring in the high Arctic.
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 and he hopes that his work as the Financial Agent for the NIPR Greens will help us elect a Green Party candidate and spread Green values.
Director of Election Readiness; 2019 Campaign manager for Mark de Bruijn
Dr Mark Tapper was brought up in rural England. He was a scholar at Keble College, Oxford. He obtained his basic medical degrees and a D. Phil. from Oxford University. He has lived in Canada since 1975. He trained as a specialist in psychiatry at the University of Alberta. He worked as a psychiatrist all his career, the last 20 years in the Comox Valley and north Vancouver island. During his career he was a member of many local, provincial and national committees concerned with psychiatric practice. He was an Associate Clinical Professor at University of Alberta and UBC. He had an interest in the interaction of psychiatry and the law and was a member of the Mental Health Act Review Board in both Alberta and BC. Dr Tapper has been married to Pat for 35 years. They have 2 children and 2 grandchildren. Mark enjoys living in a place where the stars are visible at night and the beauty and fragility of nature are obvious.
Director at Large
Douglas Cowell is a retired photographer, photojournalist and writer. As a young man from the prairies he settled in the BC Interior in the early 70’s and signed on to work as a logger. Unknowingly he had launched himself into his life’s work. After a couple of years he withdrew from logging and began treeplanting, a trade he worked in for nine years, becoming intimately familiar with clearcuts in every corner of the province. Seeing a remarkable story unfolding in front of him, he began working to create a documentary film about the BNC forests, the cutting and replanting of them and the remarkable, emerging culture of the hippie treeplanters. The project was adopted by NFB and won the 1978 “Jury’s Choice” award at the 1978 Banff Film Festival among several others. It remains in the NFB catalogue today.
CEO, Communications Director
I am honoured to be involved with the North Island-Powell River EDA. I am someone who has come to political action late in life. Although I always voted, it wasn’t until the 2015 election that I became involved in a campaign. I volunteered for Brenda Sayers, and that was a privilege. I discovered I really liked canvassing, too. Since finding a home in the Green Party, I feel a real sense of purpose to political organizing - that we are a party that transcends the usual political bickering and partisanship. If I had known how much fun political organizing was 30 years ago, I might have been a candidate at some point!
Powell River Engagement Director
Cynthia is an active member and Secretary of Climate Action Powell River. She is interested in sustainable community economic development. In past years she started a Farmers’ Market in Summerside, P.E.I., acted as Executive Director for a local arts Council, worked with First Nations as the Education Director and started a private international college in Vancouver. More recently she is writing her memoir, gardening and doing gigong. Her hope is to see more Greens in the Federal Government as well as an end to corporate control of our current governments.
Director of Information and Data Management
Blair Cusack recently moved to the Comox Valley from East Sooke where he was active as Co-Chair of the local Land Use Committee, as Chair of the Juan de Fuca Economic Development Commission and as President of the East Sooke Rural Residents and Ratepayers Association. A graduate of the University of Calgary, he has worked as a petroleum analyst in Alberta, as a socio-economic impact analyst at the Revelstoke Hydro Project and as BC Government’s software asset manager. He has also taught high school in Ontario, Alberta and BC. His hobbies include competitive curling, backpacking, travelling and researching. He believes that the Green Party offers humanity’s best political hope to face the clear and present danger of climate change because: 1. The Green Party remains free from the corporate-political cult of corruption that is largely responsible for our dire environmental situation, 2. The Green Party has a common, international philosophical and organizational base with which to construct a template for a sustainable, managed, forward-thinking market-based economy, and, 3. the Green Party is invigorated with an honest respect for all human beings, which is a vital precondition for the kind of co-operation and teamwork required to allow humanity to flourish.
Director of Volunteers
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.
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.