The following dedicated individuals were elected at the
2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM)
of the Saanich-Gulf Islands (SGI) - Green Party of Canada (GPC) -
Electoral District Association (EDA)
For more about how we relate to the national party, what our Executive does
and who has served in the past, please click here.
Harald Hommel - Chief Executive Officer
3 year term
After my retirement four years ago, my wife Cynthia and moved from Manitoba to BC. I became excited when I realized that we were living in Elizabeth May’s riding and decided that I wanted to help out in the 2015 campaign. After the re-election, I stayed on with the SGI group of volunteers because they were a passionate, professional group of people that I admired. This group of volunteers morphed into the SGI Green Media and the Green Special Events groups.
I have contributed my photography skills and time in video recording, and was also involved with canvassing. My experience with the Greens, in combination with recent political reversals by the federal Liberal government, have convinced me that, more than ever, the country needs the policies that the Green Party espouses.
I believe that the SGI EDA is vital in supporting Elizabeth May, as well as helping other EDAs across the country become established. Not having the same funds available as other parties, the Green Party must rely on volunteers. To facilitate this, we must take on the difficult tasks of recruiting and empowering our volunteers to be truly successful. This isn’t as easy as it seems. I am up to that challenge.
After spending enjoyable years in post secondary education (Sciences, Arts and City Planning), I started my working career in business as an insurance underwriter for a major Canadian life insurance company. I moved into the sales area and then left the insurance industry to become a stay-at-home dad for our daughter’s first year. At mid-life, I made the decision to return to school for an education degree. In this field I had the opportunity to work with immigrant students in English as Additional Language programs, and eventually worked in my favourite area, that of teaching social studies.
It was in teaching Canadian History, as I examined the Canadian political process with students, that I came to realize that the first-past-the-post system of voting was producing poor results. A proportional representation system allows every vote to count, making the voting process more fair for all voters. Naturally, I looked for a party that supported PR, and I found the Green Party.
With that in mind, I am wholly committed to a collaborative, cooperative process in supporting the Green Party and Elizabeth May here in the Saanich Gulf Islands EDA, as well as across Canada, to reach more Canadians and prepare for the upcoming federal election.
Sharon Forrester - Financial Agent
3 year term
My role as Financial Agent includes financial reporting to the Executive and Elections Canada and preparing tax receipts for our donors. I was also the official agent for the 2015 election campaign.
I began volunteering with SGI before the 2011 election. I was so impressed by Elizabeth that I started canvassing and working in the office. After that election, I volunteered to join the Board as Financial Agent, the position I've held for 5 years now.
Before that I was a retired CA, and I had spent 15 years of my career with the BC Ministry of Environment. After retiring I went back to university and took environmental courses, including one from Andrew Weaver about climate change. That is the issue that motivates me to keep working with the Green Party.
Nancy Searing - Secretary
3 year term
Even though I had voted Green for a few elections when I heard Elizabeth May was planning to move to Sidney and run for the Green Party in SGI I was thrilled to finally have a candidate who exemplified my values and had a chance of winning the seat. In about 2009 I went to the meeting in the basement of St. John’s church with about 20 other people when Elizabeth announced her candidacy. I have been involved ever since. I have canvassed, helped with lawn signs and data entry. I have been a member of the Events Team since 2015 and more recently I co-lead the Events Team with my husband Gary.
I see myself as a ‘behind the scenes’ kind of person with decent organization skills and a willingness to help where needed. I was the secretary of the Iyengar Yoga Association of Canada for 6 years, practiced Social Work in my career and am currently an Iyengar Yoga instructor and serve on the board of the Peninsula Yoga Centre in Sidney. As a grandmother I am horrified at the prospect of a future on this planet that will be forever negatively changed if the effects of climate change are not addressed immediately. My intention is to do what I can to support the vitally important work Elizabeth does.
Linda Brown - Member-at-large
3 year term
I am a recently retired pharmacist who has lived on the BC coast her entire life, from Squamish to Vancouver and now North Saanich. My professional career spanned hospital, government and health authority jobs, most recently as a medication educator for family physicians, nurse practitioners and pharmacists. My work entailed extensive evaluation of the literature to determine best evidence for a variety of therapies. As a result, I have a healthy regard for the difference between rhetoric and evidence, am quite organized most of the time, and pay close attention to detail. I'm an avid gardener and love our precious coast.
I first became involved with the federal Green Party after attending a presentation by Elizabeth many months before the 2011 election campaign. I was hooked immediately, and helped in the office for that campaign as well as doing some canvassing. The 2015 campaign saw me helping Thomas with the canvassing records as well as again knocking on doors.
I am a member of the SGI Green Media Group and am excited to work with the SGI Greens Executive as a member at large.
Ellen Guttormson - Member-at-large
3 year term
I retired in 2016 after being in veterinary practice for 40 years. I have served on a number of boards over the years including the Western Canadian Association of Equine Practitioners, Victoria Saanich Pony Club, Irish Draught Horse Society North America, North and South Saanich Agricultural Society (aka Saanich Fair board), and Victoria SPCA.
I am also very interested in issues relating to agriculture and food sustainability, and since retirement I have been concentrating on improving my small farm that I have lived on for 31 years. I have a flock of Icelandic sheep which I breed for both meat and fleece production, and I am using permaculture principles to increase the production of vegetables, fruit and nuts for family consumption. Ecological issues related to the use of herbicides, pesticides, inorganic fertilizers, and the introduction of GMOs are high on my priority list of concerns.
My initial degree, before attending veterinary School at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, was a BSc in Biology from UVic. I have always had a keen interest in both environmental and political issues. While still working I participated as much as time allowed in both the first and second election campaigns of Elizabeth May and the first provincial campaign of Adam Olsen.
As I was retired by the time of Adam's second campaign I was able to dedicate a lot more time volunteering in a number of aspects leading up to election time. I am very proud to live in both the federal and provincial ridings of two very inspirational Greens and I take every opportunity to let others know this.
Dan Kells - Member-at-large
3 year term
From my job as a junior forest ranger at 17 to a surveyor working the length of Vancouver Island, my interests have always included the natural history of where I live. I wish to preserve our natural environment and just as importantly, our human place in that complex ecosystem. In 2004, I became the founding CEO of the North Vancouver GPC EDA. For three years, I was a sign maker and erector and campaign manager among other duties.
Now that I am retired, I volunteer with Peninsula Streams, Dominion Brook Park and the Green party. To me, local community is the key to everything. You can’t affect your country or the world unless you work at the community level. I am proud to add a voice of varied experience and assist our local EDA team to continue to be the best in Canada.
Shelagh Levey - Member-at-large
Cordova Bay (Saanich)
2 year term
Since 2011, I have been actively engaged in the Saanich Gulf Islands Green Party, and would value the opportunity to work with the executive committee. I am a member of the SGI Social Media Group, and have volunteered for four candidates, provincially and federally. Canvassing more than 2,000 homes has given me an insight into the needs and concerns of the electorate.
I was born and raised in Manchester, England. After graduating in education, I taught and lived in East Africa, Jamaica and Ontario before settling on the Saanich Peninsula. John and I have four children and seven grandchildren. In 1972, I read the Club of Rome report and have been actively involved in community service and environmental action ever since. Some activities include:
- Member of a small volunteer group that introduced and organized neighbourhood recycling - the first recycling programme in Canada.
- Introduced and led environmental education initiatives at Gordon Head Elementary School.
- Wrote a book on environmental education, and articles for The Green Teacher.
- Edited Watershed Connections, a quarterly publication to provide property owners with information to protect and restore the Prospect Lake/Creek Watershed.
- Director of the Prospect Lake Community Association.
- Advisory committee member for the Rural Saanich Local Area Plan.
- Lead steward in Pulling Together, the Saanich Parks restoration programme.
This is an exciting time for the Green Party and I would like to offer my time and skills to help the party move forward, both locally and nationally, in whatever way possible. I believe in transparency and grassroots democracy. I have organizational and networking skills, and as a staff member in diverse schools, I have learned the importance of co-operation, innovation, creativity, critical thinking, and the ability to reach consensus. Thank you for considering my nomination.
Bob MacKie - Member-at-large, Salt Spring Island
Salt Spring Island
3 year term
- Immediate Past President of the Green Party of Canada
- Executive Committee Member of Saanich Gulf Islands Electoral District Association
- Co-Manager on Salt Spring Island of Elizabeth May 2015 Campaign
- Ran multiple Webinars for Green Party of Canada across Canada
- Past Riding Association President for the Progressive Conservative Party
- Member of Fair Vote Canada (FVC) National Council
I believe that having a proportional representation (PR) voting system will improve our democracy through better representation and more consensus based governance. PR is crucial to the Green Party. It will empower progressive voters and enable the achievement of Green Party goals. My experience at the federal level within the party also leads me to believe that Saanich Gulf Islands can help show the way for other EDAs across the country to achieve success. It is important to do so both for the party and for our leader.
Bob MacKie, B. Comm, Concordia University, MBA, University of Western
Ontario, MA, Simon Fraser University
Tom Mitchell - Member-at-large, Salt Spring Island
Salt Spring Island
3 year term
In 1970 aged twenty four, I emigrated to Canada from Glasgow Scotland where I served an apprenticeship as a millwright.
I joined the Greens in 2000 approximately, and became active in Provincial and Federal campaign teams on Salt Spring Island, with Andrew Lewis and Ken Reulou as the candidates over three elections.
In 2011, I was privileged along with Brian Smallshaw to chair a great campaign team on Salt Spring to elect Elizabeth. In 2015, this time with Bob McKie as co chair for the Salt Spring campaign team, we helped elect Elizabeth again with an even bigger majority. In Adam Olsen's campaign I was fortunate to work under the leadership of Marcelle Roy and helped Adam gain his seat.
Elizabeth May, along with other great Greens, and all the hard working campaign and background volunteers, is bringing the Green Vision before Canadians; we are making a difference.
I have been a member of the EDA for 6 or 7 years and very much enjoy the background activities that smooth the way for Elizabeth to do what she does so well. On Salt Spring, I am involved in many activities - anti-pipeline, KAIROS and First Nation support groups. I have been with the United Church since arriving on Island, and have been involved in Social Justice and Pastoral care committees over the years. At present I am retired as a self employed residential contractor, although still fixing up my own place, a lifetime project.
I also retired last Sept 2017 as a caregiver after 24 years.
I believe the Green voice, both Federal and Provincial, needs to be heard in Canada in order to change course from a disastrous climate crisis. I would very much appreciate the opportunity to continue that work in the EDA.
Michael Strumberger - Member-at-large, Salt Spring Island
Salt Spring Island
3 year term
I grew up in North Saanich and have lived in this riding for most of my life. Currently I live and work on Salt Spring Island as a graphic/web designer, honeybee keeper, and organic farmer. Currently I have the honour of serving as CEO of this dynamic EDA. I have held this position for one year, after serving as secretary for the three years prior. After chairing our new vision committee last year, I have done my best to champion our vision, values, and objectives as we prepare for 2019 and beyond.
This is a very exciting time for Greens. Our riding association - due to inspiring leadership and remarkably engaged members - is uniquely positioned to offer service to the Green Party of Canada as it strengthens and matures to be a positive game-changer to Canadian governance.
I look forward to expanding on the success of our visioning work, continue my efforts of reaching out to other EDAs, and offer support as they build their own capacity - empowering our party as a whole. I am humbled by the dedication and commitment of all the people I work with, and share their dream for a brighter, more inclusive, and more beautiful future.