Michael Brauer

Professor, Occupational and Environmental Health, University of British Columbia

Michael Brauer joined the UBC faculty in 1991 in the Department of Medicine. He was an inaugural member of the Occupational Hygiene Program, Director of the School of Environmental Health (2003-2008) and the Occupational and Environmental Health co-lead in SPPH (2011-2014). He holds associate appointments in the Division of Respiratory Medicine and the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at UBC and is an Affiliate Professor in the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington. His research focuses on linkages between the built environment and human health, with specific interest in transportation-related and biomass air pollution, the global health impacts of air pollution and relationships between multiple exposures mediated by urban form and population health. He has conducted monitoring and epidemiological studies throughout the world and served on numerous advisory committees (e.g. World Health Organization, Climate and Clean Air Coalition, the US National Academies, Royal Society of Canada).

Matthew Norris

President, Urban Native Youth Association

Matthew Norris is an Indigenous rights advocate and community leader dedicated to building a just and representative city. He is a is a member of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band in Northern Saskatchewan, and is currently finishing his PhD at UBC with a focus on the implementation of international Indigenous rights frameworks. Matthew Norris is the President of the Urban Native Youth Association, the Co-Chair for the Vancouver Just Recovery Association, and sits on BC Climate Secretariats’ Indigenous Climate Adaptation Working Group. For the past three years, Matthew has been employed as OneCity City Councillor Christine Boyle’s Policy and Communications Specialist, working on issues related to affordable housing, climate adaptation and the promotion of a just, responsive and representative city.

Amber George

Indigenous Rights Advocate

Amber George is an mixed race Indigenous woman from the Wet’suwet’en Nation. She is also of Mohawk and European Settler lineage. She is Killer whale/Grouse from the Likstamisyu House. Amber comes from a prestigious and long lineage of hereditary Chiefs and historical figures of the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en Nations. Her family is prominent in the advocacy of Indigenous rights in Canada, having fought since first contact for generations, in the attempt for equal rights for non-status and status Indigenous, as well as off reserve members.

Andrew Nielsen

Housing Manager, City of Merritt

Andrew is the Housing Manager at the City of Merritt and a Regulatory and Environmental Consultant at Diamond River Consulting. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of Calgary, and a degree in Chemical Engineering Technology from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.

Naheed Nenshi

Former Mayor of Calgary

Naheed Nenshi is a passionate Calgarian, an accomplished business professional, and a community leader with a solid track record of getting things done. He’s run a large nonprofit, he’s been a trusted advisor to corporate leaders in Canada and the US, and he literally wrote the book on Canadian cities. Naheed spent many years at the international business consulting firm, McKinsey & Co., where he advised large telecommunications, banking, retail and oil and gas companies in corporate strategy. After leaving McKinsey, Naheed formed his own business, the Ascend Group, a consultancy that assists public, private, and nonprofit organizations to grow. His real passion, though, is making cities, especially Calgary, work better. He’s the lead author of “Building Up: Making Canada’s Cities Engines of Growth and Magnets of Development” and has long been putting his ideas to work in Calgary. He served as Mayor of Calgary from 2010 to 2021.

Ned Taylor (Moderator)

Councillor and CRD Director, District of Saanich

Ned is the youngest Saanich Councillor and CRD Director, and was born and raised in the district. He is passionate about the environment and climate change, affordability and housing, better transportation options, and building a community that works for everyone.

Ken Melamed (Moderator)

Advisor, Columbia Institute

Ken Melamed is a former mayor of Whistler in BC. He is a businessman, conservationist and former Green Party of Canada candidate in West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country. Ken Melamed was first elected to the Whistler council in 1996, serving as a councillor until 2005. He was elected as mayor in 2005 and served in that position until 2011.

Alison Gu (Moderator)

Councillor, City of Burnaby

Alison is a 2nd generation Chinese settler living on the unceded and unsurrendered lands of the hən̓qəmin̓əm̓ and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh speaking peoples. Alison is the youngest ever Burnaby City Councillor, and was elected on the mandate of climate, housing, and racial justice. Before being elected as a councillor, she has for an MLA, 2 MPs, and for her student union. In 2017, she cycled from Ottawa to Burnaby against the Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline while fundraising for the legal fees of the First Nations fighting the project in court.

Michael Eglison

Chair, Death Review Panel, BC Coroners Service

Michael recently retired as the Director & Chair of Specialized Investigations and Death Review Unit for the BC Coroners Service (BCCS). He has worked in the public sector for the past 35 years in various capacities related to the health and well-being of children and youth. Part of Michael’s role at the BCCS is acting as the chair of death review panels.  Death review panels bring together multi-sectorial experts to review the facts and circumstances around deaths to provide the chief coroner with advice regarding health and public safety and the prevention of deaths.  Michael has chaired two panels on deaths resulting from illicit drug toxicity (reports released 2017 & 2022) as well as presided at two inquests into the deaths of people who died from toxic illicit drugs. He has also presented work on child health and well-being indicators internationally in Israel and South Korea. When not at work Michael spends as much time as possible kayaking and also ranks somewhere around the world’s 4th worst guitar player.

Sarah Potts

Councillor, City of Victoria

Sarah Potts is a currently a City Councillor in Victoria, BC. She was first elected in 2018 under the banner of Together Victoria, an effort to support equity seeking candidates and to build a strong voice for affordability and inclusion in the City of Victoria. Sarah is a graduate of the University of Victoria where she studied Political Science and Human Dimensions of Climate Change. Her work experience in the field of poverty, homelessness, and the overdose epidemic has motivated her to advocate for diverse representation and the inclusion of lived experience in decision making. To this end she has established the City of Victoria’s first Peer-Informed Task Force to address issues of mental health, addictions, and homelessness. This work has led the City of Victoria to pilot a Peer Assisted Crisis Team, an alternative to policing mental health, addictions, and homelessness.

Arshia Uppal

Founder, Climate Recentered

“Arshia Uppal is a second generation settler in her second year of post-secondary hoping to major in environmental studies with a concentration in ecology. She entered the climate organizing space three years ago starting off with youth-led groups such as Sustainabiliteens. Arshia currently organizes with Climate Justice UBC and is also working towards pushing for harm reduction initiatives on campus with the UBC Social Justice Centre. Arshia has recently helped create a youth-led BIPOC cohort at Solid State Industries called Climate Recentered which focuses on reshaping the white narrative of climate organizing by bringing marginalized and racialized populations to the forefront of climate discussions. Her work revolves around the idea of incorporating intersectionality and equity into community organizing.”

Stephanie Atleo

Councillor, Cowichan Tribes First Nation

Stephanie Atleo is a member of Cowichan Tribes First Nation.  Stephanie grew up in her community where she continues to reside and raise her two children. She is an active participant in community and culture. Stephanie is currently a member of the elected Chief and Council, serving her 5th term.  In her role Stephanie sits on numerous committees including Education, Cowichan Tribes Treaty, Human Resources, Finance and Audit and participates on numerous working groups developing legislation and laws as Cowichan Tribes moves more towards Self-Governance and away from the Indian Act. Stephanie began her education in First Nation Governance in the mid 1990’s by attending a two year Associates of Arts Diploma program at the Institute of Indigenous Governance.  She graduated from UBC with a BA in First Nations Studies, minoring in History. Prior to returning to Cowichan Tribes to serve on council as well as work in the Administration office, Stephanie worked as an Aboriginal Relations’ consultant traveling to many communities in BC working with communities on some large projects. Stephanie is currently in pursuit of a Masters Degree in Governance and Leadership.  In addition to her interest in school, Stephanie’s other interests include reading, playing fastball, and art.