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image: CBC News

Dear Board of Change Community,

As expected the federal Finance Minister has just revealed that the government plans to use public money to indemnify Texas-based oil conglomerate Kinder Morgan’s risky investment in their pipeline and tanker project.

Polling shows that Canadians do not support government investment in this pipeline.

We need to show that common-sense business people are not on board with this risky and unfair taxpayer bailout before this goes any further.

If you haven’t already, please use our easy-to-use tool that empowers you to send a detailed letter to Trudeau, your MP, and provincial representatives with the click of a button.

Your voice is very powerful on this issue right now: Please send your message now before it’s too late.

This pipeline and tanker project is expected to create just 50 permanent jobs in BC and 40 in Alberta.[1]

Putting this in perspective, a single new Amazon office recently announced in Vancouver will add 3,000 permanent, high-paying jobs.

Kinder Morgan wants to anchor us to their poor business decisions and leave Canadian taxpayers and businesses to pick up the tab. That’s a bad deal and we shouldn’t put up with it.

If the government puts their thumb on the scale with a taxpayer bailout they will undermine investor confidence and stifle other sectors of our economy that we need to fuel economic development now and into the future.

The media is picking up on the voices of Progressive Business coming together. If we unify our voices we can show how this bail-out is bad for our economy. The latest is the Toronto Star talking about our “mass business opposition letter”[2]

Other outlets are increasingly talking about how the “Trans Mountain pipeline expansion lacked commercial viability from the get-go.” [3]

Let’s move forward with a common sense plan for economic development in the 21st century.

Thank you for speaking up,

Monika Marcovici,
Board of Change

PS. An FAQ section of the website has been started HERE.

The Energy Outlook report
The Toronto Star
The Vancouver Sun

February 26th: High Performance Buildings

A conversation presented by the Board of Change

Granite countertops? Pfft, so 10 minutes ago. The “must-have” features of a new home in 2018 deliver thermal comfort, durability, better indoor air quality, and a smaller carbon footprint. Thankfully, a raft of energy efficiency performance standards are unlocking all of the above benefits and more. Thanks to the new BC Energy Step Code, the North Shore will soon be an “efficient new home zone” stretching all the way from Deep Cove to Horseshoe Bay. Meanwhile, interest in the über-efficient Passive House standard is exploding. And in keeping with its commitment that all new buildings will produce zero operational greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, the City of Vancouver is full speed ahead with its Zero Emissions Building Plan.


Facebook: the engine of false news

By Jenny Tan

By unanimous consensus of the panel, Facebook is the crucial driver of the fake news phenomenon.

Last Thursday, November 30th, the Board of Change and Seattle-based educational television station KCTS 9 hosted the panel discussion The Role of Media in a World of Fake News at the Vancity Theatre. On the panel were The Tyee founding editor David Beers, Crosscut managing editor Florangela Davila, Globe and Mail associate editor Jim Jennings, and CBC news director Wayne Williams.

The disposition of society has changed, commented CBC’s Williams, allowing perhaps for the quicker rise of fake news compared to previous decades when fake news was present but not prevalent. He noted the CBC Ombudsman, responsible for complaints about CBC programs, has seen a sharp increase in the number of complaints received and a shift in the tone of complainants. Fewer are satisfied with the response of journalists and the complainants are “angrier”, “more polarised”, and some “outright insulting”.

News Release

BCUC Final Report Addresses Real Costs of Site C

Vancouver BC, November 2, 2017 – Peter Holt, Advocacy Team Chair for the Board of Change issued this statement following yesterday’s release of the Final Report to the Government of British Columbia by the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) in follow-up to its Site C Inquiry preliminary report released on Sept 21, 2017.

“The Board of Change commends BCUC’s work to complete this important review of the Site C project in such a short time and welcomes the full disclosure of the real costs that is the result of a full independent review of the project”

With only two options now considered viable, the new BC Government is in the unenviable position of reviewing a project where $3.9 billion is the minimum cost of cancellation and the cost of completion is estimated at $10 billion or more. Completion also comes with the very real prospect of producing power that will greatly exceed BC’s needs and at cost that means it will have to be sold on the US spot market at a loss.


The Board of Change continues to advocate that the Site C project be cancelled. The Board recommends cancellation not only to save future construction costs and the burden of a 70 year plus financing term but also to reinvigorate BC’s renewable energy sector. This previously vibrant sector of BC’s economy suffered greatly from the decision to build the dam. Given that renewable energy production is now competitive with, and likely even cheaper than energy from Site C, and given that it produces many more long-term jobs per unit of energy produced, the BC economy would experience a net gain as a result of its revival.


We understand the dilemma that the Government has inherited from its predecessor and encourage them to recognize the fundamental flaws in proceeding with Site C and encourage them to put their faith in the role that BC’s clean energy industry can play in generating jobs and viable alternative sources of power for all British Columbians



Peter Holt


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The Board of Change is an inclusive business network fostering an economic model that values the pursuit of sustainability equally with the pursuit of profit. We believe strongly in the role of profitable business in society and also believe that business has an equal responsibility for social and environmental stewardship. Indeed, this may be the greatest responsibility of business.


Presented by KCTS9 in partnership with the Board of Change

KCTS9 and Board of Change Logos

Promotional partner:

The Tyee logo


Date: November 30, 2017  |  5:30 – 7:30pm

Location: Vancity Theatre
1181 Seymour Street, Vancouver, BC
Free Event for Board of Change Members :: But You Must Register at
Seating is limited
Light refreshments will be served


Is it time for credible media to kick some ass?

At a time when facts are opinions and opinions are facts, what is the role of media to present the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? And how compelling is this ‘truth’ to the public? It’s a troubling time and media’s role — and responsibility — in these affairs is being challenged in unprecedented ways. What’s the solution and how can society successfully trust media again? Register and learn more at


Highlights of May 30 2017: Joel Solomon and Karn Manhas’ Talk Clean Money Revolution

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Your Name is on Your Money

Article by jenny Tan
More photos by Daniel Rotman
Check out Joel’s new book, the Clean Money Revolution.
Find out more about Karn Manhas’ company Terramera.
Listen to a clip of Joel’s talk

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Maybe you and I should look at money in a different light.

Last Tuesday, chair of mission venture capital firm Renewal Funds Joel Solomon and entrepreneur Karn Manhas sat down and asked the audience what money means to them. “We have pretty much one goal with money,” said Joel, “which is ‘more’”.

The issue is partly structural, pointed out Joel. Investors have not had much diversity in the investment menu; people are patted on the head by financial advisors and persuaded that investing is best left to the professionals. The options available are uninspiring. Milton Friedman’s statement still echoes loudly in the offices of wealth managers: “There is… only one social responsibility of business… to increase its profits.” Without diversity in choice, ordinary investors demand only the pre-existing options.

Investing for profit–without consideration of where the money comes from–is deeply rooted in our culture. Well-meaning financial advisors shake their heads when investors ask for socially responsible options. Don’t let that stop you. “My name is on my money, and yours is too,” said Joel.

Helping socially responsible investing become the norm is partly a chicken-and-egg issue. Without a diversity of feasible choices, financial advisors will continue dissuading their clients putting their money towards socially responsible venues. A quick practical guide: for high net-worth individuals, consider investing with venture capital firms such as Renewal; for retail investors: consider options such as CoPower, SolarShare, and mutual funds listed on the Responsible Investment Association website. Keep pushing your financial advisors to seek options aligned with your values, or do it yourself.

Change is slow, but take heart: “there’s been an explosion across the world [of socially responsible investing],” said Joel. “It has hit critical mass.”
“[With cleaner money], we actually can solve the major problems on this planet.”

Invest with your values and fuel the revolution.





Article and photos by Jenny Tan

Click here for more photos by Jenny Tan and VIDEO of the event. 

Site C doesn’t make business sense, say experts, and is in dire need of independent review.Last Thursday April 20t  at UBC Robson Square, a panel of experts dissected common arguments in favour of Site C, a proposed dam located just outside of Fort St. John on the Peace River in northeastern B.C., noting the project could cost taxpayers to suffer losses of over $1 billion, presents major challenges to constitutional rights of First Nations, and that the increased power supply would outstrip projected demand.

B.C. Hydro pegs the estimated cost of the project at $8.8 billion, which would take B.C. taxpayers until 2094 to pay off.

Even with increased electrification of the economy, said Karen Bakker, UBC professor and Canada Research Chair in Political Ecology, demand for electricity could be met by conservation at a third of the price for a number of years. A commonly touted option of selling power from the Site C dam to Alberta to meet demand increases from the oilsands is not feasible, she said. B.C. would have to sell its power at over $140/MWh; Alberta could obtain enough power to meet its demands from other sources such as the Slave River Hydro Project at a lower cost.

The liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry is unlikely to take off in B.C. and require power from Site C, also noted former KPMG partner Eoin Finn, and exporting power to the United States would require selling the electricity at below cost.

Paul Kariya, executive director of Clean Energy B.C., pointed out the clean energy industry can offer cost-effective alternatives to Site C.

Councillor Dean Dokkie of the West Moberly First Nation, whose traditional lands include the proposed location of the Site C dam, emphasised lack of understanding of the size and cost of the project as a key barrier. The proposed Site C dam would flood 5,500 hectares of land.

“When I flip a light switch,” said Dokkie, “I know where [the power] comes from and what the costs are… If you flooded the Fraser Valley, what would people say?”

The Site C project also infringes the constitutionally protected rights of First Nations, said Dokkie, especially with the bypassing of independent regulatory oversight. The 2010 Clean Energy Act exempted Site C from independent review by the B.C. Utilities Commission, removing the authority of bureaucrats to examine the business case for the dam.

Bakker summarised the political approach to First Nations consultation on Site C as “build now, litigate during, compensate after”.

Doug Arthur, senior fellow in public policy at UBC, noted Site C will proceed unless there is a change of government on May 9th, and reminded the audience to exercise its voting power.

Bakker suggested the provincial government postpone Site C and refer the project to the B.C. Utilities Commission. The regulatory body can then examine whether the value of contracts already signed will have pushed Site C past the point of no return.

Next Event April 20th: The Site C Dam:  What are the merits of completing it or discontinuing it?


The projected costs of the 680 MW Site C Dam, under construction on the Peace River in northeastern BC, have risen from $6.6 Billion to $8.9 Billion and many believe that final costs could be even higher. At the same time, the anticipated increased demand for power from a new Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) industry has not materialized. Furthermore, BC Hydro faces a variety of significant legal issues and other concerns related to first nations treaties to environmental concerns and the loss of high value food production lands.

Taken together, this new reality raises the serious question about whether it would be better for the economy and better for BC taxpayers to halt construction of the dam even though over $1.5 billion has already be spent and there are signed construction contracts in place for an additional $5 billion worth of work.

Join us on April 20th as we attempt to answer this question. Former KPMG partner, Eoin Finn, will present a high-level cost benefit analysis of the Site C Dam to show which path is best for the BC economy and BC taxpayers.
He will be followed by Paul Kariya, the Executive Director of Clean Energy BC. Paul will discuss the state of clean energy power development in BC and present the case for whether the Clean Energy Sector in BC can produce sufficient new power supplies to meet future electrical energy demand at the same or lower average cost per kwh than the Site C Dam.

Meet the New Panelists:

Doug McArthur has been appointed director of Simon Fraser University’s School of Public Policy, beginning his new role on September 1. Prior to joining SFU, McArthur was a senior fellow in public policy at the University of British Columbia.

Karen Bakker is a Professor, Canada Research Chair, and founding Director of the Program on Water Governance at the University of British Columbia. The program is dedicated to the dissemination of academic research on water issues to policy makers and the broader community. Dr. Bakker is the author of more than 100 academic publications on water governance and water security issues, and has given invited talks on her research at Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, and Oxford. She regularly acts as an advisor and consultant to national and international organizations, which have in the past included Natural Resources Canada, UNDP, UNESCO, and the OECD. She is a Board Member of the International Institute for Sustainable Development, and also a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. She is also the co-author of five reports on Site C, covering regulatory issues, First Nations issues, environmental impacts, greenhouse gas emissions, and economic issues. She led the Statement of Concerned Scholars on Site C, signed by over 350 scholars, which is available at The statement was supported by an unprecedented letter from the President of the Royal Society of Canada to the Prime Minister of Canada.

A member of the West Moberly First Nation, Dean Dokkie acquired his traditional knowledge and skills as trained by his father Chief John Dokkie Sr. who was the Hereditary Chief of the West Moberly Dunne’ Za/Cree Nation in Northeast British Columbia. Dean commenced his life career as a Manager for his community the West Moberly First Nation in 1981. Dean maintained the position for six years and then returned to continue his studies at the University College of Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, B.C. focusing on Political Science and Anthropology. Since then Dean has worked for many First Nations and Tribal Councils implementing First Nations initiatives and projects as Senior Management in various locations in Western Canada and Northwest United States. In the past 30 plus years Dean’s primary role has been working with First Nation leadership in areas of Oil and Gas, Forestry and Mining Industries. His extensive knowledge and experience have guided him to many accomplishments that benefit First Nation communities, Governments and Industries, ultimately specializing in Human Resources.

Still joining us:


Eoin Finn is a management consultant with 30 years business experience and a retired partner of the global accounting /management consulting firm, KPMG. Eoin holds a B.Sc and Ph. D., both in Chemistry, and an MBA degree. Eoin has studied and published several articles analyzing the business case for BC Hydro’s proposed Site C dam. These analyses have looked at trends affecting the need for the dam’s electricity, the likely capital and operating costs and revenues, and the availability of practical alternatives to the dam.


Paul Kariya is Executive Director of Clean Energy BC, the industry association that represents private sector power producers in BC. Kariya has broad experience working in the academic, not-for-profit and public sectors federally and provincially. He was CEO of the provincial crown corporation Fisheries Renewal BC and Executive Director of BC Treaty Commission. Paul holds degrees from UBC and Clark University in Massachusetts. He is a west coaster and the son of a fisherman.

WHEN: Thursday April 20 2017
5:00 pm: Registration begins
5:30 pm: Networking reception with appetizers
6:00 pm: Panel and Q&A
7:30 pm: Networking
8:00 pm: Event close

WHERE: UBC Robson Square, 800 Robson St. Vancouver, BC V6Z 3B7

New Members: Join between now and April 20 and get 2 free tickets to the Site C Debate event. Contact membership for details


Thank You Note from Trish Nixon,

Director of Investments, CoPower

I just wanted to send a personal note of thanks to everyone who came out on Tuesday night to “The Planet In Your Portfolio.” It was a pleasure to meet so many of you in person. The buzz in Vancouver is truly energizing and I’m looking forward to continuing the conversation on how we can use impact investing to close the climate finance gap!

If you’re interested in investing in Green Bonds (we have approx $600K left in our first tranche!) or connecting about CoPower more generally, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me anytime at

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Invest Responsibly and Make Money, too: CoPower Bonds

Photos and Article by
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Last Tuesday March 7th, the Board of Change hosted a panel discussion with CoPower’s Director of Investments, Trish Nixon, and Vancity’s Vice President of Impact Investing, Christine Bergeron, to discuss how average investors can do good with their money. Christie Stephenson, Executive Director at UBC’s The Peter P. Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics, moderated the discussion.

An opportunity to invest responsibly, see tangible social results, and not need millions or a trust fund to do it? You can pinch yourself to check; it’s not just a dream anymore. With Canadian clean energy investment company CoPower’s new bond offering, impact investing just laid out a welcome mat to the average investor.

The traditional problem with impact investing, noted Vancity’s Bergeron, is its lack of diversity and accessibility. Investments considered too risky for the average investor are the norm with impact investing; the market is accessible largely only to accredited investors (individuals who meet financial standards such as a net worth of over $1 million excluding real estate).

For Nixon, CoPower marks a shift in that trend. According to the company’s director of investments, CoPower’s current green bond offering is both a significant financial opportunity for investors and a chance to democratize the financial markets.

“There’s a huge opportunity to move significant amounts of capital [towards] clean energy and impact when we empower individuals to do so,” said Nixon. “Individuals… want to invest according to their values.”

CoPower is now offering three and five-year bonds with interest rates of 3.5% and 5% respectively. Investors can receive quarterly interest payments or reinvest the payments. The minimum investment is $5000, and the principal is repaid at maturity. Investments are RRSP and TFSA-eligible with an additional fee.

CoPower green bonds are not liquid and do not have a secondary market, said Nixon, and likely won’t make up an investor’s entire portfolio. However, CoPower green bonds could be an ideal component of a portfolio, she noted.

Nixon sees large growth ahead for CoPower and the impact investing field in Canada. “In the next three years,” she said, “we want to move $100 million in assets to clean energy and I think we’re on track to do that.”

For more information check out the CoPower website. The Board of Change gratefully acknowledges Vancity for their generous support of the event.

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Green, guffaws, and bruised avocados: Sustainability Night Live hits the stage

Article by
More Photos by Daniel Rotman

Feb 21 2017
Don’t believe sustainability can make you clutch your tummy while guffawing? The Board of Change might just prove you wrong.

The Board of Change held its first-ever Sustainability Night Live last Tuesday, a night of improv comedy at TheatreSports and actors gently poking fun at humanity’s sputtering attempts at sustainability.

Local green expert manager Maureen Cureton incited guffaws as she took the stage and helped the Board of Change adopt a kangaroo mascot. Novex CEO Robert Safrata, ever sporting, strode onto stage in a skintight, lime-green superhero suit, complete with Herculean helmet feathers.

For Monika Marcovici, co-founder of the Board of Change, the deep-belly laughs filling the theatre were just what she’d hoped for.

“We’re always so serious [thinking] ‘the world’s coming to an end’,” said Marcovici. “We wanted a night where people can just enjoy themselves and have a good laugh.”

Cureton, fresh from her debut in comedy, echoed Marcovici’s sentiment, noting the sustainability crowd could use an occasional dose of jovialty. “It’s fun to get together and be playful”, she said.

The skits featured lighthearted fun and also delicate tensions in sustainability. On stage, comedians scratched their heads at the thought of organic fruit flown in from halfway around the world, and a self-proclaimed environmentalist showed off his three electric cars.

Board of Change director Jae Mather was satisfied with the night. “We need to laugh at ourselves and then embrace the creativity that comes from thinking ‘hey, this isn’t necessarily how it has to be’.”

Sustainability Night Live was proudly sponsored by Vancity and Nature’s Path Organic with generous audience gifts from Modo.