British Columbia's largest nonpartisan citizen action network
Named after B.C.’s provincial flower, Dogwood is a people-powered organization driven by a shared love of place. We bring together people across the political spectrum to work on the urgent challenges facing our home.
Our staff work in places across B.C. anchoring volunteer organizing teams in dozens of key ridings. The goal is to build a grassroots base of engaged citizens ready to take action outside of the existing political party system.
We look for tipping points: places where enough citizen pressure can rewrite a law, reverse a bad decision or convince a politician to take a stronger position. We work steadily to identify thousands of like-minded voters in key constituencies. We build organizing teams made up of local people committed to each other and the place they live. Then we mobilize.
When the moment is right, Dogwood channels large-scale citizen action both online and offline. This might be an election, a leadership race, court case or regulatory review. The rest of the year we train organizers, build capacity among our allies and serve as a watchdog on our campaign issues. Want to see organizers in action? Attend an event!
We only take on issues in our home province. We pick battles that fit into our broader strategy to transform politics in B.C. And once we commit to a campaign, we maintain focus for as many years are necessary until we win.
Dogwood is probably best known for the No Tankers campaign. Since 2007, we’ve helped prevent a massive expansion of carbon pollution and oil tanker traffic on the West Coast. Our supporters are definitely concerned about climate change and oil spills. But we don’t just work to protect the environment.
What’s at stake in all our campaigns is self-determination: the right of local people to have a say over what happens in their home. Our core belief is that decisions should be made by the people who have to live with them. Often that means taking on powerful CEOs, far-off bureaucrats and unaccountable politicians.
The good news is if there’s any place where organized people can win back control over their shared future, it’s British Columbia. First Nations across most of the province never signed away control of the land, giving Indigenous legal systems real weight. And B.C. citizens share a unique love of place and spirit of civic engagement.
In combination, these two forces are starting to change how power is won and wielded in British Columbia – and could even shape the future of the global climate. We see the potential in our conversations every day. That’s what gives us hope.
Helping David beat Goliath since 1999!
By day, Adam has spent a decade raising funds for hospitals, festivals and symphonies across Canada. By night, he has spent half his lifetime singing songs about the need for change and organizing community folk festivals. He once had the distinct pleasure of losing to Tanya Tagaq at the Canadian Folk Music Awards! In that moment it all became clear: Adam would leave the art to an unstoppable force of nature like Tanya Tagaq, and join an unstoppable force for change, like Dogwood.
As Dogwood’s Strategic Partnerships Officer, Adam connects with supporters and funders to make sure Dogwood has the resources in place to be an effective conduit for action. Born and raised on Vancouver Island to a family of immigrant lumberjacks and millworkers, he often spends weekends in the woods contemplating Uncle Johnny’s cautionary words: “We never thought we could cut it all down.
Fossil Gas Campaigner
Ashley is a proud mama to Amelia, Xiulin, and Elliot. It is her concern for their future that is the driving force behind her passion to address the climate emergency and fight for their right to a healthy planet.
Anishinaabek and Scottish Métis on her mother’s side, and Lebanese Canadiens on her father’s, she has a deep understanding of how the complexities and traumas of colonization molded the settler-nation state of Canada into what it is today. It was her experiences as a mixed ancestry Indigenous person that led her to study this history at Concordia University.
Ashley has never lived in one place for more than six years and has lived in every province west of, and including, Quebec, minus Saskatchewan (so far). As a result of this, she has many watersheds that she loves and many hometowns, the most impactful of which were Fort St. John, Beardmore, and Langley.
Having spent half of her life living in remote and/or rural places, and half in big cities, she can’t seem to make up her mind as to where to be and is currently living with the love of her life in a small city that has all the aspects of both on the traditional lands of the lək̓ʷəŋən people. Salix is their kitty.
Laura joined Dogwood’s staff in 2013 and has held three positions at the organization. She spent her first three years starting and running Dogwood’s Beyond Coal campaign, then moved over to become Director of Organizing from 2016 to March 2019. Laura is now Director of Administration & Human Resources on Dogwood’s Executive Team.
First trained in community and labour organizing in the early 2000s in San Diego, Laura has many years of experience working in non-profits and on political, environmental and social justice campaigns from Oregon to California to B.C.
Laura lives the charmed life of a dual citizen on beautiful Burnaby mountain with her husband Jeremy, sons Henry and Leo, and a tuxedo cat.
Bookkeeper and Development Coordinator
Originally from France, Pierre worked as a freelance journalist in Montreal before moving to Whitehorse, YT, where he worked as a court reporter for 3 years.
In 2017 Pierre moved to BC and got involved in the local francophone community. In 2019 he moved to Victoria to work as Radio Victoria’s executive director, B.C.’s only French-language radio station.
As a member of the Victoria Bike Cult™, Pierre enjoys avocado toasts, advocating for people’s access to accessible trails and paths, and community-led initiatives.
The climate emergency and the lack of serious public policy to tackle it led Pierre to Dogwood. At Dogwood, he is responsible for the day-to-day bookkeeping and works with the development team, focusing on Dogwood’s donors and supporters.
Board of Directors: Director
A young activist from Hong Kong, Ernie Chow participated in the many social movements in Hong Kong in the 2010s. He is best known for his presidency of the Student Union of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUSU) during 2016-2017, a period which saw the rise of new thoughts in the democracy movement. He later served as an elected representative for the Hong Kong Federation of Students, a Councilor Assistant at the Sha Tin District Council, and Secretary-General at a pro-democratic political party. He organized the Joint-University June 4th Forum and the Hong Kong-Catalonia Solidarity Assembly, and secretaried the Hong Kong Civil Deliberation Platform, all of which sparked new waves of public debates regarding the future of Hong Kong. He has also written political analyses and commentaries for think tanks, newspapers, and magazines.
He is currently an émigré in Canada, an M.A. student in history at the University of British Columbia, and is focusing on modern Hong Kong history and Hong Kong’s democracy movement. Spending time with the little tripaw called “Tripod,” and cooking food for his wife and friends are the two precious joys Ernie enjoys the most.
Board of Directors: Director
Cassidy is a dedicated trade unionist, vegan, and socialist, gratefully living on unceded territories of the Lekwungen peoples. She graduated from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology where she focused her studies on the intersections of class and gender with imperialism and climate change. After gaining experience in legal and political administration, Cassidy transitioned back to her focus from academia and currently works in program support for equity-focused trades apprenticeship training programs for construction labour unions, while she prepares to write the LSAT.
In her free time, Cassidy does legal and community support casework with the not-for-profit legal clinic Red Cedar Advocacy Centre, organizes with the Vancouver Island Peace Council, and serves on the board of directors for Worker Solidarity Network. She enjoys spending the rest of her time with her twin rescue dogs, Doogy and Naya on beautiful “Vancouver” Island.
Maggie grew up in coastal B.C. and still prefers being in the ocean to being on land. In a confusing twist of fate, she ended up landlocked in northeastern B.C. for a stint while she earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies at UNBC. She then moved further north to live in Chetwynd where she was the editor of the local newspaper. Living in the north, in the centre of extensive resource extraction, gave her a defined commitment to helping citizens gain control of their resources and their land.
After returning to the coast, and with her northern experience inspiring her, Maggie joined the Dogwood team in October 2009. After six or so years working in fundraising and administration and progressively diving deeper into digital tasks and tools, she took on the role of Head of Digital Systems in 2016. She is committed to furthering Dogwood’s capacity by maximizing the potential of digital tools and data resources and enjoys the digital challenges presented by grassroots organizing.
When not wrangling data, Maggie is busy wrangling six kids and two dogs with her partner in Ucluelet.
A note that Maggie is currently on leave.
Paige is a queer, white settler living on unceded and unsurrendered Musqueam, Tsleil Waututh and Squamish territory in Vancouver. Born and raised in amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton), she is passionate about climate justice, workers’ rights, and anti-capitalist struggle.
Earlier in her career, Paige worked in public libraries and completed her master’s degree in Gender and Social Justice. But after a period of climate despair and depression, she found a home in climate movement. She first cut her teeth organizing sit-ins, marches, and blockades in support of land-based resistance movements, and later campaigning for free public transit as a climate and racial justice intervention. Once upon a time, she even ran for federal office with a campaign for a just transition to 100% renewables.
As Dogwood’s Organizing Coordinator, Paige is hard at work building grassroots power in the Lower Mainland and supporting the youth organizers of Vote 16. She is enthusiastic about bringing art and creativity into organizing and supporting the participation of young people in the fight to keep fossil fuels in the ground.
Communications and Campaigns Coordinator
As Dogwood’s Communications and Campaigns Coordinator, Molly wields a background in comedy writing, copywriting, and visual content production to tell the unfolding story of the climate emergency in British Columbia.
Since moving to B.C. during the heat dome summer of 2021, Molly has witnessed provincial and national governments pepper spray civilians, build pipelines through critical salmon habitat, block media from documenting frontline developments, and bulldoze Indigenous rights in an endless quest for profit-driven resource extraction. Watching her own government attack the people it’s supposed to protect and destroy the land and waters we all depend on pushed her to dedicate her career to helping build a strong anti-colonial climate coalition, both on and off the internet.
Molly works and lives on the traditional and unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. She is grateful for the opportunity to snowboard, cycle, and hike on these lands, and is committed to learning from these nations about how to live on their territories in a good, informed way.
In 2020 Jamie brought her enthusiasm and diverse background to the Dogwood team as the Development and Digital Coordinator. She has a civil engineering degree, a certificate in Information and Computer Systems and 7 years of environmental consulting work under her belt. She’s passionate about all things data and constantly on the pursuit to parse out valuable information in seas of numbers.
When she is not sitting in front of a computer, you will find her riding her bike, watercolor painting and exploring Vancouver Island.
Board of Directors: Treasurer
Aman is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), bringing a strong financial acumen to Dogwood’s Board of Directors. He is currently employed as the Canada Controller for a global medical device company.
Aman was born and raised in the beautiful coastal community of Tahsis, BC on Vancouver Island, nestled in the heart of Nootka Sound. As a father of two young children, Aman has started to view the world through his children’s eyes and is committed to protecting the province’s environment and resources so that they can enjoy the beauty of BC as he did as a child. Aman and his partner Manreet live in Delta with their two young boys.
Board of Directors: Board President
When not traveling, Ingrid feels privileged to live in Vancouver, on the traditional, unceded, ancestral territory of the Coast Salish peoples. Ingrid holds a BSW and MSW from UBC, and has spent her life to date contributing to community. She has worked both in government and community social services, as well as teaching at multiple local colleges and universities. Ingrid recently left her position as CEO of an award winning (47 awards) not-for-profit, Pacific Community Resources Society. She is a recipient of a YWCA Women of Distinction Award (2019), Federation of Community Social Services of BC Award of Excellence (2019), and Surrey Board of Trade Women in Leadership Award (2018). Ingrid currently works as a consultant, loves all things outdoors, is endlessly enthusiastic about learning through travel, is an avid reader and writer, and more recently, will be taking on the role of Executive Director of the Arnold and Anita Silber Family Foundation.
Board of Directors: Director
Seth Klein served for 22 years (1996-2018) as the founding British Columbia Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, a public policy research institute committed to social, economic and environmental justice. He is now a freelance researcher, writer, consultant and speaker, and an adjunct professor with Simon Fraser University’s Urban Studies program.
Seth’s new book – A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency – will be released in September 2020.
Seth is a founder and served for eight years as co-chair of the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition, a network of over 50 community organizations in BC campaigning for a comprehensive poverty reduction plan in BC. He is a founder and served for 10 years on the advisory committee of the Metro Vancouver Living Wage for Families campaign (and was co-creator of the methodology for calculating the living family wage, now used in about three dozen Canadian communities). He is an advisory board member for the Columbia Institute’s Centre for Civic Governance. And he is a founder, advisor and instructor for Next Up, a leadership program for young people committed to social and environmental justice.
Seth’s research deals primarily with climate policy and climate justice, fiscal policy, taxation, welfare policy, poverty, inequality, economic security, and job creation. His research reports can be found on the CCPA’s website; and his policy commentary can be found primarily on the CCPA-BC’s blog.
A social activist for over 30 years, Seth lives in East Vancouver with his partner and two children. Seth has been listed by Vancouver Magazine as one of the 50 most powerful people in the city, and by Homemakers Magazine among the “60 men we love.” He does not know how he ended up on either list, but he humbly accepts the latter.
Surrey Organizing Coordinator
Dinjot joined the Dogwood team in 2022 as the Surrey Organizing Coordinator. Living through the struggles of her family farm inspired Dinjot to advocate for food sovereignty and to eventually complete her degree in Sustainable Agriculture from UBC. The Indian farmers protest in 2020 was a crucial stepping stone for Dinjot into the organizing world. Fueled by the movement, she developed a passion for engaging South Asian communities and the diaspora in climate action. Her goal as an organizer in Surrey is to help her community connect the dots with climate change, natural disasters, and policy.
In her spare time, you can find Dinjot in her vegetable garden or baking up a storm in the kitchen.
Board of Directors: Director
Aanchal is an environmental lawyer, policy analyst, and a plant enthusiast who is driven by a strong desire to destroy the insatiable beast that is Capitalism. She brings with her experience in project management, community engagement and facilitation, communications, and First Nations governance and policy development. Raised on the shores of Lake Ontario in Mississauga, Aanchal now lives humbly as a guest in the home of the Tk’emlúps te Secwepémc.
A fifth-generation British Columbian, Kai lives on Gitxsan territory in Northern B.C. His last name translates roughly to “everlasting rice paddy,” which was probably a lot to hope for in feudal Japan. In his spare time he enjoys getting out on the land, growing and foraging local food, and cooking with family and friends.
Early in his career Kai worked as a journalist for CBC, CTV and other outlets. After volunteering with Dogwood, Kai joined the staff in 2014 as a campaigner. He’s been Communications Director since 2016. If you have a question, media request or constructive feedback, the quickest way to get in touch is probably on Twitter: @kainagata.
Christina is the Communications Manager, working out of Dogwood’s Victoria office. She has been successfully communicating since she first learned to speak as a toddler, and has since used communications skills for good (giving compliments, telling people in danger to “Watch out!”) as well as evil (karaoke, talking her way out of speeding tickets). After spending the first part of her life communicating with ease, Christina decided to turn it into a certified skill by earning a communications degree from Western Washington University (with a minor in political science for good measure).
After finishing university, Christina explored several career paths including owning and managing a family business, fundraising and marketing, and a regrettable stint in banking. After beginning work at the not-for-profit Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre in early 2012, she discovered a passion for environmental protection and citizen engagement, which led to an interest in, and eventual hiring at, Dogwood.
Christina was born in Victoria but as a child/teen lived in many exotic places… like Campbell River. And Utah. In 2006, Christina decided to move back to the place she always considered home (Vancouver Island) and now lives in North Saanich with her husband Eric, sons Griffin and Voss, two very destructive cats — Beyonce and Becky (with the good hair) — and a dog whose name she *thinks* is Murph, but isn’t sure since he never comes when he’s called.
Matt is Dogwood’s Operations Director and has been with the organization since late 2006. Matt manages the overall operations of the organization including, Development, Digital Systems, Administration, and Finance. Before joining Dogwood he served for four years as the Director of Organizing (and occasional stints as Acting Executive Director) for the Green Party of Canada. Matt was one of the key players in the Green Party’s initial breakthrough on Canada’s federal political scene. When not in Dogwood’s office Matt likes to get out and explore Vancouver Island’s wilderness areas. Matt lives in Victoria with his wife Kelly and Ernie the cat.
As a child of the west coast, Alexandra’s love of the forest and the ocean runs deep, and she’s been asking people to stop trashing the planet since she was in preschool. But it is outrage at the injustices of climate change – and the corporate greed and political inaction that got us into this mess – that fuels her organizing work.
Alexandra moved to London to do a PhD in social movement studies in the mid 2000s, and spent 10 years helping to build the UK’s climate action movement. She played a leading role in successful campaigns to stop airport expansion, block a new generation of coal-fired power stations and reduce public transit fares.
Returning to B.C. in 2012, Alexandra joined the fight to defend the west coast and the global climate from Big Oil, first as a campaigner with Georgia Strait Alliance and now with Dogwood.
Alexandra lives on the Sunshine Coast with her family, but spends a fair amount of time in the city in pursuit of climate justice and good coffee.