Photo: Quebec Foundation office celebrates fifth anniversary

By Manon Dubois

Five years ago, in September 2008, the David Suzuki Foundation decided to become a truly national organization by opening an office in Montreal. That allowed the Foundation to communicate in both official languages.

Foundation CEO Peter Robinson is proud of this accomplishment. "The first decision I made when I arrived at the David Suzuki Foundation in 2008 was to establish a presence in Quebec. To have a strong voice nationally, the Foundation needed to be able to communicate effectively in French and take the pulse of Quebec, certainly one of the most innovative sources of environmental solutions in North America."

It was also in 2008 that Karel Mayrand was selected among several high-profile environmental leaders in Quebec to become the Foundation's director-general in Quebec. "I joined the David Suzuki Foundation because I wanted to have a real impact on the greatest challenge of our generation, that of ensuring a sustainable future for those who come after us. After five years heading the Foundation in Quebec and being part of the Foundation's national management team, I acquired the conviction of belonging to an ambitious, innovative organization that wants to use science, education and citizen engagement to create a movement that will transform our communities in Quebec and across Canada."

After five years, the Montreal office can count on a dynamic team of eight people, who continue to lead the way and innovate. Our Quebec community has seen it supporter base grow from zero to 55,000, with more than 4,000 donors. Our Quebec team played a leading role in organizing the largest environmental demonstration in Canadian history when 250,000 citizens gathered in Montreal in April 2012. It has also worked on the protection of the St. Lawrence River, contributed to the creation of a Greenbelt for the greater Montreal eco-region and promoted scientifically sound political and individual solutions to Quebec's most pressing environmental issues.