A former Fraser Institute staffer who said the documentary An Inconvenient Truth overstated the problem of global warming will now be overseeing the Crown corporation responsible for buying the provincial government's greenhouse gas offsets. But Heather Holden, who was appointed to the Pacific Carbon Trust's board of directors today, stressed in an interview with Public Eye she believes the issue of "environmental degradation" is an "enormous concern."
While working as the institute's risk, regulation and environmental centre director between December 2006 and 2007, Dr. Holden told the Vancouver Courier's Mark Hassiuk that Al Gore's award-winning film politicizes climate change and "overstates the severity of the problem, which certainly does exist."
In an op-ed published during her tenure at the think tank, she also took aim at the David Suzuki Foundation and a report prepared by University of Victoria eco-research chair David Boyd for painting Canada as an environmental laggard, writing our country "has much to be proud about when it comes to our record on the environment."
Asked whether she personally believes some environmentalists, such as the former American vice-president, are alarmists, Dr. Holden told Public Eye, "I think there's a lot of histrionics out there...People have their passions and roles. And one of them is to raise awareness. And sometimes people overstate the facts when your goals is to raise awareness and get people excited and changing their habits."
Dr. Holden, who is now a director with The Nature Trust of British Columbia and a ScotiaMcLeod investment advisor, said she has "no idea what the Fraser Institute's position on climate change (presently) is" when asked if she shares the think tank's environmental views.
But she said the issue of "environmental degradation" - which includes global warming - is an "enormous concern of mine," adding she has a specific interest in "looking at the various market-related options we have to solve the problem" of climate change.
The following is a complete copy of the information bulletin announcing Dr. Holden's appointment.
Pacific Carbon Trust
Jan. 7, 2010
Pacific Carbon Trust Expands Board
Pacific Carbon Trust (PCT) has begun a transition to a permanent board of directors.
In its 2009-10 - 2010-11 Service Plan, PCT committed to establishing a board that is independent from management and external to government operations. With the guidance of the Board Resourcing and Development Office, PCT has added three new members from the investment, law and strategic planning professions:
* Dr. Heather Holden, investment advisor, ScotiaMcLeod
* Jim Mutter, lawyer, Benson Salloum Watts
* Michael H. Watson, president and principal, Ignite Management Services Ltd.
The board is responsible for the overall direction of the company, including:
* Setting its strategic direction.
* Ensuring appropriate financial and operational controls are in place.
* Ensuring PCT has the appropriate resources to meet its mandate.
* Monitoring key activities.
* Reporting to the Minister of Finance on activities, accountabilities and performance.
* Providing the public with relevant and timely information about PCT's intentions and operations.
Graham Whitmarsh, deputy minister of Finance, was instrumental in the initial start up of the board and was appointed as a director at that time. As part of the transition to the external recruitment of board members that is now in place and is running with a fuller complement, Mr. Whitmarsh is stepping down. Recruitment for additional external board members is anticipated over the coming years.
Pacific Carbon Trust is a Crown corporation established under the Business Corporation Act in 2008 to deliver BC-based greenhouse gas offsets, to help clients meet their carbon reduction goals and to support the growth of BC's low-carbon economy.
For more information, visit www.pacificcarbontrust.com
To be added to our industry interest list, please email your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A backgrounder follows.
Jan. 7, 2010
Board of Directors, Pacific Carbon Trust
Chris Trumpy (Chair)
Chris Trumpy obtained a bachelor of commerce degree from the University of British Columbia in 1978. He holds a Certified General Accountant designation.
He joined the provincial government in 1979, working in a wide range of areas in the Ministry of Finance including tax, fiscal, social and economic policy. In 1998, he was appointed deputy minister, Ministry of Finance and Corporate Relations. In 2001, he was appointed deputy minister, Ministry of Provincial Revenue. In 2004, he was appointed deputy minister of Sustainable Resource Management and chair of Land and Water British Columbia. In 2005, Mr. Trumpy was appointed deputy minister of the Ministry of Environment (formerly Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection). In 2007, he was appointed deputy minister of the Ministry of Finance and secretary to Treasury Board.
Mr. Trumpy retired from the provincial government in 2009, but continues his work with PCT.
James Gorman joined the BC Public Service in 1995 with the (former) Ministry of Employment and Investment. Prior to his appointment as deputy minister of Education, he served as deputy minister of the BC Public Service Agency. He also served as assistant deputy minister and executive financial officer at the Ministry of Children and Family Development, and has held senior management positions with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Partnerships BC and Treasury Board Staff in the Ministry of Finance.
In February 2009, Mr. Gorman was appointed as a member of the board of directors of Pacific Carbon Trust.
Dr. Heather Holden, PhD (new member)
Dr. Heather Holden is an investment advisor with ScotiaMcLeod.
Previously, Dr. Holden was an assistant professor in the department of geography at the National University of Singapore and an instructor in the department of geometrics at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. She has also served as executive director of Pacific Ocean shelf tracking project of the Vancouver Aquarium and director of the Centre for Studies in Risk, Regulation and the Environment for the Fraser Institute. Active in her community, Dr. Holden acted previously as chair of the Vancouver Park Board and as a trustee of the Vancouver Public Library Board. She is a director of The Nature Trust of British Columbia and Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland. Dr. Holden holds a PhD from the University of Waterloo in the field of satellite remote sensing.
James S. Mutter (new member)
James Mutter is a lawyer with Benson Salloum Watts, specializing in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and growth companies, particularly in the technology field. Mr. Mutter is co-founder and on the board of directors of Apparent Networks, a venture-backed network intelligence software company, and is a former partner at the national law firm of Fasken Martineau. He also served as president of the Premier's Technology Council. Mr. Mutter holds a bachelor of business administration from the University of Prince Edward Island and a bachelor of laws from the University of Calgary. He currently resides in Kelowna.
Michael H. Watson (new member)
Michael H. Watson is the president and principal of Ignite Management Services Ltd., providing facilitation and strategic planning services to mid-size companies. Mr. Watson obtained his bachelor of science degree in agricultural economics at the University of British Columbia. Mr. Watson was with the TD Bank for 14 years, later joining the North Shore Credit Union, serving as vice-president of retail banking. In 2006, Mr. Watson formed his own consulting firm, Ignite Management Services Ltd.
Mr. Watson has served as a director of the Lion's Gate Hospital Foundation and was first vice-chair of the BC Chamber of Commerce, an organization representing more than 30,000 businesses in 120 communities throughout BC.
Communications & Marketing Associate
Pacific Carbon Trust
250 952-6237 or Hope.Hickli@pacificcarbontrust.com
6th Floor, 747 Fort Street,
Victoria, BC, V8W 3E9
Telephone: 250 952-6793
Facsimile: 250 952-6783