About Marc Doll

A Variety of Life Experiences 

Did you know?  Marc brings a variety of life experiences to his candidacy for Area C.  Marc was an award-winning grade 8 and 9 social studies teacher (Students’ Choice), a community specialist Realtor, a community and political organizer, and an environmental advocate in his hometown of Calgary.  Now he is a land steward, regenerative farmer, and volunteer fire fighter on Quadra Island.  

The Journey to Quadra Island

In 2016, Marc, his wife Jen, and their two girls, pulled a “180.”  

The adults both completed Permaculture Design Certificates (PDC’s), left their friends, jobs and businesses in Calgary, sold their home, and began a journey of discovery.  The whole family traveled across North America in an ’87 VW van, volunteering on farms and learning as much as they could about farming in a planet-friendly way.  

Throughout their journey, they searched for the best place to settle down, start their own farm, and contribute to community life.  They could have settled anywhere in Canada.  They chose Quadra Island.   

Quadra is well situated in terms of climate, location, infrastructure, and its ability to be food secure.  It has a strong community with a history of coming together to work on common goals. It also has an amazing ability to be resilient in the face of a changing climate. 

Proven Community Leader & Community Builder

Community leadership and community building have been the theme of Marc’s adult life:

  • As a teacher for 12 years…During his time as a teacher, Marc valued having a vibrant school community and contributed by coaching wrestling and debate.
  • As an entrepreneur for 12 years…When he became a realtor, the heart and soul of Marc’s real estate practice was community building. The bulk of his energy was focused, not on selling homes, but on supporting community events, people, and institutions.  
  • As the President of the Marda Loop Communities Association (MLCA) for 5 years…Soon after marrying Jen and moving to a new neighbourhood in Calgary, Marc walked into a meeting knowing no one, and walked out the new Vice President of the local community association!  Marc loved his new volunteer job and went on to become the President of the organization for two terms.  During this time he revitalized the organization and led the building of many amazing community assets.  (See sidebar for more about this story.) 
  • As a fire fighter on Quadra for nearly 5 years…It is this same spirit of contributing to the place you live that motivated Marc to join the Quadra Island Fire Department within months of arriving on the Island.  The volunteer Fire Department is a great example of contributing to and building community through volunteerism.  Not only do they respond to all fire calls and many first responder calls, they also host key events throughout the year (Canada Day, Halloween, Christmas) as well as volunteering at many others.  Being a part of this incredible group has been a huge part of Marc’s life on Quadra.
  • And other Quadra stuff…Marc and Jen would love to spend all of their time volunteering, they love it!  If only the farm and fields, garden and animals, and oh yeah, the kids, could take care of themselves!  Marc has focused a lot of his time in the last few years on building the farm, helping out with many initiatives related to food and food security, and helping Jen in her roles with the Garden Club, the Young Musicians Fund, and ICAN’s Food Security Team.

Land Steward & Regenerative Farmer 

Marc and his family are the proud stewards of a 40-acre parcel of land they have named Foot Forward Forest Farm.  

On Foot Forward, every animal and garden system is designed to add more life to the soil:

  • Animals are carefully managed through a holistic intensive grazing system that emulates the patterns of bison and thereby sequesters atmospheric carbon and adds life to the pastures.  
  • A young food forest of nut and fruit trees, growing above berry bushes, herbs, and low growing edible and medicinal plants, models a natural forest and produces food without needing any irrigation. 
  • The Farm practices the principles of no-till gardening, and lots of homemade compost and Actively Aerated Compost tea add life to the soil and fertility to the gardens.  These are practices that Marc learned through his extensive studies with and visits to the farm of renowned social biologist Dr. Elaine Ingham.

Long-time Environmental Advocate & Educator

Marc dedicated much of his teaching career to opening the eyes of students to the scientific reality of Climate Change in his social studies classes.  

In more recent years, his online educative pieces have been read millions of times around the world and have resulted in a significant online following on his personal Facebook page.

Marc’s growing experience as a Regenerative Farmer on Quadra Island allows him to demonstrate how agriculture can be done in an environmentally focused manner.  You can often find Marc out in the fields demonstrating and explaining the climate-change-fighting-power of soil and regenerative agricultural practices.  

Regenerative farming bloggers, and even our local Cortes Radio’s Gabbing about Gardening Show, have featured Marc and his wife Jen’s educative voices over the last number of years.  Marc has twice been a ‘professor’ at Quadra Islands’ U of Q on environment-related topics such as Soil Regeneration and Food Security.

Compassionate & Concerned about People

In his role as a volunteer fire fighter, Marc is humbled and privileged to enter the homes of many people who live on Quadra and to help them in their time of greatest need.  It is very worrying to him to see the conditions in which some people live, without proper housing to keep them warm and dry, with empty cupboards and hungry bellies, with many health issues that are not being attended to, and without friends and family to care for them.  

Marc is also very concerned about the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic on our community.  The illness itself was devastating.  Public health measures were put in place to protect the most vulnerable, and he was a vocal proponent of masks and vaccines as key ways to protect ourselves and each other from getting sick from this life threatening illness.  However, these health measures, while necessary, had the effect of distancing us from each other.   Not only were we physically distanced, but differences of opinion and action tore our communities apart, and were really hard on relationships.   

Our response to the pandemic took a huge toll on our communities and on society as a whole. Now we are trying to recover from the physical impact of the illness and many people are still getting sick and/or coping with the after effects of having COVID.  But here in Area C, it is perhaps the social impact on our relationships, the very fabric upon which community is built, that has hit us far worse than the illness itself.  

Respectful of Our Indigenous Neighbours

Marc grew up with many members of the Tsuut’ina Nation from whom he gained an initial appreciation of the painful history of Canada’s treatment of its First Peoples.  The revelations over the last number of years have been difficult to comprehend but have deepened his commitment to respecting and understanding the lived experience of our Indigenous neighbours.
Reaching out and increasing his knowledge of the desires and lived experience of the We Wai Kai people, and other Laich-kwil-tach speaking peoples along with the Coast Salish, here on their unceded territory, is a priority for Marc.

Clear Communicator

Good communication skills are a key skill a politician must have in order to be effective.  Marc is known as a clear and compelling verbal communicator who is often asked to speak at events and on the radio.  He is also a powerful writer who has attracted a global following for his passionate advocacy for climate action, food security, regenerative agricultural practices, and community on his Facebook page.  Marc honed his speaking skills during his volunteer work as a debate coach while he was a teacher, and occasional speaking gigs since then, including his work with former Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi.  

Experienced & Effective at Chairing and Participating in Meetings

Marc is an expert at chairing and facilitating meetings.  He knows how to make meetings effective and efficient.  He likes to get stuff done, and he knows from experience that being fair and inclusive—making sure all voices are heard and understood—is the best way to get the job done right! He uses due process and is often called upon in the meetings he attends to provide guidance about Robert’s Rules of Order as he seems to know them by heart.  

Marc sat on his first board as a teenager, the Alberta Wrestling Association.  Since then, he has become an effective member of many boards, including serving as president and vice president of several.  

Understands Politics & Government

Marc has a significant amount of political experience which will enable him, if elected, to confidently and effectively represent Area C, starting on Day 1. Stick-handling delicate issues through the maze of public bureaucracy is nothing new to him as he has done it many times in his work on boards.

Marc understands that thinking things through and being strategic is the way to get things done in government, not going in “all guns blazing” and then wondering why things are such a mess, many enemies have been made, and not much has been accomplished.

Believes in the Power of Partnership to Get Things Done

There is often cited African saying, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”  Marc understands from his long history of work in the community, and with government and the corporate sector, that partnership is the key to getting things done.  This does not mean giving up your power or agreeing to do things that aren’t good for the people you represent.  But it does mean finding common ground and pulling together to get things done, despite your differences.  

Welcomes Differences of Opinion

There are many differences of opinion in our communities in Area C.  

Let’s just admit it, we are not always going to agree on how to do things or what is best.  And wouldn’t it be boring if we did always agree and missed out on the opportunity to chat about the ins and outs, the pros and cons, of each approach?  In fact, it is by disagreeing and then talking it through that we each learn and progress in our thinking.  At the end of the day we still may not agree.  But hopefully we have at least taken the time to see things from a different perspective, walked in someone else’s shoes for a few moments, and learned something.  

Marc loves debating and discussing ideas.  And strongly believes that it is important to focus your argument on the ideas and position of the person you are talking to, not attack the person themselves.  He hopes that we can have respectful and enlightening discussions, work through conflict, and emerge stronger and better for it, with increased respect for one another as fellow citizens of this land.  

Big-Picture, Long-Term Thinker

Marc is inspired by the First Nations practice of thinking 7 generations into the future and tries to think like this constantly.  So many politicians and corporate leaders are easily distracted by the trials and travails, or quick wins, of today and don’t lift their eyes to the horizon, or their hearts to future generations, nearly enough.  

Marc is practiced at thinking in terms of the big picture, and considering how what we do today will impact the future, here on Planet Earth.  This is why he and his wife Jen bought a 40 acre farm on Quadra that now supports three generations of Dolls.  It is also why Marc and Jen spend so much of their time promoting food security and climate resilience.

Here is the biggest reason why Marc wants to become Regional Director and lead at a different level: 

Because the solutions to many problems can be found by an organized community working together towards a common goal.  Marc knows how to create a vision that brings the community together to think, act, and plan long-term.  With the climate crisis at the top of the list of issues that require us to work together, we must stop just doing things for today and start working together to do what is needed for tomorrow, and for all future life here on the planet.