Q & A with Marc

Do you have a question you would like to ask Marc?  

Perhaps you would like to know his position on an issue that concerns you, or you would like to know more about his platform…

Send him your question and he will post his answer on this page during the campaign.

Q: Hi Marc, As you know, Sierra Club dropped the 1 day annual beach clean up. Heather and I and a few others have done our best. Quadra needs more help to keep our shores clean. What could/would you do to support the efforts of the Quadra Island beach clean dream team? Good luck with the election!  


A: Dear Nevil, Watching what you and Heather have managed to achieve in the Beach clean-up world has been inspiring.

I can think of a few things where a Regional Director could support your initiatives. If you can think of others, I would be happy to hear about them.

Firstly, if elected, I intend to use the platform of the Director’s Report to do what I have always done in leadership positions and highlight the hard work and accomplishments of others. Quadra is one of the best places in the world to live largely due to the passion and work of its volunteer sector. Keeping the island informed of the actions of the Regional District and the Area C Director is important but the real work is done by those who volunteer.

The second thought I have relates back to the major pillar of my campaign. The creation of a community-scale democratic organization for Quadra. Whether it works through an existing Island group, or takes the form of a Community Association, a Citizens Assembly, a Ratepayers Association, or another form, one of its most important tasks will be to amplify the voice of important initiatives such as yours. The goal would be to create the infrastructure within this organization to find and apply for grants for important enterprises such as yours.

As an aside, I hear that the Quadra Island Recreation Society is planning an event where all Quadra volunteer groups will be invited to come, set up a table, highlight what they do, and seek volunteers. This is exactly the type of community-building leadership we need and I hope to see you and Heather at a table.

At the end of the day, I would like to be an ally for any and all community building or eco-system protecting initiatives like the one you work so hard on.


Q: You make reference to your political experience. What was it and what have your party-political affiliations been?


A: Hi Ted, Thanks for reaching out. 

I have worked on campaigns across the political spectrum but largely on what could be described as the Left or Center-Left with only one notable exception on the campaign of a friend who was and is quite Conservative.

That said, my involvement has been largely in non-partisan elections at the municipal level. I was a strategist and the GOTV (Get Out The Vote) Coordinator for Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi’s Campaign in both 2010 and 2013. I worked on several campaigns for councilors motivated mostly by my personal relationships (including my wife’s campaign in 2007) over their political alliances. If I were to attach flags to them they would be across the spectrum from John Mar who was Conservative, through to Brian Pincott and Druh Farrell who have both run for the NDP.

At the National level, I have worked for the Greens as a Chief Strategist for my friend Chris Turner.

Provincially, I helped found what at the time was a Center-Left Party called the Alberta Party and worked for several candidates under that banner.  I was a Provincial Campaign Chair for that party’s first campaign.

In 2001, I ran for Provincial office myself under the Alberta Liberal banner.

I hope you found that useful,


Q: Given that we are in a climate crisis and that the Friends of Hyacinthe Creek (FoHC) was formed by direct environmental action when Mosaic would not listen to us: What environmental actions/activity have you been involved with during the last 2 years?

Eileen (Friends of Hyacinthe Creek)

A: Yes, we are in a Climate Crisis.

Jen and I consider ourselves Climate refugees and due to this impending crisis, we reorganized our entire lives. We went from what we considered a fragile urban existence to one focused on land regeneration, carbon sequestration, Permaculture, and food production through regenerative science. We practice this every day as best as we can but can not claim to be anywhere near perfect. Carbon is King on our land and no molecule of carbon is ignored. From compost, compost tea, intensive grazing, pastured animals, beyond organic and no-till food production, and a bucket and sawdust humanure system we try to live our values daily.

But to restrict action to 2 years seems limiting. I have been a Climate educator for decades and have written articles and pieces that have been read millions of times and helped in a very small way to change the narrative on Climate Change to where it is now generally accepted.

Today my passion is Soil Science and how it relates to mitigating the climate Crisis. Soil is the single largest repository of Carbon on the planet. The abuse of soil is second only to the Oil industry for its contribution to CO2 in the Atmosphere. Conversely, it is also one of the planet’s greatest hopes to re-sequester atmospheric Carbon. On our farm, we are showing how this is possible.

In sum, Climate action inspires our daily interaction with our land and our farm.

Thank you for your question,


Q: Thank you for putting your name forward as a candidate in the coming election. Please post my question and answer to your Q & A page.

Scientists have repeatedly warned us that we are deep into ecological overshoot. That is, we are using more resources than the planet has the ability to regenerate and we are creating more pollution than the planet can assimilate.

The IPCC and other sources in the scientific literature clearly indicate that economic growth is the driver of the mess we’re in and a rising GDP cannot be decoupled from environmental harm.

Economic growth is unsustainable and limits to growth are real. At a local level, zoning is our tool to stabilize the size of our communities.

Given that we can’t grow forever, what is the ideal population for Area C?


A: Hi Terri, Thank you for the question.

To be able to answer that question we would need some important information that we don’t currently have. There are several limiting factors that would draw the line between a regenerative/stable (As I believe we are already in overshoot globally I don’t use the term sustainable) population and one that is fully in overshoot.

It also depends on which questions we ask.

As we only grow a very small percentage of our food locally, it could be argued that we have a population that can not sustain itself and is thus in overshoot.

When it comes to water, which is on many islands the single most important factor is used to determine where the line between stable and overshoot is drawn, this is where we don’t yet know enough to fully understand where the line is on the island. Luckily, VIU is starting a large well monitoring project which, over time, will give us the data to be able to answer this question.

I am a firm believer in the idea that humans can be as regenerative as they are degenerative. How we choose to live on this island will also play a big part in how many people can live here without causing significant ecological issues.

This is a big conversation with a lot of moving parts and I can not put a simple number on it.

I hope this is helpful,


Q: Will you continue the fight to re-instate the after hours Medivacs on the ferry?


A: Hi John, Thank you for your question.

Briefly, the ferry is the best and fastest solution. Over the last 6 months or so we have been using a water taxi and it has been positively received. On the first responders call I was recently on that involved the water taxi it was actually faster than the ferry would have been.

Advocating for ferry use is the smartest course but there are a few things standing in the way. First, BC Ferries would have to order staff to be on standby. I am told that they are resisting this and it is one of the main reasons why we no longer have this service.

BC Ferries has indicated that when we are on a two Ferry system they will revisit this question, but people in the know are telling me it is still unlikely.

The path at the moment may be to invest a little bit into the Water Taxi and continue to use Coast Guard as the back-up.

All the best,

Q: If elected, what will you do about Mosaic?

Eileen (Friends of Hyacinthe Creek)

For context on this question, click HERE.

A: Dear Eileen, Thank you for your question.

Researching this question has been a fun exercise for me as I wanted to be sure I could answer it with as much detail as I could. The question in and of itself is very broad and knowing which outcome you were most concerned about would help narrow its scope. That said, I used the challenge posed by the question to reach out to several people who are elected to other Regional Districts on Vancouver Island, as well as an advisor of mine with considerable Regional District experience, to gain a full understanding of the influence a Regional Director could have, as well as what successful strategies have been used elsewhere.

To begin, I would like to underscore that forestry practices are of great personal interest and concern to me. Before my wife Jen and I moved to Quadra, we gave the East Coast of Canada lot of thought but the lack of diverse thriving intact forests was one of the prime reasons why it could not become a permanent home for us. As Permaculture Designers and Regenerative Farmers, natural forested systems are an important part of how we approach our farm.

Wars were once fought in part over the quality of the timber in Nova Scotia. Masts of hundreds of tall ships and warships came from its forests. Today, the poor quality and size of the trees growing in those same East Coast forests means they are most often used for pulp or small dimensional lumber.

The belief that forests can be clearcut time after time and continue to grow strong beautiful ecosystems, let alone strong stands of trees, is incorrect and shows a lack of understanding of the complex biological networks that make our forests thrive. The forestry practices employed by Mosaic and others here on the West Coast are ensuring that we will follow the poor example we have seen play out on the East Coast.

What then can be done, or in terms of your question; what will I do? The short answer is: everything that I can.

At first glance, it appears that there is very little within the direct political power of an SRD Regional Director that can be done. However, other Regional Districts have had some influence on the operations of Mosaic. For example, Port Alberni and the Comox Regional District have made strides to bring Mosaic to the table, to at least discuss their practices, in 2 ways. The first is around a Watershed Service, and the Second is around an Air Quality Service. Although forestry practices are under provincial jurisdiction, Regional Districts do have some levers to pull around both watershed and air quality management. When fighting for the basic survival of intact ecosystems, waterways, and more, every lever does need to be pulled. To my knowledge, these levers have yet to be implemented in the SRD.

The more effective and progressive voices Vancouver Island elects, the more pressure can be levied through more powerful organizations than the SRD such as the AVICC (Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities). If the entire Island spoke with one voice on forestry, improved, and hopefully, regenerative, practices could be demanded of companies like Mosaic.

Mosaic, like all large corporations is a profit motivated entity. Making conservation profitable is one way to encourage them to conserve our forests. At the July 2022 SRD meeting, Mosaic made a presentation to the Board. In that meeting, they highlighted how they were deferring the harvesting of 40 thousand hectares, located across Vancouvar Island, in favour of receiving Federal Carbon Credits. Unfortunately, as Mosaic’s Quadra holdings are in a “Tree Farm License”, as opposed to privately owned forested lands, this option of applying for carbon credits is currently not available. Lobbying government to allow carbon credits on Quadra through resolutions to the AVICC would be an essential step towards protecting Quadra’s forests.

On a more locally-focused level, there are several communities in the SRD, such as Cortes and Read Island, which have made recent strides to permanently protect large tracts of ecologically important forests through the actions of community organisations.

The ability of both Read and Cortes Islands to amplify their voice through organized community institutions is important to underscore. Quadra is an island largely run on the power, energy, and commitment of volunteer run organizations, such as the one you volunteer with. What is currently missing on Quadra is an umbrella organization that can harness the voice and influence of all of the existing community groups and organizations, as well as the larger community, and focus it on important projects such as ecosystem conservation.

The creation of such an umbrella organization is one of the foundations of my campaign and one of the main reasons I have chosen to put my name forward to represent Quadra and the rest of Area C.

My fear is that small groups working in isolation will continue to struggle to achieve these larger goals unless we find a way to come together and plan the future of this island. We are in every way a community but our current governance model and how we organize ourselves keeps us from coming together and planning for the larger challenges we need to confront collectively. Our forest and waterway health being chief amongst them.


Q. Hi, Marc, Excellent meeting at the CC ( I Zoomed). I have a question: how will you go about getting people for the community association? It could end up being the same old loudmouth bullies who keep everyone else quiet at all the meetings now. There are also a lot of people with very strong opinions who are NOT loudmouth bullies. Do you have a plan on how to have representation from all points of view?


A: Hi Kathy, I’ve been identifying some of the most committed, intelligent, community-minded people over the entirety of this campaign.  There is a lot of buy-in amongst people who have stepped back from the community conversation due to how ‘toxic’ it has become over the last number of years and they’re looking forward to getting involved again.

Because setting a CA up is hard work, those who simply want to vent their opinions have a tendency not to want to put in the effort so there is a bit of a self-selection process. As CA’s develop, leadership comes through committees… ie. those doing the work.  It is set up to filter out those who don’t want to work but simply want to monopolize conversation.
All that said, it is going to take work to ensure people who have been forced to the sidelines feel safe enough to come and participate.  That is what good leadership does.  

Q: Hello Marc, Thanks for your candidacy in the upcoming local election. I attended the meeting in Open Bay, and appreciated the opportunity to meet you. We have lived here for 23 years, and firstly, want to comment that NOT everyone in Open Bay wants the roads paved. 🙂

My question is about the form of a community association that you are proposing. My concern is that it will present another layer of bureaucracy and rules, as well as taxes. Can you comment? If I have a concern after you are elected, how can I go about making sure I am being heard?

Again, appreciated the opportunity to not have to go south and attend a larger meeting to hear you speak in person. I am glad you have put your name forward.

Kind regards,


Hi Joanne,

Great questions!

Regarding a Community or Residents’Association being another layer of bureaucracy. In my experience it is more of another community resource than it is a layer of bureaucracy. It does not exist in legislation but receives its power from community participation which gives it a type of moral authority.

It might be seen as another layer of bureaucracy if you are a developer or wanting to change the zoning of your property however. It is not written in law that a developer should or would have to consult with a community association prior to making a development proposal but it does become what is expected. Before an RV, new commercial, or large scale residential proposal goes to the SRD, for example, the Regional Director would ask them to present their ideas to the CA/RA before making application to the SRD.

The CA/RA wouldn’t have the authority to stop any proposal, but this community engagement step gets any potential developers to understand the needs of the community and allows them to integrate them into their plans or understand that what they are proposing falls far outside of the vision for our community.

Funding a CA/RA is another good question. There are a broad scope of funding possibilities. The first and most is the grants. Millions of dollars are available for community organizations as they are well known to lessen the need for bureaucratic hires down the line and the amount of work that volunteers do within these organizations are also well understood and appreciated by all levels of government.

CA/RAs also find funding through the provision of different services. Hornby Island’s RA has taken over waste removal on the island which has become a large source of income for them. There are also membership fees if the CA/RA decides that is the way to go.

I have had initial conversations with people on the Recreational Society who operate our Community Center. In these preliminary talks, they have indicated that they are open to sharing their space with a CA/RA. This space sharing would significantly reduce the need for funds by a new CA/RA as the physical infrastructure ideal for its operation already exists and could be negotiated.

As for paving roads… more of a joke to underline that community decision making should be made by those that it most affects. That and… the RD has no authority over which road gets paved. Of that, I am thankful 🙂

I hope that answers your questions.

Let me know if you need more clarification.