About Us

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We believe Canadians deserve more constructive conversations on the issues that matter most to them. Just as we can pollute the physical environment, we also run the risk of polluting public conversations. 

That’s why we started DeSmog Canada, the country’s only news source dedicated to exploring solutions for cleaning up Canada’s polluted public square.

At DeSmog Canada, we go beyond the headlines to cut through the spin clouding the debate on important national issues such as natural resource development, the economy, democracy, scientific research, government transparency and industry accountability.

Through our news, opinion and analysis, we seek to raise the level of public discourse. Our contributors include some of the country’s top writers and thought leaders on energy issues and public dialogue.

Our work is regularly featured in the Huffington Post, The Tyee, the Vancouver Observer and the Victoria Times Colonist and our coverage has helped spark stories by the Calgary Herald, Vancouver Sun, CBC, Metro News and the Globe and Mail.

Where we’re coming from

Ninety-seven per cent of peer-reviewed climate studies agree with the scientific consensus that manmade global warming is real and that the burning of fossil fuels is a significant factor. 

As the stakes rise, conversations in Canada about energy and the environment have become increasingly dysfunctional. Vigorous debates have been replaced by public relations battles and smear campaigns that don't benefit anyone. By examining the underlying factors influencing public dialogue, DeSmog Canada works to restore healthy public conversation.

Who supports our work?

Since our launch in 2013, hundreds of readers have donated to support our independent journalism. In addition, we are grateful to accept funding from philanthropic foundations and businesses that support our mission.

DeSmog Canada is incorporated as a non-profit society under the Society Act of British Columbia.

Read Jim Hoggan's inaugural post for more information about DeSmog Canada's mission: Cleaning Up Canada's Polluted Public Square

Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter and sign up for our weekly newsletter in the upper right sign-up box. 

DeSmog Canada Team:

Emma Gilchrist, Executive Director
 
Emma Gilchrist is Executive Director of DeSmog Canada. She is a writer, editor and citizen engagement specialist based in Victoria, B.C.

Emma grew up in a small town in northwestern Alberta where she saw firsthand how oil and gas development plays an important role in Canadian communities. She went on to earn a journalism degree from Mount Royal University in Calgary.

Emma has worked as a reporter and editor in Canada and the U.K., including stints at the Calgary Sun, Calgary Herald, Cambridge Evening News and BBC Essex. While at the Calgary Herald, Emma created a weekly environmental column and website called The Green Guide, which won an Alberta Emerald Award and Canadian Newspaper Association Great Ideas Award.

Most recently, Emma was the Communications Director for the Dogwood Initiative, a citizen’s advocacy group working to help British Columbians have more say in decisions about their air, land and water.

Emma’s writing on travel, health, fitness and the environment has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Financial Post, Montreal Gazette, Ottawa Citizen, Edmonton Journal, Vancouver Province, Up! Magazine, the Huffington Post and the Vancouver Observer.
 

Carol Linnitt, Managing Editor and Director of Research

Carol is a writer and researcher focusing on energy development, environmental policy, wildlife, Canadian politics, transparency and democracy. She joined DeSmog in June 2010 as a researcher, focusing much of her time on the natural gas industry and hydraulic fracturing.

Carol is the lead author of DeSmog's original report Fracking the Future: How Unconventional Gas Threatens Our Water, Health & Climate. Her work also led to the DeSmog micro-documentary CRY WOLF: An Unethical Oil Story and the Cry Wolf investigative series.

Carol began her environmental career writing and performing interviews for The Canada Expedition, a non-governmental sustainability initiative, and while working in dispute resolution with communities affected by resource scarcity.

Carol has a Master's in English Literature from York University where she studied political theory, natural resource conflicts and aboriginal rights. She also has a Master's in Philosophy in the field of phenomenology and environmental ethics and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Victoria in the English and Cultural, Social and Political Thought programs. Her work has appeared in the Vancouver Observer, the Huffington Post, Think Progress, EcoWatch and Academic Matters.

 
Kevin Grandia, Site Development and Analytics
 

Kevin is the President of Spake Media House Inc. a consulting firm that helps people who want to change the world communicate powerfully online. 

Named a “Green Hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine and one of the “Top 50 Tweeters”on climate change and environment issues, Kevin has appeared in major news media outlets around the world for his work on digital campaigning.

He is formerly the Director of Online Strategy at Greenpeace USA and has been writing on climate change and other pressing social issues for more than seven years. For five years he was the managing editor of DeSmogBlog.com, which in 2011 was named one of the top 25 blogs in the world by Time Magazine. He recently helped launch and is a contributor to DeSmog Canada and was designated the first certified expert on the political and community organizing platform NationBuilder.

Jim Hoggan, Founder and Chair of the Board

Jim Hoggan is one of Canada’s most respected public relations professionals and the president and owner of the Vancouver PR firm Hoggan & Associates.

A law school graduate with a longstanding passion for social justice, Jim also serves as chair of the David Suzuki Foundation — the nation’s most influential environmental organization — and as a trustee of the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education.

Jim is the co-founder of Stonehouse Standing Circle, an innovative public engagement and communications think tank, and the former chair of The Climate Project Canada — Al Gore’s global education and advocacy organization. He also led the province of British Columbia’s Green Energy Advisory Task Force on Community Relations and First Nations Partnerships.

Jim is the co-founder of the influential website DeSmogBlog and the author of two books: Do the Right Thing: PR Tips for Skeptical Public and Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming. He speaks, writes and presents widely on public attitudes toward sustainability, climate change and the environment.

DeSmog Canada Advisory Board:
The DeSmog Canada Advisory Board consists of Canadian academics, thought leaders and celebrities dedicated to enhancing productive conversations about Canada's natural resources, environment and democracy.
 
Alex Himelfarb
 

In September 2009, Dr. Alex Himelfarb was appointed as Director of the Glendon School of Public and International Affairs, at York University. He guides the expansion of the School’s research capacity and its professional development programming and seeks to strengthen the relationship between the School and the public sector.

Dr. Himelfarb also leads the Centre for Global Challenges which, stressing the interplay of domestic and global issues, brings together decision makers, researchers, practitioners, and students to explore challenges confronting Canada in a changing world.

He was a Professor of Sociology at the University of New Brunswick from 1972 to 1981. During this period, he undertook an Executive Interchange with the Department of Justice as Head of the Unified Family Court Project from 1979 to 1981.

He also served as Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet from May 2002 until March 2006 when he was nominated as Ambassador of Canada to the Italian Republic with concurrent accreditation to the Republic of Albania and the Republic of San Marino, and as High Commissioner for Canada to the Republic of Malta.

Allan Gregg

Allan Gregg is one of Canada’s most recognized and respected senior research professionals and social commentators.

From 1979 through 1993 Gregg was known as the official pollster of the Progressive Conservative Party and participated in over 50 central election campaigns on three continents. In 1995, he co-founded The Strategic Counsel, a research partnership he left in 2007. That year, he set out on his own to form Allan Gregg Strategies, offering high-end, value added, research-based consulting and communications advice to private and public sector clients and assumed the position of Chairman of Harris/Decima, a company he founded almost 30 years earlier that has recently merged with the fastest growing research firm in the world.

Gregg is a pioneer in the integration of consulting, public-opinion research, public affairs and communications. He not only has an intimate knowledge of the dynamics of policy-making but also a deep understanding of cultural change and the communications processes necessary to forge a public consensus around government and business initiatives.

In 2012 he was named as an Adjunct Professor in the Arthur Kroeger College at Carleton University and was inducted in the Canadian Marketing Hall of Legends.

Evangeline Lilly

Evangeline Lilly is a Canadian actress most know for her role as Kate Austen in Lost and Tauriel in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. She is a writer for DeSmog Canada and an advocate for environmental and human rights issues globally.



  



  

Miles Richardson

Miles G. Richardson is a citizen of the Haida Nation and Canada. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Victoria in 1979. From 1984 to 1996, he served as President of the Haida Nation.

Richardson was a member of the British Columbia Claims Task Force, which, in June of 1991, made recommendations to the Governments of Canada, British Columbia, and First Nations in BC on a mutually agreed process to conduct Treaty negotiations to build a New Relationship and define what the New Relationship should include. 

From 1991 to 1993, Richardson was a member of the First Nations Summit Task Group, which is an executive body representing First Nations in BC. In October 1995, Mr. Richardson was nominated by the Summit and appointed as a Commissioner to the BC Treaty Commission. He was elected to a second term in April 1997. In November 1998, he was chosen as Chief Commissioner by agreement of Canada, BC and the First Nations Summit for a three-year term and was reappointed in November 2001.

Richardson is one of the original members of the David Suzuki Foundation and has been a board member since 1992. In 2007, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada. Currently, Richardson owns and operates his own business providing strategic advice on relationship building and business development between First Nations and the private sector; First Nations governance development in partnership with the Institute on Governance; and Sustainability policy and business development.