Hi, I’m Mike

About me

For decades, Mike has been making a huge positive impact toward a world where future generations can thrive.

As a filmmaker, he produced documentaries on environmental and social issues, from the plight of the monarch butterfly to pollution and conflict in Central America. He made films about simple things like composting toilets, and big issues like why we can’t log old growth forests or the Amazon.

In El Salvador, he introduced simple, clean technologies, like sand water filters and solar-powered stoves, to help communities without access to electricity.

In Peru, he worked with the Queros peoples of the Amazon to help create the first Indigenous-held land conservancy, and one of the largest sections of tropical rainforest that has been set aside for the planet.

In Sierra Leone, he retrained child soldiers to escape the cycle of war. He established women’s cooperatives to farm organically and avoid mining for blood diamonds. 

As it became clear that he could do even more by looking at the bigger picture, he worked to give young people access and influence in the bureaucracy of the United Nations. He led an official delegation to the 2015 Paris climate summit that resulted in the Paris Accord.

Today, he is a proud, but very concerned, dad of a nine-year-old girl. As he closes the windows to keep her from breathing the smoke from wildfires, the urgency of the day, and every day forward, is obvious. Canada is headed in the wrong direction and he’s worked all his life developing the skills that can turn it around. As an elected member of parliament, he will work to safeguard her future by ensuring that Canada’s transition to a carbon neutral economy starts today.

As our MP, he will be a force to be reckoned with. Mike has proven time and again that he can hold government accountable and create positive change.

Life as a Documentarian

The Early Years

At 23, after cycling in Central America and witnessing too much war and conflict, Mike started a video production company, Variations on a Wave, where he made films about the problems he saw in the world, and solutions where he could find them. He hung out of helicopters for Greenpeace; he took video testimonials of torture victims in Central America; he camped on the front lines of endangered spaces with First Nations in BC. Running his own company, having employees to pay and balance sheets to track, also taught him about the challenges faced by small businesses.

Some of the films he’s most proud of include:

The Monarch – A Butterfly Beyond Borders – about the plight of the monarch butterfly. This earned a Genie nomination. 

Trees, Toilets, and Transformation – about using appropriate technology, like pedal-powered machinery and composting toilets, to counter environmental problems in El Salvador.

Burning Rivers – explores the links between poverty, human rights abuses and the state of the environment in the Guatemalan rainforest.

Under the Tarp of the Amazon – a film about Mike’s work with the Queros Andinos in Peru

When the People Lead – a human rights story about Guatemalan refugees returning

In 2000, Mike founded One Sky, the Canadian Institute of Sustainable Living. This non-governmental organization grew into more than a decade of projects, with many staff, volunteers and amazing initiatives.

He worked with Brazil nut farmers in the Amazon to conserve huge tracts of old growth rainforest. He helped them organize a supply chain, and earn far more profit from preserving the trees around them than they could ever generate by cutting them down.

He worked with Indigenous leaders in Guatemala and El Salvador to help get fifty million dollars in aid supplies (crutches, stretchers, anything they could send to help) to the humanitarian sector in the middle of a war.

In Nigeria, he promoted AIDS/HIV programs and worked to preserve the habitat of the western lowland gorilla.

In an area of El Salvador that was decimated by bombing and war, he helped rebuild their ecosystem by planting a forest on a bombed out volcano. This project improved the air quality, renewed life in the region, and served as a memorial to the soldiers and civilians who died in the war, with one tree planted for each of the 75,000 casualties. They called it the “Forest of Reconciliation.”

Life Running a Non-profit

The Middle Years

Life Running a Non-profit

The Middle Years

In 2000, Mike founded One Sky, the Canadian Institute of Sustainable Living. This non-governmental organization grew into more than a decade of projects, with many staff, volunteers and amazing initiatives.

He worked with Brazil nut farmers in the Amazon to conserve huge tracts of old growth rainforest. He helped them organize a supply chain, and earn far more profit from preserving the trees around them than they could ever generate by cutting them down.

He worked with Indigenous leaders in Guatemala and El Salvador to help get fifty million dollars in aid supplies (crutches, stretchers, anything they could send to help) to the humanitarian sector in the middle of a war.

In Nigeria, he promoted AIDS/HIV programs and worked to preserve the habitat of the western lowland gorilla.

In an area of El Salvador that was decimated by bombing and war, he helped rebuild their ecosystem by planting a forest on a bombed out volcano. This project improved the air quality, renewed life in the region, and served as a memorial to the soldiers and civilians who died in the war, with one tree planted for each of the 75,000 casualties. They called it the “Forest of Reconciliation.”

Life as a Networker

The Later Years

Mike has served on several boards of directors, all with the goal of empowering people and organizations who have innovative ideas for how to make a difference.

As Executive Director of the British Columbia Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC), he helped raise $100 million to give to small and medium-sized NGOs  working on innovative solutions to sustainable development. 

As leader of the Inter Council Network of Provincial and Regional Councils, he helped Non-Government Organizations increase their ability to deliver sustainable results, as well as engage and empower youth as global citizens.

He worked with the Sierra Club, Great Bear Rainforest, and the Canadian Environmental Network to organize two international conferences on climate change.

In his work with the United Nations, Mike led a youth delegation to the 2015 conference that crafted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals designed to create a planet where human life can thrive by 2030. 

Mike lives with his partner, Stephanie Grindon, near Gibsons. Stephanie is well-known to many in our riding as a long-time, active Green Party member. His nine-year-old daughter is already a determined climate activist and singer. Together, they have recently established a solar powered permaculture operation on Gambier Island in Howe Sound.

The other three parties all offer you policies that are more of the same. No matter how good their candidates are in this riding, their parties will promote policies that will result in even more wildfires, even more habitat destruction, even more pipelines, and even more subsidies for climate destroying industries — all accompanied by ever more greenwashing. If you agree that we must actually start addressing these issues differently and meaningfully, then it’s time for you to send Mike to Ottawa.

Life Now in 2021

The Current Years

Life Now in 2021

The Current Years

Mike lives with his partner, Stephanie Grindon, near Gibsons. Stephanie is well-known to many in our riding as a long-time, active Green Party member. His nine-year-old daughter is already a determined climate activist and singer. Together, they have recently established a solar powered permaculture operation on Gambier Island in Howe Sound.

The other three parties all offer you policies that are more of the same. No matter how good their candidates are in this riding, their parties will promote policies that will result in even more wildfires, even more habitat destruction, even more pipelines, and even more subsidies for climate destroying industries — all accompanied by ever more greenwashing. If you agree that we must actually start addressing these issues differently and meaningfully, then it’s time for you to send Mike to Ottawa.

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