Gillian grew up in the heart of Ottawa – right in the Glebe – and after spending a few years in British Columbia, she found herself back in her hometown, knocking on doors in her own neighbourhood to stop a proposed pipeline.
“I believe that climate change is going to impact us all more and more, but it’s such a huge global issue that most people don’t know how to help or where to start. I help offset that overarching fear by volunteering my time with a group that has oversight and guidance from some full time employees, and has a great reputation in the city.”
During her time in BC, Gillian volunteered with the Dogwood Initiative, a group fighting pipelines and tankers on the West Coast. So when it was time to move back to Ottawa, she immediately jumped on the Ecology Ottawa ship, helping turn out environmentally-minded voters in the 2015 federal election. Her experience and knowledge of grassroots organizing from the Dogwood Initiative quickly became an asset, so by summer 2016, Gillian was leading her own canvassing team in the Glebe, raising awareness of and collecting petition signatures against the proposed Energy East pipeline.
“I appreciate Ecology Ottawa’s focus on city-level initiatives. It’s a great way to make an impact where you live on multiple issues. As an ongoing volunteer, I got to do various interesting things beyond the campaign I’m most committed to (Renewable City), such as helping to plan the Great Glebe Green Garage Sale and helping give out baby trees for the Living City campaign.”
At every team meeting, Gillian’s positive attitude is contagious, and her commitment to fighting climate change is inspirational. “Volunteering with Ecology Ottawa gives me confidence that I am doing my part to increase awareness and put my time and energy into campaigns that actually make a difference.”
Ecology Ottawa is founded on the belief that thousands of Ottawa residents like Gillian want a healthy environment, and are willing to stand up and demand it from our decision makers.