Committee Member Biographies for the Regional Assessment of Offshore Wind Development in Nova Scotia

Graham Daborn

Graham Daborn is a graduate of the University of Alberta and taught Biology at Acadia University from 1973 to 2004. Dr. Daborn was the founding Director of the Acadia Centre for Estuarine Research and then served as Director of the Academy for the Environment at Acadia University from 2004 to 2007. He was also Co-Chair of the Program Management Committee for the Canadian Water Network and chaired the Bay of Fundy Ecosystem Partnership from 1996 to 2004, a virtual institute aimed at increasing cooperation among governments, communities, resource users and industries in the development of sustainable futures for the communities and resources of the Bay of Fundy. His current activities relate primarily to the environmental implications of generating renewable energy from the marine environment, especially from tidal currents in the Bay of Fundy. He served as a member of the Board of the Ocean Renewable Energy Group (now Marine Renewables Canada), and as a volunteer on the Research Advisory Committee and the Tidal Area Sub-committee for the Offshore Energy Environmental Research Association (now Net Zero Atlantic). His research areas have emphasized holistic, multidisciplinary studies of estuaries and his research projects have related to the impacts of tidal power development, and the role of local communities in resource conservation and environmental management of coastal ecosystems. 

Steve Parsons

Since 2001, Steve Parsons has worked within the First Nation community of Eskasoni both as a secondary school teacher delivering business curriculum courses and as an economic development consultant. Since 2013, Mr. Parsons has been working as the General Manager of Eskasoni Corporate Division, which has been engaged in renewable resources of wind and solar development, cold and live storage of fishery-related products along with many other industry sectors. His primary role is to both vet and create business opportunities through joint ventures to enable the Eskasoni First Nation to provide for new revenue streams and employment opportunities for its members both inside and outside the community. In 2008, and again in 2012 and 2016, Mr. Parsons was elected to four-year terms at the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board district 3 as a board trustee holding the position of Vice Chair and Chair. Mr. Parsons also served as a board member on several companies and foundations including the Cape Breton University Board and the Cape Breton Partnership. Mr. Parsons currently serves on the Sydney and Area Chamber of Commerce, the Eskasoni Wind Company Ltd and, most recently, the Provincial Advisory Committee to the Minister of Early Childhood and Education. 

Lorraine Whitman

Mi'kmaw from Glooscap First Nation, Elder Lorraine Whitman is one of 14 siblings to the late Chief Joseph and Elder Doris (Brooks) Peters. Since graduating with honours from Grant McEwan College at the University of Alberta, Elder Whitman's career has focused on health care, including working for 23 years as a social development officer for Glooscap First Nation. In 2010, she became Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative Coordinator after graduating as valedictorian from Yellowquill College's Aboriginal Diabetes program. Elder Whitman served Glooscap as an elected councillor from 1997 to 2012 and sat on the Board of Directors of the Confederacy of Mainland Mi'kmaq for more than 15 years. She also served on the Tripartite Forum Health Committee and was on the Annapolis Valley School Board from 2000 to 2003. She developed the Seven Sacred Teachings Coffee with Just Us! Coffee; of which a portion of the proceeds go towards Indigenous initiatives. In 2017, Elder Whitman was elected President of the Nova Scotia Native Women's Association and then President of the Native Women's Association of Canada from 2019 to 2022. Elder Whitman was recognized with the Nova Scotia Volunteer Award in 2019 and Grand Chief Marshall Elders Award in 2020. She currently sits on the Mi'kmawey Debert Elders Advisory Council, the Mi'kmaq Language Advisory Committee and is an Elder for Acadia University. Elder Whitman has been married to her husband for 41 years and has raised their daughter according to Mi'kmaw culture and traditions. In 2022, Elder Whitman was both a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities from Acadia University and the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Platinum Medal.

Ann G. Wilkie

Ann G. Wilkie has over 40 years of experience in the public, private and academic sectors in the UK, Canada and beyond. At SNC Lavalin and CBCL Limited, Ms. Wilkie managed multidisciplinary teams responsible for a wide spectrum of land use and environmental work, including the assessment of industrial and infrastructural projects and the preparation of coastal and regional planning strategies. She has managed several of the larger environmental assessments undertaken in eastern Canada including the assessment of the Sable Offshore Energy and the Maritime and Northeast Pipeline projects. She also has provided substantial leadership in the development and execution of effective stakeholder consultations, including the design and implementation of the multi-year consultation program associated with these two projects. Ms. Wilkie has undertaken assessments for onshore wind projects including the wind farm at Pubnico, the first in Nova Scotia. She has provided evidence to federal and provincial environmental assessment panels and to the National Energy Board. Since stepping away from corporate activity, Ms. Wilkie has contributed expertise and experience to several groups including a research team in Edinburgh, Scotland, and with the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs' Secretariat.

James Wooder

Jim Wooder has a diverse marine background gained through 35 years of experience that includes maritime law practice in England, Norway and Nova Scotia, offshore oil and gas operations in Atlantic Canada and leading a variety of port-related development projects such as dredging, land reclamation and container-terminal and bulk-cargo facilities in Cape Breton. He was Project Manager for the environmental assessment and access-channel dredging of Sydney Harbour, one of Canada's largest dredging-and-land reclamation projects. This included significant marine habitat compensation and fishery catch-and-release programmes developed and executed in collaboration with local fishers, Cape Breton University and Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Mr. Wooder was a founding member and Chair of the Sydney Marine Group and led the start-up of Petroleum Research Atlantic Canada on behalf of the east coast offshore oil and gas operators. His volunteer work includes serving as past Chair of the MISA Board of Directors (now Immigrant Settlement Association of Nova Scotia) and currently on the Cape Breton Partnership Board of Directors. His broad experience provides a unique perspective and combination of skills that are well suited to the ongoing development of Atlantic Canada's evolving energy and marine transportation industries.

Document Reference Number: 75

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