Speakers’ Biographies


Food Security Assembly

Winnipeg, Manitoba

October 13 – 17, 2004


Karen Archibald is Executive Director of  CHEP, the Child Hunger and Education Program. . Under her leadership CHEP has developed  comprehensive community based  food security programs ranging from children’s nutrition programs at more than 35 city locations,  to community gardens and a strong Good Food Box program, to rural/urban alternative food links to a core neighbourhood food store.


Herb Barbolet is a food policy and project consultant.  He was the co-founder and Executive Director of FarmFolk/CityFolk Society, based in Vancouver, BC.  Herb works in the areas of food policy and food democracy, linking food to community economic development, health and safety, environment, social justice, and international development.  He is a panel member on CBC Almanac’s Food Panel and appears regularly in all media, and is co-author of the book FarmFolk/CityFolk, published by Douglas & McIntyre in 1998.  Herb holds a BA in Urbanism from the University of the City Of New York, Brooklyn College, and a MSW in Community Organization/Community Development from the University of Pittsburgh.


Marjorie Bencz has been Executive Director of the Edmonton Gleaners Association: “Edmonton’s Foods Bank” since 1989. Some of Marjorie’s post-secondary education, related to the non-profit sector, includes a National Certificate in Voluntary & Non-Profit Sector Management, and she is a graduate of Grant MacEwan College’s Voluntary Sector Management Program.  Marjorie is a past-chair of the Edmonton Loan Community Fund, which provides loans to low-income people so they can start small businesses. Marjorie received Edmonton Social Planning Council’s 2001 Award of Recognition and in 2003, she received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Grant MacEwan Community College.


Jonaki Bhattacharyya, TLC’s Agricultural Liaison in the Okanagan Region has an MES in Environmental Studies and experience working with organic farmers in the southern Interior of BC, coordinating a community-based ecological monitoring program, as well as teaching a course in Food Systems and Food Security at the University of Victoria.


Jerry Buckland teaches International Development Studies with Menno Simons College at the University of Winnipeg and Canadian Mennonite University. One of his areas of specialization is rural development. He spent five years working with and studying NGO rural development schemes in Bangladesh. Jerry has recently completed a book examining how markets, trade and modern technology are shaping farming and affecting farmers’ livelihoods  around the world.


Stuart Clark is currently the Senior Policy Advisor to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.  For the past thirty years he has worked in the field of food processing, international agricultural development, food aid and farming.  His current work focuses on international agricultural trade rules, Canadian food aid and international development policy and the Right to Food in the international context.  Stu lives in Winnipeg.


Cindy Coker is presently the executive director for SEED Winnipeg, Inc., a community economic development organization in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Previously, she worked at SEED Winnipeg helping to design and implement their community and worker ownership program.  She has 15 years of experience working in the economic development field in the United States, primarily using a worker cooperative model for enterprise development.


Jim Cornelius is the Executive Director of Canadian Foodgrains Bank, a position he has held since 1997.  Before joining the Foodgrains Bank, Jim worked as a management consultant for 15 years, specializing in international relief and development. He has conducted numerous assignments for the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and various non-governmental organizations and has traveled extensively to many countries in the world.  During his 15 year consulting career, he took five years to serve as Vice-President of Optima Consultants in Applied Social Research where he focused more on social and market research in Canada.  Jim did his graduate studies in international development at Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs in Ottawa.  He has an Honours B.A. in Sociology and African Studies from York University in Toronto, and studied Business Administration at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto.


Debbie Field has been the Executive Director of FoodShare Toronto for the past twelve years. She came to FoodShare through her role as a founding member of the Coalition for Student Nutrition. A long-standing activist in a variety of social movements, Debbie began her work life in 1976 as a teacher at Brampton’s Sheridan College. Next she was Canada’s first Equal Opportunities Coordinator, working for OPSEU (the Ontario Public Service Employees Union). Debbie has an honour’s B.A. in Sociology from Trent University and a Masters in Adult Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.


Laurel Gardiner is an independent advisor and educator, promoting cross-sector teamwork, helping Aboriginal and Northern communities to move people from Welfare to the Workforce through employment and training and community economic development. Laurel is a nurse, and a teacher with a Masters in Health Promotion. She began her work in the North as an outpost nurse with Health Canada, and continued as a high school teacher in Pukatawagan, an instructor in Keewatin Community College, and Zone Health Educator for Health Canada. Most recently she managed a program called “Building Sustainable Workforces” at MKO.


Janine Gibson works as an organic inspector and international trainer of inspectors, to support a more local food system that respects people and the environment. She volunteers extensively as the National President of Canadian Organic Growers.


Dr. Trevor Hancock is a public health physician and independent health promotion consultant who has worked for local communities, municipal, provincial and national governments, health care organizations and the World Health Organization. He is currently a public health consultant at the Ministry of Health Planning in British Columbia, where he is developing core programs in public health and contributing to a province-wide chronic disease prevention initiative. His main areas of interest are health promotion, healthy cities/ communities, healthy public policy, environmental health, health policy and planning, and health futurism.


Suzanne Hawkes is the co-founder of IMPACS Communications Centre, Canada’s first non-profit public relations firm dedicated to serving the non-profit sector.  Suzanne has worked with a wide range of not-for-profit organizations over the past decade as a trainer and consultant on strategic communication planning, opinion research, media relations, message development and issue advertising across Canada and internationally.  Suzanne has a Master’s degree in Resource and Environmental Management, a background in community and professional theatre, and serves as President of the Board for the internationally-renowned Holy Body Tattoo dance company.


Cathy Holtslander, the Beyond Factory Farming Coalition’s project organizer, works with grass-roots activists fighting industrial livestock operations and promoting ecologically, economically and socially viable alternatives. She co-edited Beyond Factory Farming: Corporate Hog Barns and the Threat to Public Health, the Environment and Rural Communities, published by the CCPA in 2003.


Christine Johnson is currently working as Project Coordinator for the Participatory Food Costing Project of the Nova Scotia Nutrition Council and Atlantic Health Promotion Research Centre.  This project aims to develop a model of food costing for the province by working in partnership with Canada Action Program for Children and Canada Prenatal Nutrition Prorgam funded Family Resource Centres/Projects in NS.  Christine will graduate with a MSc Applied Human Nutrition with Intergrated Dietetic Internship this October.  She has been involved with the Food Security Projects of the NSNC/AHPRC since 2001 and her thesis research focused on examining capacity building processes and outcomes that occurred as a result of involvement in a program of participatory research – the Participatory Food Security Projects.


Brewster Kneen has had a diverse activist career of writing, farming and lecturing.  From 1971 to 1986, the Kneens (wife Cathleen and children Jamie and Rebecca) farmed in Nova Scotia, developing a large commercial sheep farm, a lamb marketing co-op and a co-op abattoir.   In 1980, the Kneens started publishing The Ram’s Horn.  After a nine-year sojourn in Toronto, the Kneens moved to British Columbia in 1995 and now live in Sorrento, B.C.  Since leaving the farm in 1986, Brewster authored five books, the most recent being Farmageddon: Food and the Culture of Biotechnology (New Society Publishers, 1999).


Cathleen Kneen is the Coordinator (volunteer) of the BC Food Systems Network, which links people and groups across BC engaged in action and policy related to food security. She is also co-publisher (since 1980) of The Ram’s Horn, a monthly newsletter of food systems analysis.


Mustafa Koc is an associate professor at the Department of Sociology, Ryerson University where he also works as the director of the Centre for Studies in Food Security. He has been involved in various national and global debates on globalization social and economic development, and food security  such theWorld Social Forum, World Food Summit FYL. Mustafa has been actively involved in the formation of the Canadian Food Security Network and hosted the first Canadian conference of civil society organizations working for food security. Mustafa currently serves on the executives of the research committees of Agriculture and Food, and Social Transformations and Sociology of Development of the International Sociological Association and a member of Oxfam Canada’s Food and Trade Policy Working Group.


Lisa Lacroix is a regional program consultant with the Public Health Agency of Canada.  Lisa is responsible for the management of the Prevention and Promotion Contribution Fund in Manitoba for the Canadian Diabetes Strategy and regional components of the Population Health Fund.  Her work involves providing support to community-based organizations funded by Health Canada to address diabetes prevention using a population health approach.  In reality, she is sometimes the “feared and dreaded funder” but works hard to dispel those myths!


Gregoire Lamoureux is a farmer and owner of Spiral Farm in Winlaw, BC. He is also the director of the Kootenay Permaculture Institute. He has over twelve years of experience as a permaculture designer, consultant and teacher in many parts of the country. He’s on the Board of Directors of Seeds of Diversity Canada and a founding member of Kootenay Organic Growers Society where he sat on the Certifying Committee for three years. He has written articles for Natural Life and Eco Farm & Garden magazines. Gregoire has been a guest lecturer at many conferences including the BC Organic Agriculture Conference and the Guelph Organic Agriculture Conference.


Jean-Charles Le Vallée has worked as a food security specialist with several universities, consulting firms, the Canadian government, the U.N., IFPRI and the World Bank. He is an agricultural economist, agronomist, ecologist and nutritionist. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D in food security at Carleton University’s Department of Geography and Environmental Studies on the vulnerability of food systems.


Debora Lyall is the Acting Director, Marketing and Farm Business Management Branch

Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives.    She is trained as a professional home economist, with a degree from the University of Manitoba and a certificate in Public Sector Management, and is currently working on her Masters in Adult Education.  She works closely with many of the key issues concerning farming, farm families and rural communities such as: farm finances, family farm business relationships, leadership skill development, developing new food businesses and market opportunities, community development and 4-H programs.


Rod MacRae is a food policy analyst, working primarily on strategies to create food security in Canada, changes to the environment pillar of the new Agriculture Policy Framework, and policy drivers for organic agriculture.  He consults to the NGO sector and writes extensively on these topics and teaches at Ryerson and York Universities.  Rod has a Ph.D. from McGill.


Heidi Magnuson-Ford has worked at Winnipeg Harvest, Winnipeg’s food bank and distribution hub, for three years as Agency Liaison.  In this capacity she has opportunity to develop relationships with a variety of organizations that serve physical, social, spiritual and mental needs of individuals and families across Winnipeg. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Education and a Masters of Divinity from the Faculty of Theology at the University of Winnipeg.  She serves on the board of the Canadian Association of Food Banks as secretary.


Gary Martens is an instructor and research farm manager in the Plant Science department at the University of Manitoba. His area of interest is crop production with a special interest in weeds and weed management. Gary is involved in the annual Crop Diagnostic school held in the field in Carman every summer. He is presently involved in a number of research projects including: aerial photography for remotely sensing weed patches, using anhydrous ammonia for weed control and pesticide free production.  Before working for the University of Manitoba, Gary operated a crop farm and was an agronomist with Team Landmark, giving farmers advice about cropping decisions including weed management.  Gary has a small farm near Kleefeld, Manitoba.


Ian Mauro is a doctoral student and instructor in the Faculty of Environment, University of Manitoba. His research project entitled, “Risk Analysis of Genetically Modified (GM) crops on the Canadian Prairies”, involves working with farmers to assess their experiences and perceptions pertaining to the risks and benefits of herbicide tolerant (HT) canola and wheat. In summer 2004, he traveled to Baffin Island where he taught ‘Traditional Land Use and Ecology of Cumberland Sound’, a course which focused largely on food security issues in the North. He is also a filmmaker and has completed an educational video on the impacts of Roundup Ready wheat that has been shown extensively in Canada, U.S.A., Europe, Japan and Australia and is currently working on two documentary videos entitled: ‘Of Mice and Men: The Story of Life Patents in Canada’ and ‘Seeds of Change’.


Kelly McQuillen is the Manager, Diabetes & Chronic Disease, Public Health, Manitoba Health.  The primary responsibility of the Diabetes & Chronic Diseases Unit is to coordinate the provincial response to the major epidemic of Type 2 diabetes, in addition to establishing the provincial direction for chronic disease prevention and control.


Anna Paskal is a Program Manager with Inter Pares, an international social justice organization based in Ottawa. Anna works in the Asia program, focusing primarily on food security/food sovereignty and food politics. Anna completed graduate studies at Sussex University, is a published author and an award-winning documentary filmmaker.


Darrin Qualman and his family farmed actively until 1994.  They grew several grains, oilseeds, and spices. He worked on energy and environmental issues in the early 1990s and became the Executive Secretary of the National Farmers Union in June of 1996.  In 2004, Darrin became the NFU’s Director of Research.  The NFU works to ensure that the family farm remains the principle unit of food production in Canada.  Darrin is the author of The Farm Crisis and Corporate Power; The Farm Crisis, Bigger Farms, and the Myths of ‘Competition’ and ‘Efficiency’; and, with Nettie Wiebe, The Structural Adjustment of Canadian Agriculture.


Dr. Curtis Rempel is the Technology Project Manager with Monsanto Canada, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Prior to this, Curtis served as Monsanto Canada’s technical and project lead on Monsanto’s Roundup Ready wheat development project for four years.  Curtis also has extensive research experience in the public sector, holding positions at University of Manitoba, University of Guelph, and Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, in addition to conducting private sector research with a number of companies prior to joining Monsanto. Dr. Rempel is also an active farmer in the Red River Valley of Manitoba where he has grown both conventional and biotech crops.  Dr. Rempel holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Biology from the University of Guelph and an MBA from the University of Guelph and Athabasca University.


Graham Riches is Director of the UBC School of Social Work and Family Studies. He has researched and written about food poverty and food justice since the mid 1980s and is an elected member of the new Vancouver Food Policy Council. His publications include Food Banks and the Welfare Crisis (Ottawa: CCSD, 1986); First World Hunger: Food Security and Welfare Politics, edited (New York: St. Martins, 1997) and Right to Food Case Study: Canada, with D. Buckingham, R. MacRae and A. Ostry (Rome: United Nations FAO, 2004).


Charlene Rowland has been actively involved with the Youth in Alternative Agriculture Movement for over ten years. Her work includes being a founding member of the River Hills Eco-village located near the Whiteshell Provincial Park, Manitoba. She enjoys studying Permaculture design and graduated from a two week Permaculture Designer’s Certification course in Sonoma County, California during June 1996.  Charlene helped to develop & coordinates the Organic Farm Mentorship Program. Currently, Charlene has been working in the Winnipeg School Division teaching Food Security Issues to high school students as part of an ongoing Youth Outreach Project.


Carole Samdup is a Program Officer at Rights & Democracy, where she has worked for the past ten years on the issue of Globalization and Human Rights.  In that capacity, her areas of focus have been regional integration in Asia; agriculture and the right to food; and economic, social and cultural rights in multilateral processes.   Carole has also spent ten years living in northern India teaching English to Tibetan refugees.  Before joining Rights & Democracy, Carole worked in the private sector.  She studied East Asian History at Rhode Island College and studied business at the State University of New York.


Jarem Sawatsky teaches in the Peace and Conflict Transformation Studies at Canadian Mennonite Univeristy.  One of his key areas of interest is the role of environment and survival in peacebuilding design.  He has written a number of articles on peacebuilding, restorative justice and social change.  Jarem has served as peace and conflict consultant, facilitator, trainer in

various local and international settings.


Ramona Scott, MA, is TLC’s Agricultural Liaison.  She has 35 years combined work experience in park planning, management, conservation and agriculture. She has recently successfully completed the BC Environmental Farm Planning course.


Charles Seiden joined the Canadian Association of Food Banks as Executive in October 2001. He has extensive experience in fundraising, working with the Donor Relations Team Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation and as National Fundraising Coordinator of Canadian Crossroads International.  Charles worked for 15 years with Youthful Offenders, as Executive Director of a Crisis Centre for Adolescents and as Executive Director of Child and Family Mental Health Centre. Charles graduated from York University with a BA in Psychology and the University of Toronto with a Masters in Criminology. He then earned a National Certificate in Voluntary Sector Management from the School of Business at York University and the Canadian Centre of Philanthropy.


Joyce Slater is a registered dietitian with 12 years of experience in public health.  She has worked in a variety of organizations in both Ontario and Manitoba. She is currently doing her Ph.D. at the University of Manitoba and her research topic is the food system and other socio-environmental influences on childhood obesity.  As part of her Ph.D., Joyce is also in a training program with the International Centre for Infectious Diseases in Winnipeg.  Joyce has two children, Jesse and Kate ages 5 and 7.


Dr. Jimmy Smith has devoted most of his working life to international agriculture research and development. Working within or through the international system (CGIAR, World Bank, FAO), most of his career of nearly 30 years was focused on hunger and poverty in the developing world. In doing so, he has had the privilege of living, working and supervising programs in all the developing regions of the world.   Jimmy is now a Principal Adviser  at the Canadian International Development Agency  (Policy Branch), with responsibility for Agriculture and Rural development and Biotechnology. He supported the process to develop the Agency’s new Policy on Promoting Sustainable Development Through Agricultureand is currently coordinating its implementation.  


Cliff Stainsby received Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (Plant Science), and a Major in Economics.  He worked 8 years in the Environment movement for an ENGO (SPEC) in the late seventies and early eighties. He followed this by working for Solidarity Coalition.  Cliff has worked for the BC Government and Service Employees’ Union since 1989.  For the past few years he has worked with BCGEU members who work in the environment, forestry and agriculture ministries, and with various non-government organizations; primarily engaged in campaigns related to toxics, forestry, agriculture, land use reform and sustainability.


Rieky Stuart, the Executive Director of Oxfam Canada, has worked in international development for over 30 years.  Oxfam Canada is one of Canada’s leading international cooperation NGOs, as well as campaigning and public education about sustainable development policies and practice in Canada.  Ms. Stuart has taught in Thailand, managed ‘One Sky’, a Saskatoon-based centre for public education about international development, worked in the education department of the National Farmers Union, and served as field staff (in Botswana) and subsequently as a senior manager for CUSO.  In addition to teaching courses and workshops in Canada, Asia and Africa on gender and development, organizational management and development, and development management, she worked as an international consultant for a range of NGOs, bilateral and multilateral organizations.  In 1995 Ms. Stuart was appointed as Deputy Director of CCIC, the Canadian umbrella group for international cooperation NGOs.  She joined Oxfam Canada in 1999.  She has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Western Ontario, an M.Sc. in planning from the University of Toronto, and a Master’s degree in Management from McGill.  She is the author of a number of books and articles on international development/gender and development.  Ms. Stuart’s interest is in building effective organizations that can meet the challenges of both change and social justice.


Robin Tunnincliffe has been farming on Vancouver Island for the past 6 years.  She sells her produce through a women’s cooperative called Saanich Organics. The cooperative markets to 25 of Victoria’s top restaurants, has a vegetable home delivery service for 50 families, and sells at the Moss St. Market. Robin currently sits on the board of Linking Land and Future Farmers, and is past-chair of the South Island Organic Producers’ Association.  She travelled to India and Nepal to on a cross cultural farmer to farmer exchange with SANFEC in 2003.  Robin has had several articles on organic farming practices published  in Eco Farm and Garden, and in BC Gardener.  She is a graduate from the University of Guelph.


Dr. Henry David Venema is a professional engineer and natural resource management consultant with extensive experience in rural energy, rural development, water resources planning, and conventional energy sector planning in North America, Africa, and Asia.  Dr. Venema’s research on systems approaches for climate change mitigation/adaptation synergy through integrated village energy planning has appeared in the Journal of Environmental Management, Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change and Global Environmental Change, and has been widely cited by the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report on Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability.


Brent Warner is the Industry Agritourism Specialist with the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food and secretary of the North American Farmers Direct Marketing Association (NAFDMA).  He created the South Vancouver Island, the Fraser Valley, and the Okanagan Direct Farm Marketing organizations.  In 1994, he was awarded the Agrologist of the year by the British Columbia Institute of Professional Agrologists.  He helped to launch the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets which in 2004 represents approximately 50 % of the urban markets in the Province.  He co-authored a marketing guide for progressive farmers, Marketing on the Edge which is available across North America


Dr. Nettie Wiebe farms with her husband at Laura, Saskatchewan, growing organic grains and pulse crops as well as raising cattle.  She was elected President of the NFU in January 1995, the first woman to lead a national farm organization in Canada.   She is currently the Professor of Church and Society, lecturing on ethics and social and economic justice at St. Andrew’s College, University of Saskatchewan.   A writer, panelist and speaker on agriculture, environment, public policy and trade issues, Dr. Wiebe has been an advocate for farm families and rural communities  in many forums in Canada and abroad.  She is a coordinating member of the Via Campesina, a global movement of peasants and small-scale farmers.  She was presented with the Distinguished Canadian Award by the Council of Canadians in November, 1999.


Dr. Patty Williams returned to Nova Scotia in 2000 after completing her PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Prior to this she worked as a pediatric dietitian at the Janeway Child Health Centre in St. John’s Newfoundland. She was awarded a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Postdoctoral Fellowship from 2001-03 and was able to combine this with a faculty position in the Department of Applied Human Nutrition at Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU) where she is now based. She led a program of research that focuses on the use of participatory research and capacity building to influence policy and system change for food security.