Year 5 of our Parliamentary Internship for the Environment (PIE) program kicked off orientation week with a special visit from Ottawa Centre MP Yasir Naqvi.
Photo Credit: Ami Gagné
Meet our 2022/23 Interns!
Michael Bagamery (He/Him)
Sustainable Agriculture Stream
Mike is a writer and activist from Winnipeg, Manitoba. He most looked forward to turning eighteen so he could vote. He united his political and environmental interests by earning a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in natural resource management, both from the University of Manitoba. Besides his academic work, Mike helps at Manitoba’s Climate Action Team. He contributed to the 2021 policy document Manitoba’s Road to Resilience, which charts a path to prosperity without fossil fuels. He is also active with the Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition. Among his environmental interests are how best to decarbonize the transportation and agricultural systems. He is a keen supporter of co-operative farmers’ markets because they embody economic democracy and produce better food. He wants to write about all kinds of environmental issues and serve as a green public intellectual.
Serena Bains (They/Them)
Serena is a Punjabi disabled queer trans femme who was born and raised in Surrey, British Columbia. They are a child of immigrants whose families were farmers growing barley, corn, sugar cane, beets, chickpeas, etc. and have an intergenerational connection to the land, sea and climate. Serena's climate justice work began at Simon Fraser University, where they worked as the Re-Use for Good Accessibility Liaison within the Sustainability Office in response to a proposed straw ban. This experience sparked their passion for initiatives at the intersection of climate and disability justice. As a result, Serena continued their climate justice work in their capacities with the Sustainability Office, Embark Sustainability and as Vice-President University and Academic Affairs of the Simon Fraser Student Society. Serena is excited to continue their work in a new capacity and community with GreenPAC.
Logan Beauchamp (He/They)
A Two-Spirit Métis youth and Political Science student from Alberta. Logan volunteers with We Matter as a National Ambassador of Hope which helps him engage with other Indigenous youth in his community and around the country to spread messages of hope and healing. He aspires to become a lawyer with specializations in Environmental, Aboriginal, and Constitutional Law so that he can help Indigenous peoples in affirming their rights and land claims. Logan's passion for the environment stems from his own Métis ancestry. Métis and Indigenous peoples have traditionally lived with the land, making sure to take care of Mother Earth as she provides us with all the necessities of life. Logan believes Mother Earth is sick and needs healing and that Indigenous voices and ways of knowing need to be centred in Canada’s environmental efforts. "Mother Earth will heal, whether that’s with us or despite us, is up to all of us."
Ana Karen Garza (She/Her)
Ana Karen Garza holds a BSc in Environmental Science, Political Science, and Environmental Studies. Growing up in two beautifully diverse countries, Ana Karen developed an interest in studying the effects that negative human impacts have had on the environment, such as unchecked urban sprawl in her native city of Monterrey, Mexico, and the rise of invasive species threatening the delicate Great Lakes in Ontario. She has worked as an intern and research assistant for the University of Toronto President’s Advisory Committee on the Environment Climate Change and Sustainability (CECCS). In this role, Ana worked on a collaborative Research Paper intended for publication and was assigned the U7+ Alliance Principle 3 climate change action tasks. Recently, Ana hosted a podcast to deliver educational content for individuals interested in learning about green careers. Her passion for getting involved in advancing sustainability has taught her that environmental problems have adverse impacts regardless of borders or political affiliation.
Mary Gholami (She/Her)
Sustainable Agriculture Stream
Mary’s passions lie within the topic of sustainability and the role women can play in tackling climate change. She has worked on projects focused on intersectionality and gender equality in the field of renewable energy. Mary is currently pursuing a degree in Agricultural and Resource Economics along with a Certificate in Sustainability at the University of Alberta, where she has been an active member of the World Vision student group. Before joining the GreenPAC team as an intern, she participated in the Diversity Awareness and Skill Building Program by the non-profit organization OSP, strengthening her knowledge of diverse cultures and collective identities. She is beyond excited to bring her knowledge of agriculture and sustainability to her role with GreenPAC and pursue her interests from a political aspect.
Benjamin Liao Gormley (He/Him)
Ben holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto, where he studied International Relations and Environmental Science. In 2018-2019, he went to Lyon, France, for a year-long exchange at Université Jean Moulin. Ben's strong personal relationship to the land - developed over years of nature walks, gardening and rock climbing - motivates him to act now so the next generation will also benefit from a beautiful, livable planet. During his summers, Ben worked as a Canoe Trip Instructor to help youth facing barriers learn to love nature and love themselves. After graduating, Ben worked as a Climate Change Field Organizer at Future Majority, a non-partisan advocacy group, canvassing in post-secondary institutions and community hubs to encourage young Canadians to take action against climate change at the municipal level. In his free time, Ben enjoys reading, board games, meditation and salsa dancing.
Danielle LaBrash (She/Her)
Danielle’s passion for environmental policy is built on her dedication to social justice, equity, and community health. She has several years of experience in advocacy and front-line community work. in Northern and Prairie provinces, having worked on projects supporting gender equity, access to education, and community health. While working with Northern Indigenous communities, Danielle realized the extent to which climate change was at the root of the social issues she was working to address and reoriented her work to focus on climate justice. To improve her knowledge of Canadian climate policy and environmental politics, Danielle returned to university to pursue a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Waterloo, where her research focused on provincial environmental regulation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kelsey Lane (She/Her)
Kelsey Lane is passionate about climate policy and is eager to evolve systems to be as swift, effective and equitable as the action needed to address the climate crisis. She has worked for NGOs worldwide on business development, education and public outreach. Kelsey has worked as a Senior Climate Policy Coordinator with Ecology Action Centre and as the Executive Director of Halifax Cycling Coalition. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Sustainability from Dalhousie University and currently serves on the board of directors for Springtide Collective and the Electric Vehicle Association of Atlantic Canada. When not at the office, you can find Kelsey avoiding domestic duties by chasing her urban chickens around the yard, exploring a trail, or scheming her next adventure.
Sophia Lindfield (She/Her)
Sophia Lindfield grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia, located on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq people. She is in her second year of a Bachelor of Political Science and Environmental Sustainability at Dalhousie University and holds a certificate in Circular Economics and Business. She first became involved with politics by volunteering with her local MLA’s office, working on former premier Iain Rankin’s leadership campaign before taking on a more non-partisan role as a page at the Nova Scotia Legislature. In the climate sector, she worked with the Nova Scotia Environmental Network as Communications Manager and stayed on as co-chair of the board and was also selected out of a global pool of applicants to be one of eight Innovation Change-makers advising billion-dollar appliance company, Electrolux, on their Sustainability for 2030 plan. She wants to continue working on circular economic policy with governments and businesses.
Keenan McCarthy (He/Him)
Keenan grew up in Surrey, British Columbia, completing a Bachelor of Political Science and History at Simon Fraser University. Keenan is particularly interested in the events and systems that have contributed to the fragmentation of the Métis community. As such, he has been particularly keen to explore his own heritage, reclaim his culture and foster a sense of community in Surrey. Through his volunteer work with the Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Committee he has advocated for additional resources for Surrey’s urban Indigenous population, engaging with policymakers and community members alike to increase its profile. Having recently completed the Indigenous Youth Internship Program (B.C.), Keenan is excited about the opportunity to work with environmental leaders to address the looming climate crisis.
Join us in wishing them the best as they embark on their 9-month adventure on the Hill! We'll be announcing their MP and Senator placements in early October.
In the meantime, enjoy more photos from orientation week, where interns were joined by GreenPAC Executive Director Sarah Van Exan (pictured) and a number of special guests, including Mike Wilson (Smart Prosperity Canada), Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak, Julie Gelfand (Former federal commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development in the Office of the Auditor General of Canada) and Michael Jacobs (CEO Cambium Indigenous Professional Services).