How Government Works


Imagine bringing together  community leaders who  are politicians  or work  directly or indirectly with government,   and   middle and high school  students to allow the students to interview the  speakers and get direct answers to their tough questions.

How Government Works is designed to help students better  understand  what government does and how it does it, by giving them a chance to ask their authentic questions and get straight, candid answers back.  Our speakers like it because of the quality of their fellow speakers, and  the opportunity to  connect directly with youth and their questions, that so often go unasked and unanswered.

Speakers  available for this Series, include

Elizabeth May, Leader of the Federal Green Party bio

View her interview by Lansdowne Middle School

What students said about her


Becoming party leader : challenges and opportunities
Working for change
Getting the media’s attention
Observations from Copenhagen
What is it mean to be Green? standing out from all the others

Sarah  Webb, Cycling Coordinator, Victoria..

Sarah Webb is a sustainability professional, an activist, and a mom. She is currently leading up the CRD Climate Action Program which aims to support the 13 local governments in the region in developing and implementing emissions reduction and adaptation strategies. Essentially, Sarah is helping to champion “future friendly” communities. Sarah has a diverse background in both the non-profit and private sectors working on issues that relate to environmental stewardship. Her previous professional experience includes the University of Victoria Office of Campus Planning and Sustainability, the Ministry of Advanced Education, the Canadian Urban Transit Association, and the Centre for Urban Innovation. After moving to the island from Whistler in 1998, Sarah fell in love with the region and its inspiring places. She loves the outdoors, is an avid commuter cyclist, and aims to live simply in a complex world. < What students said about Sarah>


Generation G
Meaningful Careers and the Green Economy
Knowing who the decision makers are and how decisions are made
Collaborating for a post carbon planet

 Dean Fortin, Former Mayor of Victoria

View Interview at Lansdowne

On November 15, 2008, Dean Fortin was elected the 51st Mayor of Victoria. He was sworn into office on December 2, 2008. His top priorities include addressing the severe shortage of affordable housing in the city, homelessness, sustainable growth, supporting a vibrant downtown, and advancing a transportation strategy that meets the needs of the growing region.

Mayor Dean Fortin serves as the Co-Chair for the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness, and serves on the Victoria Regional Transit Commission.

Dean was first elected to City Council in 2002. During his tenure as Councillor, he participated on many committees addressing vital issues like finance and personnel, housing, social planning, and the environment.
Mayor Fortin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geography, a Bachelor of Laws, and a Masters Degree in Education (Counselling).
Dean is a long-time resident of Victoria. He lives in the Oaklands neighbourhood of Victoria with his wife and daughter.


Liveable Cities – homelessness/affordable housing/transportation
City Services – what are cities core services – i.e. water, roads, etc.
Local Government – public consultation, access
Motivations,  challenges and  rewards of being  on city council
Finding the time to make a difference.

Tanis Gower Biologist with the Capital Regional District and the Bowker Creek Initiative

Tanis is a biologist with a passion to protect the environment. She has traveled to many places and thinks about the big picture as she works on the details in her job with Capital Regional District. One of her main projects is the restoration of Bowker Creek. She helps local governments and others institutions work together to improve the environment.

Living more sustainably
Importance of nature to those living in cities
Changing the way people think and live
Restoring a creek in a city
Big picture thinking
Lessons learned from the travelling
Challenges and victories

Jordan Fisher –Sustainable Development Consultant

Jordan Fisher is an adventurer at heart and when he’s not in the great outdoors he’s working as an independent sustainable development consultant. He advises companies and governments on how to build communities that are healthier for people and the planet. Jordan has a diverse background and has worked as a wilderness guide and naturalist, a first-aid instructor, green building consultant, development manager, and a community energy planner. Jordan grew up in Ontario where he developed a passion for canoeing and hiking, which led him to move to Vancouver Island. His love of the outdoors led to a love for nature and an interest finding ways to help people live in balance with it. He’s learned that in order to do that people need to be in balance with one another, and much of Jordan’s work and life is focused on helping people to work together collaboratively to bring about positive change in their communities.


Sustainability to Thrivability
The role each of us plays in making positive change
Helping companies and governments build healthier communities
Finding a balance between work and play
Life’s adventures