A Message from BCSEA Board Director, Paul Rasmussen

When I first joined the BCSEA board 5 years ago as the Victoria Chapter representative, it never occurred to me that I might become the longest tenured member of the board but here I am.  The last 5 years at BCSEA have presented challenges, including the Covid pandemic, but we’ve still managed to maintain and even strengthen our core programs and slowly but surely strengthen our organization.  

When BCSEA first formed 20 years ago, we were the first BC organization with an explicit mandate to highlight the need for BC to move away from fossil fuels.  There was a lot of excitement about the organization and we were able to secure long term funding resources that allowed us to operate for many years with a professional staff and a not a lot of immediate concerns about funding.  Over time, many of these funding sources disappeared, and the board had to take over the day to day management of the organization as volunteers.  That was shortly before I joined the board and it was a difficult time.  But we persevered, and kept BCSEA going.  I’d like to particularly highlight the amazing work of our former chair Jonathan Ho and vice chair Lana Gonoratsky who put in countless volunteer hours despite working full time jobs to keep our organization functional and move it in a positive direction.  Because despite our challenges, one thing has never changed.  That is BCSEA’s reputation for excellence among schools, government and regulatory bodies, sustainable energy activists and businesses, and others.  We continue to provide high quality, science based, education and advocacy regarding the necessity to move away from fossil fuels and toward a sustainable energy future in the Province of British Columbia.

So what’s changed?  We have rebuilt and modernized our website at bcsea.org.  Our rebranded Cool-It education program has found outstanding managers, has expanded to High Schools and is stronger than ever, continuing to expand its programs every year.  We’ve continued our involvement at the BC Utilities Commission which goes back to the very beginning of BCSEA.  As our new Chair, Al Humber detailed in the last board message, we have some exciting new initiatives coming up this year.  And thanks to our treasurer, Diana Sollner who joined the board during my board tenure, we have been able to balance our books and  run the organization in a much more financially sustainable fashion.  

BCSEA’s financial stability relies on our membership. In 2023, BCSEA undertook a major upgrade to our E-commerce site which manages our memberships and donations.  During this period our Board of Directors elected to review the membership tiers and they determined some streamlining was needed.  If you are currently a member of the BCSEA, you’ll soon be receiving detailed instructions on how you can update or reinstate your membership.  If you’re not a member perhaps you’ll take this opportunity and become one by signing up here.