How we work

Formed in 2005, the CNCA brings together 30 environmental, human rights, religious, labour and solidarity groups from across Canada. We represent the concerns of millions of Canadians from coast to coast to coast. We are connected with communities, workers, Indigenous peoples, environmental and human rights defenders from around the world. We welcome new members.

The CNCA is coordinated by a full-time Coordinator and a seven-member Steering Committee. CNCA members meet bi-monthly via conference call and in person.

Emily Dwyer

Coordinator

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Emily joined the CNCA as Coordinator in August of 2012. Prior to joining the CNCA, Emily worked as the Program Officer for Latin America for Lawyers Without Borders Canada; as the Coordinator of the Human Rights Accompaniment Program for the Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network (BTSN); and as a human rights accompanier/international observer in Guatemala with the Coordination of International Accompaniment in Guatemala. Emily has supported BTSN’s mining justice campaigns and Amnesty International’s Business and Human Rights Committee. She has also interned at the Canadian Department of Justice’s War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity Department, the Dalhousie Legal Aid Clinic and the Halifax Refugee Clinic, and focused on related issues in law school. Emily holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree from Dalhousie University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Development and History from Trent University.

Ian Thomson

Steering Committee Chair, KAIROS Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initatives

Ian is the Resources and Rights Partnerships Coordinator at KAIROS Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives. KAIROS brings together 11 national churches and other religious institutions in Canada as well as 22 global partners in Latin America, Africa and Asia-Pacific to work for social and ecological justice. Since 2005, Ian has coordinated KAIROS’ work on corporate accountability and ecological justice. He holds engineering degrees from the University of Toronto and Queen’s University. Ian is the chair of the CNCA Steering Committee.

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Catherine Coumans

MiningWatch Canada

Catherine, Ph.D, is the Research Coordinator and Co-Manager at MiningWatch Canada. Departing from a rights-based perspective, Catherine works in solidarity with communities and Indigenous peoples affected by Canadian mining companies in the Asia Pacific region and in Tanzania. Her policy and advocacy work as well as her publications focus on, among others, human rights and community agency in corporate accountability, home country legislative reform to assure access to judicial and non-judicial remedy for people who have been harmed by Canadian mining companies overseas, full-cost accounting for mining, participatory health assessment, and participatory research with women in mining-affected communities.

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Karyn Keenan

Above Ground

Karyn is a lawyer with eighteen years’ experience working with social justice NGOs both in Canada and abroad. Karyn provides leadership on policy and law reform work aimed at enhancing government and corporate accountability mechanisms in Canada. She was a member of the Advisory Group to the National Roundtable process on the Canadian extractive industry and provides expert testimony before the Parliament of Canada and UN bodies. While living in Bolivia and Peru, Karyn worked with local NGOs that support indigenous communities impacted by mining, oil and gas operations.

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Fiona Koza

Amnesty International Canada

For the past ten years, Fiona has campaigned for Amnesty International Canada on corporate accountability and business and human rights, with a focus on the extractive industries. Previously, Fiona worked for Greenpeace in India, Australia and the Philippines, as well as the International Institute for Sustainable Development and the Sierra Club. She has a Master’s degree in Environmental Policy and Management from the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics at Lund University, Sweden.

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Emily Norgang

Canadian Labour Congress

Emily is a Senior Researcher in the Social and Economic Policy Department at the Canadian Labour Congress. She has been a researcher and activist for a number of socially progressive organizations ranging from labour and equity, to environmental justice, to food sovereignty, to peace and conflict transformation. Her most recent research focuses on public policy and governance, de-regulation, and corporate accountability domestically and internationally. Prior to the CLC, Emily worked at the Professional Institute for the Public Service of Canada, the Food Action and Research Centre and Public Outreach. Emily holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and Peace Studies from McMaster University and a Master of Arts in Political Economy from Carleton University.

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Jean Symes

Inter Pares

Jean works with Inter Pares’ Africa program team and its Economic Justice thematic, with an emphasis on resource extraction and tax justice. Previously, Jean was part of Inter Pares’ Latin America team, focusing on refugees and people displaced by political violence. Jean was responsible for developing Inter Pares’ programs in Peru and Colombia, including its first programs on peace-building and on sexual violence against women in the context of war. Jean is currently the Chair of the Canary Research Institute for Mining, Environment and Health and a member of the Board of Directors of MiningWatch Canada.

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Doug Olthuis

Steelworkers Humanity Fund

Doug has been a Staff Representative of the United Steelworkers (USW) since 1985 and was named the Executive Director of the Steelworkers Humanity Fund in 2004. Doug has worked as part of the Research Department of the USW Canadian National Office and has been involved in much of the major bargaining of the union in the steel and mining industries. From 1998 to 2004, Doug acted as USW Area Coordinator for North-Eastern Ontario in Sault Ste. Marie. Doug serves on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Council for International Cooperation.