Douglas Roy is a teacher, community leader and longtime environmental activist. After a life spent roaming across the country and around the world teaching, he is now settling into his new role as the Principal of Qaqqalik School in Kimmirut.
Douglas’ commitment to the environment began while teaching at a university in Southern China. Frequently invited to speak at other university campuses in Guangdong Province on climate change, pollution and the need to develop a sustainable economy, the urgency of the problem left his audiences inspired. In a region where air pollution frequently blocks out much of the sky, the young Chinese students were receptive to the call for new government policy and industrial change. Today, China leads the world in economic adaptations and is the leading producer of wind turbines, solar panels and electric vehicles. Their experience indicates that the shift to a “green economy” is not only realistic but essential. We only lack the government incentives and leadership that other countries have found. More Green Party Members of Parliament are needed to push for that change.
As the father of young children and grandchildren, the environmental crisis has become a personal issue for Douglas. Returning to Canada, he became the Green Party candidate in downtown Vancouver in the 2011 election, and the following year took on the role of Deputy Leader of the British Columbia Green Party. He is proud to have been a part of their growth over the last several election cycles.
A Manitoba native, Douglas attended public schools in Winnipeg and proceeded to the University of Manitoba in 1966, where he obtained a B.A. in 1970. He then married, moved to Montreal, and studied at McGill University for one year. They moved to British Columbia where he entered Simon Fraser University, graduating a year later with provincial teaching qualifications. Later, he returned to Simon Fraser University where he obtained a master’s degree in Liberal Studies. Over the course of his career, Douglas has had teacher certification in five Canadian provinces, taught in six countries in Asia and the Middle East, and administered at a dozen schools.
Now the new Principal of Qaqqalik School in Kimmirut, Doug has abandoned his sailboat in the Islands of the Salish Sea for a return to education and public service, the life that he loves. Education is the key, not only for our children’s future, but perhaps also for the survival of our society and culture. Unless we pay more attention to our lifestyles, we may sink the ship on which we all depend. Together with his wife and daughter, the new residents expect to embrace all that the North has to offer. While his family is Filipino and so used to slightly different lifestyle, they are embracing the North with enthusiasm. You’ll probably notice that when you meet them.