Skip to main content

Novel Coronavirus — October 19, 2021 Update: Explore Scouts Canada’s actions as we continue to follow the direction of government and health agencies in maintaining public health. View recommendations and stay informed here. Learn more about Scouts Canada's new vaccination mandate.

Cascadia Council Elections

Candidate Statements

Aurora Peden (Youth)

To my fellow members of Cascadia,

I’m writing to express my interest in the position of Youth Voting Member for Cascadia.

I am a 21-year-old youth from a small city, Terrace, in the Northern part of British Columbia. I graduated back in 2018 with my Double Dogwood diploma, a diploma in English and a diploma in French. I nanny a 1-year-old, 3-year-old and 5-year-old full time. I greatly enjoy traveling and experiencing cultures from around the world and being able to interact with such a wide variety of people.

I am a third generation Scout and have been a registered youth member of Scouts Canada for 16 consecutive years. During my time as a member of Scouts Canada, I have received my Wood Badge 1 and 2 for Beaver Scouts, my Chief Scout Award, Queen’s Venturer Award and the Medal of Maple. I have attended the 2013 Canadian Jamboree in Sylvan Lake, Alberta as a participant, the 2015 World Jamboree in Kirarahama, Yamaguchi, Japan as a participant, the 2017 Canadian Jamboree in Halifax, Nova Scotia as an Offer of Service, the 2019 World Jamboree in West Virgina, USA as an International Service Team member. I was the past Council Youth Commissioner for Cascadia and am the current Cascadia Council Youth Voting Representative.

Scouting has afforded me the opportunity to meet people from all over, as close as neighboring towns, to all the way across the globe, forging many lifelong friendships.  It has taught me that Scouting is not only an organization, but a worldwide like-minded and inseparable family. My experience as Council Youth Commissioner taught me a great deal in the art of problem solving, business planning, team developing as well as a fostering of self-growth. My time as a Council Voting Representative has taught me how important it is for our members to have a voice.

Being a member of the Council team has been one of the most personally challenging but rewarding experiences. As Council Youth Commissioner, I have learned the needs of the Council, how the National Service Team works to better the organization and have a more comprehensive understanding of how our BC Yukon properties society functions. What I have learned will help me use critical thinking and form educated decisions when it comes to using my voice and placing my votes.

It would be an honor to represent Cascadia as a youth at the Annual General Meeting this coming year. Thank you for your time and consideration to represent your Council.

Grant Loyer

I am putting my name forward as a Cascadia Council Voting Member to serve the membership of the Council and Scouts Canada. A strong voice is needed in Scouts Canada to express the thoughts and wishes of both the Volunteers and Youth in our organizations and I believe that I have the experience and knowledge to represent Cascadia Council members.

As we move out of the COVID pandemic, we find that the Scouts Canada that we cherish is not what it once was. With strong commitment and hard work we can grow the membership and continue to lead in youth development. To achieve that goal we have to listen to what our Scouters and Youth in all of our groups and sections are saying and bring those ideas and thoughts forward to the leaders and managers of Scouts Canada. Smart goals and wise decision making will guarantee our success and Council Voting Members are the mechanism to ensure that we have the right volunteers and youth in place making the decisions for Scouts Canada. 

I have been an active Scouter in Scouts Canada for the past 20 years. My start in Scouting was as a pack scouter with the 1st Port Hardy Scout Group being told that the commitment would be two hours per week. Since then I held positions in Scouting as the Orca Coast Deputy Area Commissioner Scouter Development (Training), Kamloops Area Commissioner, Deputy Council Commissioner (DCC) Program, Cascadia Canadian Path Ambassador, DCC Geographic – Vancouver Island, Council Commissioner with Cascadia Council and as a member of the Scouts Canada Board of Governors. In 2019, I was awarded the Bar to the Silver Acorn.

Professionally, I have worked in local government throughout my career as a Chief Administrative Officer, Clerk/Treasurer, Director of Operational Services, Utilities Technologist and Building Inspector. My professional qualifications include certification as an Applied Science Technologist and Registered Technology Manager with the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of B.C. Education qualifications include an MA in Leadership and a Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching from Royal Roads University. Currently, I am employed with the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District as a Senior Project Manager.

I served as a reserve member of the Canadian Armed Forces for 26 years in Infantry and Armour Regiments in Canada with two short tours in Germany. My service also included a nine month tour with the United Nations in Israel and Egypt in the Middle East and I retired from the forces with the rank of major.

As a Scouter I believe in the Scouts Canada Mission and Vision and would like to serve you as a Cascadia Council Voting Member.

Robert Hallsor (Youth)

If you are not from Vancouver Island, you may know me only as the Venture who was featured in last summer’s Cascadia newsletter for being a “Superstar Youth”.  I am 17 years old, a Venturer and I have been in Scouting since Beavers.  I have had a chance at various events to meet many Scouts from across Vancouver Island and some from the Lower Mainland and Interior.   

My section had no Venturer Company when I finished Scouts, but I really wanted to continue in Scouting.  I convinced four of my friends to form a new Venturer Company in 2019, and we have now grown to 7, with 2 more Scouts joining us in the fall.  We are not a big group, but we have managed to stay active during the pandemic, and have increased our numbers while other Companies in our area have declined.  I think this is because we have stayed active, and enjoyed outdoor activities together as much as possible under the rules set for Covid.  The only thing we have really missed during this period is overnight camping, but we have managed to do canoeing, kayaking, hiking, climbing, community service, and lots of scoutcraft, games, and campfires.  With sports and other activities shut down, Scouts has been a great way to get outside and be active.

In my years in Scouting I have had the opportunity to camp at seven different camps in all three councils in the BC/Yukon region, and to visit a couple of camps in Washington state, as well as the last World Jamboree.  I can’t wait to get back to camping in my group, and with bigger assemblies of Scouts.  I believe that the rich legacy of properties we have use of is particularly valuable to me, and if I am elected, I will use my vote to ensure that we maintain the strong portfolio of properties in Cascadia Council that we have built up over the generations.  In BC, 56 of our 113 properties are closed right now because of lack of paperwork or a financial plan.  Very few of these are closed because of a safety concern.  I would like to see the rules relaxed so that we can use more of the properties we own, and when there are buildings that are unsafe, I don’t see why we can’t close the building, but still use the rest of the camp site. 

I have gotten much from Scouting, and I would appreciate the opportunity to represent you by ensuring that properties remain controlled and held locally, and that we have more opportunity to use them.

Ron Planden

Fellow Scouters, my name is Ron Planden and I am seeking your support as a voting member for Cascadia Council. 

I have been an active member of Scouts Canada since 1991 serving in many roles starting as a Beaver Scouter and following my children through the program.  I am currently a member of the Cascadia Council team supporting several Scout Groups in our Council and the Chair of the Camp Barnard Management Committee. 

The Scouting journey for my family and for me has been very rewarding.  Both my children attained their Chief Scout’s Award.  Their involvement in the Scouting program has shaped who they are and the career choices that they have made.  I am thankful to all the Scouters who helped along that journey and the journey that I continue to take.

Due to the pandemic we may not see Scouting as we did in the “before times.”  We will face many challenges from growing our membership to maintaining our camps and properties.  Our polices and standards will have to reflect this reality and must be done in consultation with the membership.  CVR’s are there to help gather and communicate the issues and concerns to the Board and management.  The CVR is meant to be the voice of the membership.  I feel strongly that this is an important and significant role.  If Scouting is to stay relevant it must nimble and forward thinking.  The forward thinking comes from all parts of the organization with one of the conduits being the CVR. 

The role of the CVR has changed. Greater emphasis is being placed on creating avenues of communication with members, Council Key-3’s and the Board.  This role is evolving and will better serve our members, improve engagement and ensure a truly democratic process.  To be able to continue to support our membership in all of these areas I am standing to be elected as one of the voting members for Cascadia Council. 

Our mission is simple: “To help develop well rounded youth, better prepared for success in the world.”  As a CVR I will continue to support our youth, our Scouters and Volunteers, to make sure that their concerns and issues are communicated and to ensure that there is a dialogue to build understanding within Scouting.  Our organization, as many other high functioning organizations, will only grow through continuous improvement.  I look forward to being part of that process.

Susan MacGregor

As the product of an Air Force family, I spent my early years moving across Canada, meeting new friends every few years, according to where my father was stationed. Two years prior to his retirement, my parents were able to return to their beloved Nova Scotia, where I attended both Junior and Senior High school in Dartmouth.

Upon graduation from high school in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, I pursued post-secondary education at Dalhousie University, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts majoring in French and studies in education. Further to that, I studied Travel and Tourism at a private college Halifax.

I started my career in Travel and Tourism in Toronto, where I met my husband, married, and we had our son. We relocated to Kelowna in 1994 we and have not looked back. The move allowed the opportunity for me to stay at home and raise our son.

When Ryan reached five years old, we were thrilled to enroll him in Beavers with his best friend. I encouraged my husband to register with him to share some time with Ryan. As it turned out, all three of us registered that year in the Beaver program. We met many of our best friends through the Group we were with, and we are all very close to this day! 

In the time since first hearing the Beaver motto of Sharing, Sharing, Sharing, I have accepted and embraced each of the challenges offered in the many roles that I have been asked to fulfill; Contact Beaver leader, Group Vice-Chair, Group Chair, Service Scouter, Group Administrator, DAC – Group Services, DAC – Volunteer Development, Area Registrar, Area Commissioner (twice), DCC – Southern Interior Geographic and currently Group Support Scouter.

As a current Council Voting Representative, I am proud of the strides we have taken this year towards setting a stronger foundation in the relationship we the Board of Governors. Working as a team, we (the Cascadia Voting Representatives) solicited your concerns through a poll and questionnaire, the results of which were shared with both the Cascadia Council Leadership Team as well as the Board of Governors.  

This past year has been one of development of the role of the Council Voting Representative.

Newly included in the role are the somewhat regular engagement sessions held with the Board of Governors. We are now openly discussing topics such as Scouts Canada finances, properties, registration etc. with the Board of Governors. We act as liaison, passing on concerns that Council members have, as well as new ideas for consideration where possible.

Since the new year, we have been meeting regularly with the Voting Representatives of Fraser Valley and Pacific Coast Councils to discuss further areas of concerns, be they relative to one, two, or all three of our BC/Y Councils.

I fully realize the vital nature of communication and as such, am promoting a forum for open discussion amongst all 20 Councils’ Voting Representatives - an area allowing free and open discussion regarding any concerns. I believe such a tool is vital and would allow us to discover the nature of common areas of concern, as well as those of success, throughout Scouts Canada. 

Should you re-elect me to represent you, I will promote consideration for the term of the Council Voting Representative be changed from one year to two. Doing so would provide the opportunity to not only become familiar with the role and other Council Voting Representatives, but also to allow time to gel as a team, working towards successful outcomes, while representing Cascadia Council members to the Board of Governors.

Being a Council Voting Representative in BC/Yukon also carries a vote on Scouts Properties (B.C./Yukon), which gives the opportunity to become familiar with major issues concerning our numerous properties and to ensure the interests of the members of Cascadia Council are best represented. 

If re-elected, I hope to find more effective ways to communicate with Cascadia’s members, in order ensure you are well represented with both the Board of Governors and Scout Properties (B.C./Yukon).

Thank-you for taking the time to read this, and for considering me to represent you for the upcoming year.