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“Durham Local Food Solutions” Symposium
Thursday April 6, 2017 8:30 am to 1:00 pm
Region of Durham Headquarters, 
605 Rossland Road E., 
Whitby, Ontario.  
Room LLC
Keynote Speaker
Rod McRae PhD, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University
“The Role for Food Policy Councils and Food Charters”
Panel Presenters
Soni Craik Christie, Local Food Procurement Manager, Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance
“Approaches to Local Food Procurement in Broader Public Sector Institutions”
Ryan Turnbull, Eco-Ethonomics Inc., founder and president
“The Role of Social Enterprise in Food System Transformation”
Elaine Powers Phd., Faculty School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Queen’s University
“Food Insecurity and the Promise of Basic Income Guarantee”

In partnership with


Pre-Register at  Space is limited

Rod McRae PhD:

Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University

Rod MacRae, PhD, is a food policy analyst with 30 years experience examining the transition to a sustainable and health-promoting food system for Canada. Following doctoral studies at McGill University, he coordinated the Toronto Food Policy Council for 10 years, helping to establish it as one of North America’s leading municipal food policy agencies. 


He then worked for 10 years as a consultant to governments, businesses and NGOs on projects to advance sustainable food systems in Canada. Clients included World Wildlife Fund, the Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy, the PEI Department of Agriculture, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, Maitland Valley Conservation Authority, Ontario Natural Foods Coop, FoodShare Toronto, the Region of Waterloo Public Health Department, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. 


He’s currently an associate professor in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University and continues to consult on food system matters and contribute regularly to media coverage of food issues. With more than 150 publications, his analysis is frequently used to design policies, programmes and NGO and business strategies.


His approach to food system change is widely applied in many organizations employing the 70 graduate students whose degrees have been completed under his supervision. MacRae’s current research focus is the design and implementation of a national joined up food policy for Canada.

Soni Craik Christie:

Local Food Procurement Manager, Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance

Soni Craik Christie has spent six years working with institutions and municipalities on food security and local food accessibility.


Soni has a head and heart for creating strategic partnerships that work together on complexities to system change. She designed and led coalitions in two provincial public school boards to increase learning and purchasing opportunities for local food in their facilities, and is currently the manager of the Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance (GHFFA) project focused on local food procurement in nine different Long Term Care facilities.


Soni is an instructor at St. Lawrence College, and has taught the Local Food Business and Coops course for the past seven years.

She holds degrees in Biology, Environmental Management and Sustainable International Environmental Management. 

Ryan Turnbull:

Founder and President Eco-Economics; Social Enterprise, Evaluation and Sustainability Consultant

Ryan Turnbull founded Eco-Ethonomics Inc. with the mission to develop socially responsible leaders and build a new, values-based economy through social innovation. He views the emerging social economy as a change engine with immense potential for harnessing the power of entrepreneurship to actively solve seemingly intractable challenges.  Ryan has completed over 270 contracts for non-profit organizations, universities, foundations, government, social enterprises, and both private and public companies.


He has coached and consulted for over 170 social enterprises and delivered many workshops on social enterprise throughout Ontario and Canada. Ryan has worked with social enterprises in every industry and at every stage of development, but none more than social enterprises in food and agriculture. Ryan has assisted a vast number of social enterprises emerging in the food system, including restaurants, café/catering businesses, greenhouses, urban farms, farmers markets, incubators, bakeries, food distributors, food hubs, community food initiatives, innovative tech-based businesses focused on local food distribution, and others.


Ryan regularly speaks on social enterprise and social innovation and has presented on various aspects of the topic at conferences across Canada. With a B.A. and M.A. in philosophy with specialization in applied ethics, Ryan teaches Corporate Social Responsibility at Ryerson University and has been a regular guest speaker on Business Ethics in the Global Classroom at Durham College.


Ryan sits on the Board of Directors for Food Secure Canada and the Ethics Practitioners’ Association of Canada (EPAC), and also sits on the Advisory Board for the Toronto Sustainability Speaker Series and Nourishing Ontario (a project of the Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems). 

Elaine Power PhD:

Associate Professor, School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Queen’s University

Elaine Power is an associate professor in the School of Kinesiology & Health Studies at Queen’s University, where she teaches social determinants of health, food studies and qualitative research methods. She is the primary author of the Dietitians of Canada Background Paper on Individual and Household Food Insecurity (2016), co-author of Acquired Tastes: Why Families Eat the Way They Do (UBC Press, 2015), and co-editor of Neoliberal Governance and Health: Duties, Risks and Vulnerabilities (MQUP, 2016).


Elaine currently holds a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant to study community food projects. She is the co-founder of the Kingston Action Group for a Basic Income Guarantee. Originally from Cape Breton, she now lives in Kingston with her 10-year old daughter, Claire, and their cat, Daisy, and lives in hope that this year, she will have time to tend her vegetable garden.

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