December 8, 2021 – Meet the Ministers: A Fireside Chat with Federal Ministers Guilbeault, Murray, and Wilkinson

You helped make our Fireside Chat with Federal Ministers a big success! This virtual event was one to remember – with a fantastic discussion on nature protection in Canada! We covered a number of topics at our Fireside Chat, including supporting Indigenous-led conservation, implementing minimum protection standards for marine protected areas, and working with provinces and territories to meet Canada’s nature protection targets. If you missed the virtual event and livestream on Facebook, we’ve got you covered! Click on the video above to watch the recording.

Join host Sandra Schwartz, National Executive Director of CPAWS, in a fireside chat with Cabinet Ministers: the Honourable Steven Guilbeault (Environment and Climate Change), the Honourable Joyce Murray (Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard), and the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson (Natural Resources). Our fireside chat will be moderated by Shawn McCarthy, a consultant, independent writer, and former national business correspondent with the Globe and Mail.

We will be exploring the federal government’s nature conservation commitments and plans to protect 25% of Canada’s land and ocean by 2025 and 30% by 2030, implement nature-based climate solutions, and support Indigenous-led conservation.

As the world grapples with the dual crises of biodiversity loss and climate change, this discussion comes at a pivotal moment: following the UN Climate Conference (COP 26) and before the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP 15) next spring. Tune in to hear what Canada’s Cabinet Ministers have to say about addressing these crises in Canada.

Have a question you’d like to hear discussed? Send it in advance when you RSVP!

When: Wednesday, December 8. Please note that the time for our virtual event has changed. It will now take place at 7:30-8:30pm ET/4:30-5:30pm PT to allow the Ministers to attend a vote in the House of Commons.

Where: Attend from anywhere in Canada! This is a virtual event.

Simultaneous translation will be available!

The Panel

Steven Guilbeault – Minister of Environment and Climate Change

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Laurier—Sainte-Marie in 2019. He has previously served as Minister of Canadian Heritage. Minister Guilbeault is a prominent advocate in the fight against the climate crisis, and has been leading the charge from Laurier—Sainte-Marie for years.

Joyce Murray – Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

The Honourable Joyce Murray was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Vancouver Quadra in 2008. She has previously served as Minister of Digital Government and as President of the Treasury Board. Minister Murray is a dedicated community leader with a deep commitment to environmental sustainability and democratic engagement. Her federal political career follows a 25-year career building an international reforestation company and four years serving in the Cabinet of the Government of British Columbia.

Jonathan Wilkinson – Minister of Natural Resources

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson was first elected as the Member of Parliament for North Vancouver in 2015. He has previously served as Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. Raised in Saskatchewan, Minister Wilkinson spent more than 20 years in the private sector, holding leadership positions with a number of companies dedicated to the development of green technologies.

Moderator – Shawn McCarthy

Shawn McCarthy is a consultantindependent writer, and former national business correspondent with the Globe and Mail. He brings extensive political, energy and environment, and journalistic experience to the conversation. He continues to write for various publications, and serves as Vice-President of the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom, a volunteer advocacy group based in Ottawa. He recently taught courses in political journalism at Carleton University.

Host – Sandra Schwartz

Sandra Schwartz is the National Executive Director of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. Sandra holds Masters degrees in management and environmental studies, and has a well-grounded understanding of the public and private influences on Canada’s natural heritage. She has over 20 years of experience within the federal government (Ministries of Environment, Natural Resources, and Office of the Leader of the Opposition), national associations and not-for-profit organizations, including the Canadian Electricity Association, Canadian Wind Energy Association, Pollution Probe, and the Canadian Institute of Child Health.


The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is Canada’s only charity dedicated to the protection of public land, freshwater, and ocean with a strong national and regional presence across the country. Working in a way that respects the sovereignty and leadership of Indigenous nations, we are focused on conserving nature to respond to the dual crises of accelerated biodiversity loss and climate change.

With almost 60 years of success, we are Canada’s leader in conservation and have played a lead role in protecting over half a million square kilometres – an area bigger than the entire Yukon Territory! Our vision is that at least half of land, freshwater, and ocean in Canada is permanently protected to sustain nature and people for current and future generations.

CPAWS is a non-partisan organization.