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Mike Harcourt

Former Premier of British Columbia, Expert on Sustainable Communities

Mike is a passionate believer in the power of cities and communities to improve the human condition. He has steadfastly maintained his focus on conservation and sustainable development and because of his efforts has played a significant role in promoting quality of life for those in Canada and abroad. He has held significant urban posts his entire adult life and his interest in civil society, urban design, conservation and sustainable development have made him the leader he is today in advancing livability in our cities.

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Presentations

Sustainable Cities
The issue population growth, 50% of our planet’s population live in cities. There is economic opportunity there:  if we can get our cities and communities right, then we go a long way towards addressing our global sustainability challenges.

Plan B: Attitude for Life
Partially paralyzed after a fall, doctors weren’t sure if Harcourt would recover. Thus began Harcourt’s Plan B: hear about the courage and the determination of the human spirit as he relives his journey from tragedy to triumph.

Environmental Stability
Harcourt shares his vision for protecting the environment at the continental level. Through real-world examples and ideas, he’ll motivate listeners to do just that.

Communities as resilient places
Communities are the key to long term prosperity. This presentation outlines the importance of building communities with long term vision, with consideration to the   environment, economic, social and cultural impact.

It’s about sustaining our cities & communities
Where we’re headed – sustainable cities and communities: *To create more compact development, denser, mixed use buildings and urban centers *Re-energize inner cities, re-invent suburbia *Create alternatives to the internal combustion engine car, walking, cycling, transit, zero-emission car *Integrate new energy approaches into green infrastructure, water, wastewater, waste management systems *Innovation, entrepreneurship, Trillions U.S. to be spent on renewing urban infrastructure globally creating huge investment opportunities.

Platform Plus

Moderating and Hosting

Harcourt’s extensive experience and knowledge from wearing many different hats make him an excellent option for Moderating and Hosting various events.

Awards

2017
City of Vancouver | Freedom of the City Award

2008
UBC Alumni Achievement Award of Distinction for contributions to British Columbia

2006
Canadian Urban Institute’s Jane Jacobs Lifetime Achievement Award

2005
Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service

  • Mike's presentation was both informative and entertaining and is sure to encourage a great deal of discussion.

    - Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce
  • Mike was SPLENDID...that is exactly what we wanted and what we got from the former Premier. ...many said to me "why isn't that guy still Premier"?

    - CEO, Vancouver Island Health Authority
  • Mike has a wonderful attitude and mannerism. I was inspired by his wealth of experience, his knowledge, his energy and passion for rallying various people to do greater good for our community.

    - Past Chair, mCentred

Summary Profile

Over the span of his illustrious career, Mike began by starting the first storefront law office in Canada, and establishing the UBC law school legal advice clinic (1968-71).  He then went on to serve for four terms as a Vancouver Alderman (1972-980), until he became a tremendously successful and articulate Mayor of Vancouver for three terms (1980-1986).  In that position he played a prominent role in establishing Vancouver as one of the world’s most livable cities through effective land use and planning. Mike then moved on to serve as the 30th Premier of British Columbia (1991-1996), where he extended the boundaries of quality of life in urban areas, with the 1995 Growth Strategy Act.

In that position he played a prominent role in establishing Vancouver as one of the world’s most livable cities through effective land use and planning. Mike then moved on to serve as the 30th Premier of British Columbia (1991-1996), where he extended the boundaries of quality of life in urban areas, with the 1995 Growth Strategy Act.

Among his many noteworthy achievements at that time was his success in safeguarding more than 12 percent of the province’s land base, establishing 500 new protected areas.

After retiring from politics, Mike made headlines in 2002, when a devastating six-metre fall left him partially paralyzed. He has shown incredible physical, emotional and spiritual strength in his remarkable recovery, and published a book about his ordeal called Plan B – One Man’s Journey from Tragedy to Triumph.

Following his accident, Mike became actively involved in spinal cord research and education, working with the Rick Hansen Man in Motion Foundation on International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (I-CORD) and chairing the Spinal Cord Injury Quality of Life Advisory Group.

In 2003, as a self-described “recovering politician,” Mike was appointed Federal Commissioner on the British Columbia Treaty Commission. He has always been an avid supporter of aboriginal economic development, and his commitment to the treaty process is long-standing; as Premier in 1992, he signed the agreement establishing the Commission – the neutral body responsible for facilitating treaty negotiations among the governments of Canada, B.C. and First Nations in B.C.