Advocates for a smoke-free British Columbia

Champion awards

Meet some of our past winners.
  • Ray Ali [PDF] - 166KB

    As the regional manager for The Medicine Shoppe, a tobacco-free pharmacy chain, Ray is committed to improving and increasing pharmacists’ ability to help customers become tobacco-free and manage their chronic health challenges.
  • Dr. Fred Bass [PDF] - 170KB

    Dr. Bass has fought the dangers of tobacco use at all levels from advocating smoke-free workplaces, to helping smokers to quit, to rallying against the only industry allowed to market a lethal product that kills its users. Originally from the US, Dr. Bass joined the Vancouver Health Department in 1975. Soon after, he collaborated with the BC Medical Association to found its Tobacco and Illness Committee. This trailblazing group of physicians helped reframe thinking on tobacco addiction as an epidemic, tobacco as a dangerous product and the tobacco industry as a main propagator of the epidemic. In 1989, he founded the ‘BC Doctors’ Stop-Smoking Program’ to help BC doctors help their patients to stop smoking. In 1997, the program evolved into ‘the Society for Clinical Preventive Care’, which sought until 2007 to make all effective forms of clinical prevention a reality. He continues fighting today, tireless in his efforts to make a difference.
  • Rose Marie Borutski [PDF] - 169KB

    Rose Marie suffers from limited mobility and endurance due to chronic health issues. In 2007, due to worsening health, she began to search for an affordable social housing solution on a ‘Persons-with-Disability’ income. She found Kiwanis Park Place, a social housing complex near Crescent Beach, and accepted rental of what she understood to be a smoke-free unit. Upon settling in, however, Rose Marie found herself surrounded by smokers and at the centre of the latest battleground in the fight against tobacco: other people's homes. Today, Rose Marie is a leading advocate and trailblazer in the fight for increased smoke-free housing options.
  • Dr. Peter Coy [PDF] - 168KB

    A retired oncologist and long-standing advocate for tobacco-free living, Dr. Coy supports any and all efforts to reduce British Columbians use of and exposure to tobacco, be it by backing increased tobacco cessation support funding, or speaking out in favour of tougher tobacco legislation and policies. Dr. Coy’s crowning achievement was leading the Capital Regional District’s Smoke-Free Task Force since the late 1980s. The task force worked tirelessly to implement smoking bans in all public places in Victoria and its surrounding areas, and was the first region in Canada to do so. They also succeeded in increasing school education, prevention and quit smoking programs and building public awareness of the harmful effects of second-hand smoke in homes and vehicles, particularly on children.
  • Fraser Street Apartments [PDF] - 169KB

    A provider of housing and support solutions for people living with mental illness and addictions, Raincity Housing manages one of BC’s few 100% smoke-free public housing facilities: Fraser Street Apartments. In 2009, Fraser Street Apartments underwent a one-year smoke-free pilot program. At the time, 19 of 21 residents were smokers. Today, Fraser Street Apartments is one of BC’s only 100% smoke-free social housing sites. Committed to providing a safe, healthy, smoke-free environment for their tenants, management and staff are changing public perceptions about the possibilities in a social housing environment.
  • Grouse Mountain Resort [PDF] - 175KB

    The first BC resort to declare itself smoke-free in 2009, Grouse Mountain is committed to promoting a health-oriented, family-friendly environment. Now in their sixth year as a smoke-free resort, Grouse Mountain is frequently asked to share lessons learned with other BC resorts considering changes to their tobacco policies and continues to support employees’ efforts to quit by making them aware of free support available and subsidizing quit-smoking aids. The largest youth employer on Vancouver’s North Shore, and host to more than a million visitors per year, Grouse Mountain’s smoke-free status makes an important public statement about the serious hazards of tobacco use.
  • Dan McQuarrie [PDF] - 269KB

    A retired city councillor and outspoken advocate for smoke-free public places, Dan’s many credits include helping to implement Salmon Arm’s first bylaw on smoking restrictions in 1989 and establishing Salmon Arm’s Coalition for Health, which is a multi-disciplinary committee of community members and health professionals dedicated to reducing harm from second hand smoke. An advocate on tobacco issues for more than 30 years, today Dan remains as committed as ever. His current focus is the promotion of a Smoke-Free Parks and Beaches bylaw for Salmon Arm.
  • Errol Povah [PDF] - 169KB

    A lifelong anti-tobacco activist, Errol was best known in years past for his alter ego, ‘The Grim Reaper,’ who would attend public events where tobacco products were promoted to raise awareness of cigarette makers’ subversive youth marketing strategies. Today, Errol heads Airspace Action on Smoking and Health, a citizens advocacy group with whom he continues his tireless fight to put cigarette makers out of business. Under the Airspace umbrella, he embarked on his ‘Journey for a Tobacco-Free World’ in 2010, a cross-country journey on foot from Vancouver Island to Imperial Tobacco’s headquarters in Montreal to draw attention to tobacco use issues.
  • Thompson Rivers University [PDF] - 169KB

    Since its Wellness Centre was established in 2004, TRU has become one of BC’s most active and innovative post-secondary institutions regarding tobacco issues. During the past eight years, TRU’s Wellness Centre team, together with the university’s Respiratory Therapy Department, have improved student and staff access to quit smoking resources, expanded campus-wide smoke-free policies, and fostered partnerships between faculties such as Nursing and Social Work to deliver quit smoking campaigns that serve as both student learning and mentoring opportunities.
  • Leonard Ward [PDF] - 166KB

    An elder with the Stellat'en First Nation in Fraser Lake, Leonard played a key role in the development of BC’s community-based Aboriginal Tobacco Strategy, which he continues to promote today. He also speaks regularly at conferences and directly with individuals on the ceremonial versus recreational misuse of tobacco. Leonard’s role as a spiritual healer, as well as his personal experience as someone formerly addicted to tobacco, makes him a trusted and respected resource on health issues for BC’s Aboriginal community where smoking rates are as much as three times the provincial average.
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