The setting was unique – the former country ranch (800+ acres) of Murray Koffler, founder of Shopper’s Drug Mart and the Four Seasons Hotels. The house was once decadent and, although now in some disrepair, was still memorable - and not just because we could visit the bedroom where Pierre and Margaret Trudeau reportedly conceived Justin. My favorite part of the house was (no surprise here) the bar – an oval room paneled with wood from an old barn and stocked by Art, and his wife Donna, with an extensive collection of spirits – including a 21 year old Balvenie, now sadly much diminished. The evenings passed pleasantly in such surroundings and, with the ample liquid encouragement, Art’s sister gave us all tattoos befitting our inspirations and aspirations. No word yet on whether Locke and Sally will follow suit.
Vision and Mission (DRAFT)
The CIEE provides a national platform for breakthroughs that integrate ecological and evolutionary sciences to address fundamental challenges and practical concerns of importance to Canadians. This integration will be critical to the generation, translation, and mobilization of important knowledge about the world around us. This knowledge then enlightens society as to how best to identify and protect critical components and services of the biosphere now and in the future.
The CIEE will accomplish its vision by
· Identifying existing and emerging challenges that require expertise in ecological and evolutionary analyses;
· Assembling the best teams of scientists to tackle those problems with synthetic and integrative approaches;
· Mobilizing those teams by providing support for them to focus on solutions to those challenges; and,
· Involving students and young researchers, thereby shaping and empowering the next generation of experts who will use synthetic and integrative approaches to solve future challenges.