Working Group

Our Mission

To inform and engage the populace of Lanark County and Smiths Falls in the effects of climate change on our region and to motivate them around the actions we can and are taking to cut carbon emissions and adapt to the climate catastrophe locally.

What we are working on


Liaise with all of the CNL Working Groups to pick up and share interesting stories and developments.

Monthly Article

Produce a monthly article for placement in the media on developments in the organization


Write and place stories in the local media and social media.

Speakers Bureau

Develop a Speakers Bureau to provide speakers to schools, community organizations, municipalities, and through other avenues presented by the Covid pandemic


Produce a monthly newsletter to update members on what’s happening in the organization, on relevant research and on successes of the CNL

As it develops, the WG intends to produce videos for YouTube, to develop and produce an online course on Climate Change in Lanark County and Smiths Falls (the Effects and Mitigation and Adaptation Activities) and, once the pandemic is under control, to host Climate Cafes.


If you have a story idea, or would like to volunteer with the Communications Working Group, please sign up to be part of the network, or email our Working Group Facilitator, Susan Brandum.

Who We Are

Ellie Murphy
El is a Dalhousie University student taking a break from her studies in Marine Biology and helping create real change in her hometown of Smiths Falls. She became a United Nations Junior Ambassador for Generation SDG and created an eco-friendly initiative called Pieces Against Plastic. Murphy sells her eco-friendly, ocean themed art to raise awareness about the dangers plastic pose to the ocean and its inhabitants. Sharks are her favourite! Keep up with her on Instagram: @piecesagainstplastic.

Emily Pearlman
Emily has worked for the past 15 years as a theatre artist, educator and events producer. Currently at CNL and as an Artistic Associate at the Ottawa Children’s Festival she is interested in making live experiences that bring together intergenerational groups of people and develop their relationship to place and each other. With an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts, she has taught at University of Ottawa and Algonquin College. She lives in Almonte where she spends much of her time with her two small kids, learning to love all types of weather, and attempting to identify birds, plants and construction vehicles.

Tom Shoebridge
Tom Shoebridge has taught communications, film and screenwriting for over 50 years. In 1981, he founded Canada’s first professional film and television training school in Canada, which he oversaw for 29 years. Over those years, he was privileged to work with over 300 of the top Canadian and international filmmakers. Tom has been invited to teach screenwriting in a number of countries as well as at locations across Canada. He also created the first Canadian post-graduate Screenwriting program at Algonquin College where he taught full-time for over three decades.

Chandler Swain
Since highschool in the late ‘60’s I have been interested in social justice and environmental issues. I grew up near Toronto on the shore of Lake Ontario, and witnessing Pollution Probe work to stop the acid rain that was killing the Great Lakes, motivated me to join their campaign. Another big life changing issue around this time ( 1970’s) was meeting and becoming friends with many people coming to Canada to dodge the US draft to the war in Vietnam This started a life long devotion to citizen activism challenging the status quo.

Susan Brandum – Group Facilitator
Before moving to Port Elmsley 25 years ago, Sue was a specialist energy writer and the volunteer manager of the Coalition for a Green Economic Recovery. She co-authored the underground bestseller, Get A Life! She became the general manager of REAL, delivering programs that helped local residents improve their energy efficiency, naturalize their yards and shorelines, manage their wells and septic systems and reuse goods when she established the REAL Deal Reuse Store. Sue wrote Tay Valley Township’s Climate Action Plan. Sue grew up mainly in Shawville, Quebec.

Susan Berlin
Susan Berlin was the first Social Policy Planner for the City of Toronto, the head of the Canadian Healthy Communities Project, an editor, and writer of articles and books. She is committed to democratic process and a believer that communication is the way to achieve it. She has two grown sons and one half-grown grandson, and lives in Lanark Highlands with two dogs and way too many spinning wheels and looms.

Tony Cote
Tony Cote is a retired journalist with 40 years of experience on daily newspapers in Toronto and Ottawa. The last 25 years were spent on writing a daily column on consumer issues. He has been active in social issues for the past 60 years, a passion when he heard Tommy Douglas speak when he was 12 or 13-years-old. From what is now called Black Lives Matter to anti-war marches and demonstrations interspersed with more than 40 years of labour activism he is now focussing on environmental issues. He is also on the board of a major political party in Lanark.

Louise McDiarmid
Louise McDiarmid is a retired librarian and storyteller who until recently lived in a PerthWorks home designed for environmental sustainability. As co-founder of Tay Commons Cohousing, she was heavily involved in the attempt to establish cohousing for seniors seeking an independent and sustainable lifestyle with neighbourly friendship and support. Concern about the state of the earth which today’s children will inherit has spurred her to join the town of Perth’s Climate Change Sustainability Advisory Panel and to engage with Climate Network Lanark.


In the CNL Newsletters


Image © Monique M. M. Renaud

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