My name is Camil Dumont. I have never presented myself for public office before. I believe I am ready now.
I recently turned 39 years old. I’m a new dad. I'm an Urban Farmer. I graduated with a MSc. from UBC Land and Food Systems in 2017. My research was centred on historic food system sustainability activism here in Vancouver. I am a life-long Vancouverite. I love my city and I care for my planet. I am a community oriented person. I believe we can do better in our stewardship of the precious land and resources that support us, our families, our lifestyles and the earth. I believe strongly in active listening, the power of collaboration, community based research, communication, respect and love. I believe we should be making management decisions with the understanding that those of us here today are the ancestors of the future. We have a responsibility to act as such and to apply that truth in our consumption choices, our march toward a more-just society and our effort to ensure that our city is a wonderful place for our kids, and other people's kids.
Nearly ten years ago some friends and I founded an urban farm in Vancouver: Inner City Farms (ICF). Managing, creating, fueling ICF has been my main focus since then. ICF is a non-profit organization that aims to gently resist the current dominant, industrial food system. We offer a small-scale, more-sustainable, local alternative for vegetables and produce. We focus our efforts on positive action, education and network building. And we teach people how to grow beautiful food and why building healthy, holistic, local and resilient systems of all kinds are so important to our communities and our future. We have built roughly an acre of urban agricultural space in our city, all hosted on private property by people who support the project. I am the Head Farmer and Executive Director of Inner City Farms.
Prior to founding ICF, I was seasonally employed for about a decade at the Vancouver Park Board, as a temporary full-time worker. I worked outside, in the parks of our city, doing labour, gardening, grass-cutting, tree-work and more. Last summer, after nearly ten years away, I came back into the Park Board world. This time as a food grower at Van Dusen Botanical Garden. I was employed two days a week to do vegetable gardening. The veggie garden at Van Dusen is incorporated into the children’s day-camp programming at the park. It is an education and productive space. The yield from the garden was donated to the Vancouver Food Bank last year. I have returned this spring to continue my role with that garden for another season. Again the yield will be donated to a project that is addressing food security issues, right here in our city. This experience has reconnected me with how incredibly valuable and multifunctional our parks are.
I have experience maximizing positive impact and actively accomplishing tasks on a small budget. I have been trained in systems thinking. I have managed teams of people, volunteer and employed and I have coordinated significant projects that are relationship based. I have the ability to imagine a world that is more ecologically, socially and economically just than the one we share today. I am extremely grateful for the effort and dedication of those who came before me and built what I interpret to be my baseline. I am also willing to work toward modernizing old arguments and correcting old mistakes.
But for grades 2 and 3 of elementary school, when I lived in Quebec City with my dad, I have nearly always lived in Vancouver. I went to daycare at Grandview Terrace, elementary school at L’Ecole Bilingue. I graduated from Kitsilano Secondary in 1997. I received both a B.A. and an MSc. From the University of British Columbia. I am a Vancouver kid, and I like being from here. I love my city. I have energy to contribute to my community, to make it stronger and healthier. I think I might put that energy to good use as a Parks Commissioner.