Roslyn Cassells Candidate for Surrey City Council

Roslyn Cassells has announced that she is running for Surrey's City Council October 20th 2018 with the GreenVote party. She was the first elected Green in Canada. She was elected to the Vancouver Park Board in 1999 defeating Colin Metcalfe from the NPA. She is endorsed by the Gangstersout Bog.

Roslyn is a 
front line activist with solid organizational skills. She has a brain who supports democracy and public accountability. Right now she is raising awareness about Btk Spraying in Surrey for Gypsy moths.



Media Contact:

Register to Vote

Profile on City of Surrey

Roslyn Cassells' Facebook Group

Roslyn Cassells on Vancouver Media Co-op

Press Release: GreenVote Municipal Policy – Surrey 2018

Rent Bank and Outreach Teams to help City's housing crisis

Homeless South of the Fraser - compassionate solutions

Feathers Fly at "public" meeting for Surrey Peacocks

Endangered Western Toad Count Begins in Langley

The Plight of the Western Toad migrationin Langley

Roslyn Cassells on the Linda Steele show

Roslyn Cassells on Breakfast Television

Visit Surrey Peacocks website

Surrey Peacocks Should Stay

Surrey's breeding season trapping leads to investigations

Wildlife expert criticizes Surrey's plan to destroy peacock flock




Biography of Roslyn Cassells


I am a dedicated and experienced communicator and educator with over 30 years experience serving diverse communities in Canada and internationally in English, French, and Spanish. I have been active in community involvement and outreach to achieve positive outcomes, interconnectedness between people and between the community and our institutions, and am committed to working towards a better world for all.


I have raised many issues directly with Surrey City Council over the years.  In the past year I have spoken at council about a number of issues including homelessness, strategies to house those most at risk on the street, the misuse of bylaw officers and the RCMP to overpolice the strip and other areas frequented by homeless people and remove their belongings without permission, the anti-democratic abuse of process employed to force a road through Hawthorne Rotary Park against the will of over 12,000 Surrey residents, the continued diminishing of the tree canopy in Surrey, the continued fragmentation of habitats of wildlife including endangered species in Surrey due to land use decisions made at council, the overall reduction of greenspace in Surrey particularly in working class/low income earning areas, the lack of recreation access for low income adults in Surrey, and the lack of genuine public consultation on issues of concern to the people of Surrey. 


I encouraged the City to apply the triple bottom line accounting principle to all projects coming before council.  This would require the City to give equal weight to society, the ecology, and the economy.  This practice is widespread in more progressive jurisdictions and results in better outcomes for people, animals, the environment, society, cultural and social development, and economic sustainability.


I and others encouraged the City to adopt a policy of no sales of companion animals through pet stores, which they did.  It is being implemented this year and next.  This will improve adoption rates of animals in shelters and therefore reduced homelessness and animal suffering.  I and others encouraged the City to fund low income access to spay and neuter services for companion animals in order to improve animal welfare, reduce animal homelessness and suffering, and reduce animal control costs.  This they have not yet done.  I and others encouraged the City to improve the dog control bylaw to put more responsibility on owners of dogs, and not just on the dogs.  This they have done. 


In late December 2017/early January 2018 I took the City of Surrey to BC Supreme Court invoking the Species At Risk Act, the BC Wildlife Act, and Surrey's own (evidently empty) promises to protect the environment, in an attempt to win an injunction against the construction of a road through Hawthorne Rotary Park as I was unable to compel the province or the federal government to enforce SARA or the Wildlife Act, although it is their duty to do so.


Although my petition to the court was ultimately unsuccessful the judges were clearly sympathetic to the cause and I managed to tie up the City lawyers for a period of time, delaying construction temporarily, although not long enough for the Convention on Migratory Birds to come into effect (during nesting season) as I had hoped, which would have delayed construction until a new council was elected this fall.  The City admitted 18 endangered species lived in the area they planned to pave over but were unwilling to obey the Species At Risk Act or the Best Management Practices for the effected species developed by the province and feds, despite promises to the contrary. 


In the past I have raised the issue of the City killing beavers instead of using non lethal wildlife management techniques to coexist with them.  The City admitted to killing over 50 beaver that year.  I have also advocated for the opening of a city run animal control shelter instead of contracting out pound services to the SPCA.  This was successful, and the City of Surrey now has our own animal shelter which has significant animal welfare improvements for companion animals and transparency in decision making.




Park Commissioner, Nov. 1999 – Nov. 2002 Vancouver Board of Parks & Recreation

·     I was elected in municipal elections to a three year term on this board as the first Green Party candidate elected in Canada

·     During my term I advocated for a more diverse workplace in keeping with the Multicultural Workplace policy in Vancouver, advocated for better working conditions for all park board employees and contract workers, healthy, local, diverse food options in park board facilities, and opposed service cuts to seniors and youth.  My voting record included opposition to any non-union contractors where union shops had put in bids.  I was the only commissioner who refused to cross the picket lines during the transit strike during our term.

·     I also worked on other new initiatives implemented during my term such as the establishment of over 30 off-leash dog parks, the Park Ranger program to improve service delivery to park visitors and educate the public about our local wildlife, establishment of various funds and programs for low-income youth to participate in sports in their communities, establishment of new seniors' center, and adoption of green building principles in all new projects on park board land. 

·     During my term I was successful in instituting a number of programs including the Coexisting with Coyotes Project, the first park naming for a First Nations person - Wendy Poole Park, and the Free Bus in Stanley Park. 

·     I worked with animal advocacy groups to bring in new restrictions on the importation of whales and dolphins to the Vancouver Aquarium, and worked to improve the conditions of wildlife, and domestic and exotic animals throughout the park system





Campaign Coordinator, BC Veterinarians for Justice 2004-6. 

·     I strategized and executed the political and media campaign on behalf of the association

·     I prepared the original human rights complaint and other para-legal documents for the BC Human Rights Tribunal on behalf of a group of veterinarians from India who were subjected to systematic discriminatory behaviour by the BC Veterinary Medical Association. This has become the longest running human rights case in BC history.

·     During the period when the BCVMA was refusing to license Indian vets I assisted them to work in neighbouring provinces as vets, or in areas such as immigration concerns. 

·     I developed many media contacts and contact lists for both mainstream and ethnic media, and wrote and disseminated information, press releases, editorials and campaign information to the mainstream and ethnic media and interest groups. 

·     I researched Veterinary Acts throughout Canada and other Commonwealth countries and developed a series of recommendations for change of the Veterinary Act in BC, many of which were implemented. 

·     In large part due to the campaign, the BC government has since overhauled the Act and included most of these recommendations, which will engender equal treatment for all veterinarians, greater accountability of the veterinary industry to the public, and increased focus on the welfare of animals in BC.


HIV/AIDS Outreach Worker - subcontracted through the Fraser Health Authority for 6 month term in 2007-8 to provide support to persons living with a positive diagnosis of HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis C in a team setting. 

·     Advocacy included establishing disability status of clients, finding appropriate supportive affordable housing, assisting with contacts to medical services and programs, and counseling. 

·     I obtained external funding for improved nutritional offerings for our in-house food bank.

·     On behalf of my clients I liaised with medical professionals, social workers, mental health outreach teams, health unit nursing teams, government programs, community service groups, educational authorities, and cultural communities.

·     I also attended conferences, meetings, and lectures to learn more about the challenges faced by our clients, and current best-practices in this field.


Campaign Coordinator, Action for UVic Rabbits 2009 - 2011

·     I was the coordinator of the public campaign for a coalition of groups and individuals interested in a non-lethal plan to deal with the overpopulation of domestic rabbits on the campus of the University of Victoria 

·     To this end I liaised with media, community leaders, group members, and the general public. The campaign involved the international community by connecting with international advocacy groups and international media.

·     I developed a public and media response team which contains representatives from all demographics.  This team made themselves available to speak with the public or the media at any time in a variety of languages. Our team included primary and secondary school students, university and post-graduate students, active and retired faculty members, veterinarians, advocacy group representatives, senior citizens, and others from many walks of life.

·     I won an injunction in BC Supreme Court which halted UVic’s plan to kill the rabbits and allowed non-profits to complete permitting procedures and sanctuaries.

·     Our campaign resulted in the largest rabbit rescue in Canadian history, and has since been used as a template for other communities interested in non-lethal rabbit control.

Animal Airwaves founder, radio for the animals on COOP Radio based in Vancouver

In the 90s I founded the first radio program on animal issues in North America, initially called Animal Advocates, later changed to Animal Airwaves.  I assembled a group of volunteers, trained them in radio production, news collection etc.  The show continued on after I left with a cohort of volunteers.


West Coast Spay and Neuter Association    1995-present

Out of my home and various volunteers' homes cared for many homeless animals including feral cats, special needs cats, and dogs.  Trapped, spayed and neutered, vaccinated, tattooed, and re-homed a large number of formerly homeless cats. 





ESL Teacher and Curriculum Developer 1992 - 2011 Vancouver and Ottawa

·     Taught federal civil servants preparing for their Canadian Public Service Language Exams

·     Developed individualized programs and curricula in various institutions and for individuals.  I taught Academic Preparation for the TOEFL, TSE, and Cambridge exams, taught international students EFL and ESL and newcomers ESL in LINC programs

·     In Vancouver I worked at the International Language School for 2 years, several terms at UBC English Language Institute's summer programs, many LINC and ELSA providers, many private colleges, as well as as a tutor.

·     In Ottawa I have worked for the federal government, crown corporations, and the Ottawa Board of Education

·     Specialize in academic courses, test preparation, Business English,  English for Professionals, as well as English for Veterinarians, Doctors, and Pharmacists.

·     Directed studies to prepare client for interviews and exams of professional associations, primarily medical.

·     Assisted with resume preparation, job search, and understanding Canadian workplaces.



English Teacher, Spain and Costa Rica, 1989 - 1992

·     Taught English in Madrid (Associacion Cultural Hispano-Norteamericano), the Canary Islands (London School of English), and Costa Rica (Agency for International Development)

·     Taught all ages from kindergarten to adult, using methods varying from Total Physical Response to Communicative Language Approach






Certificate to Teach English as a Second Language. Carleton University 1988-89

Post-graduate certificate, Dept. of Linguistics


Bachelor of Arts, Modern Languages (French, Spanish, German) and


Bachelor of Fine Arts, University of Ottawa





Professional association membership for various English teaching associations.