Who is Bill Turner?
Bill Turner was born in Victoria, B.C., and he has always had a love for British Columbia’s diverse natural areas, and their inherent beauty. Bill has a strong, principled and determined character, especially when it comes to things he cares about passionately, such as nature, history, natural beauty, justice, fairness and public service. He has spent much of his life working to build his community and make it a better place than he found it, and to make sure that the values inherent in a healthy environment would be preserved for future generations.
Bill was first drawn to public service with a successful career in law enforcement, as a police officer with the Saanich Municipal Police. After retiring from active duty, he moved into the field of public safety, at the time when BC was developing its Ambulance Service. As a First Aid instructor to First Responders Bill’s police experience was invaluable. His company helped design and build the first standardized fleet of ambulances in the province. He then went on to establish a computer business designed to supporting the medical profession.
Looking for new challenges, Bill sold the computer business and entered commercial real estate work, obtaining the Accredited Land Consultant designation from the Realtor’s Land Institute (its highest designation). In real estate Bill found an opportunity to combine all of his passions in one role, focusing in conservation real estate. First leading environmental tourism initiatives, and then getting involved with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, he began to look at the value of land conservation and to appreciate the need for action in this area.
Over the years, Bill had come to know and support the work of the National Trust (of England, Wales and Northern Ireland), which was one of the world’s most successful conservation organizations. He recognized that his work with the Nature Conservancy – while important and rewarding – was not reaching out as broadly as he felt was necessary in this area, and that too much of our irreplaceable natural and cultural heritage continued to be lost at an alarming rate. BC (and Canada) needed a force more like the National Trust to help galvanize public energies behind conservation.
So, in 1996 he began working with a small group of volunteers to create just such an organization – The Land Conservancy of BC. For the next sixteen years, Bill led TLC – both as Executive Director and (in the earlier years) also as Chair of the Board – to evolve into one of the most effective conservation organizations in the Province.
Since leaving TLC in 2012, Bill has continued to work in the field of land and heritage conservation. He serves as the Vice-Chair of the International National Trusts Organization (INTO) until September of 2015, a network of National Trust type organizations around the world which works to coordinate land conservation efforts and foster establishment of trusts in developing countries. He is currently a volunteer with INTO in the position of Manger of Information Technology. He is also working with several partners to establish a National Trust for Canada (the National Trust for Land and Culture), and also to set up a consulting company, Change Canada Consultants, which specializes in Conservation matters and organizational development.
In 2005 Bill was made a member of the Order of Canada for his public service and in 2007 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Victoria.
Bill Turner, C.M.
Partner/Director, Change Canada Consultants Ltd.
Chair, National Trust for Land and Culture (Canada).
Former Vice-Chair, International National Trusts Organization.
Manager Information Technology, International National Trusts Organization.