Nicole LeBlanc Charlwood was raised in urban and rural Ontario, is of English and Acadian heritage and graduated high school with a french immersion certificate. Upon moving to the Kootenays in 2001, she married her husband Chris, and they became parents.

Because of her interest in people’s behaviours and curiosity about how they organize themselves around the different aspects of their lives, she chose to study economics and graduated with honours from the University of Waterloo. A specialty in international trade took her to the epicentre of big business in Tokyo for a life-changing co-op term. Her time exploring Shintoism reminded her of the importance of nature she had learned from her grandparents.

Her degree led to work in government with the Ministries of Education and Industry, Trade and Technology. She then moved into the private sector working as an underwriter for Manulife Financial and then an ISO 9001-trained project manager for CGI Inc. and Organic Inc. in complex information systems.

Nicole’s next phase of work was as an entrepreneurial independent travel and tour operator. It is this work that brought her to the Kootenays twenty years ago. While raising her young children, she managed a guest house her husband built.

It was at this time that she joined the BC Greens and became the local campaign manager for a decade. She continued with project work which included filling in as Executive Director at the West Kootenay EcoSociety and working as an Elections Canada Finance Officer. Her interest in economics was sparked again recently when she took a course with Kate Raworth, founder of the Doughnut Economics model.

Selected to run as a BC Greens Candidate in 2020, Nicole entered the race late and came in a close second with 31% of the vote. She easily won the City Councillor seat in the Nelson by-election with 75% of the vote and the highest-ever youth turnout.

Nicole is currently working as the Executive Director of the newly formed West Kootenay Watershed Collaborative. She loves to volunteer and has held many roles on boards of directors, and is a driver for seniors.

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