ONEIA and the environment community mark the passing of Errick (Skip) Willis
It is with great sadness that the volunteers and staff at ONEIA learned today that Errick (Skip) Willis had passed away after complications from cancer surgery.
It is difficult to fully sum up the huge contribution Skip made to Canada’s environment industry and to ONEIA. In addition to his status as one of the country’s leading experts in sustainability and carbon emissions, he found time to sit on the ONEIA board for several years serve as the organization’s chair and serve as chair of our annual Environment Industry Day.
Whenever government policies consider the impact of a proposed regulation or policy change on the environment sector, we should realize that we largely have people like Skip to thank for that. It was Skip’s vision and leadership that saw ONEIA hold its first Environment Industry Day (EID) at Queen’s Park 11 years ago. In the years since then, the event has grown to become a place where government and industry sit down and discuss common concerns, a place where senior ministers, politicians and other staffers can begin to appreciate environment companies and the contribution they make to our province.
When Skip reprised his role as EID chair two years ago, he confided in me how proud he was of what the event had grown to become. The event, bringing together hundreds of people in pursuit of a common cause, is just a small part of Skip’s legacy as a professional, an environmentalist, and an ONEIA supporter. “This is what we wanted to do,” he said, smiling as the Environment Minister and the Premier talked enthusiastically about the importance of environment industry companies.
Personally, I liked working with Skip and learned a great deal from him about politics, the environment and the nuances of how policies are made and influenced. His professionalism was an inspiration to everyone who worked with him. I and his many colleagues and friends across the environment sector will miss him terribly.
The family has provided the following information about the arrangements to celebrate Skip’s life and mark his passing: “Friends may call at the Turner & Porter “Yorke” Chapel, 2357 Bloor St. W, Toronto, east of Jane subway, for a memorial visitation on Thursday January 6th, 2011 from 7-9pm. A Service of Remembrance will be held at Islington United Church, 25 Burnhamthorpe Rd., Etobicoke, on Friday January 7th at 1pm. If desired, donations in his memory may be made to the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation, L’Arche Toronto, or Islington United Church.”
Please join us in expressing our sympathy and support to Skip’s family at this difficult time.