SPEC is one  of the oldest environmental organizations in Canada. For more than 45 years SPEC has brought a range of environmental concerns to the attention of policy makers, industry and the public. 

SPEC was founded in 1969 in Coquitlam, BC.  In 1981, SPEC partnered with the City of Vancouver, the Province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada in creating the Vancouver Energy Information Centre in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood. 

The building was now home to several environmental organizations, showcases sustainable building and living techniques and serves as a community meeting space until 2011, when SPEC re-located due to building maintenance issues.

The SPEC team in 1972!  4 vertical lines, from top to bottom:

- 1st line: Peter Witte, Jim Bryan, Ken Pattern (and his dog!), Allison Appelbe. 

- 2d line: Ginny Howe Witte, Maggie Ziegler, ?, Gary Gallon. 

- 3d line: Steve Boyce, ?, Allan Fossen. 

- 4th line: Lindsay, Terry Chantler, ?, ?.

If you know any of the unidentified mystery people in the photo, please let us know!

SPEC through the Ages

Here is a summary of our work in the  last 46 years. You can also check out the detailed timelines below:

Through its public education and advocacy work, SPEC has built a lasting legacy of environmental protection. Some of our most important achievements are:

    • advocating a moratorium on offshore oil exploration and transportation
    • advocating rapid transit such as the Sea-Bus across Burrard Inlet
    • founding the Recycle Council of BC (RCBC)
    • reducing the use of hazardous pesticides
    • lobbying for a provincial Land Commission Act to preserve BC farmland
    • pushing for the Berger Inquiry into the Mackenzie Valley natural gas pipeline
    • being a founding member of Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility
    • opposing BC Hydro's Site C dam in Northern BC
    • helping found the West Coast Environmental Law Association (WCELA)
    • helping stop the proposed Vancouver Island nuclear power plants
    • helping eliminate the use of DDT
    • establishing the first recycling depots in BC
    • playing a key role in preventing the privatization of the GVRD's water filtration plant
    • working to stop the SE2 power plant
    • promoting municipal by-laws to limit non-essential pesticide use

Over this time SPEC has called many different buildings home.

1969: SPEC opens an office and information centre at 4857 Kingsway in Burnaby

1972: SPEC moves to 1095 West 7thAve in Fairview Slops

1973: SPEC moves to 2007 West 4thAve

1976: SPEC moves to 1603 West 4thAve, under Granville Bridge

1979: SPEC moves to 3253 Heather St

1980: SPEC moves to 2150 Maple.

2011: SPEC moves to 2060 Pine St.

2014: SPEC moves to 2305 West 7th Ave

Society Promoting Environmental Conservation

2305 West 7th Ave 

Vancouver, BC  V6K 1Y4

T: 604.736.7732
E:  admin@spec.bc.ca

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