Laura Tate PhD 2009

Current Work:  Provincial Director, Community Action Initiative                                                                               

Currently, I am Provincial Director of the Community Action Initiative (CAI).  The CAI is effectively a temporary foundation supported by the BC Ministry of Health to fund training for, and give grants to, agencies that address local mental health and substance use challenges. Local partners include cities, health authorities, police and schools.  In the past, I also worked as a Director of Aboriginal Healthy Living for the BC Ministry of Health and as a Manager of Growth Strategies for the BC Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, as well as a land use planner for several municipalities in Greater Vancouver. 

My most challenging project to date has been to help build capacity in support of the recovery home sector that addresses substance misuse challenges through training and other knowledge exchange initiatives.  But mostly I am proud to have succeeded, working with my board and staff team, to obtain a $15 million re-investment from the Province to continue our work in support of community mental wellness initiatives.  Despite focusing largely on practice these days, I am still keeping my hand in research.  For example, together with Yvonne Rydin of University College of London, I am co-editing a book tentatively entitled Actor Network Theory in Planning, and have co-written one of the chapters for this book with  Silvia Vilches, another SCARP alumna, on grants and partnerships. While it may seem odd to go back to school to do a PhD and then not pursue an academic career, I firmly believe that my doctorate propelled my work in a completely new direction, and I have SCARP to thank for this.