Canadian Wings of Rescue

About Us

Board Members and Volunteers

our vision

A future where all animals have access to transport affording them the health, home and hope they deserve.

our goals

  Provide air transport through an extensive inventory of volunteers, pilots and aircraft

  Connecting nation-wide networks of communities, animal welfare professionals and organizations to transport services

  Facilitate accessibility to community health and animal welfare services in underserved communities

If you are a registered Canadian rescue, a pilot interested in flying with us or you are interested in working with us in another capacity, please contact us!

our values

In putting the needs of animals first we;

Are Adaptable

We understand animal welfare is an ever changing social need, so we must be committed to adapting our operations to meet evolving needs. Being adaptable means being willing to navigate unfamiliar territory, trying to find innovative solutions to difficult problems, pushing ourselves to explore new directions, and being open to discussion.

Embrace Diversity

We commit to taking a non-discriminatory approach to volunteers, animals and ideas. This means valuing and respecting differences among people and animals, and actively seeking a diversity of thought. Diversity in its various applications is the cornerstone of progression and a key feature of our impact.

Commit Selflessly

We commit to going above and beyond for the cause. We understand that we will face challenges that test our resolve, but we will always keep our mission front of mind and persevere in the face of difficulty. Commiting selflessly means putting the cause first and prioritizing the greater good.

Act with Integrity

We are a part of the larger community, whether that be the communities we serve, the communities of animal welfare activists, or our community of committed volunteers. As a part of the community, we build relationships of trust by prioritizing transparency, communication, honesty, reliability and setting a standard of ethical principles. We act with integrity by doing the right thing whether or not we are in the spotlight.

our board members

Hillary Spencer

Hillary has obtained a Bachelor of Science in Animal Bioscience from the University of Saskatchewan and a Master of Science in Wildlife Conservation from the University of Chester, England. She is currently pursuing a career in Veterinary Medicine at Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies in Jelgava, Latvia.

Hillary has volunteered with humanitarian, veterinary, and conservation groups to promote interdisciplinary cooperation and provide effective care to those in need. She is an active volunteer for Veterinarians Abroad Supporting and Teaching (V.A.S.T) and British Columbia Airlift Emergency Response Operations (BC AERO). Previously, she volunteered with conservation groups Groupe D’etude et de Recherche Sur Les Primates Madagascar (GERP) and DesertWatch in Lanzarote, Spain. She provides administrative support and resource acquisition for V.A.S.T. while sitting on the board of directors for BC AERO.

Hillary has worked in a variety of veterinary hospitals and specialty clinics learning, absorbing and networking with professionals in domestic and exotic animals. She voluntarily transported many raptor species from veterinary hospitals to rehabilitation centres interprovincially. She also volunteered in Northern communities assisting with mass spay/neuter clinics. She has successfully completed two courses from the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council; wildlife rehabilitation and zoonotic disease, to better equip herself for interactions with animals of all kinds.

Hrisha Jayashankar

Hrisha has a Bachelors of Commerce with a specialisation in FInance from York University. A recent graduate, Hrisha is a smart, motivated, positive, and ambitious multitasker who thrives in a fast-paced high-pressure work environment. She brings expertise in finance, fund growth and management, social enterprise, sustainable growth, corporate relations and corporate governance. Hrisha leverages her data collection and visualisation skills in maximising efficiency of established funds, identifying opportunities of growth and effectively advising leadership to make data-based decisions.

Hrisha also boasts extensive internship experience with accounting firms in Dubai where she was responsible for developing final statements including Profit and Loss statement, depreciation schedule, property plant and equipment, cash flow, equity, balance sheets, and notes required. She not only has experience in maintaining high fidelity financial records for profit and non-profit agencies, but uses her experience to develop efficient standard operating procedures and build robust financial management systems.

Hrisha recently managed project-based funding for a Toronto-based non-profit called The Corner@240. She implemented a subscription based model to push the charity towards gaining financial self-sufficiency. She took stock of existing revenue models, identified areas for improvement and applied critical thinking skills to introduce her new model that has since led the charity to wean off public funds. She believes financial independence is key to maximizing social benefit for any charity, whatever the mission.

Chirag Chopra

Chirag is a final year student at the University of Toronto majoring in Neuroscience and Physiology. He currently has his own startup, serving as a Co-Founder of SilicoLabs, a rapidly growing neurotechnology startup based in Toronto. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he also worked at the BC Centre for Disease COntrol as a Team Lead for the COVID-19 Rapid Response Team, and continues to work with the Taku River Tlingit First Nation as a researcher.

Chirag co-founded and until recently served as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the BC Airlift Emergency Response Operations (BC AERO). He grew the organization from a dozen pilots and ground crew to over a hundred dedicated volunteer pilots and ground crew in BC’s Lower Mainland and across the country. He led the development of the organization’s digital workplace, infrastructure and standard operating procedures. Chirag spearheaded the development of innovative partnerships for the organization with industry, academia and other non-profits. He expanded AERO into the drones space, engaged with research at the Advanced Disaster Simulation Program at York and is developing Virtual Reality/Augmented reality training procedures for AERO in coordination with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). He currently sits on the Board of Directors of BC AERO.

A leader and humanitarian at heart, Chirag deeply believes in the power of building community and empowering grassroots level work to improve quality of life.

Mark Bett

Recently retired, Mark has a wealth of various technical, policy, and leadership experience after serving 36 years with the Ontario government. As a graduate of Sir Sandford Fleming College’s Fish and Wildlife Program, he worked for years in wildlife management and law enforcement. Half of his career was spent in the far north with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) and as Supervisor for the largest geographic area of the province (including the coastal areas of James Bay).

The other half of his career was focused on emergency management, stemming from a Master’s degree in Disaster and Emergency Management from Royal Roads University of B.C. He was instrumental in establishing Ontario’s Surface Water Monitoring Centre, part of a broader early warning system for flood and drought conditions in the province. Subsequently, he led the Corporate Emergency Management & Security Section for the OMNR and was seconded as the Sr. Advisor for Emergency Management Ontario. More recently, he has retired as the Senior Manager of the Emergency Unit with the Ministry of Children and Community Social Services where he worked closely with the Canadian Red Cross and Ontario NGO Alliance seeking improvements to emergency social services.

Currently living in Toronto, he is also an avid private pilot and aircraft owner, taking full advantage of Toronto’s Island airport. He is an active member of the Toronto Island Pilot Association, as well as the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association and the USA equivalent AOPA. He has enjoyed volunteering his aircraft and flying for various humanitarian general aviation organizations.

Interestingly, his master thesis focused on the potential to better utilize volunteer general aviation pilots and their resources for emergency response, so it is no surprise he is a strong advocate for any kind of public benefit flying that can support communities, especially in times of need.

Our Volunteers

Renata Palffy-Veber

Renata is a web-developer/linux systems admin mostly focusing on custom integrations and server solutions with over 15 years of experience in the field.

Marie-France Corriveau

Marie-France has over 20 years of experience in graphic design, web design, brand management, and marketing. Her goal is to create meaningful designs that help others and communicate positive emotions.

our volunteers

Volunteer 1

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Volunteer 2

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230
Pilots
125
Rescue Partners
1200+
Animals Flown
11
YEARS OF SERVICE