About Teale

Lives in Cloverdale, Saanich near Rutledge Park with his partner Stephanie.

A community organizer for over 15 years, and is active in Saanich municipal politics.

A volunteer member of the board of the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network.

Has helped set up dozens of little free libraries across the region. 

Volunteers as a debate coach, coaching speech and debate across Vancouver Island.

Has a PhD in politics and international studies from the University of Cambridge, and two BAs from the University of Calgary (political science and international relations).

Runs his own research consultancy, The Idea Tree, where he conducts issue research for environmental organizations.

An expert in illegal fishing and the strategic use of international law by non-state actors.

A dedicated environmentalist, he co-founded OceansAsia, a marine conservation organization dedicated to combating illegal fishing and wildlife crime.

Passionate about equality, he co-founded and chairs the AccessBC Campaign for free prescription contraception in BC.

Teale is a dedicated community builder

Teale learned early on that welcoming and engaging public places invite neighbours to meet, mix and ultimately form community.

The process by which people work together to create quality public spaces is known as placemaking, and Teale is dedicated to using this practice to nurture community in Saanich. Combining his passion for books and placemaking, Teale has been actively involved in promoting the spread of little free libraries across the CRD. Along with his partner Stephanie, Teale started off by mapping out over one hundred of these little public book boxes, which operate on the principle of ‘take a book, leave a book.’ For these efforts, they were awarded a Victoria Community Leadership Award.

Teale Phelps Bondaroff and his partner Stephanie Ferguson wih the little free library they curate in Rutledge Park, Saanich

“I grew up on a street in downtown Calgary where all the neighbours knew each other. It was more than a street, it was a community. On any given summer evening you’d find neighbours gathered on one porch or another, chatting and enjoying a glass of wine. This evening tradition needed friendly neighbours (and wine) to develop, but it was also helped along by readily available front porches. This taught me a valuable lesson; that the spaces in which people live influence how community develops. Creating the spaces and programs that will allow community and well being to flourish is an important role for municipal government.”

Teale Phelps Bondaroff is a volunteer member of the board of the Greater Victori Placemaking Network

Teale is a board member for the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network, and leads their Pocket Places Project, which is principally dedicated to mapping, supporting and propagating little free libraries. Over the past year, he has helped set up dozens of little free libraries around the region. You will often see him cycling about town dropping off books to little libraries - to date he has personally delivered over 20,000! Teale also volunteers with the Victoria Tool Library, and supports his strata’s community garden.

Teale is a passionate teacher and debate coach

Speech and debate have played a central role in Teale’s life. He began debate in grade 8, barely able to get through 30 seconds of a speech, but worked his way towards competing in national and international tournaments at the high school and university levels.

Teale now works to pass this experience on to others, particularly young people, through speech and debate coaching.

Teale Phelps Bondaroff, or Dr. P.B. to his students, teaching philosophy to students in Port Alberni.

“Debate opened my eyes to the world around me. I would watch the news so my arguments would be better informed, and in the process I was exposed to new ideas and issues. The critical thinking skills that are fostered through debate help me approach policy decisions with care. I’m able to appreciate and weigh a wide range of different perspectives. Debate was also my first experience with teaching. As the president of my high school and university teams I was in charge of training my peers. It’s amazing to watch the transformation of a shy student into one who can successfully express opinions, gaining confidence along the way. Debate has the power to change lives and open minds.” 

Teale Phelps Bondaroff teaching a debate class to his students.

Teale has worked with individuals one-on-one and with teams at schools across the capital region, including Bayside Middle School, Glenlyon Norfolk School, Brentwood College School, Stelly’s Secondary School, Selkirk Montessori. He currently volunteers with the Alberni District Secondary School debate team, which he helped form and coaches weekly by Skype. Teale also provides advice and support to schools across Vancouver Island to help increase the number of active debate teams in the region. He has played a lead role in reviving the BC Provincial Mock Trial competition held in Victoria.

Teale is a skilled researcher and policy-maker

Teale has BAs in political science and international relations from the University of Calgary, and a PhD in politics and international studies from the University of Cambridge. Teale was the recipient of a Chancellor's Scholarship for his undergraduate studies and was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship for his PhD. His training as a researcher taught him how to absorb and synthesize large amounts of information quickly and to take in – and appreciate – a wide range of views. It has also taught him the value and use of quantitative metrics to evaluate the success of policies.

Teale Phelps Bondaroff has worked with a wide range of stakeholders on policy ranging from efforts to tackle illegal fishing, increasing access to birth control, and communty building
Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff presenting on his research on illegal fishng and organized crime at the 2016 Fish Crime Symposium in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

“I have studied international relations for many years, and I am increasingly convinced that the solution to so many global problems can be found at the local level. We should not wait for cumbersome international negotiations to conclude before setting ourselves to the task of improving our communities and the ecosystems where they are found. The city is the future of change, where tangible and transformative change occurs.”

Teale has worked as a freelance researcher on issues ranging from forestry, fisheries, secular issues, Arctic politics, marine conservation and organized crime. He is a world expert on illegal fishing, and has presented his research at several UN conferences and meetings.

He currently works as the Director of Research for OceansAsia, a marine conservation organization he helped found, and as the Research Coordinator for the BC Humanist Association


Teale has written policy for issues at the provincial and federal levels, and is currently a lead organizer on the BC-wide campaign for free prescription contraceptionTo learn more about his various projects please visit the Campaigns and Projects and Media pages. 

Teale is a proud and active New Democrat

Teale has been an active member of the New Democratic Party since he joined in 2006. Since this time he has served in a wide variety of roles in both Alberta and BC. 


He was the candidate for the NDP in Calgary West in the 2006 and 2008 Canadian federal elections, and ran for the Alberta NDP in Calgary Bow in 2008.


Applying his training as a political scientist, Teale has drafted policy for provincial and federal conventions, including policies on access to contraception, post-secondary tuition, and protecting the environment.

Teale Phelps Bondaroff and Ed Broadbent at NDP Federal Convention

“I am drawn to the values of the NDP - principles like equality, fairness, and justice. New Democrats believe that we can build a society which allows everyone to reach their full potential. I want to live in a society where progress is measured by how much we care and support each other and our environment. Where people and their well-being are put before narrow private interests.”

Photos Credit Tony Sprackett

Teale has volunteered and worked on a number of campaigns in roles ranging from canvasser, speech and debate coach, and organizer.


Teale currently servers as the President of the Saanich-Gulf Islands Federal NDP Riding Association, a position he has held since 2016.

Teale is also proud to support electoral reform and has worked on referendum campaigns in BC and in the UK. 

Did you know that Teale is ...

Teale Phelps Bondaroff, speaking about BC politcs on CILS 107.9 fm.



Fluent in, and an avid supporter of French. He has worked to promote French and bilingual debate in the province, hosting a bilingual provincial tournament when he was the head debate coach at Glenlyon Norfolk School. He has also been a volunteer and regular guest on CILS 107.9 FM, Victoria’s Francophone community radio station.

A Budding Mycologist


Teale has an Instagram account dedicated entirely to photos of mushrooms! He loves hiking around Vancouver Island, where his ever-patient hiking companions wait (for a little while at least) for him to snap shots of all sorts of fungi. 

Teale Phelps Bondaroff played defense for the Cambridge University Ice Hockey Club while a studen there, and also coached the women's team.

A Hockey Player


A strong supporter of sport, Teale has played hockey all of his life. He played hockey while at University and coached the Cambridge University Women’s Ice Hockey Club.


He was a volunteer games maker at the 2012 London Olympics and more recently volunteered at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, BC Women’s Curling Championship in Victoria.