Southern Ontario Growth Conference

Many municipalities are trying to understand how to best integrate climate change into their municipal decision-making process, such as in the development of their official plan. Because plans for growth and infrastructure have far-reaching impacts on climate change, municipalities are seeking additional guidance to better understand how to integrate into practice various, seemingly competing, priorities.

With official plans currently being finalized, the goal of this conference is to lift up the voices of experts, organizations, individuals and community groups that may not readily have the ear of elected officials and municipal planners.

Part 1: Community Focus

Feb 17, 6:00 - 9:00 pm

The voices in our communities are extremely powerful. Learn why your voice is important, meet others taking action and get your hands on campaigning resources.

Part 2: Municipal Focus

Feb 18, 9:00 - 3:30 pm

Municipalities learn how to best integrate Climate Change into your Official Plan, from the voices of experts, other municipalities, as well as your community.

Press Conference

Feb 18, 4:15 - 4:45 pm

Watch the Recorded Speaker Presentations

In order to have a greater impact on the decisions made by our elected municipal councillors, more groups and people need to step forward to talk about important issues, such as housing, food insecurity, transportation, land use, farmland, ecological areas and more.

The voice of the community is extremely powerful and many federal, provincial, and local organizations are trying to help by offering additional support and resources.

 

Part 1: Community Focus

  • Learn about the resources available to help you and your group advocate

  • Hear stories of communities raising their voices

  • Understand why you as a person, or as part of a community group should care about the completion of your municipal official plan and how it impacts the health of your community

Part 2: Municipal Focus

  • Bringing forward the best evidence by other municipalities & organizations

  • Provide opportunities to network

  • Connect with available resources for municipalities

  • Learn specific policies that can be used

Southern Ontario Growth Conference Day 1 Agenda.jpg
Southern Ontario Growth Conference Day 2 Agenda.jpg

Part 1: Community Focus

Future Ground Network: Divya Arora

Title: Opt-into Future Ground Network

Future Ground Network supports local groups taking action in their communities to secure healthier, more viable futures in the areas of climate justice, biodiversity, waste reduction and sustainable systems.

Joining the network means connecting with other community groups to share knowledge, find inspiration and work together to achieve common goals. As a network member, you can tap into a wealth of tools, resources and wisdom to help your community build a better future from the ground up.

Climate Reality Project Canada: Campaign Toolkit: Maheep Sandhu & Margo Burgess

Title: Cities and Communiy Climate Action in Practice

Title: Campaigning 101

Our approach is rooted in the empowerment of citizens: we are dedicated to equipping them to be effective catalysts for change in their communities. How do we accomplish this? By training people of all walks of life to be strong communicators on climate science and solutions. 

Former US Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore regularly trains contingencies of citizens to join the Leadership Corps, a worldwide network of Climate Reality Leaders advancing solutions and raising awareness in their communities. We also develop tools and programs that are tailored to the Canadian context, in order to deepen citizens’ impact in their communities and to propel Canada towards carbon neutrality.

Climate Interactive: Stephanie Goertz

Climate Interactive is an independent, not-for-profit think-tank that grew out of MIT Sloan in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. Based on a long tradition of system dynamics modeling, our simulations and insights help people see connections, play out scenarios, and see what works to address climate change, inequity, and related issues

Jane Fogal, Local & Regional Councillor for Town of Halton

Titlte: Maximizing Citizen Impact on Municipal Decision Making

 

Jane is serving her 5th term as a Halton Regional Councillor representing Halton Hills.  She is committed to developing a liveable Halton Hills by championing trails and bicycle infrastructure.  Currently she is the Chair of the Halton Hills Low Carbon Transition Committee and is a core member of Stop Sprawl Halton.

 Divya Arora

.

Title: Official Plans - Your Voice at the Table

Sarah Syed: Youth Advocate

Title: Food Scraps become bioplastics - who knew?

Sarah has won first place at the Toronto Science Fair, the UTSC Best Environmental Award, was a finalist at the International GENIUS Olympiad and won the Nature Inspiration Finalist Award which is offered to only 4 youth across Canada. Sarah is  a Top 25 Under 25 Environmentalist.  Sarah loves sharing her passion and journey in STEM with other youth groups. She has organized a community STEM club and an international hackathon with over $42,000 in prizes and 1000 participants.

Kevin Thomason

Title: Municipal Official Plans

Land use planning decision, infill, ways we can see community members coming together to influence decisions regarding official plans.  The new growth push by the provincial government.

Smart Growth Waterloo Region is a group of citizens of Waterloo who want to enjoy both thriving liveable cities and a sustainable countryside. We see the Ontario Municipal Board ruling against the Region of Waterloo Official Plan in favour of private developers and urban sprawl as a serious threat to our community’s vision of the future.

Kevin Thomason has worked in the technology and marketing fields for Apple Computer, KPMG, Quarry Communications, and as the co-founder of a leading high-tech start-up acquired by Google. Concerned with rampant growth and the destruction of the Waterloo Moraine, Kevin volunteered full-time for three years to help develop a Greenbelt Plan and protect thousands of acres of the most threatened and critical lands in Waterloo Region from development.


Kevin continues to coach a number of start-ups focussing on clean-tech, green-tech, and high-tech as a Sustainability Mentor at the Accelerator Centre in Waterloo, sits on numerous Board of Directors, and is actively involved with organizations such as the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance, SmartGrowth Waterloo, the Grand River Environmental Network, Youth Challenge International, and Medecins Sans Frontieres. He recently completed construction of an innovative zero-waste, net-zero sustainable home on the shores of Sunfish Lake where he lives with his wife and young children.

Please help by sharing the graphics with other organizations and community members. 

Southern Ontario Business Community Focus Graphic.jpg
Southern Ontario Growth Conference Poster Community Focus.jpg

Part 2: Municipal Focus

Ken Greenberg:  Keynote

Title: Growing Resilient Inclusive Communities: Climate Change is an Imperative and Covid 19 may be an Accelerator

Ken Greenberg is an urban designer, teacher, writer, former Director of Urban Design
and Architecture for the City of Toronto and Principal of Greenberg Consultants. For over four decades he has played a pivotal role on public and private assignments in urban settings throughout North America and Europe, focusing on the rejuvenation of downtowns, waterfronts, neighborhoods and on campus master planning, regional growth management, and new community planning. His work sits at the intersection of urban design, architecture, landscape, mobility, social and economic development. Cities
as diverse as Toronto, Hartford, Amsterdam, New York, Boston, Montréal, Ottawa,  Edmonton, Calgary, St. Louis, Washington DC, Paris, Detroit, Saint Paul and San Juan Puerto Rico have benefited from his advocacy and passion for restoring the vitality, relevance and sustainability of the public realm in urban life. In each city, with each project, his strategic, consensus-building approach has led to coordinated planning and a renewed focus on urban design. He is the recipient of the 2010 American Institute of Architects Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Design Excellence and the 2014 Sustainable Buildings
Canada Lifetime Achievement Award. Involved in many grass roots and community initiatives he has served as a Board Member of Park People, a nonprofit dedicated to the improvement of Toronto's parks, is currently a Director of the Bentway Conservancy Board and President of the Wellington Place Neighbourhood Association, a member of ULI Toronto Chapter Advisory Board and the Myseum Board of  Directors. He was a cofounder and Vice Chair of the City Building Institute at Ryerson University in Toronto. A frequent writer for periodicals, he is the author of Walking Home: the Life and Lessons of a City Builder published by Random House and Toronto Reborn; Design Successes and Challenges published by Dundurn. He played a leading role as urban design lead and client representative and now member of its Board for The Bentway, the transformation of a major public space under the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto. He is currently serving as a strategic advisor to the city of Brampton. He was selected as a Member of the Order of Canada in 2020 and was awarded a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa from the University of Toronto for his outstanding service for the public good as a tireless advocate for restoring
the vitality, relevance and sustainability of the public realm in urban life.

The Climate Caucus: Alex Lidstone

Title: Connecting Climate Leaders

Climate Caucus (CC) is a non-partisan network of 400 local elected climate leaders driving system change to transform our communities in ten years. 


Collectively, we create and implement 21st century socially-just policy which aligns the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ( IPCC), Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services ( IPBES), and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

Prior to Climate Caucus, Alex (she/her) spent some time in academia, completing an MSc in Climate Change, Development, and Policy, an LLB in Laws, and a BA in Sociology. In October 2020, she began with Climate Caucus full time to dedicate her career to system change, with the hope of building a better future for everyone. She lives and works with her dog, Frankie, in the Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta.

 Alex Lidstone is passionate about stopping biodiversity loss and runaway climate change. During her time in academia, she completed an MSc in Climate Change, Development, and Policy, an LLB in Laws, and a BA in Sociology. She lives and works in the Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta.

John MacDonald: Keynote

John MacDonald has been an active and engaged citizen of the Grand River Watershed and its Region of Waterloo communities for over 30 years, where he has raised his family and founded his full-service design studio, John MacDonald Architect (JMA). John’s decades of design activity and architectural expertise have been largely focused on the urban realm, public facilities, and adaptive re-use. He provides leadership for the complexities of designing within this context, inclusive approaches to the environment and to the management of change. He has developed an industry-leading Building Systems Approach to project design and construction, which leverages particular expertise for the benefit of the whole. John recognizes the importance of diversity within the community and is a longtime advocate for the quality of the public realm and our stewardship of the environment. He is a co-founder of Kitchener’s Festival of Neighbourhoods, a community capacity-building initiative now in its 28th year.
john@johnmacdonaldarchitect.ca

Climate Interactive

Climate Interactive is an independent, not-for-profit think-tank that grew out of MIT Sloan in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. Based on a long tradition of system dynamics modeling, our simulations and insights help people see connections, play out scenarios, and see what works to address climate change, inequity, and related issues

Clean Air Partnership: Gaby Kalapos

Title: “Bringing Climate Change into Official Plans and Growth Management Decisions - Emerging Leading Practices

 

Clean Air Partnership (CAP) is a charitable environmental organization that works with municipalities and their partners to improve air quality, advance active transportation, and take bold climate action. We convene networks, lead research and knowledge transfer, and catalyze transformative action. CAP’s vision is that Canadian communities are sustainable, healthy and resilient.

Gabriella Kalapos has advocated for local government action on advancing sustainable communities for more than 25 years through her work at the Toronto Environmental Alliance, ICLEI-Cities for Climate Protection campaign, and currently as executive director at the Clean Air Partnership. Her focus has been to encourage, support and monitor implementation of clean air and climate change actions, and to build partnerships that enable collaboration among communities and all levels of government. Gabriella has a bachelor of science in environmental geography from Concordia University and a master's degree in environment and business from the University of Waterloo.

Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition: Jenn Court

Title: Green Infrastructure for a Resilient Future

 

The Green Infrastructure Ontario (GIO) Coalition is an alliance of organizations that share a common vision for a healthy, green Ontario where the economic, social, environmental and health benefits of green infrastructure are fully realized. Founded in 2009, and guided by a steering committee, we work to promote awareness and understanding of green infrastructure, and to support policy and activities that increase implementation of green infrastructure across Ontario.

Jennifer Court is the Executive Director of the Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition, and spends her time advocating for supportive policy and funding to make green infrastructure the new normal. She has over 15 years’ experience in the environmental space, working all across Canada on a range of issues including climate change, waste and the circular economy, environmental health, and of course, green infrastructure. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Design from the Ontario College of Art & Design, as well as a Master of Environmental Studies and a Graduate Diploma in Business & Sustainability from York University.

The Climate Reality Project Canada: Margo Burgess-Pollet

Title: The National Climate League Findings

 

Our approach is rooted in the empowerment of citizens: we are dedicated to equipping them to be effective catalysts for change in their communities. How do we accomplish this? By training people of all walks of life to be strong communicators on climate science and solutions. 

Former US Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore regularly trains contingencies of citizens to join the Leadership Corps, a worldwide network of Climate Reality Leaders advancing solutions and raising awareness in their communities. We also develop tools and programs that are tailored to the Canadian context, in order to deepen citizens’ impact in their communities and to propel Canada towards carbon neutrality.

Association of Municipalities Ontario: Craig Reid

Title: Municipal Role in Environmental Protection

 

AMO works to make municipal governments stronger and more effective. Through AMO, Ontario’s 444 municipalities work together to achieve shared goals and meet common challenges.
Through our policy development, cost-saving programs, conferences and training opportunities, AMO provides municipal officials with tools to succeed, and programs to help maximize taxpayer dollars.

Craig Reid is AMO’s Senior Advisor for Infrastructure and Climate Change Strategy. Craig holds a Masters in Public Policy and has spent over two decades in federal, provincial and municipal government and the private sector in policy development, government relations and communications roles. Craig has most recently been working on the AMO Board’s strategic advocacy objective of addressing the environmental, economic and social impacts of climate change on communities.

Scott Moffatt
City of Ottawa Councillor

Title: Energy Evolution Strategy, Climate Change Master Plan and the new OP

 

Scott Moffatt, the Councillor for Ward 21 in the City of Ottawa, has lived in the ward all his life. Tracing his ancestry back almost 200 years to the Richmond, Manotick and Kars area, Scott was born and raised in former Rideau Township and lives in North Gower with his wife and five kids.
 
Prior to being elected in 2010, Scott worked primarily in customer service roles in the retail and hospitality industries while also completing a BA in History from Carleton University with a Double Minor in Political Science and Law.
 
On Council, Scott currently serves as the Chair of the Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water & Waste Management, the Co-Chair of the Planning Committee and Chair of the Planning Advisory Committee.

Waterloo Region Community Energy: Matthew Day & Hayley Rutherford

Title:  Green Development Standards

 

The path to our new energy future is directed by the strategic oversight of high-level representatives from the Region of Waterloo, its 3 urban municipalities and 5 local electric and gas utilities . The innovative Governance Committee for WR Community Energy is a collaboration that takes us beyond the limits of the services that individual partners can provide.

Vice President Research and Advocacy, Daily Bread Food Bank: Diane Dyson

Title:  Inclusive Housing, Affordable Housing and Homelessness

 

Diane Dyson has worked in the non-profit community and housing sector for two decades. During her recent tenure at the Canadian Urban Institute, she led a review of eleven Canadian municipalities, cataloguing how they deliver affordable housing and homelessness programs. She is currently Vice President, Research and Advocacy (interim) at the Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto.

Stephen Hill

Title: Mid-sized Ontario Cities - Challenges and Opportunities

Stephen Hill is an associate professor and associate director in the School of Environment at Trent University. Stephenwas born and raised in Ontario, Canada but spent nearly a decade studying and working in Alberta before beginning his academic career at Trent in 2003.Stephen is an active researcher in the areas of energy and climate policy and community-based sustainability having been funded by SSHRC, Carbon Management Canada, and the Canadian Water Network. He was awarded Trent’s Symons Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2011 and the CMHC Award for Excellence in Education in 2012. Stephen also serves as a member of the Sustainable Peterborough coordinating committee and Board member for the Endeavour Centre for Sustainable Building.

Smaller & mid-sized cities, too often ignored in discussions about urban sustainability, have a key role in transitioning a low-to-zero carbon future and preparing for a changing climate.
Provincially mandated and funded climate planning activities exist. E.g., 2018 Public Health Standards including climate change, BC Municipal energy planning requirement. 
New institutions and models for climate governance can emerge.

C40 Cities:  Laura Jay, 

Title: How cities are delivering equitable climate action 

Laura Jay works with C40’s 17 cities in the US and Canada to help advance climate actions, from policies to mitigate emissions to strategies for adapting to climate impacts. She has worked at the U.S. Green Building Council on governance and strategic planning. Laura has a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from Columbia University in New York.

C40 is a network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities collaborating to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis. Together, we can create a future where everyone, everywhere can thrive.

Mayors of C40 cities are on the leading edge of climate action, and are deploying a science-based and collaborative approach to help the world limit global heating to 1.5°C and build healthy, equitable and resilient communities.

C40 member cities earn their membership through action. C40’s most distinguishing feature is that it operates on performance-based requirements, not membership fees. C40’s Leadership Standards set the minimum requirements for all member cities and ensure the integrity of C40 as a network of climate leaders.

Kevin Curtis

Title: The Region of Waterloo’s Countryside Line

Kevin Curtis, PhD is a retired Lecturer in the University of Waterloo School of Planning
where he taught practice-oriented undergraduate and graduate courses. Kevin’s
professional planning career of almost 40 years involved public and private sector practice
with a specialization in official plan reviews, growth management strategies, special
projects, and economic development strategies.


In his 15-year tenure with the Region of Waterloo, Kevin oversaw the development of the
new Regional Official Plan (adopted in 2009 and approved in 2015). Kevin received
several awards from the Ontario Professional Planners Institute and the Canadian Institute
of Planners for his work on the Region of Waterloo Growth Management Strategy and the
Central Transit Corridor Community Building Strategy. He was also the co-recipient of the
2015 Plan Canada Award for Feature Article of the Year as lead author of the article,
“Leveraging Transit Investment to Shape the Community: Waterloo Region’s Central
Transit Corridor Community Building Strategy”.

Please help by sharing the graphics with your municipal staff and council.

Southern Ontario Business Municipal Focus Graphic.jpg
Southern Ontario Growth Conference Poster Municipal Focus.jpg

OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE YOUR COMMUNITIES STORY

green-energy.jpg

To community groups, organizations, not-for-profits, academia, experts, and anyone that has a message that they wish their municipalities considered when developing their Official Plan are invited to submit a video.

 

Videos will be selected to be shown during the conference. 

Press Conference

This is an invitation for the media to attend a press conference with speakers from Part 2 of the conference. 

Resources:

Ken Greenberg:

Ontario Green Infrastructure

Clean Air Partnership

Avi Friedman

Partnership with the The Climate Caucus funding by The Climate Reality Project Canada and promotional partnership with Ontario Professional Planners Institute

CC_logo_update.png
TCRP-Canada_EN_PNG.png
OPPI-Logo-Horizontal-V1.jpg