February 2015 Newswire: Working in tribute to those we lost this year

Sustainability Solutions Group NEWSWIRE February 2015

A monthly newsletter on news and inspiration at the nexus of sustainability
Image: Kapuskasing ©Shireen Nadir 2012

[We’re working on…]

Kingston MEP

We are working with our partners IndEco in the City of Kingston, Ontario to develop an Energy Plan with the community. Kingston is a dynamic and growing community, and a leader in energy conservation, renewable energy, environmental initiatives, and active transportation. Our work builds on this, exploring their energy future by modelling and addressing the implications of different policies and actions on future energy costs, employment, transport options and GHG emissions.

Thunder Bay Climate Adaptation Strategy

SSG and Arbora Management Services have partnered to develop a climate change adaptation plan for the City of Thunder Bay. Using ICLEI Canada’s Building Adaptive & Resilient Communities framework, the project will address Milestone III. Milestone III is the development of an action plan to include vision, objectives, actions and an implementation plan. The project is being led in a highly collaborative endeavour with the City and stakeholders, drawing on local expertise on impacts and vulnerability to help plan for a more resilient city.

FCM Municipal Brownfields Guidebook

SSG and our partners LANDx have been engaged by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to compose a guidebook and a brochure on the best approach and policies to brownfield site redevelopment. Almost every municipality in Canada has a site contaminated by industrial activity or waste, often in prime locations. Rejuvenating these sites is a great opportunity for these municipalities, but it can be costly. SSG and LANDx are composing the guides that FCM will distribute to help municipalities get on the right track for brownfield redevelopment.

[Welcome new Associate Members]

We are delighted to welcome three new members to our cohort of Associate Members.

Isabel Gordon joins us after twenty seven years at the City of North Vancouver, eight of those as Director of Finance. She spearheaded many innovative projects at the City, including the creation of the Lonsdale Energy Corporation, a municipal district heating utility (first of its kind in North America. She is a passionate believer in the need to transform government finance through a sustainability lens.

Raph Shay is a systems thinker who has brought community projects to fruition around the globe. His areas of expertise touch energy, community planning, management systems and policy. In all of his projects, Raphael brings together people with a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines. Recently, he was discovering enormous Alcerca trees in Chile.

Patricia Lightburn has in-depth experience in the design, implementation and analysis of renewable energy policy and regulation. As a part of the team that launched the Ontario feed-in tariff program, she led and contributed to the development of program rules and contracts, price models, codes and standards, and policy and stakeholder engagement initiatives

[Pathway to Paris]

At the beginning of the month, we joined progressive organisations to support 350.org’s letter to President Obama asking him to veto the Keystone XL pipeline, and good news – he did! Good work team! For more information, check out: http://350.org/campaigns/stop-keystone-xl/
Keep your ears tuned for another plea to our own PM Stephen Harper coming soon.
If you have still not signed up to read our briefings on our Pathway to Paris from our time in New York, Lima, to revisiting articles, events and artists in the lead up to COP21, then please subscribe here.

Associate Brennan Vogel publishes his first article with Daniel Henstra, on the importance of localised climate adaptation plans and for municipal responsibility in adapting to climate change. As yet, research and scrutiny of these plans, despite their proliferation is meagre, and here a research agenda for the content of the policies and how they are made is provided.

Check out the The Art Of Cities, an event on the art of collaborative city building with CityStudio May 25th – 27th, 2015.  Here you can learn about the CityStudio model, it’s lessons learned and collaboration techniques. CityStudio is an experimentation and innovation hub for the City of Vancouver where city staff, experts and students from 6 universities and colleges co-create projects that support city programs.
[In tribute]

SSG members were saddened to hear of Doug Ritchie‘s passing this past January. Doug worked briefly with SSG on the City of Yellowknife Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory – a topic of long-time interest for him as one of the North’s leading and persistent environmentalists. Originally from Kelowna, BC, Doug moved North in 1987 to work as a lifeguard. He moved to Yellowknife in 1996, working for the N.W.T. government, then quit his job to focus on the environment. For the past four years, he also worked with the Yellowknives Dene First Nation. His environmental contributions were known to many and his character respected by all.

Mark Goldblatt, former President of Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation.
“Mark’s contributions to building the worker co-operative movement in Canada were instrumental in building the movement, and its national Federation,” said Hazel Corcoran, Executive Director of the Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation (CWCF).
Canada’s worker co-operative movement is deeply saddened by the loss of Mark Goldblatt, who died on Tuesday, February 3rd of an apparent heart attack. His outstanding qualities were his vision, intellect, dedication to co-operation, generosity, humility, sense of humour and fun, integrity, commitment, perseverance and inability to be uncaring or mean to anyone, in other words a sort of radical kindness.
Mark Goldblatt’s personal engagement with co-operatives reflects the dynamism and innovation that have characterized the co-operative movement in Canada throughout its history. Although we have lost a great co-op champion, Mark planted many seeds which have grown and are growing into lasting co-operative organizations.

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