LIVABLE CITIES FORUM

Thank you to all those who joined us in Mississauga last year!

Ai, Summer connections, 2022. mississauga.ca/publicart

LCF 2023 SPEAKERS

Jen Angel (she/her)

Jen Angel (she/her)

CEO, Evergreen

Jennifer Angel is a builder of community, momentum, and places people love. Together with partners, Jen builds inclusive, sustainable places that attract people and investment, enhance resilience, and contribute to well-being for all. She works with public and private sector interests to find common purpose and support thriving, communities. She has contributed to creating some of Nova Scotia’s best loved places by land and sea. Her professional portfolio includes real estate, infrastructure and program development, participatory planning and design. Jen was recognized in Atlantic Business Magazine’s Top 50 CEOs in Atlantic Canada in 2021 and the Most Powerful Women in Atlantic Canada in 2022, she recently received the Inaugural Wije’winen Allyship Award 2022 – Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre, and her team has received multiple project awards, most recently achieving Rick Hansen Gold Certification for Peggy’s Cove, 2022. She is a co-founder of the annual Art of City Building conference, bringing placemaking through leaders from around the world to Halifax. She holds an MBA (Marketing) from Saint Mary’s University, a BA (Philosophy) from Dalhousie University and the ICD.D from ICD-Rotman.

Jennifer Babin-Fenske, Ph.D. (she/her)

Jennifer Babin-Fenske, Ph.D. (she/her)

Climate Change Coordinator, City of Greater Sudbury

Dr. Babin-Fenske grew up in beautiful Nova Scotia, completed a B.Sc.(Agr.) in Applied Zoology at McGill University then moved to Sudbury, Ontario where she received a Ph.D. in Boreal Ecology from Laurentian University, specializing in insects of stressed forests. She is proud of Greater Sudbury for its world-renowned regreening story and potential for natural growth, environmental initiatives and ecological research. As the Climate Change Coordinator for the City of Greater Sudbury, Jennifer helped develop the City’s climate change plans and communicates with other municipalities regarding successes and challenges in implementation. Jennifer received a Canada Clean50 award for her efforts in promoting environmental awareness and continues to encourage residents and organizations to adopt sustainable behaviour at home, work and play.

John Barber

John Barber

Business Analyst, Economic Development Office, City of Mississauga

John Barber is a Business Analyst for the City of Mississauga, Economic Development Office. John has been providing analytical support and advancing strategic initiatives within the City for almost six years. Past projects have addressed business entrepreneurship and innovation, economic development strategic planning, and the development of municipal economic recovery plans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most recently, John has been collaborating with a range of partners to develop and deliver a program to encourage and support local business efforts to improve their energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Anne Bell

Anne Bell

Director of Conservation and Education, Ontario Nature

Anne Bell is Ontario Nature’s Director of Conservation and Education (ontarionature.org). She has a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies and over 30 years of experience working as an environmental educator, researcher and advocate. She is currently leading Ontario Nature’s efforts as part of a national collaborative project to work with municipal partners to advance Canada’s commitment to protect at least 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030.

Dr. Richard Boyd

Dr. Richard Boyd

Director, Research and Economics, All One Sky Foundation

Richard is a recognized expert on the economics of climate change, with 30 years of experience evaluating the costs-of-inaction, as well as the costs, benefits and distributional impacts of adaptation strategies to inform decision-making at all levels of government. His work focuses on vulnerability / risk assessment and decision-making methodologies and applications to support climate adaptation planning, and he has authored several resource guides on these topics. He recently served as Coordinating Lead Author for the “Costs and Benefits of Climate Impacts and Adaptation” chapter of Canada’s national climate change knowledge assessment. Over the last few years, Richard has supported the development of climate adaptation plans in over 15 municipalities across Canada.

Craig Brown

Craig Brown

Senior Scientist, Climate Change and Health, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority

Craig Brown is a Senior Scientist, Climate Change and Health at Vancouver Coastal Health Authority. He works collaboratively on projects that support health-focused climate change adaptation in communities. Craig is also an associate faculty member at Royal Roads University, and has served as an author on national and international climate change knowledge assessments, including the IPCC Sixth Assessment report.

Michelle Brown

Michelle Brown

Managing Director, Property Management at Bentall Green Oak

Michelle Brown is a Managing Director and has been with BGO for over 23 years. She is responsible for the property management and leasing of over 11 million square feet of office and industrial assets and 465 tenants across her portfolio of 78 properties in the GTA and Winnipeg. Prior to joining BGO, Michelle worked in the property management industry at a number of firms including TrizecHahn and Nexacor Realty Management. Michelle is also a member of BGO’s EDI Executive Council, Global Lead for the BGO Women’s Network and Co-chair of Partners in Project Green / an internationally recognized community of leaders advancing environmental action and economic prosperity across the Greater Toronto Area.

Carey Campbell (she/her)

Carey Campbell (she/her)

Manager of the Office of the Mayor and CAO, City of Niagara Falls

With more than 25 years working in government relations, media and corporate communications environments, Carey brings a wealth of experience to her role managing the mayor and CAO’s offices in Niagara Falls. Carey has recently co-lead the development of the Climate Change Adaptation Plan for Niagara Falls which meaningfully engaged numerous community stakeholders.

Fernando Carou, B.A.Sc, P.Eng.

Fernando Carou, B.A.Sc, P.Eng.

Manager, City of Toronto - Environment & Climate

Fernando is responsible for accelerating environment and climate action in Toronto through partnerships and innovation. He leads a multi-disciplinary team focused on creating, developing, and operating best-in-class programs, policies, and projects for net-zero development, electric vehicles, and renewable energy. He has led the leveraging of municipal soft and hard assets for climate action, including innovative business models and partnerships, such as Toronto’s solar map and calculator, renewable and low carbon district energy systems, and a wastewater energy program to decarbonize buildings by displacing natural gas use. Fernando holds an engineering degree from the University of Toronto, has sustainability training from the Harvard University Extension School, and has completed courses in Advanced Local Government from Western University.

Devin Causley

Devin Causley

Acting Manager Knowledge Translation and Engagement, Infrastructure Canada

An architect for change, passionate leader and collaborative advocate for livable communities through capacity development focused on climate change and inclusion, Devin blends two decades with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities with a Masters in Local Economic Development and a Bachelor of Planning from Waterloo to empower communities with applied avenues to engage in climate change and accessibility alongside contributions to policy and advocacy. Recently, he joined Infrastructure Canada to form a new initiative to provide low carbon resilient climate tools and support services to infrastructure practitioners in communities across Canada. Skilled in communication and facilitation, he has delivered over 150 workshops and presentations with diverse audiences across Canada. Through this experience he is recognized as a leading authority on the needs and opportunities to advance sustainability. He is also a Registered Planner (Ontario) and CIP member and mobilizes best practices through contributions to professional publications including Plan Canada and Municipal World. 

Craig Cessar

Craig Cessar

Councillor, City of Hamilton

Craig is a first-term City Councillor in Hamilton, Ontario representing Ward 12 (Ancaster and West Flamborough). Prior to the 2022 municipal election, he had acquired nearly 25 years of private sector leadership experience in the food manufacturing industry. He is a passionate environmentalist and urbanist and believes that there are significant synergies with these philosophies. In 2023, Craig and his Council colleagues have approved a Biodiversity action plan, an aggressive urban forest strategy, and he is leading the process to work with Ontario Nature on a municipal protected areas pilot. He commutes to work by bicycle year-round and will often rely on public transit to return home which requires a trip up the Niagara Escarpment (known locally as the Hamilton Mountain). He’s a believer in the ‘Strong Towns’ philosophy to city building and greater priority for active and public transportation enabling financially sustainable, low-carbon, vibrant communities.

Isabelle Charron

Isabelle Charron

Team leader, Knowledge transfer and training, Ouranos

With Ouranos since 2010, initially as a climate scenarios specialist, Ms. Charron is now head of the “Knowledge Transfer and Training” team that focuses on the preparation of knowledge mobilization tools to facilitate the use of climate information by vulnerability, impacts and adaptation stakeholders and decision-makers. She has, among other things, authored a guide on climate scenarios, participated in the publication of the Ouranos knowledge synthesis report on climate change in Quebec and contributed to the development of web portals to disseminate climate scenarios. Isabelle holds a doctorate in forest ecology from the University of Calgary and completed post-doctoral studies in fluvial geomorphology at the Université de Montréal.

Kerra Chomlak

Kerra Chomlak

Executive Director, ClimateWest

Kerra Chomlak is the Executive Director of ClimateWest, a regional climate services organization for Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.ClimateWest’s goal is to help communities, businesses, non-profits and governments make informed climate adaptation decisions based on the best science, expertise and training. Prior to ClimateWest, Kerra worked at the City of Leduc, Alberta, where she developed and implemented the City’s plans for climate adaptation and greenhouse gas reduction. Kerra has also served as the Executive Director of the Clean Air Strategic Alliance, where she learned the value of bringing together diverse interests to address difficult problems. Kerra has an Environmental Physical Sciences degree from the University of Alberta and is currently completing her Master of Arts in Climate Action Leadership at Royal Roads University. She lives on Treaty 6 territory and the Homeland of the Métis Nation.

Catherine Craig-St-Louis (she/her)

Catherine Craig-St-Louis (she/her)

Urban Planner, Vivre en Ville

Catherine is an urban planner interested in the social and collective aspects of urban life. She is passionate about connecting people and ideas and helping collectives express shared narratives and stories in their living environments. She is responsible for the Gatineau office for Vivre en Ville and the Regional Lead for the Canadian Urban Institute in Quebec.

Fatima Crerar

Fatima Crerar

VP, Strategy & Partnerships, The Atmospheric Fund (TAF)

As VP, Strategy & Partnerships, Fatima is leading efforts to advance TAF’s organizational growth and effectiveness. Inspired by the power of people and armed with a drive to make things happen, for over 15 years Fatima has been designing and implementing programs and strategies at all scales – from workplace initiatives to large-scale transformative programs – that deliver social, environmental, and financial benefit. At TAF, Fatima oversees communications, operations & HR, and research & innovation, and is also a member of TAF’s EDI Working Group. Prior to joining TAF, Fatima led sustainability and social impact for ecobee, and she is also currently President and Chair of the Board of Environmental Defence Canada.

Mayor Bonnie Crombie

Mayor Bonnie Crombie

City of Mississauga

In her third-term as Mayor of Mississauga, Bonnie Crombie has worked diligently to improve the quality of life for Mississauga residents by promoting an agenda of sustainability and resiliency. Her work to transform Mississauga into a greener and more accessible city for all includes building regionally-integrated transit, improving traffic congestion, and expanding bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure. As Ontario’s second-largest economy, home to 100,000+ businesses, she has put innovation and sustainability front and centre, launching the City of Mississauga’s first ambitious Climate Change Plan. From supporting businesses to reduce their carbon footprint, helping develop electric vehicle charging infrastructure, implementing green building standards – including a net-zero fire station – along with working to develop a home energy retrofits program for residents, building a resilient city of the future continues to be her top priority. Before entering public service, Mayor Crombie enjoyed a twenty-year career in business, working for Fortune 500 companies and starting her own business as an entrepreneur. She has an MBA from York University’s Schulich School of Business and earned a Corporate Director’s Certificate from the Institute of Corporate Directors at the Rotman School of Management.

Angie Dazé

Angie Dazé

Director, Gender Equality and Social Inclusion for Resilience, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Angie Dazé is the Director of Gender Equality and Social Inclusion for Resilience at the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), an award-winning independent think tank. Angie has been working at the nexus of gender equality and climate change adaptation for almost 20 years. Her experience spans from conducting gender-responsive vulnerability assessments at the community level to working with national governments in Africa and the Caribbean to integrate gender equality and social inclusion in adaptation planning. Angie’s current work includes global assessments of progress on gender-responsive adaptation planning and exploring creative approaches for inclusive participation in adaptation decision making processes.

Trevor Donald (he/him)

Trevor Donald (he/him)

Project Coordinator, Town of Huntsville

Trevor Donald is the Project Coordinator for the Town of Huntsville, a large town with a population of over 20,000, approximately 2 hours north of Toronto. Trevor oversees 3 Committees of Council (Active Transportation and Public Transit, Environment and Climate Change, Community Services Master Plan and Waterfront Strategy) consisting of 21 lay members, 6 Chairs and 3 Directors. Sitting on the District Municipality of Muskoka’s Climate Change Mitigation Task Force, Trevor is able to bring input and feedback from committee members to help inform the process. Prior to working with the Town of Huntsville, Trevor was the Climate Action Coordinator for the Township of Georgian Bluffs and the Climate Adaptation Coordinator for the Town of Churchill.

Andrew Duffield

Andrew Duffield

Director, Sustainable Development, City of Beaconsfield

Andrew Duffield is a civil engineer with a Master’s in Environmental engineering on soil remediation. He has worked as a municipal engineer and manager for over 25 years. As Director of Public Works for the City of Beaconsfield, Andrew is recognized for the implementation of the City’s Smart Waste Reduction Strategy. He is now Director of Sustainable Development, a commitment of the City to promote environmentally responsible action on the journey to become a more sustainable and resilient community. As part of the management team, a primary focus for Andrew is ensuring that the City’s natural assets are recognized by the administration, council, and citizens alike for their critical role and value to help the community adapt to the effects of extreme climate events.

Tom Ewart

Tom Ewart

Associate Vice-President of Sustainability, Co-operators

Tom Ewart is Associate Vice-President of Sustainability at The Co-operators Group. He and his team help the organization realize its vision of being a “catalyst for a resilient and sustainable society.” Their efforts have resulted in Co-operators being recognized as the most sustainable insurer in the world, the most sustainable co-operative in the world, and among the 50 Best Corporate Citizens in Canada for more consecutive years than worth counting, including #1 most recently in 2019-2020. Prior to joining Co-operators, Tom was the founding Managing Director of the Network for Business Sustainability (NBS.net)—a network of more than 6,000 researchers and managers committed to advancing sustainable business. Alongside this work, he also taught courses in Western University’s Masters of Environment and Sustainability program, and in the University of Waterloo’s Environment and Business Program. Tom graduated from Western University as a gold medalist in the Engineering Faculty and as an Ivey Scholar from the Ivey Business School. He also earned a Master of Environment and Business from the University of Waterloo. In 2015, he was recognized as an Emerging Leader by Canada’s Clean50.

Mike Fair

Mike Fair

Director of Community Services, Township of Huron-Kinloss

Mike attended the University of Waterloo’s Environmental and Resource Management program and then pursued a small business endeavor for eight years before joining the Township of Huron-Kinloss as a recreation manager. Twenty-eight years later and after numerous changes in job descriptions Mike still enjoys working for the Township, with a large part of this being thanks to his great colleagues. Mike’s career has grown from managing the Arena to now include Parks, buildings, beaches and green spaces, and most recently energy management and climate change initiatives. Change can be invigorating, and challenging. With retirement on the horizon Mike is looking to keep learning and may even loop back to completing his University degree. 

Dr. Ghazal Fazli

Dr. Ghazal Fazli

Assistant Professor & Lead in Education and Training for the Network for Health Populations, University of Toronto

Ghazal Fazli is teaching as an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto Mississauga and the Lead in Education and Training for the Network for Healthy Populations. Her research explores the impact of social, community, and environmental determinants of prediabetes and diabetes. As an epidemiologist, Ghazal has deep interests for research and policy initiatives that promote action on the social and environmental determinants of health to improve wellbeing and quality of life across the lifespan.

Kate Fleming

Kate Fleming

Acting Director, Program Development, Green Municipal Fund

Kate Fleming is passionate about designing and launching impactful programs. As the Acting Director of Program Development with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ (FCM’s) Green Municipal Fund, Kate is leading the design of GMF’s recently announced $530M adaptation program funded by the Government of Canada. This new program will enable local governments to take action on climate adaptation and integrate equity-informed climate considerations into their systems and processes. Kate has worked with local governments since 2016 when she joined FCM to launch the Municipal Asset Management Program (MAMP) followed by the launch of Low Carbon Cities Canada in 2019 – a network of seven climate action centres located in Canada’s largest city regions and funded by the Government of Canada. Prior to FCM, Kate worked with Canadian entrepreneurs in the clean tech and health care sectors supporting the development and demonstration of the benefits of their technology.

William Grou

William Grou

Climate change coordinator, City of Québec

William Grou is the climate change coordinator for the city of Québec where he spent most of his life. He also worked in the private sector to decarbonise real estate portfolios all over Canada. He focusses on implementing concrete actions to tackle climate change for his community and the stakeholder around it. He holds a bachelor’s degree in administration, sustainability, and management where he learned to juggle with multiple facets of the fight against climate change. He is happy to share and acquire new knowledge on how to adapt communities around the world to the climate change.

Hemant Grover

Hemant Grover

Manager, Office of Climate Change and Energy Management, Region of Peel

Hemant Grover is the manager of the Office of Climate Change and Energy Management at the Region of Peel, leading the team that is implementing the Region’s Climate Change Master Plan. Hemant Grover holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in engineering and AEE Certified Energy Manager, Measurement and Verification Professional and Renewable Energy Professional. Hemant has over 20 years of experience in energy management, sustainability, and climate change in various roles and organizations internationally.

Dasha Gueletina (she/they/elle/ielle)

Dasha Gueletina (she/they/elle/ielle)

Junior Policy Analyst, Environment and Infrastructure Policy Directorate, Infrastructure Canada

Dasha Gueletina is a junior policy analyst proudly supporting engagement and outreach for Infrastructure Canada’s Climate Toolkit and Solutions Office. Entering her second year of a Master’s in Planning at the University of Toronto, she’s studying how to get marginalised North York renters involved in citizen development of missing little housing. She is also the co-chair of CivicSchool, a grassroots effort to develop free, accessible, and inclusive civic engagement materials for young people in the Greater Toronto Area.

 

Hetxw'ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson)

Hetxw'ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson)

Author, Knowledge Keeper & Artist

Hetxw’ms Gyetxw, also known as Brett D. Huson (he/him/his), is a proud member of the Gitxsan Nation of the Northwest Interior of what settlers call British Columbia, Canada. He has over 16 years of experience in the film and television industry, is a multi-award-winning author, and is a research associate at the Prairie Climate Centre at the University of Winnipeg. He has also volunteered as the chair for the sakihiwe Music Festival and is currently a member of the Science Committee for Adaptation Futures 2023. As a knowledge carrier, Brett’s work is centered on challenging stereotypes and tokenization of Indigenous knowledge systems. He has been instrumental in developing the Indigenous Knowledges section of the Climate Atlas, has contributed to adapting the “Two-eyed Seeing” methodology which aims to unite Indigenous and Western scientific approaches in a respectful and meaningful way, and offers a glimpse into the rich culture and unique perspectives of the Gitxsan people through his books. With the unwavering support of his wife Jeri and their children Warren and Ruby, Brett is dedicated to sharing the stories of the land and promoting dialogue and understanding around Indigenous pedagogies and epistemologies.

Darynne Hagen

Darynne Hagen

Development Manager, Geosource

As Development Manager at Geosource, Darynne’s work has primarily focused on technical and financial modelling of geo-exchange projects, assessing value of geo-exchange systems from a variety of stakeholder perspectives. With a degree in environmental engineering from the University of Waterloo, Darynne has strong understanding of the technical side of the energy space but combines that with a passion for knowledge translation and relationship building. Through thoughtful communication and content development, Darynne works to breaks down silos in industry and facilitate candid discussion with the goal of collaboratively establishing an equitable and sustainable post-carbon future.

Dr. Meagan Kakwiráyentha Hamilton

Dr. Meagan Kakwiráyentha Hamilton

Assistant Professor, Centre for Indigenous Studies, University of Toronto

Meagan Hamilton is an environmental professional and social scientist who is of both Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) and European Settler ancestry. She is a member of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Centre for Indigenous Studies at UofT also teaching in the Department of Geography and Planning. In 2022, Meagan developed curriculum for and taught in the new Indigenous Environmental Leadership Pathways (IELP) program at Royal Roads University. Meagan has worked in the field of environmental education, ecological restoration, environmental monitoring and inspection, and conservation for over 20 years. Her environmental career began by working as a naturalist interpreter for the Grand River Conservation Authority for many years which later led to opportunities such as helping develop an ecological restoration company at Six Nations, working as an environmental monitor for the Haudenosaunee Development Institute and Haudenosaunee Confederacy Council, and starting an environmental consulting company. Meagan is currently the coordinator of the Joint Stewardship Board, an agreement between the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Council and the City of Hamilton for shared stewardship responsibilities in the Red Hill Valley.

Deborah Harford

Deborah Harford

Senior Adviser, ACT, Simon Fraser University

A high-energy leader and expert on integrated climate solutions, Deborah co-founded and led ACT (the Action on Climate Team) at SFU, the first think tank in North America dedicated to climate change adaptation policy, low carbon resilience, and nature-based solutions. An expert in climate risk and resilience policy and funding with a track record of influence at national to local scales, Deborah advises all levels of government, professional associations, the private sector and NGOs on system-level change. Deborah also leads on international, sustainable growth strategy for Legible, an online book entertainment platform and ebookstore with a core commitment to resilience-building through global literacy and language revitalization.

Lisa Helps

Lisa Helps

Housing Solutions Advisor to the BC Premier

Lisa Helps is the former two-term Mayor of Victoria, British Columbia, currently working as Housing Solutions Advisor to Premier Eby for the start-up of BC Builds. As Mayor, Lisa worked hard to create deep collaboration across the community to get Victoria ready for the future, and built connection across the province as Co-Chair of the BC Urban Mayors Caucus to advance shared priorities for cities. Areas of focus included economic development and prosperity, housing, climate action, resilient infrastructure, and reconciliation.

Don Iveson

Don Iveson

Executive Advisor, Climate Investing and Community Resilience, Co-operators

Don served as Edmonton’s 35th Mayor from 2013 to 2021 with a guiding leadership principle to make things better for the next generation. This long-termism is now embedded in: Edmonton’s smart growth City Plan; City Council’s Energy Transition Strategy and first-in-Canada carbon budget, and Edmonton’s nation-leading City-Wide Flood Mitigation Strategy. As Mayor, Don’s political leadership extended to the national stage. His advocacy helped to shape the National Housing Strategy and influence the Federal Government to commit to ending chronic homelessness nationwide — goals that cannot be achieved without robust partnerships with cities. Since retiring from municipal office, Don continues to live in Edmonton. In addition to this role with Co-operators, Don has accepted an appointment as a School of Cities Canadian Urban Leader at the University of Toronto. He is also ramping up a public policy advisory practice working on climate, housing, regional governance and civic innovation projects with like-minded clients, including Co-operators, and volunteers on the board of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness.

Ewa Jackson

Ewa Jackson

Managing Director, ICLEI Canada

Ewa Jackson is a leader in the field of municipal climate adaptation and resilience. Ewa Jackson has worked with municipal governments for over 20 years in the fields of sustainability, public participation, and climate change. In addition to managing ICLEI Canada’s operational and program activities, Ewa Jackson is project manager for many ICLEI Canada consulting activities and has worked on numerous adaptation and sustainability monitoring and evaluation projects, including those of local, national, and international scope. Ewa Jackson’s particular field of interest is in the area of climate communications, and how effective and targeted communications can be used to move forward with the implementation of adaptive actions. She works with specialists in the field to keep officials at the forefront and responding to the advancements being made. She often speaks publicly on the state of adaptation planning across Canada and internationally.

Pouriya Jafarpur

Pouriya Jafarpur

Physical Science Officer, Canadian Centre for Climate Services (CCCS), Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC)

Pouriya Jafarpur is a physical science officer with the Canadian Centre for Climate Services at Environment and Climate Change Canada. He works at the data and products office, where his responsibilities include supporting data extraction and analysis, as well as providing advisory and review services. He holds a Master degree in Environmental Applied Science and Management, as well as a Master of Building Sciences.

Ashley Jones

Ashley Jones

Account Executive, Sustainable Infrastructure, Johnson Controls Canada

Ashley Jones is an Account Executive with the Sustainable Infrastructure division of Johnson Controls Canada. Her main focus is supporting municipalities reach their infrastructure, energy and GHG reduction goals through the support of an Energy Service Company (as known as an ESCO).

Gabriella Kalapos

Gabriella Kalapos

Executive Director, Clean Air Partnership

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.

Hiba Kariem (she/her)

Hiba Kariem (she/her)

Climate Change Project Coordinator, ICLEI Canada

Hiba works on a wide range of adaptation projects across local, provincial/territorial, and national scales. She contributes to the implementation of ICLEI’s Building Adaptive and Resilient Communities (BARC) program and works closely with Canadian communities throughout the climate change planning process: conducting adaptation assessments (climate science, vulnerability, risk), best practice and action identification, implementation planning, and measuring progress. Hiba also develops and delivers a number of tools and resources to build the knowledge and capacity of local governments and stakeholders in the climate change adaptation space.

Leopold Kowolik

Leopold Kowolik

York University PhD candidate, Sheridan College Instructor

Leopold has spent 20 years exploring what material-culture objects reveal about the philosophy of lived experience. Leopold has degrees in history and art history from the Universities of Chicago and Edinburgh and is completing a PhD in Social and Political Thought at York University; he currently teaches in the Craft & Design and Visual & Creative Arts programs at Sheridan College. Leopold has worked at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Royal Botanical Garden in Edinburgh, the National Galleries of Scotland and Gallery 78 in New Brunswick. For 8 years he was the editor in chief of Studio Magazine, the Canadian Craft and Design publication. Leopold’s PhD work engages moral aesthetics to understand the ‘self’ in early liberalism.

Tonja Leach

Tonja Leach

Executive Director, QUEST

Tonja Leach became Executive Director of QUEST Canada, a national non-profit that supports communities in Canada on their pathway to net-zero, in October of 2018. With QUEST Canada since 2007, Tonja has been facilitating connections, empowering community champions and influencing decision-makers to implement efficient and integrated energy systems that best meet community needs and maximize local opportunities. Tonja is currently an active advisor on a number of committees including the Independent Electricity System Operator Stakeholder Advisory Committee, Positive Energy Advisory Council, and Clean Resource Innovation Network Steering Committee and is sought out by governments for input on community engagement and the energy transition.

Élizabeth Lemyre

Élizabeth Lemyre

Division Head, Library and Culture, City of Beaconsfield

Élizabeth Lemyre works as Division Head of Library and Culture, for the City of Beaconsfield, where her primary mandate is to mobilize her team and local partners to enhance the living environment of Beaconsfield residents. Whether it is by bringing the community together with creative and dynamic events, by developing services for vulnerable populations, or by kickstarting initiatives in partnership with citizens and associations, Élizabeth fosters concerted action and stakeholder involvement to imagine innovative solutions and services, moving forward together towards a common goal – making Beaconsfield a better place.

Julius Lindsay

Julius Lindsay

Director, Sustainable Communities, David Suzuki Foundation

Julius is the Director of Sustainable Communities at the David Suzuki Foundation leading work to accelerate climate action in cities across the place now known as Canada. He is also a co-founder of the Black Environmentalist Alliance, an organisation that seeks to champion Black people in the environmental profession, provide a safe space for peer-to-peer engagement, and to advocate for environmental justice for Black Canadians now and in the future. Julius is a 2022 Next Generation Foresight Practitioner Fellow and is a Future Fellows as a part of the Future of Canada Project at McMaster University for the Prismatic Project; which seeks to centre Indigenous and Black perspectives through the lens of Indigenous futurist and Afrofuturist art, community engagement, and futures games to shift the conversation about and composition of climate action in Canada. Previously, Julius has been the catalyst for and led the development of climate change plans, programs, and policies at Mississauga and Richmond Hill, in Ontario.

Kevin Lockhart

Kevin Lockhart

Research Manager, Efficiency Canada

Kevin Lockhart is Efficiency Canada’s research manager. He has a master of sustainable energy policy and a bachelor of arts in political science from Carleton University. He also completed and instructed in the Advanced Housing: Construction Carpentry program at Algonquin College. Kevin has contributed several publications to the sector, including Strengthening Canada’s Building Code Process to Achieve Net Zero Emissions and Codes4Climate, Canada’s first online resource connecting building codes as a tool for climate action. Kevin also participates in the Canadian Board for Harmonized Construction Codes’ NECB-AEB Working Group for Lighting and Electrical Power and NECB-AEB Impact Assessment Task Group

Lynda Lukasik

Lynda Lukasik

Director, Office of Climate Change Initiatives, City of Hamilton

Lynda Lukasik is the Director of the City of Hamilton’s newly created Office of Climate Change Initiatives – the entity now charged with overseeing and facilitating the implementation of Hamilton’s community-wide Climate Action Strategy.  She is a life-long Hamilton and, prior to joining the City in December of 2023, worked for 20+ years as the Executive Director of Environment Hamilton, a not-for-profit environmental advocacy and education organization.  Lynda holds a BSc in Biochemistry from McMaster University, a Masters’ of Environmental Studies from Dalhousie University and a PhD in Planning from the University of Waterloo.  

Sara MacRae

Sara MacRae

Manager of Climate and Energy, Dufferin County

Serving as the Climate and Energy Manager for Dufferin County, Sara spearheads the rollout of the County’s inaugural community Climate Action Plan and Climate Adaptation Strategy, along with taking the lead on corporate climate strategies. Her climate planning approach stems from her days as a grad student in Community Psychology, focusing on socially just climate action – a philosophy she seamlessly translates to the local government landscape. Prior to her Dufferin County role, she rocked the boat as the Executive Director of a climate change non-profit, shaping GHG-reduction initiatives and sparking community climate engagement for over a decade. A self-proclaimed professional friend-maker, Sara firmly believes that meaningful collaborations lie at the heart of every exceptional solution.

Ruth Marland (she/her)

Ruth Marland (she/her)

Strategic Leader, Engagement, Strategic Communications and Initiatives Division, City Manager’s Office, City of Mississauga

Ruth is a registered professional planner in the Province of Ontario and a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners. Ruth is leading and collaborating on various initiatives in the City of Mississauga as a Strategic Leader in the City Manager’s Office. Ruth has held various leadership roles in the City related to the key waterfront sites, parks and the City’s Strategic Plan – all with significant community engagement. Prior to her public sector practice, Ruth spent 10 years in private practice leading various development and policy projects throughout southern Ontario.

Britt McKee

Britt McKee

Executive Director, Ecosource

Britt McKee has been working together with partners to build more sustainable, connected, and inclusive communities for over fifteen years. She is a passionate environmentalist who collaborates with public, private, and grassroots organizations to mobilize the groundswell of cross-sectoral action we need to address climate change.Her background in education, environmental sustainability, and the arts allows her to design creative solutions to local sustainability challenges, with a particular focus on using relationship-building as a strategy for change. As Executive Director of Ecosource, Britt has been leading climate education in the Region of Peel for over 5 years, championing a wide range of community initiatives focused on waste reduction, urban agriculture, and youth action. She holds a BFA in visual and community arts, MES from York University’s Faculty of Urban and Environmental Change, and is an Ontario Certified Teacher.

Ian McVey

Ian McVey

Manager of Sustainability, Durham Region


Ian McVey, Manager of Sustainability for Durham Region, is responsible for championing climate action both internally through interdepartmental collaboration, as well as externally with local municipalities, utilities, Conservation Authorities, academic institutions, and other community partners. Ian holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Concordia), Masters in Environmental Studies (York), and a Graduate Diploma in Local Government Administration (Western), and has held a variety of roles in both the public and private sector working to advance sustainability transitions.

Megan Meaney

Megan Meaney

Executive Director, ICLEI Canada

Megan has spent the majority of her career working to mobilize local level net-zero and resilience action. As Executive Director of ICLEI Canada she regularly applies her skills working with municipal staff, elected officials, community groups, businesses, and other government partners from across Canada and internationally. Since 1999 Megan has helped build the field of municipal emissions management, from emissions accounting and target setting to action implementation and monitoring. Currently Megan is working in emerging areas related to climate budgeting and climate-related financial disclosures where she is leading various working groups to advance this field. Over the last two decades of work, Megan has sat on numerous national and global committees including the Federal Sustainable Development Advisory Council, UNEP’s Global Environmental Outlook, ECCC’s Core Planning Team on Species at Risk in the Urban Development Sector, and MaRS’ Municipal Impact Investment Fund.

Shannon Miedema, MES (she/her)

Shannon Miedema, MES (she/her)

Director, Environment & Climate Change, Property, Fleet & Environment, Halifax Regional Municipality

Shannon Miedema is the Director of Environment & Climate Change with the Halifax Regional Municipality. Her team is the driving force behind HalifACT, the municipality’s ambitious climate action plan that is shaking things up on the east coast. Shannon has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies and Earth Systems Science from Queen’s University, a Master of Environmental Studies from Dalhousie University, and a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Kings College. Shannon uses her passion, education, and experience to lead Halifax towards increased resiliency and sustainability.

Rebecca Newlove

Rebecca Newlove

Manager of Sustainability, District of Saanich

Rebecca has led the Sustainability Division at the District of Saanich since 2017. The primary focus of this team is implementing the award-winning 2020 Climate Plan: 100% Renewable and Resilient Saanich. The team adopts a truly collaborative and systems-based approach – recognizing that it takes a community working together to achieve our vision and targets. Equity and community well-being are key elements embedded in our work, alongside the need to be bold, ambitious and lead by example. While there remains a strong focus on GHG emissions and eliminating fossil fuels, our team sees a considerable role for nature-based solutions in building climate resiliency and an ever-more critical need to value ecosystem services and protect and enhance our natural assets. Rebecca has a varied background in renewable energy, transit, zero-carbon housing-led regeneration, sustainable food systems and environmental impact assessment.

Lisa Odjig

Lisa Odjig

Dancer

Lisa is the first woman to win World Champion Hoop dancer at the prestigious, Annual Heard Museum World Championship Hoop Dance Contest in Phoenix, Arizona. She is a Two Time World Champion Hoop Dancer and holds five additional hoop dance championship titles. Lisa is a former member of the professional North American Indian Dance Theatre and has performed throughout Canada, United States, and overseas. Most notable, she performed for the late Queen Elizabeth II, at the Winter Olympic Games Closing Ceremony in 2002, the Pan American and Para Pan American Games Closing and Opening Ceremonies in 2015, the NBA Toronto Raptors’ halftime show in 2022, the UCONN Huskies Men’s Basketball halftime show in 2022, and the NHL Toronto Maple Leafs Indigenous Celebration Day in 2023. Lisa was the featured hoop dancer at the Calgary Stampede Grandstand show five times, was the invited hoop dancer hosted by Environment Canada to perform the traditional Hoop Dance for the United Nations in Montreal, performs periodically with A Tribe Called Red, and is the current Wiikwemkoong Iron Woman Fancy Dance champion, Adults 18+ category, winning two years in a row.

Ting Pan (she/her)

Ting Pan (she/her)

Manager, Sustainability, City of Nanaimo

Ting is the Manager of Sustainability for the City of Nanaimo in British Columbia, one of the fastest growing municipalities in Canada. She advances environmental sustainability and climate action through collaboration across the organization and with the wider community. She has 18 years of professional experience ranging from green building consulting, renewable energy and climate policy development, change management to public engagement.  In 2022, Nanaimo earned an ‘A’ score from the international Climate Disclosure Project and was one of the only two local governments in BC to earn the top rating. She currently leads Nanaimo’s City Plan Monitoring Strategy development in addition to overseeing community-wide climate and environmental sustainability policies and program development. Previously she worked at the Climate Action Secretariat of the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. She was the Manager of Sustainability at the District of Saanich and led the completion of Saanich’s 2020 Climate Plan. Ting holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a master’s degree in Resource Management and Environmental Studies.

Kim Perrotta

Kim Perrotta

Executive Director, Canadian Health Association for Sustainability and Equity (CHASE)

Kim Perrotta (she/her) has a master’s degree in health science and over 30 years of experience working on environmental and built environment issues from a health perspective. She had done research, policy analyses, and communications on climate change for the public health sector, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE), and the Canadian Health Association for Sustainability and Equity (CHASE), where she currently works as Executive Director. In 2019, she produced and co-authored CAPE’s Climate Change Toolkit for Health Professionals.

Ellen Pond

Ellen Pond

Policy Advisor, Canadian Centre for Climate Services

Ellen joined the CCCS in 2022, following more than a decade of consulting work focused on advancing climate action at the local government level. Ellen also taught public policy and sustainability at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and co-taught in the Royal Roads Climate Action Leadership program. Ellen lives and works in Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh territories, and also spends time in Ktunaxa, Sinixt and Syilx territories.

Kate Potter

Kate Potter

Executive Director – CBRA, Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association

As the CBRA Executive Director, Kate Potter supports and promotes the work of the 19 UNESCO biosphere regions (BR) in Canada through building capacity, knowledge transfer, and leveraging models of success while also embedding BRs into relevant national and international conversations. Kate lives on the shores of Lake Ontario approximately 1.5 hours east of Toronto between the Frontenac Arch and Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserves. She considers herself extremely fortunate to work with such an amazing group of dedicated and innovative places, organizations, and people.

Joanna Prescod

Joanna Prescod

Program Manager, Community Arts Guild

Joanna Prescod is an arts and cultural worker with over ten years of experience curating inclusive environments with Scarborough/Toronto residents and community partners. She currently works as a Program Manager for Community Arts Guild, developing and managing creative placemaking projects in East Scarborough, with a strong commitment to animating public space and connecting people across differences. Previously, she worked as a Program Coordinator and Lead Curator for Toronto Ward Museum’s Block by Block project, a recipient of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario Award – Excellence in Conservation. At Toronto Ward Museum, she collected and curated oral history research, highlighting Indigenous and immigrant experiences in the Agincourt, Regent Park, Victoria Park and Parkdale neighbourhoods. Joanna holds a BA in Culture and Expression and a MA in Humanities from York University. She also graduated from Centennial College’s Culture and Heritage Site Management certificate program. Since 2018, Joanna has been a member of Mass Culture’s Communication Working Group, advising on communication strategies at municipal, provincial and federal levels.

Bryan Purcell

Bryan Purcell

Vice-President of Policy and Programs, The Atmospheric Fund (TAF)

As TAF’s Vice-President of Policy and Programs, Bryan’s work focuses on accelerating decarbonization of the built environment through the development of innovative policies, programs, and business solutions. Bryan has been instrumental in designing and testing innovative financing options for energy efficiency in buildings. Notable examples include TAF’s Green Condo Loan for new construction, and the non-debt Energy Savings Performance Agreement through which TAF has financed major retrofits in 20+ buildings housing over 2500 households. Many of these buildings serve as living labs to advance understanding of the impact of retrofits on carbon emissions, indoor air quality, and occupant comfort. Bryan has also been a key contributor to the development of the Toronto Green Standard and Zero Emissions Buildings Framework.

Manuel Riemer

Manuel Riemer

Professor, Director Viessmann Centre for Engagement and Research in Sustainability (VERiS); Director, Community, Environment and Justice Research Group (CEJRG)

Dr. Riemer is a professor of community psychology and sustainability science at Wilfrid Laurier University. He is the director of the Viessmann Centre for Engagement and Research in Sustainability (VERiS) and the Community, Environment, and Justice Research Group (CEJRG). Dr. Riemer applies community psychology principles, theories, and tools to address issues related to sustainability, including global climate change mitigation and resiliency, with a special interest in fostering strong cultures of sustainability in organizations, communities, and cities, engaging of people in environmental action, and climate justice and just sustainable transformations. He is interested in promoting equity in municipal climate action by working with leadership on creating enabling conditions for integrative systems thinking.

Mary W. Rowe

Mary W. Rowe

President & CEO, Canadian Urban Institute

Mary W. Rowe is a leading urban advocate and civil society trailblazer who has worked in cities and with communities across Canada and the United States. Mary was President of the Canadian platform Ideas That Matter, a convening and publishing program based on the work of renowned urbanist Jane Jacobs, when a mid-career fellowship with the US-based blue moon fund led her to New Orleans. Prior to joining CUI as President and Chief Executive Officer, Mary lived in New York City and served as Executive Vice President of the Municipal Art Society (MASNYC), one of America’s oldest civic advocacy organizations focused on the built environment.

Julie Salter-Keane

Julie Salter-Keane

Manager, Climate Leadership, City of Kingston

Julie Salter-Keane is the manager of the City of Kingston’s Climate Leadership Division and works with staff to implement and realize the City of Kingston’s vision to demonstrate leadership on climate action. Julie represents the City on Sustainable Kingston Board of Directors. Julie is highly motivated individual, passionate about the future of her community. In 2010, she accepted a management position at the City of Kingston where her ability to foster relationships and identify opportunities for collaboration have led to the realization of many community projects, like the recently approved City of Kingston Climate Leadership Plan, the City’s Better Homes Kingston program, the Green Standard Community Improvement Plan and more. In the past, Julie operated her own planning consulting firm for many years, before becoming director of planning and development at the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands.

Christina Schwantes

Christina Schwantes

Practice Lead, Climate Change Planning, Morrison Hershfield

Christina is the Practice Lead for Climate Change Planning at Morrison Hershfield. Christina has spent the last 9 years working with all levels of government and clients across Canada delivering climate change risk and vulnerability assessments, climate change strategies, and policy. Christina supports clients in understanding climate impacts to built infrastructure, health and wellbeing, and biodiversity – and is skilled in the application in leading climate risk assessment methodologies including ICLEI Canada’s BARC Framework, ISO Risk Management and Adaptation Standards, C40 cities, and more.

Marion Siekierski

Marion Siekierski

General Manager, Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative

Marion Siekierski is the General Manager of the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative (OREC). With a M.A. in Political Science and a background in international development work and project management, Marion is driven by a sense of urgency about the climate crisis. Over the last few years, Marion has focused on environmental education as well as advocacy for more robust climate action. She is excited to promote OREC’s approach of community-funded renewable energy and work with municipalities, institutions, and businesses to help them achieve their net zero targets. Managing a growing portfolio of currently 24 solar and wind assets and 3 energy efficiency projects in Eastern Ontario, Marion is keen to establish OREC’s cooperative approach as an important component of a just and swift energy transition.

Uzma Shakir

Uzma Shakir

Strategic Leader, Diversity & Inclusion, Strategic Communications & Initiatives Division, City Manager’s Office, City of Mississauga

Uzma has over 25 years of experience in equity and anti-racism work. She has expertise ranging from advocacy, research & education, public speaking, and community organizing to developing equity-based public policy. She has worked in the NGO, Academia and the Municipal sector. She has served as Director of Equity, Diversity and Human Rights for the City of Toronto, Executive Director for the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario, Executive Director for the Council of Agencies Serving South Asian, and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Geography and Program in Planning at the University of Toronto. She is also the recipient of multiple awards for her social justice work, including an Honorary Diploma School of Community and Social Services and Deaf and Deafblind Studies from George Brown College, the J.S. Woodsworth Award for Human Rights and Equity, the Women of Resilience Award, the Atkinson Economic Justice Fellowship, and the Jane Jacobs Award.

Raphael Shay (he/him)

Raphael Shay (he/him)

Manager, Sustainable Development, Sunshine Coast Regional District

Raphael Shay is the Manager, Sustainable Development at the beautiful Sunshine Coast Regional District in British Columbia. He works at the nexus of entrepreneurial projects and innovative policy. Raph has a BPhil in Interdisciplinary Leadership Studies from the University of New Brunswick and a Masters in Environment and Management at Royal Roads University. He loves fostering the relationships and collaborations needed to unearth leverage points and has done so across Canada, the United-States’ Southwest, Indonesia, Denmark, and Bhutan. Raph also enjoys gardening, biking, skiing, and foraging the mountains for mushrooms with his family. 

Kiana Simmons

Kiana Simmons

Project Officer, Capacity Development, Green Municipal Fund

Kiana (they/she) is a Project Officer with the Green Municipal Fund’s Capacity Development team at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Kiana leads the Partners for Climate Protection program, along with ICLEI Canada, where they oversee program design, member support and foster collaboration in the network through a series of capacity developing activities. Kiana holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies in Urban Planning from the University of Waterloo and has spent the last 3 years of their career focusing on sustainability in the municipal sector.

Jamie Skimming

Jamie Skimming

Manager of Energy and Climate Change, City of London

Jamie Skimming is the Manager of Energy and Climate Change at the City of London, Ontario – a position that manages the community energy policies and programs addressing climate change mitigation for London, Ontario. Jamie has been with the City in this role since 2003, and has been an active participant in municipal stakeholder groups such as the Clean Air Partnership, QUEST, and the FCM Partners for Climate Protection program. Jamie has a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Queen’s University, and is a Professional Engineer with over 30 years of experience with previous experience in environmental management systems and air emissions management in industry and consulting. Prior to joining the City of London, Jamie worked in the steel industry for Dofasco in Hamilton, and for a number of consulting firms.

Greg Spencer (he/him)

Greg Spencer (he/him)

Director of Research, Canadian Urban Institute

Greg has over 20 years of experience in urban and economic development policy making and research. He has worked in consulting and academia roles across Canada, the UK, and Ireland helping local communities reach their full potential. Greg has co-authored high profile reports with leading urban think tanks such as Brookings Metro, The Martin Prosperity Institute, and NESTA. He has also co-authored op-eds in the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, and the Guardian. Greg holds a Ph.D. in Economic Geography and a M.Sc. in Planning from the University of Toronto and a B.A. in Geography from Bishops University.

Alex Tabascio (he/him)

Alex Tabascio (he/him)

Data Analyst, Canadian Urban Institute

Alex is responsible for developing CUI’s set of metrics for measuring main streets in Canada. He recently completed a two-year master’s program In Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto. Alex’s research focused on analyzing a TTC proposed policy through the lens of transit equity and bus service prioritization for equity-seeking communities in Toronto. He also has an undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto Scarborough, with a double major in city studies and human geography and a minor in GIS.

Jennifer Taves

Jennifer Taves

Senior Manager – Sustainable Communities, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority

Jennifer works with businesses, non-profits and the public sector to advance environmental action and economic prosperity.  She leads programs that drive sustainable urban renewal, public-private partnerships and corporate sustainability across the GTA. Bringing 15 + years in project management, governance, strategy development and communications, Jennifer works with broad stakeholder groups to improve sustainability in individual organizations, neighbourhoods and the region as a whole.

Mattéa Turco (she/her)

Mattéa Turco (she/her)

Transportation Planner, Active Transportation, City of Mississauga

Mattéa is a Transportation Planner with the Active Transportation team at the City of Mississauga and holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies in Urban Planning from the University of Waterloo. She is passionate about finding ways to improve mobility options, safety, and accessibility for vulnerable road users while balancing the complex needs of a city’s transportation network. Mattéa is working on creating and implementing long-range transportation plans and contributing to a cultural shift towards multi-modal transportation in Mississauga. She is currently leading the City’s Micro-mobility Development project and the Cycling Master Plan update.

Lauren Valliere (she/her)

Lauren Valliere (she/her)

Climate Initiatives Coordinator, District Municipality of Muskoka

Lauren Valliere is the Climate Initiatives Coordinator at the District of Muskoka. With a background in chemical engineering from the University of Waterloo, she brings a results-oriented approach to environmental advocacy. Guided by her passion for sustainability, Lauren is committed to driving impactful initiatives that contribute to a greener future, not only for her home of Muskoka, but broadly as well. Lauren is one year into her career in the environmental sector and is eager to learn as much as possible and share ideas on how we will all work together to create a lasting positive impact on the environment and our communities.

Mike Velonas

Mike Velonas

Manager of Planning and Conservation, Meewasin

Mike is a part of Meewasin’s leadership team and is responsible for oversight of development review, Meewasin’s Act, planning and development policies, bylaws, the exploration of a potential national urban park, and planning of new facilities. Mike earned his degree in Regional and Urban Planning from the University of Saskatchewan and has a passion for good urbanism that includes well connected and protected natural areas. Born and raised in Saskatoon, Mike is often walking and biking the Meewasin Trail with his young family. His favourite part of the job is being part of an organization that makes Saskatoon and region better today and for future generations.

Rena Viehbeck

Rena Viehbeck

Climate Change Program Manager, ICLEI Canada

As Climate Change Program Manager, Rena manages primarily adaptation projects alongside ICLEI staff and local and provincial governments. Rena facilitates numerous workshops with local government staff, elected officials, experts in climate change, as well as community stakeholders. She is often found leading the development of Climate Change Adaptation Plans for local governments. She also employs her skills and experience as a project manager to support implementation projects with local or provincial governments. Before joining ICLEI Canada Rena was the Education Coordinator with the Lakehead Region Conservation Authority where she shared her passion for meaningful engagement and connected community members with the outdoors. Rena also spent several years as the City of Thunder Bay’s Climate Adaptation Coordinator as well as the Sustainability Coordinator. In these roles, she led and implemented the community’s Sustainability Plan and Climate Adaptation Strategy. Prior to this, Rena was the City of Thunder Bay’s Urban Forest Program Specialist.

Maja Vodanovic

Maja Vodanovic

Mayor of Lachine and member of Montreal’s executive committee

Maja Vodanovic is the mayor of Lachine and member of Montreal’s executive committee responsible for water infrastructure. Maja is a graduate of art history, a former artist, painter and activist, committed to the reduction of contaminants in our soil, air and water. Her involvement led her, in 2013, to enter the political world. As the Montreal representative on the National Zero Waste Council based in Vancouver, Maja co-led a committee aimed at reducing Canada’s packaging industry reliance on virgin plastics. As an environmental spokesperson for the Greater Montreal region Maja was also an advocate for the province’s implementation of a deposit system on all beverage containers. She is presently a member of the executive committee of the St-Lawrence and Great Lakes cities initiative. On the local scene Maja has set the grounds, collaborating with civil society , the private and public sector to transform 60 hectares of privately owned industrial brownfield, into a mixed residential district according to the best international urban practices.

Jean-Patrick Toussaint (he/him)

Jean-Patrick Toussaint (he/him)

Senior Director, Climate Program, Trottier Family Foundation

Trained as a biologist, Jean-Patrick holds a Ph.D. in environmental sciences and has been working as Senior Climate Director at the Trottier Family Foundation since 2022. During his career, he has conducted academic research and worked on several environmental and climate files with various national and international organizations. Prior to joining the Trottier Family Foundation, Jean-Patrick was Senior Advisor on Francophone Affairs at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), and had been responsible for a portfolio of climate adaptation and mitigation projects as a capacity building advisor for the Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program. Jean-Patrick also worked as a science officer at Future Earth and as science project manager at the David Suzuki Foundation, in addition to conducting some consulting assignments. Passionate about the environment, Jean-Patrick is a columnist for Québec Science and sits on various committees at Ouranos, the Canadian Climate Institute, and CIRANO’s Avant Garde.

Mary Warner (she/her)

Mary Warner (she/her)

Co-Executive Director, TREC Renewable Energy Co-operative and Tapestry Community Capital

Mary Warner is Co-Executive Director at TREC Renewable Energy Co-operative and Tapestry Community Capital.  Mary has a background in project management and bookkeeping and has been working in the community finance/co-op space since 2009.  Over her career at TREC she has supported a variety of projects and organizations including WindShare (North America’s first urban wind turbine), SolarShare, Relay Education (an environmental and renewable energy education focused charity), and the Town of Bridgewater Energize Bridgewater project.  Mary is passionate about community action and democratizing the energy system though community ownership. 

Lisa Westerhoff

Lisa Westerhoff

Principal, Introba

Lisa leads Introba’s Canada-wide Policy and Planning team, which focuses on providing clients ranging from local governments to public sector institutions, portfolio holders, and provincial bodies with strategic climate action services. Lisa holds a Masters in Climate Resilience and Adaptation from the University of Guelph and a PhD in Urban Sustainability from UBC. She now brings her combined expertise in decarbonization and resilience planning to the building sector, having designed and led several stakeholder and community engagement processes in planning for climate, energy, and sustainability policies and strategies. Lisa is the author of several academic and other publications on strategies for increasing climate change resilience and energy and emissions reductions and was named CaGBC’s Green Building Champion in 2019.

Kim Wheatley

Kim Wheatley

Ojibwe Anishinaabe Grandmother from Shawanaga First Nation Reserve

Kim Wheatley is an Ojibwe Anishinaabe Grandmother from Shawanaga First Nation Reserve who carries the spirit name Head or Leader of the Fireflower and who is Turtle Clan. She has appeared on TV, radio and in many news articles connected to her passion for Indigenous Knowledge sharing. Kim has worked with over 34 First Nation communities, having organized many Indigenous events, and she has authored four books, and has received multiple awards. She also volunteers on a variety of boards as an Indigenous Advisor.

Mary Wiens

Mary Wiens

Journalist, CBC

Mary Wiens is an award-winning journalist and producer who can be heard weekdays on Toronto’s most listened-to morning show, CBC’s Metro Morning. Mary’s stories bring the sound of the city and the voices of its people into the Metro Morning studio. From emotionally charged stories about refugees from Uganda to her groundbreaking series about a Black inmate trying to win his release from the federal prison system after 23 years on the inside, to lighter stories about daily life – like dog-walkers socializing rescue dogs at the city’s dog parks, or office workers on the pros and cons of returning to the downtown core after the pandemic – her stories reflect Toronto at its best and sometimes its worst. Her feature stories have won numerous regional and national awards from RTDNA Canada – the Association of Electronic Journalists, as well as an international Gabriel award for Metro Morning’s series, “Stolen Children”, about Canada’s infamous residential school system.

… and many more. Thank you to all the 2023 session speakers, moderators, panelists, and participants!

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The Livable Cities Forum is ICLEI Canada's annual event to bring communities together. ICLEI Canada supports local action to achieve net zero, resilience, sustainability, and biodiversity goals. We provide programming, training, and consulting services on a variety of local climate and sustainability issues.

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ICLEI Canada's work happens across Turtle Island which has traditionally been and is home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples since time immemorial. We endeavour to listen to and learn from Indigenous Peoples on an ongoing basis in the process of our work.