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Main sessions

FCM welcomes Alan DeSousa, Mayor of Saint-Laurent, QC, and chair of the Green Municipal Fund Council, as the Master of Ceremonies for the 2023 Sustainable Communities Conference.

Alan DeSousa headshot

Mayor DeSousa is serving his sixth term as the Mayor of Saint-Laurent, QC and has served on the City of Montreal's executive committee for over 11 years. He also served on the Montreal Metropolitan Community (MMC) council from 2002 to 2017 and was a member of the MMC executive committee for eight years. In 2022, he was named Chair of the Green Municipal Fund Council.

Mayor DeSousa is the architect of Montreal's sustainable development and environmental policies, taking them from planning to implementation. Under his leadership, Saint-Laurent became sustainable municipal territory in 2019 and became the same year the first Québec municipal entity with over 104,000 residents to complete the final phase of the Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) program.

Wednesday, February 8

Indigenous welcome and ceremonial tobacco offering: Elder Verna McGregor
8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.

Opening ceremonies
8:45 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

Keynote: Decentralizing community energy: Samsø and their journey to 100% renewable energy

Keynote speaker: Søren Hermansen, CEO and Director, SAMSO energy academy
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Søren Hermansen is an international speaker, presenting his methods and results from his work in Samsø, Denmark. Since 2007 the island has been self-sufficient and carbon-neutral. Furthermore, the island supplies surplus energy to the mainland of Denmark. The key to success is local change. It is the people of Samsø that own their own production machines, and the income the island will get for their surplus energy in the future means that the island will in a far less degree be dependent on subsidies from the state. Hear how this story has inspired action globally and brings opportunities to communities across Canada for communities small and large.


Søren Hermansen, CEO and Director, SAMSO energy academy

Søren Hermansen headshot

Søren Hermansen is the CEO and Director of the Samsø Energy Academy, which opened in 2007. He has been the driving force behind the transformation of Samsø into a world-famous renewable energy island. His strong leadership is recognized worldwide.

For his innovative work, Mr. Hermansen was named one of the “Heroes of the Environment” by Time Magazine, and in 2009 he was awarded the Gothenborg Award, which some call the Nobel prize for the Environment. He is a highly renowned speaker at conferences and international events, presenting on solutions for the deployment of renewable energy and promoting the experience of Samsø as an inspiration and a model for other regional sustainability projects worldwide.

Political address: The Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
12:00 p.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Lunch and learn: Net zero for your community - Unlocking the potential of thermal management and government funding, presented by CIMCO
12:30 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Getting to net zero is easier than you think. For example, did you know that the refrigeration plant in your community arena can play a major role in achieving net zero for your community?

Join CIMCO's net zero specialists in this lunch and learn as they showcase municipalities leading the way to a sustainable future. Explore net zero possibilities and learn more about initiatives being taken towards a sustainable future. Plus, bring your customized net zero business plans and CIMCO specialists will review them, including financial analyses and grant opportunities. Take advantage of CIMCO's in-person grant application support and make the transition to net zero by 2050 a reality.

2022 Sustainable Communities Award Winner Talks – Part 1
1:15 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.

It’s time to celebrate the Sustainable Communities Awards! In this session you will hear from the 2022 winners on how they actualized their award-winning initiatives in short TED-style talks. Learn what drove their project, the barriers they faced, the lessons they learned and how these champions in municipal sustainability are creating replicable solutions for the challenges communities across Canada are facing.

Affordable Housing Retrofit Category Winner: 

  • 500 MacNab - the Ken Soble Passive House Retrofit by CityHousing Hamilton

Climate Change Mitigation Category Winners:

  • Switch by Charlottetown / Stratford / Wolfville
  • Mobilité partagée - RÉGIM TCiTé - Ville de Gaspé by Régie intermunicipale de transport Gaspésie – Iles-de-la-Madeleine (RÉGIM)

Plenary session: Local democracy for net-zero transitions
2 – 3 p.m.

Responding to and building off ideas shared in the opening keynote, this panel of community and climate leaders will reflect on and challenge collective efforts to drive citizen led transformation for climate action and respond to strategies of energy self-sufficiency as a priority for climate action.

Moderator: Carole Saab, CEO, Federation of Canadian Municipalities

Carole Saab headshot

Carole Saab is a tireless champion for cities and communities, driving an ambitious vision for local government leadership in building a more sustainable, livable and inclusive Canada.

Carole is an accomplished strategist with a decade of experience in federal and municipal advocacy. Carole has been a driving force behind watershed achievements for municipalities, securing unprecedented investment and progress for cities and communities. She is recognized by peers as a game-changer, and consistently voted as one of Canada’s top 100 lobbyists.

Carole’s leadership has positioned FCM as one of the most respected and effective advocacy organizations in Canada.


Laurence Lavigne-Lalonde, mayor of Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension, Montréal

Laurence Lavigne-Lalonde headshot

Laurence Lavigne Lalonde, a native of Montreal, holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Montreal and a Master's degree in International Development Studies and Social Project Management from the University of Paris 1 Sorbonne. Her studies and interests have led her to work in international development in France, Rwanda, Laos and Peru for the Red Cross and Oxfam Quebec.

Since 2021, Laurence Lavigne Lalonde has been mayor of the borough of Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension. Before her role as borough mayor, she served for 8 years as city councillor for the district of Maisonneuve-Longue Pointe. From 2017 to 2021, she was also a member of the executive committee for the City of Montreal, first as the person responsible for transparency, democracy, governance, civic life, and Space for Life, and then as the person responsible for the ecological transition and resilience, Space for Life and urban agriculture. As an executive committee member, she led the work on the ambitious Climate Plan to make Montreal a carbon neutral city by 2050. She is also behind the Master Plan for the management of residual materials, the banning of single-use plastics and the ban on many pesticide sales within the territory of Montreal. She now sits on the agricultural advisory committee of the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM).

Laurence Lavigne Lalonde is very interested in ways to fight poverty and promote social inclusion and diversity through development and environmental protection. She firmly believes that sound management, democracy and transparency are essential to improving the living conditions of citizens.

David Mitchell, Mayor of Bridgewater NS

David Mitchell headshot

David Mitchell, Mayor for the town of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, was elected to municipal politics in 2004 and was elected as the town’s 26th mayor in 2016. In September 2020 David was acclaimed to a second term.

David has been at the forefront of many key initiatives that have helped drive Bridgewater to become the strong centre of economic, social, and sustainable leadership that it is today. Known for his willingness to speak up and to never mince words, David has a reputation as one who gets things done. David strongly believes in empowering his community to feel a renewed sense of pride and has gained tremendous respect as an encourager of people. His approach to leadership brings people together at all levels of government and he has helped achieve unprecedented project cooperation and investments. He has been proud to helm a Council that places premium value on Bridgewater's sustainable initiatives, working towards the elimination of energy poverty and ensuring municipalities to take a leadership role when it comes to the environment and sustainability.

During his term as mayor, David instigated the introduction of public transit within Bridgewater, which was considered a tremendous success. He has championed many important projects and fostered new relationships with groups such as the C40 and the International Network of Michelin Cities. David continues to move Bridgewater to unprecedented levels of economic, social, and sustainable leadership.

Laura Cabott, Mayor of the City of Whitehorse, Yukon 

Laura was elected Mayor of Whitehorse in October 2021 following a 3-year term as a City Councillor. Her interest in politics and government began at an early age, supporting family members and friends as they were elected to different levels of government.

Laura is a lawyer by trade and practiced law for over 30 years. She has been actively volunteering in numerous organizations and is a big supporter of local businesses. As Mayor, Laura is focused on creating a thriving local economy and sustainable environment that gives all residents of Whitehorse a chance to live, work, and play. Most recently, she has focused her attention on the City’s ability to mitigate the very real and costly impacts of climate change on northern municipalities.

Awards ceremony & reception
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Time to celebrate! Join us in the Confederation Ballroom for a short 30-minute award ceremony where we will present the winners of the 2022 SCAwards and those that have reached their PCP Level 5. 

Stick around for the awards reception, starting at 5:45 pm, to socialize and network with the winners and other SCC participants. Drinks and food will be available. 

Sponsored by Co-operators.

Political address: Julie Dabrusin, Parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources
5:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.

Thursday, February 9

Members of Parliament breakfast
7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

Join your Member of Parliament at the GMF MP Breakfast to discuss local needs and share how GMF supports municipal sustainability initiatives in communities across the country.

Political address: Terry Duguid, Parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.

Keynote: Human rights and reconciliACTION

Keynote speaker: Margaret Pfoh, Chief Executive Officer, Aboriginal Housing and Management Association
11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Margaret Pfoh, CEO of the Aboriginal Housing Management Association (AHMA), and 60’s Scoop survivor, delivers a compelling talk on Indigenous justice and the role we all must play in, what she likes to call, ReconciliACTION. Margaret is a sought-after speaker and influencer with 30 years of expertise in the housing sector. Listen and learn as she expertly leads participants through the important connections between human rights, Indigenous rights, and the right to housing. 


Margaret Pfoh, Chief Executive Officer, Aboriginal Housing and Management Association

Margaret Pfoh headshot

Margaret Pfoh, Chief Executive Officer of the Aboriginal Housing Management Association, is Tsimshian, a member of the Lax Kw’alaams Band and a descendent from the Eagle Clan of the Gitga'at First Nation. She joined the non-profit housing sector more than 27 years ago and is the CEO of the Aboriginal Housing Management Association (AHMA).

Margaret’s career has been built on her dedication to serve and support the Indigenous Peoples of British Columbia and she currently serves on both the CHRA’s Indigenous Housing Advisory Caucus and the CHRA’s Board of Directors as the Vice President. Her devotion to Indigenous communities expands far beyond the Provincial Housing Sector. Margaret actively represents the urban Indigenous voice at both national and international levels by addressing and advancing housing rights for all Indigenous Peoples.

In 2019 Margaret lead AHMA to partner with the government of British Columbia to create the historic Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund (IHF). This monumental initiative made BC the first province in Canada to offer provincial funding to all Indigenous Peoples living both on-reserve and in Urban, Rural and Northern regions.

Lunch and learn: Procurement Methods Matter, presented by Bird Construction
12:30 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

The procurement methods commonly used for new construction and for retrofits often don’t suit the sustainability goals of the project. Most owners do not have the right people or the right process in place to support the sustainable projects that they are advancing – and the projects are unwittingly set up to fail. A new mindset is needed to set sustainable projects up for success. This presentation will cover:

  • The basic methods of construction procurement
  • Establishing a collaborative team to execute your sustainable project
  • Using energy modeling as a decision-making tool
  • The concept of total cost of building ownership (life-cycle costing)
  • Using Building Information Modeling (BIM) tools to enhance the project design and team communication

2022 Sustainable Communities Award Winner Talks – Part 2
1:15 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.

In this session you will hear from the 2022 winners on how they actualized their award-winning initiatives in short TED-style talks. Learn what drove their project, the barriers they faced, the lessons they learned and how these champions in municipal sustainability are creating replicable solutions for the challenges communities across Canada are facing.

Community Buildings Retrofit Category Winner:

  • Actionable Roadmap to Net Zero Ice Rinks: from technical solutions to practical implementation, by Climate Challenge Network

Natural Asset Management Category Winners:

  • Tale of a Thousand Turtles, by the Township of the Archipelago
  • Municipal Servicing Benefits of Natural Infrastructure in Agricultural Lands, by Parkland County

Plenary session: Forging renewed relations for reconciliation & sustainability
2 – 3 p.m.

This plenary session will be a discussion on opportunities for municipal leadership to advance reconciliation and action in our communities. Hear from Indigenous and municipal leaders on perspectives, actions, and opportunities for reconciliation and how to embed it in community sustainability. It is time to go beyond acknowledgments and begin implementing action.


Aftab Erfan, Chief Equity Officer, City of Vancouver

Aftab Erfan headshot

Aftab Erfan (she/her) is a scholar and practitioner in the field of inclusion and social justice, currently serving as the City of Vancouver’s first Chief Equity Officer. She was educated as an environmental scientist and urban planner. In 2013 Aftab completed a PhD in planning at the University of British Columbia, where she also taught for a decade and completed a 3-year stint as the university’s Director of Dialogue and Conflict Engagement. She has consulted and facilitated in governmental, intergovernmental, community, corporation, and higher education settings on four continents. Aftab is a first-generation Iranian settler on Coast Salish lands. She is cautiously optimistic about the future of humanity.


Tara Marsden, Founder, Hlimoo Sustainable Solutions

Tara Marsden headshot

Tara Marsden, the founder of Hlimoo Sustainable Solutions, is from the Lax Ganeda (Frog) Clan of Gitanyow Huwilp of the Gitksan peoples. Her primary focus over her 20-year career has been advancing sustainable development and operationalizing free, prior and informed consent for Indigenous peoples. Drawing on her master’s degree in Political Science and her upbringing in Gitksan Ayookxw (laws), Tara has worked for several First Nations and provincial governments, academia, philanthropic organizations, and most recently for her own nation Gitanyow as Wilp Sustainability Director. In 2021, Tara established Hlimoo Sustainable Solutions to continue her life’s work as an independent consultant in her homelands of the Gitksan people.

Rebecca Alty, Mayor, City of Yellowknife

rebecca Alty headshot

Rebecca Alty became the 15th Mayor of Yellowknife when she was sworn into office on November 5, 2018. Prior to being elected as Mayor, she served as a Yellowknife City Councillor for two terms, from 2012 to 2018. Previously, she worked in communications and community relations for the Diavik Diamond Mine, NGO's, and the Government of the Northwest Territories. Outside of work, Rebecca enjoys walking, gardening, and traveling.

Charlie Clark, Mayor of Saskatoon, City of Saskatoon

Charlie Clark headshot

Re-elected Mayor of Saskatoon in 2020, Charlie Clark is passionate about Saskatoon. His approach is centered on the belief that partnerships among groups with different perspectives can offer the best solutions to the challenges being faced by cities across the world. He is committed to building a community where people see each other’s strengths instead of differences, where families can thrive, and children are able to see a future for themselves here.

Previous to serving as mayor, Charlie was the Ward 6 City Councillor for ten years. Before elected life, he worked in the areas of mediation and community economic development. He has bachelor’s degrees in conflict resolution and education as well as a master’s degree in environmental studies.

Tommy Palliser, Executive Director, Nunavik Marine Region Wildlife Board

Industry showcase reception (5 à 7)
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Be our guest at the Industry Showcase Reception on February 9 from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m., sponsored by Chandos construction. Join us for drinks and hors d'oeuvres, and network with sustainability professionals exhibited in the Industry Showcase.

Friday, February 10

Project Showcase
8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

The project showcase will provide you the opportunity to learn about innovative and best-in-class initiatives across Canadian municipalities that are pushing boundaries and creating new ones. You will be able to visualize these projects through impactful poster boards while chatting with their respective project leads. Poster boards will be on display from 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., for in-person delegates only.

Plenary session: The economic advantage of climate action
11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

A pandemic. Rising inflation. Critical infrastructure deficits. Extreme weather events. The pressures on Canadian communities have maybe never been greater. But there are opportunities to unite around the pressures while building strong and resilient communities. This panel will explore how municipalities are responding to these aligned threats while concurrently making the case that serious action is needed and will lead to stronger economic health in our communities.


Gabrielle Blatz, City Councillor and GMF Council Member, City of Wetaskiwin

Gabrielle Blatz headshot

Gabrielle Blatz was first elected to Wetaskiwin, Alberta city council in 2019. As a Metis woman, she has deep roots and a strong passion for environmentalism. With her role on council, she has successfully transferred her environmental passions directly into her community. In 2021, Wetaskiwin created their first edible urban forest but only after Gabrielle spoke of the many benefits of urban forests and notably persuaded council to approve it. This project became a catalyst in her career, and she began — and continues — to explore ways that smaller municipalities can become leaders in accessible sustainability practices. Climate action, sustainability and green initiatives are the future of our country, and it will take communities of all sizes to make a positive impact on generations to come.


Mayor Amarjeet Sohi, Mayor of the City of Edmonton

Amarjeet Sohi headshot

Mayor Amarjeet Sohi came to Canada when he was just 18 years old and had little to his name. But he had luck on his side. He arrived in Edmonton where he learned to speak English in libraries and school and found friendship and community by playing sports and performing in the arts. He discovered the city through the windows of city buses—until one day he got a job driving one. Eventually his work took him to City Hall where he was elected as city councillor and served for two terms. He worked hard to support the city that originally invested in him. His passion for Edmonton took him all the way to Ottawa where he served as the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and the Minister of Natural Resources and oversaw billions in investments, supporting a strong economic future in Canada. From bus driver to city councillor to member of parliament and now Mayor of Edmonton, his experiences have illustrated what it takes to bring people together—and build a thriving city for all.

Chris Henderson, CEO, Indigenous Clean Energy

Chris Henderson headshot

Chris Henderson, Founding Executive Director of Indigenous Clean Energy, is a Canadian clean energy thought leader, eco-entrepreneur, and environmental innovator. For the past 35 years, he has led and been at the forefront of ground-breaking enterprises, business, social and ecological initiatives which have had global impact and resonance. Chris is a trusted and insightful commentator on economic, environment and energy issues that respect the Planet, and generate enduring outcomes for corporations, communities, his country, Canada, and the world. 

Chris has two prime focuses. Firstly, providing high-impact strategic advice on accelerating energy transition to a low carbon and more competitive energy future. Secondly, advising and equipping Indigenous peoples and communities to develop and own clean energy projects to catalyze social development, economic opportunity and to combat Climate Change. Chris’ book Aboriginal Power was published in 2013. He is now writing a trilogy of books on Canadian and global energy transition; the first, focused on advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through clean energy innovation will be published in 2023. 

Chris is Founding Executive Director of the Indigenous Clean Energy Social Enterprise and President of Lumos Energy.

Chris Rickett, Director of Economic Growth, Culture and Entrepreneurship, City of Markham & Founder of My Main Street Initiative

Chris Rickett headshot

Chris Rickett is the Director of Economic Growth, Culture and Entrepreneurship for the City of Markham, where he leads a team of dedicated public servants focused on community-building and growing Canada’s second largest technology cluster. He is also the founder of My Main Street Initiative.

Chris is a proud public servant and civic innovator with a keen interest in urban planning, economic development, technology, municipal infrastructure, and political economy. His past vocations include municipal councillor, economic development professional, environmental planner, eco-business zone creator, publisher, magician, punk rock concert promoter, taxi driver, and community rabble-rouser.

Chris holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies with Honours in Planning from the University of Waterloo and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Western Ontario, both of which he completed while serving as a municipal councillor in the City of Stratford, Ontario.

2022 Sustainable Communities Award Winner Talks – Part 3
12:30 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

In this session you will hear from the 2022 winners on how they actualized their award-winning initiatives in short TED-style talks. Learn what drove their project, the barriers they faced, the lessons they learned and how these champions in municipal sustainability are creating replicable solutions for the challenges communities across Canada are facing. In this session participants also get to vote for the next Inspire Award.

Waste Category Winners:

  • Food Material Flow Study in Guelph-Wellingtonby City of Guelph
  • Réemploi + (reuse +); Becoming rich in a different way through the circular economy and sustainable development, by Régie des matières résiduelles du Lac-Saint-Jean

Closing ceremonies
1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.


Wednesday, February 8

Climate budgeting as a governance system to reach net-zero
9:30 – 10:45 a.m.

As municipalities begin to set more ambitious GHG reduction targets, such as net-zero targets, it is important for municipalities to begin defining and mapping actions to achieve their objectives. In this workshop, participants will learn what a climate budget is, what it is not, and how all municipalities can use it as a governance system. Participants will learn how they can achieve municipal net-zero targets and how they can embed climate action work into their budget cycle(s).

In this workshop, participants will learn practical next steps to include climate budget(s) in their municipal planning cycle. 

The financial case for building sustainable communities
9:30 – 10:45 a.m.

To keep up with population growth and restore housing affordability, millions of homes must be constructed by 2030. Today’s development decisions will lock-in the GHG emission production, energy performance, servicing costs and resilience of our communities for decades to come. How can local governments balance these priorities when making land use decisions?

In this workshop, participants will hear from FCM, CMHC, and Sustainability Solutions Group (SSG) on recent research and modelling tools that address these new challenges. Approaches for assessing total lifecycle costs, development patterns, and municipal costs and revenues will be presented, along with a live demonstration of a new land use development modelling tool that will soon be available to municipal staff.

Being the face of your community's climate action plan: communication, decision-making and leadership  
9:30 – 10:45 a.m.

Bold climate action requires dedicated champions who can drive forward new ideas, mobilize partners, build relationships, and make tough decisions. These community leaders must learn to recognize how important their voices — and their words — are, especially when it comes to local climate action.

In this workshop, you will explore what it means to be the face of your community’s climate action plan. You will hear from current leaders who have positioned themselves as climate champions in their communities and discuss the opportunities and challenges that come with this role. Come discuss your experiences and reflect on ways to cultivate transformative climate leadership in your community.

Sponsored workshop: Use your next community infrastructure investment to address social justice and climate change, presented by Chandos construction
9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

The building and construction sector accounts for approximately 40% of global GHGs and contributes $153B annually to Canada’s economy. That means the procurement and delivery of construction services by municipalities provides a significant opportunity to combine social justice and environmental action in order address urgent issues facing communities.

In this sponsored workshop, participants will explore proven methods to prioritize and enhance the social and environmental outcomes of infrastructure investment. Expert panelists, including municipal construction decision makers, will discuss early contractor engagement, specifically Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), as an effective strategy for Canadian municipalities to implement social procurement, inclusive hiring, and sustainable building at zero premium cost. Participants will hear details around specific outcomes delivered on municipal projects from across the country and discuss procurement policy and project initiatives that helped enable these outcomes.

Ottawa's journey to net zero
3:15 – 4:45 p.m.

In response to the declaration of a climate emergency, the City of Ottawa developed a  Climate Change Master Plan. The plan aims to take unprecedented collective action to transition Ottawa into a clean, renewable, and resilient city by 2050. This includes achieving net zero emissions within City operations and the broader community.

In this workshop session, participants will learn about priority actions taken in the City of Ottawa as well as collaborations with community partners that form an inclusive journey to net zero. Participants can engage with local champions in a world café format and discuss ways to inspire and support action in their own community.

Emerging models for municipal collaboration and knowledge sharing
3:15 – 4:45 p.m.

Caught in the challenges of delivering services to residents while dealing with an unprecedented COVID environment, municipal staff may feel a sense of uncertainty and isolation, especially in small and rural communities. The pandemic reshaped how communities share information, creating a reality of virtual platforms and remote engagement that reduces collaboration, communities of practice, and peer exchanges.

This workshop session explores approaches used by FCM that foster municipal networking and collaboration within sustainability and asset management units. Supporting collaboration and informational exchanges between municipal staff are key to cultivating community innovation and resilience. Come to this session to learn how effective knowledge sharing builds better communities.

Adaptation Roundtables: help us build a national climate resilience program
3:15 – 4:45 p.m.

The cost of climate change is felt first in local communities. The impacts felt directly by their residents.  As we, at FCM, begin to build out our National Adaptation Strategy (NAS) program, we want to hear from you, Canadian sustainability leaders who have been directly impacted by climate events and/or who have already incorporated adaption strategies into their communities. We want to know what has been the most valuable advancement(s) that your municipality has incorporated to increase climate resilience, what resources were necessary to get there, and what challenges you have faced. Help us develop the most effective and substantial National Adaptation Strategy program that we can.

This session includes an interactive discussion where participants can exchange adaption-related information, ask important questions, discuss best practices and examine the resources needed to incorporate adaptation strategies — alongside mitigation action — into communities. After the session is complete, FCM moderators will review the discussion and incorporate relevant information to deepen the development of our NAS program and achieve our goal of helping Canadian municipalities build greater climate resilience.

Join this session to share your questions and challenges and leave with ideas and contacts to support your next steps.

Thursday, February 9

Financing innovations for your sustainability projects
9 – 10:30 a.m.

In this interactive hybrid session, you have the chance to connect with several funding and financing partners, including representatives from the GMF Fund, government ambassadors, and private sector lenders, to get your funding questions answered. Whether you are looking for conventional approaches or are willing to explore innovative financing partners, this session will help you meet key partners and get your questions answered. Participate in this workshop to connect and advance opportunities to resource your municipal sustainability priorities.

This session will be delivered in English and French.

Embedding equity in climate decision-making
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Achieving climate goals needs to go beyond simply reducing GHGs. Municipalities need to implement climate projects that benefit both the environment and the health and well-being of their community members.

Learn how your municipality can implement an equitable approach towards sustainability planning and start embedding equity, diversity, and inclusion into sustainable decision-making.

This webinar is designed for elected officials, but any SCC participant is welcome to join.

Sustainable affordable housing for all
9 – 10:30 a.m.

Canadian municipalities are taking action on the housing affordability and climate crisis. In this workshop session, participants will learn how some municipalities and housing providers are accelerating the transition to sustainable communities.

Participants of this session will hear from subject matter experts, housing providers, and funders on sustainable affordable housing and will get the opportunity to network and exchange ideas with other municipal professionals.

Whether you are a municipal staff or an elected official, you’ll leave the session feeling equipped to advance energy efficiency in affordable housing and be inspired to initiate sustainable affordable housing project partnerships.

Ask an expert: Steps to improve long term-tree survival, presented by Tree Canada
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Ask the experts your questions related to steps your organization can take to increase the long-term survival of trees planted. 

Get answers on topics covering a range of areas such as site assessment, species selection, soil assessment, public engagement, proper planting techniques, and assessing trees for quality before planting from ISA Certified Arborist Michael Petryk, Director of Operations with NGO Tree Canada.

Ask an expert: Greening construction projects – Pomerleau’s sustainability and innovation in action, presented by Pomerleau
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Ask the experts about building sustainable infrastructure projects, innovation modernizing construction to create value for municipalities. By using a real-life project, find out how a constructor can lead the industry in the right direction to support the environment and create social impact. 

Team building to get support and drive action
3:15 – 4:45 p.m.

With the scale of the climate crisis facing us today and in the years ahead, many municipal staff are struggling to manage a growing workload while advancing meaningful climate action. Available staffing, time, and resources are all part of a capacity gap that makes it a challenge to move from ideas to implementation.

In this workshop, we explore some of the ways that municipalities across Canada are tackling this challenge. Join us to hear how communities are building cross-departmental teams to overcome the capacity gap and gain buy-in and support across their organizations—and beyond—to advance key climate priorities.

Mainstreaming nature: Building climate resilience with green infrastructure
3:15 – 4:45 p.m.

The natural environment ⁠— and how it interacts with engineered features of our communities ⁠— plays a critical role in serving and protecting communities from the shocks and stresses of climate change. This workshop will present examples of how Canadian municipalities are re-thinking interactions between nature and infrastructure to create more resilient communities.

Practices for managing green infrastructure are advancing rapidly, including accounting methods, a new standard for natural asset inventories expected in 2023 and frameworks to accelerate more abundant, equitable, and thriving green infrastructure.

This session offers rich examples of how local governments have applied nature-based solutions to municipal challenges. It also presents emerging practices that exemplify how nature and green infrastructure enable climate resilience.

Transformative communities: Pathways to net zero from the ground
3:15 – 4:45 p.m.

Communities across Canada have already begun the process of decarbonizing their municipalities. Whether it’s transitioning away from fossil fuels for home heating to alternative sources, adopting public and active transportation networks to get cars off the roads, or investigating and investing in alternative technologies, each step takes your municipality one step closer to achieving its ambitious climate targets.

In this session, you will hear from federal, municipal, and private sector practitioners about some of the strategies and practical actions needed to reach net-zero targets. You will also learn about methods your community can use to deploy these strategies on the ground.

Friday, February 10

Crafting a business case that builds support
9:30 – 10:45 a.m.

Municipalities repeatedly face obstacles in getting their sustainability projects off the ground. Green projects, such as community building retrofits, often lack the support needed to push projects through to completion. However, these types of challenges are generally overcome by building strong business cases and clearly outlining potential financial and social benefits.

In this workshop session, participants will learn how to create a successful business case that can amass strong support amongst various stakeholders, including elected officials, municipal and facility staff, residents, etc. Participants will learn the different components of a business case and develop strategies to help one successfully line up municipal supports.

Developing local circular food systems
9:30 – 10:45 a.m.

How can municipalities support the creation of a circular food system and redefine waste to become a resource in their local economy?

In this workshop session, participants will hear from circular economy experts and learn about several successful systems that are already in action, with a focus on Guelph-Wellington's Smart Cities

This workshop is designed to introduce participants to some of the most innovative and concrete circular food initiatives across Canada and to provide insight into how communities can start actioning food systems in a circular way.

Getting your climate action plan on track for net-zero
9:30 – 10:45 a.m.

With the effects and costs of climate change already being felt across the country, there is a strong business case to be made for Canada's "net zero by 2050" emissions target and municipalities have a major role to play. But it is one thing to set a net zero target and another to achieve it.

In this workshop, participants will discuss target setting strategies and the importance of a strong climate action plan in realizing net zero emissions. Participants will also hear how elected officials can play a role in ensuring smooth planning processes and how they can assist in the effective implementation of municipal climate action plans.

Sponsored workshop: From National Adaptation Strategy to local climate resilience, presented by Co-operators
9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Climate perils continue to strike our communities, but the opportunity to reduce disaster risk and increase resiliency is growing. The Federal Government's ambitious new proposed targets are timely, as is the initial $1.2B in adaptation funding. In this sponsored workshop, participants will make sense of the Federal Government’s new National Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan through a local lens. Hear from climate adaptation experts about the urgency, new funding, and innovation support for those ready to better understand and tackle climate risks.

Training sessions

Training sessions are only available on Tuesday, February 7. Sign-up for this event is required at the time of SCC 2023 ticket purchase and registration.

Intersectional environmentalism
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

In this full-day training session, participants will have the opportunity to develop a shared language around environmental racism, intersectionality and climate justice. Participants will leave the space with a deeper understanding of systemic racism and will explore case study examples of the manifestation of environmental racism in (what we currently know as) Canada. Facilitators will guide participants to reflect on why sustainability policies and programs must be intersectional and how social justice and equity movements can guide this work. During the session, participants can expect to engage in self-reflection, facilitated dialogue and interactive, practice-based activities.

Facilitators will engage participants in both French and English for the duration of the session, and all training materials will be provided in both official languages.

Guest presenters:

Samantha Matters, Founding Director, Future Ancestors Services Inc.

Samantha Matters headshot

Samantha Matters, Founding Director, Future Ancestors Services Inc., is an accomplished academic, a published Indigenous researcher, an award-winning foresight strategist and a proud member of the Métis Nation of Alberta. Her experience spans academia as well as both the public and non-profit sectors and has largely focused on serving Indigenous communities in Canada. Samantha’s career began in the public sector after completing her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from the University of Alberta, Augustana Faculty. In her role as an Engagement Coordinator at the Government of Alberta in the department of Indigenous Relations, she focused on consultation and engagement around environmental policy development. Transitioning into the non-profit space, Samantha served as the Executive Director of the Centre for Indigenous Innovation and Technology (CIIT) in Toronto from 2019 to 2020. CIIT was created to address the underrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in the technology and innovation sectors in Canada. Working directly alongside the organization’s founder, Samantha was instrumental in the conceptualization of the Centre’s first technology training program: an 8-week educational opportunity for Indigenous youth that will be delivered in partnership with Kenjgewin Teg Educational Institute and OCAD University.

Samantha’s expertise in youth engagement and intergenerational partnerships is extensive and in May of 2020, she was asked to join the Indigenous Clean Energy Social Enterprise, headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Samantha led the development of the organization’s first-ever youth-focused capacity-building program. Her commitment to collaboratively developing the program with other Indigenous youth, integration of holistic learning, and incorporation of intergenerational spaces has been well received by the social enterprise’s leadership team as well as external funding agencies.

Chúk Odenigbo, Founding Director, Future Ancestors Services Inc.

Chuk Odenigbo headshot

Proudly Franco-Albertan, Chúk Odenigbo, Founding Director, Future Ancestors Services Inc., is passionate about the ways in which the environment impacts human health and the question of justice in our understanding of how our societies function. This passion manifests itself in his work as the founding director of Future Ancestors Services where he focuses on environmental justice and climate justice in his in his efforts to not only make green space accessible to everyone but to fight environmental racism in all its forms and to popularize the understanding that you cannot create a society that is environmentally friendly if society is not just. Chúk is also a doctoral student in medical geography. His research aims to knowledge to better understand the impacts of the environment (biophysical, socio-cultural, socio-economic, and socio-political) on the vulnerability/resilience of a community to disease.

Chúk has worked in various sectors, such as the oil and gas industry, the fashion industry, the retail industry as well as in academia. He is interested in the multi-disciplinary nature of our lives and exploring new solutions to recurring problems. Chúk has been ranked as one of the Top 30 Change Makers under 30 by the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation, one of the Top 10 Young Franco-Albertan Leaders by Radio-Canada and was named by Starfish as one of Canada's top 25 environmentalists under 25 for three years. In addition, Chúk is the recipient of the Eugène C. Trottier Award of Excellence, which recognizes contribution to the visibility of the Alberta francophonie for his work.

Trust-building for community engagement
1:00 p.m – 4:00 p.m.

Increasingly, communities are using collaboration to tackle some of their most complex challenges. Collaborative success requires the engagement and commitment of partners, while a lack of trust can take collaborative efforts off track. Paying attention to actions that build trust, create connections and deal with mistrust are key strategies for collaborative success. 

This interactive workshop focuses on the core leadership competency of building trust.  Participants in this workshop will walk away with ideas, tools and approaches to effectively engage diverse community partners and intentionally build trusting relationships and collaborative impact. Come prepared to share your experiences and insights on how to build trust. 

The workshop will be presented in English, but materials and language support will be available in French.  

Moderator: Yvonne Ritchie, Advisor, Capacity Development, FCM

Guest presenters:

Liz Weaver, President and Co-CEO, Tamarack Institute

Liz Weaver headshot

Liz Weaver is the Co-CEO of Tamarack Institute where she is leading the Tamarack Learning Centre. The Tamarack Learning Centre has a focus on advancing community change efforts and does this by focusing on five strategic areas including collective impact, collaborative leadership, community engagement, community innovation and evaluating community impact. Liz is well-known for her thought leadership on collective impact and is the author of several popular and academic papers on the topic. She is a co-catalyst partner with the Collective Impact Forum. Liz is passionate about the power and potential of communities getting to impact on complex issues. Prior to her current role at Tamarack, Liz led the Vibrant Communities Canada team and assisted place-based collaborative tables develop their frameworks of change and supported and guided their projects from idea to impact.

Laura Schnurr, Director, Climate Transitions, Tamarack Institute

Laura Schnurr headshot

Laura Schnurr is the Director of Climate Transitions at the Tamarack Institute. She is passionate about supporting cities and communities in their journeys towards ensuring a just, equitable and sustainable future for the next 7 generations and beyond. Through events, publications, communities of practice and other learning opportunities, Laura helps advance the 2030 Agenda in Canada with a specific focus on the goals related to equity and climate change.

Prior to joining the Tamarack, Laura was Advisor to the President & CEO at the McConnell Foundation where she contributed to building the fields of social innovation and social finance in Canada. She was previously with several federal government departments, including Employment and Social Development Canada's Social Innovation Division.

Laura completed a Bachelor of Commerce at Concordia's John Molson School of Business and a Master's in Global Studies through the University of Freiburg in Germany, which led her to study in Buenos Aires, Bangkok and Bologna as well. She has worked at the United Nations and co-authored a book on UN reform published in 2018, entitled A United Nations Renaissance: What the UN Is, and What It Could Be. Laura runs a social enterprise promoting women's economic empowerment in Uganda, which she co-founded in 2010. She currently lives in Montreal with her partner and toddler daughter.

Life cycle costing: pathway to net-zero emissions
9:00 a.m. – 12 p.m.

We all have a role to play in Canada’s efforts to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.  One of the tools municipalities can use to support this legislation during procurement is Life Cycle Costing (LCC).  Join Local Authority Services (LAS) and TdS Dixon Inc. (Knowenergy) as they guide you through the world of LCC in this dynamic and interactive workshop.  Follow in the footsteps of one municipality that took a long-term view on financials to integrate LCC and principles of sustainability into their net-zero facility. Attendees will be introduced to LCC concepts for municipal projects, enabling participants to achieve net-zero targets and shift their focus from low pricing to sustainable long-term options and greater savings over time. The workshop includes hands-on exercises, practical tools, and a RETScreen demonstration. 

Guest presenters:

Christian Tham, Municipal Program Specialist, LAS

Christian Tham headshot

In his role at Local Authority Services (AMO/LAS), Christian works closely with Ontario municipalities to help them implement energy conservation measures and train staff in energy management and environmental sustainability. A solid background in business management also enhances Christian’s ability to perform cost benefit analysis, empowering municipalities to make financially informed decisions on energy related projects.

Christian has extensive expertise in environmental sustainability and energy management mainly focussed on the municipal sector. He holds a master’s degree in Environment & Sustainability from Western University in London, and a master’s degree in Environment & Development from the University of Natal in South Africa.

Stephen Dixon, President, TdS Dixon Inc. (Knowenergy)

Stephen Dixon headshot

For over 40 years Stephen Dixon, President of TdS Dixon, has provided energy management services to a diverse range of industrial, commercial, institutional, and utility organizations. Broadly recognized as a leader in energy management training, his focus is simple; to empower all that he works with to use energy more effectively by developing individual skills, organizational best practices and providing tools for energy management. Stephen has extensive energy management experience, including 900+ energy assessments, over 2,500 energy management workshops and has inspired over 30,000 individuals from more than 1,300 organizations. Stephen holds a master’s degree in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo and a Bachelor of Physics from the University of Prince Edward Island.

Study tours

Study Tours are only available on Tuesday, February 7 from 9 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Zibi district: Canada’s new sustainable waterfront city

Get a close look at Zibi, the Waterfront City, when you sign up to tour the National Capital Region’s new borderless locality. It will be Canada’s most sustainable neighbourhood, a master-planned community offering endless paths for the over 5000 people who will call this place their home. When you sign up for this half-day tour, you’ll be taken into the One Planet Living sustainability framework behind the development of this transformative project, and you’ll explore the District Energy Plant to get into the heart of net-zero innovation. With this development, you will envision community, reconciliation, connection, and healthy living, all through eco-friendly planning. Join this tour to see for yourself how such a sustainable concept can come to life.

Tour hosts:

  • Justin Robitaille, Vice President of Development, Dream Unlimited
  • Taryn Glancy, Project Manager, Zibi
  • Christina Ruddy, Project Partner
  • Scott Demark, President & CEO at Zibi Community Utility & Brittany Poisson, One Planet Ambassador
  • Brad Rodgers, Director of Development, Dream Unlimited and Jasmin Brisson, Senior Project Manager at Dream Unlimited

Coming full circle: food and textiles circularity in Gatineau, QC

Interested in learning more about circular food and clothing systems and how they come to life? Join the City of Gatineau study tour to hear about their transition to a circular economy within their territory.

Participants will have the chance to visit one of the city's Ecocentres, where residents have been bringing recoverable and recyclables materials for over 10 years. Participants will see first-hand how the city is closing the loop, such as:

  • circular clothing and textiles, which ranges from municipally regulated donation bins to financial support from community associations and local thrift stores, and
  • circular food, which ranges from unsold food from grocery stores to sorting and conditioning centres to the 3R Québec. zero waste food distribution centre

Participants will also learn more about the City of Gatineau’s Circular economy roadmap, which is the result of their participation in the Circular Cities and Regions initiative (CCRI) 2021-2022.

This tour will be offered with both English and French language supports.

Tour hosts:

  • Annie-France Major, SeniorProject Manager PGMR, City of Gatineau
  • Christelle Honnet, Project Manager PGMR, City of Gatineau
  • Simon Boudreau, CEO, 3R Québec Inc.

Stop & go green building tour: Sustainability practices in Ottawa municipal buildings

Join the Stop & Go tour to see green buildings throughout the city of Ottawa, showcasing hallmark sustainability practices. From sustainable affordable housing to EV charging stations, this tour demonstrates how building practices meet sustainability and resiliency goals – alongside goals to be on track for net zero. Learn how new and existing buildings are both environmentally friendly and community conscious. Representatives from the City of Ottawa will accompany this journey to share their unique experiences and answer any questions you may have.   

Tour hosts:

  • Rebecca Hagen, Director of Canadian federal corporation registered by Corporations Canada - Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED)
  • Dan Dicaire, Manager of Conservation and Sustainability, Ottawa Community Housing Corporation
  • Eva Russell, Project Manager of Construction, Ottawa Community Housing Corporation
  • Gordon Downes, Director of Construction, Ottawa Community Housing Corporation
  • Robert Montgomery, Vice President, Sales and Life-Cycle Solutions, Modern Niagara Group. Inc.
  • Leah Clunie, Sales Operations Specialist, Modern Niagara Ottawa

Networking and social events

Tuesday, February 7

SCC pre-mixer social

Looking to mix and mingle with other participants from SCC 2023?

Then you're cordially invited to join us* on February 7 at 5:30 p.m. for our Pre-Mixer Social at Westin’s TwentyTwo, located in The Westin Ottawa hotel. Our socials are designed to integrate like-minded people who are looking to build their network and learn from others. Come out, meet other SCC 2023 attendees, and have a great time!

Date: Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Time: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Event Location:
Westin’s TwentyTwo
The Westin Ottawa

*Sign up for this event is required at the time of SCC 2023 ticket purchase and registration.

Thursday, February 9

Pub night social

Join us* on February 9 at 7 p.m. for a night of lively conversation with light snacks, drinks and music, all organized by the Partners for Climate Protection Program (PCP) and sponsored by Bird Construction Inc. Whether you are already a PCP member, curious about the program, or simply looking for an entertaining evening to converse with fellow SCC delegates, participants are invited to downtown’s beautiful Metropolitain Brasserie for a relaxed night of socializing.

Date: Thursday, February 9, 2023
Time: 7 p.m. –  10 p.m.
Event Location:
Metropolitain Brasserie Restaurant
700 Sussex Dr, Ottawa
Event directions: 2 min. walk north of the Westin Hotel 

Sponsored by Bird Construction Inc.

Multi-solving challenge, online strategy game
5 p.m. –  7 p.m.

Over the years, The Atmospheric Fund (TAF), Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3), and Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) have all come to realize that accelerating climate solutions truly requires more equitable and more relevant solutions for our communities. This multi-solving challenge online strategy game explores the challenges and benefits of designing overlapping programs and strategies that integrate climate action solutions with one or more community benefits, such as improved public health, access to jobs, strengthened community resilience or community wealth building. 

This game was created for participants to learn about:

  1. Developing a deeper understanding of the multi-solving approach and design principles
  2. To begin applying lessons learned within individual practices
  3. Engaging and initiating a community of practice, specifically in the emerging area of climate action solutions
  4. Generating multi-solving ideas and approaches, and create new narratives about tackling climate change

*The multi-solving challenge online strategy game is available to virtual participants only

Friday, February 10

Sustainable brews: sample local craft beer
2 p.m. –  5 p.m.

After learning and networking during the conference, participants will be able to unwind on this social brewery tour. Partakers get to put their feet up (figuratively) as they’re taken to two craft breweries. Participants will be able to sample several local brews and see first-hand what Ottawa has to offer. Participants can expect to learn how brewing is made sustainable and how breweries forge meaningful relationships with municipalities.

Tour hosts:

  • Brad Campeau, Owner, Brew Donkey Tours

Wellness & Winter Programming

Sunrise Walking Tour

Join us for a beautiful walking tour along the scenic Rideau Canal and Rideau Falls. Discover one of the most historical sites of Ottawa, all while it’s covered by a blanket of fresh, white powder. Dress warm and have your camera ready for some iconic scenery!

Want to ice skate on the Rideau Canal Skateway? We’ve got you covered. Scroll down for discounts on equipment rentals.

Thursday, February 9 from 7:00 a.m. – 7:45 a.m. 

*Participants will meet in the lobby of the Westin Hotel at 6:45 a.m. 

Gentle Yoga Class

Want to start your Friday feeling empowered and refreshed? Join Pranashanti Yoga Centre as they lead you through a pre-breakfast yoga class. Stretch your body, reflect on your goals, and take deep breaths, all before jumping into your panel sessions and workshops.

Friday, February 10 from 6:45 a.m. – 7:30 a.m. 

Ice Skating on the Rideau Canal Skateway

If you can’t tell, our staff are quite excited to show you the magic of the Rideau Canal Skateway. Grab your ice skates and join us for two 2-hr ice-skating sessions. We will tour the Rideau Canal Skateway as a group and you will see Ottawa’s beauty from a different perspective.

Traveling from out-of-town or don’t have your own skates? Not to worry! We’ve got you covered. Use the code provided to get discounts on equipment rentals.

Use code SCC2023 for 20% off  

Art Wall

Write, colour, or draw to your heart’s content. Add your thoughts to our Art Wall corner as you reflect on the question “What comes to mind when you think of FCM’s Green Municipal Fund?”

Flash Your Badge - Delegate Insider Badge

The Delegate Insider Badge is granting you and a guest an opportunity to experience most of Ottawa for less. Simply flash your badge to receive incredible discounts at select attractions across the city. Pre-registration is not required.

For a complete list of attractions and discounts, please consult the Flash Your Badge brochure: https://isra2022.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/OTC_Flashyourbadge2022_en.pdf

Winterlude 2023

While in Ottawa, take advantage of some winter fun by participating and celebrating in Winterlude 2023, a festival honoring northern culture, climate, and artistic diversity. This winter-themed activity-filled event features ice-carving and snow-sculpture competitions, winter-focused culinary treats, local musical artists, a snow-based playground and other special programming, such as Tim Horton’s Ice Dragon Boat Festival. Many of the activities are free and are within walking distance of the Fairmont Chateau Laurier. Winterlude 2023 is an event not to be missed!

Visit the website for detailed information: https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/winterlude.html

Industry showcase

Daily Wednesday, February 8 to Thursday, February 9 from 7:30 a.m. – 6:45 p.m.

© 2024 Federation of Canadian Municipalities