More than 120 local elected officials and other leaders from across the region gathered for a day-long discussion about sustainable growth last Friday, January 13th at the annual Clean Energy Frontier Summit hosted by the Nuclear Innovation Institute (NII) in Walkerton, Ontario.
The Summit provided an opportunity for members of the Bruce, Grey, Huron and local Indigenous communities to collaborate as they work toward a clean energy future.
Brock Dickinson, Director of the Economic Development Program at the University of Waterloo, set the stage for the day with a thought-provoking presentation entitled “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”, where he stated this region is well-positioned to handle the supply chain and energy challenges the world is currently facing.
“Those that rely on traditional sources of fossil-fuel based energy are seeing huge disruptions in supply chains,” said Dickinson, noting that the nuclear industry is set up for success in this emerging environment, with “immense new opportunities that this community is set up well for.”
The day’s discussion also focused on ways to capitalize on the region’s expansion in its key industries of agriculture, tourism and clean energy.
President and CEO of Bruce Power Mike Rencheck joined the conversation, adding: “When you think about it from an economic development mindset, we’re ready for the changes coming. We’ve put some of the foundational pieces in place in the Clean Energy Frontier to be a leader in future years.”
Participants brainstormed opportunities for sustainable growth as it relates to challenges in housing, workforce, infrastructure, education and other areas during a roundtable activity. The feedback will help inform local representatives and the Clean Energy Frontier program.
Bruce County Warden Chris Peabody added, “We have strong regional partnerships, innovative local talent and boundless opportunities that support sustainable growth. Clean energy is an important part of Bruce County’s present and future.”
Jessica Linthorne, Director of the Clean Energy Frontier program at NII, concluded the Summit with a panel discussion of local economic development leaders from Saugeen First Nation and Bruce, Grey and Huron counties. The panelists discussed their plans for their respective regions in terms of housing, the local workforce and broader economic opportunities.
“Building our region and our clean energy future takes strategic planning and collaboration. The Clean Energy Frontier program is a public-private partnership between Bruce County and Bruce Power, and the Summit was a tremendous example of this power of collaboration,” said Linthorne.
About the Clean Energy Frontier: The Clean Energy Frontier program is an advocacy, awareness-raising and economic development initiative led by Bruce Power and Bruce County. It focuses on promoting the valuable contribution that Bruce, Grey and Huron bring to Ontario and Canada in the drive towards a net-zero future, while building on the region’s advantages in clean energy.
Learn more about the Clean Energy Frontier at: nii.ca/clean-energy-frontier.