Year of giving generously: Ontario Power Generation (OPG) in December announced a total of $60,000 in donations to three Bruce-area hospital foundations, for much-needed new medical equipment. The funding through OPG’s Corporate Citizenship Program (CCP) will help buy new diagnostic equipment in Kincardine and Southampton, and a new anaesthesia machine in Walkerton.
While we may think of the holiday season as a special time of giving, OPG’s CCP supports local charitable and non-profit initiatives all year round. In the Bruce area in 2020, the program aligned with three themes:
· Environment: Eight initiatives, including Canadian Peregrine Foundation, Pine River Watershed Initiative Network, Penetangore Watershed Group, Lake Huron Fish Hatchery, and Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation.
· Education: Three initiatives, including Skills Opportunity Showcase, and Science Maker days at the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre.
· Community: 41 initiatives and local organizations in health, arts and culture, social supports such as shelters, and youth amateur sports. While some festivals and events were unable to proceed this year due to COVID-19, OPG proudly supported Port Elgin’s Pumpkinfest with a virtual program called Pumpkin Pack Wednesdays, handing out 750 do-it-yourself environmental activity kits for use at home.
In this especially challenging year, OPG made additional donations all across Ontario to address the pandemic’s impact, including more than 1.1 million pieces of Personal Protection Equipment for front-line health-care workers, and more than $1 million to food-support programs for vulnerable residents. Special funding went to food banks in Kincardine, Port Elgin and First Nations and Métis communities.
Looking ahead, OPG’s CCP program is run locally by Senior Communications Advisor Lynda Cain firstname.lastname@example.org, who welcomes applications for 2021.
Green recognition: OPG’s ongoing work to fight phragmites in the Bruce area formed part of its nomination, and placement among the finalists, for a Nature Inspiration Award from the Canadian Museum of Nature. In collaboration with Bruce Power’s anti-phragmites efforts, OPG deployed drones to help survey growth of the invasive reeds in wetlands, near the Western Waste Management Facility at the Bruce nuclear site. Other biodiversity efforts cited in OPG’s nomination included the company’s support for restoring wetlands, tall-grass prairie, and aquatic ecosystems with local Indigenous communities and partners. As the award nomination stated, OPG also helped plant more than seven million native trees and shrubs and helped stock more than five million Atlantic salmon.
Around Ontario and beyond:
· Headline on climate: OPG has issued its online quarterly news roundup, PowerNews Fall 2020, focusing on the company’s far-reaching plan to be a net-zero-carbon company by 2040, and to be a catalyst for a net-zero economy by 2050. The new edition looks at ongoing efforts by OPG to reach its climate-change targets, including the development of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), the Darlington Refurbishment project, and the redevelopment of the Calabogie hydro station in eastern Ontario.
· OPG’s own Rocky: By day, Tony Luis works as a security officer at OPG’s R.H. Saunders Generating Station in Cornwall. By night, he’s a pro boxer, nicknamed “The Lightning” – with multiple lightweight title wins over the years – while also mentoring struggling youth at the Laurencrest Youth Residence. Luis is the latest subject of OPG’s series of stories on our people, at our website, www.opg.com.
· Good, smart dog: Dax, a black-and tan German Shepherd, works as a watchdog for an archaeological consulting company that helps survey OPG projects and sites such as hydro dams. “He’s friendly but not affectionate, and he’s always hyper-aware of his surroundings,” said Ryan Primrose, principal owner of Woodland Heritage Northeast. “Bears don’t usually want to deal with dogs, and there have been a few cases where Dax was able to stand his ground and turn them away.”
Practising elf-control: Best wishes to our neighbours around Bruce County for a safe and merry holiday! Please continue to observe all of Ontario’s COVID-19 guidelines, such as wearing masks and physical distancing, including at year-end social gatherings. And if that dearest one in your social circle beckons under the mistletoe, we know you’ll embrace good judgment. Most of all, sincere wishes for a happy, healthier and more prosperous 2021!