Power in the Climate Era

This workshop is part of the summer celebration series: Healing Earth


Saturday, September 9, 10 am – 4 pm

Register here for the Power in the Climate Era seminar.

We are at a critical juncture in Ontario — the proverbial fork in the road. Our hydro prices are amongst the highest in Canada (and we’re feeling it). Furthermore, we’re sourcing more than 60% of our electricity from aging nuclear reactors. That makes us the second most nuclearized jurisdiction on the planet. Our three nuclear stations (with their 18 working reactors) are all coming to the end of their lives in the next decade. This is a fantastic opportunity to move Ontario onto a 100% renewable grid. But is this even possible? power The Ontario government is cancelling renewable procurement in favour of extending six reactors beyond their design life (at Pickering) and rebuilding 10 of our aging reactors (at Bruce and Darlington). Is this the best energy plan for our economy and environment? Let’s consider the alternatives: water power from Quebec, conservation, made-in-Ontario wind and solar, biomass, biogas, and more. Could they meet all our needs? How do the costs compare with nuclear rebuilds? What are the impediments? What are the global trends? Indeed, what are the community trends? Imagine living in a society with distributed energy, where our needs are met on a community scale. Where we not only enjoy the gifts of local foods and meaningful relationships with people in our communities, but also, the gifts of local energy? Distributed energy is part of living in a sustainable society — a society that not only provides for our physical needs, but our social and emotional needs as well. Is this a possible direction for our province? Explore these issues and others in a day-long interactive seminar, led by Angela Bischoff, Outreach Director of the Ontario Clean Air Alliance (OCAA). The morning will include an interactive presentation by Angela and others, including Steve Lapp and Paul McKay (bios to follow). After lunch, we will form small groups to develop “calls to action” so that after leaving Wintergreen we are energized (pun intended!) to make a difference in our communities and in the province.  

Register here for the Power in the Climate Era seminar.

The fee ($85+HST) includes snacks, lunch, and all the activities of the day. Optional overnight accommodation also available.


About the Ontario Clean Air Alliance

powerThe Ontario Clean Air Alliance was formed in 1997 to lead the successful campaign to phase out Ontario’s five coal-fired power plants. It took 17 years, but they did it! The OCAA is now working for a 100% renewable electricity grid for Ontario through an integrated combination of energy conservation and efficiency, water power imports from Quebec and cost-effective Made-in-Ontario green energy. And it also means phasing out nuclear power, which currently accounts for 60% of Ontario’s electricity. The phase out of coal power eliminated Ontario’s largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions, and smog builders like sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.  It also eliminated a massive source of dangerous particulate matter, which can damage hearts and lungs, and toxins, including mercury, cadmium and lead. An important component of the current work is pushing Ontario to become a leader in using energy efficiently.  They are also calling for Ontario to sign a long-term deal to import low-cost water power from Quebec to replace nuclear power.  Such a deal would have great advantages for Ontario, including providing energy storage for our province’s growing green supply generation.

About Angela Bischoff

powerAfter receiving an undergraduate degree from the University of Alberta (sociology) in the mid-eighties, Angela jumped into the environmental trenches. She has a long history working with the environmental movement. From her days as Director of EcoCity Society in Edmonton, to Program Manager at the Toronto Atmospheric Fund, to Transportation Campaigner with the Ecology Action Centre in Halifax, all paths lead to her current role as Nuclear Dragon Slayer with the Ontario Clean Air Alliance. She furthers her educational work through the Greenspiration email lists, and also publishes an email newsletter called No Nukes News.    

About Paul McKay

Paul McKay is a long-time environmental and alternative energy advocate and writer. Paul has won Canada’s top award for investigative reporting, feature and business writing several times.  He was the Toronto Star-sponsored Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy recipient in 1990, and the Pierre Berton writer-in-residence in 2005. His writing has appeared in the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, Ottawa Citizen, Kingston Whig-Standard, Harrowsmith Magazine, and Maclean’s Magazine. He is the author of four published books, including Atomic Accomplice: How Canada Deals in Deadly Deceit. Paul is a member of the Wintergreen, SolarShare and Zooshare community energy co-ops, and has helped develop several solar projects, including shepherding an agreement between Canadian Solar Inc. and City of Temiskaming Shores. The project has been built and sold for $180 million, with resulting embedded community benefits, including guaranteed annual payments to the municipality and to regional foundations for a food bank, recreation trail, and community arts programming. With a special expertise in energy/environment issues, he has also served as a senior policy adviser to the Ontario Minister of Energy; and is a past director of the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association and the Independent Power Producers Society of Ontario.  

About Steve Lapp

Steve teaches in the three year diploma program covering renewable energy technology and building energy efficiency at St. Lawrence College in Kingston, Ontario.  Prior to joining the college in 2005, he was lead engineer for electric car and fuel cell development at Alupower Canada and has also been part of a CIDA team addressing renewable energy project deployment in India and Lesotho.  On a personal level Steve lives with solar and wind renewable energy systems and a solar assisted ground source heat pump on his home and uses hybrid and electric vehicles for his daily transportation needs.