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June 23, 2016: Federal Report; Green energy combats climate change.

June 23, 2016: Federal Report;
Green energy combats climate change.

By Catherine McKenna, MP, Ottawa Centre.

Unabridged version
Recently, I was honoured to deliver a toast at the Ottawa River Keeper gala. The Ottawa River contains world-class paddling and rafting destinations, making it an economic driver for many communities along its shores. We all have a shared responsibility in ensuring the integrity of this important waterway which is used for both business and recreation.

On June 1, I spoke at the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce’s second annual Business Growth Survey breakfast where I challenged us to make Ottawa the world’s greenest capital. This is both an environmental and economic opportunity for our city. Ottawa has significant green economy knowledge and Canada’s largest concentration of clean energy and technology researchers, scientists and engineers, as well as six research institutes and nine sector associations.

There are some great local companies leading the way on sustainability. For instance, Thyme & Again has a community and environmental green policy, and uses 100% Bullfrog clean electricity power, all-natural cleaning supplies and compost-able plates and cutlery. Since 2008, they have banned plastic water bottles (from their catering operation, storefront sales and even staff use) and replaced them with creative water stations at events.

In addition to all the benefits and reduced environmental footprint of a local craft beer, Kichesippi Beer went a step further. They hired a full time sustainability officer to optimize their energy use and aim to reduce or offset as much as 100% of their greenhouse gas emissions in the coming years. They also looked at their entire supply chain product life cycle, from packaging to bottle recovery and disposal.

I am so proud of our city’s leadership on the environment, with a new climate change plan and support for the second phase of Light Rail Transit (LRT) by all levels of government, including our federal government. The LRT will lead to the largest reduction of greenhouse gases in our city’s history – amounting to some 155,000 tonnes.

Individual actions can also go a long way to addressing climate change. Here are the top 10 things you can do to help:

  1. Reduce energy use,
  2. Change the way you think about transportation,
  3. Insulate your home,
  4. Make every drop count,
  5. Cool wash and hang to dry,
  6. Use high efficiency appliances,
  7. Switch to “green power”,
  8. Recycle,
  9. Re-purpose, and
  10. Discover plants, our new best friend.

For more information visit http://www.climatechange.gc.ca .

As Parliament winds down after a productive session, I wish all of you a great summer!

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