Main sessions
Training Sessions
Networking Sessions
Wellness Programming & Socials
Industry Showcase, Connected Labs, and "Ask an Expert" Sessions

Main Sessions

FCM welcomes Berry Vrbanovic, Mayor of Kitchener and former FCM president, as the Master of Ceremonies for the 2021 SCC.


Berry Vrbanovic


Tuesday, October 19

Indigenous welcome and ceremonial tobacco offering: Elder Verna McGregor
Minwaashin Lodge - Aboriginal Women's Support Centre

Keynote: Dr. Deborah McGregor
Climate action in Canada: A discussion on reconciliation, Indigenous justice, and nature-based solutions

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Indigenous leadership forms an essential part of achieving climate justice in Canada.  Involvement of Indigenous peoples necessitates dialogue on rights, governance, knowledges, justice, legal traditions and coexistence with nature.  My presentation will explore how these themes merge to generate a path forward for nourishing planetary health.


Keynote: Dr. Deborah McGregor

Dr. Deborah McGregor (Anishinaabe), Associate Professor, holds the Canadian Research Chair in Indigenous Environmental Justice. She is cross appointed to Osgoode Hall Law School and Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change (EUC) at York University. Professor McGregor's research has focused on Indigenous knowledge systems and their various applications in diverse contexts including water and environmental governance, environmental justice, forest policy, and management, and sustainable development. Her research has been published in a variety of national and international journals and she has delivered numerous public and academic presentations relating to Indigenous knowledge systems, governance and sustainability. She co-edited Indigenous Peoples and Autonomy: Insights for a Global Age with Mario Blaser, Ravi De Costa, and William Coleman (2010). She is co-editor (with Alan Corbiere, Mary Ann Corbiere and Crystal Migwans) of the Anishinaabewin conference proceedings series. You can find out more on Dr. McGregor’s research and work at :

Wednesday, October 20

Expert Panel: What's next for communities in our path to net zero?
Moderated by Carole Saab, CEO, FCM

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

This session is guaranteed to be exceptional. Join moderator Carole Saab, FCM’s CEO, and panelists to explore and discuss the million-dollar question on all our minds – how can communities achieve net zero?

This panel discussion explores how communities are tackling climate change, what they are anticipating in the race to zero, and opportunities they see across the country. 
Municipal and community leaders will draw discussion from their own local efforts, including the intersectionality of climate, reconciliation and community economic development, Nanaimo’s adoption of the Doughnut Economics approach, and New Brunswick’s Climate Action Plan for coastal communities.
Listen to the panelists as they share their leadership and innovative actions from communities across the country.


Terri Lynn Morrison
Executive Director, Indigenous Clean Energy (ICE)

Ben Geselbracht
Councillor, City of Nanaimo, BC.

Mike Savage
Mayor, Halifax

Kassim Doumbia
Mayor, City of Shippagan


Carole Saab

Carole Saab

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

Carole is an accomplished strategist with a decade of experience in federal and municipal advocacy. High performing and goal oriented, Carole has been a driving force behind watershed achievements for municipalities, securing unprecedented investment and progress for cities and communities.

Recognized by peers as tenacious, ambitious and a game-changer and consistently voted as one of the Top 100 Lobbyists in Canada. She is a 2020 recipient of “Canada’s Top 40 Under 40”, and the "Women of Influence in Local Government Award" from Municipal World.

Carole’s leadership and effective team-building have positioned FCM as one of the most respected and effective advocacy organizations in Canada.

Terri Lynn Morrison

Terri Lynn Morrison

Terri Lynn is a proud First Nations Mi’gmaq woman from Listuguj, in the province of Quebec where she was born and raised. Terri Lynn brings many qualities to her work, including her understanding of First Nations realities and passion for Indigenous involvement in a just transition.
In July of 2019, Terri Lynn joined the Indigenous Clean Energy (ICE) Team as the Director of Strategic Partnerships and Communications. Recently, she became the Associate Executive Director of ICE. Her work now focuses on increasing Indigenous engagement and outreach and advancing Indigenous inclusion in Canada’s clean energy economy.

Her clean energy journey began in 2014, when she became the Project Director for a 150MW Wind Farm that was owned and developed with three Mi’gmaq communities and their partner, Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. from Longueil, QC. This project was recognized by the Quebec Wind Industry and received the Excellence in Human Resources Award. Terri Lynn was recognized as the Rising Star for her contribution in fostering social acceptability for the project.

Ben Geselbracht

Ben Geselbracht

Ben Geselbracht is a city councilor and Regional District director for Nanaimo, BC, and is currently the 2nd Vice President of the Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities. Ben is working with his colleagues to apply the doughnut economics framework to Nanaimo’s programs and planning to guide developing a thriving city that respects the health of the whole planet and the well-being of all people. Ben has worked hard in getting the Nanaimo region to adopt an ambitious target of diverting 90% of its waste from landfills by 2030 to support creating the circular economy of the future. He has since been stewarding a plan to achieve this as chair of the Nanaimo Regional Solid Waste committee. Ben believes strongly that we must address head-on the challenge of climate change and that to do this successfully, issues of social inequity must also be addressed.

Mike Savage

Mike Savage

Mike Savage was elected Mayor of Halifax Regional Municipality for a third term on October 17, 2020. As Mayor he has followed a mandate to grow the economy, foster greater social and economic inclusion, and promote a healthy, sustainable environment.  An active member of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Big City Mayors’ Caucus (BCMC), Mayor Savage was elected by his counterparts in Spring 2021 as chair of the caucus.

Mayor Savage has served four years as President of the World Energy Cities Partnership, an international organization of cities with significant energy sector interests. In July 2018, Mayor Savage joined the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, participating with 39 other cities from around the world as well as the Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Business School and Bloomberg Philanthropies, in a collaboration to equip mayors with the tools to lead high-performing, progressive cities.

Prior to his election as Mayor, Savage served three terms as Member of Parliament for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, during which time he played a national role as Official Opposition Critic for Human Resources, Social Development and Status of Persons with Disabilities and chaired the Liberal Party Post-Secondary and Research Caucus.
Before entering politics, Savage was a Halifax business leader and was involved in numerous community organizations focused on health, the arts, education and humanitarian work. Mayor Savage and his wife Darlene have two adult children and live in Dartmouth where Mayor Savage grew up and attended school before graduating from Dalhousie University.

Kassim Doumbia

Kassim Doumbia

Since 2014, Kassim Doumbia has been Supervisor of Housing Services and Programs for the Department of Social Development. He is a proud resident of the City of Shippagan, a city in which he has put down roots. Keen to contribute to the development of his community, Kassim puts his knowledge to good use by working with key players to build the Acadia and New Brunswick of today and tomorrow. He is very involved at many levels: Vice-president of the Société Nationale de l'Acadie, President of the regional cooperative committee of Uni coopération financière, member of the board of directors of the Multicultural Council of New Brunswick to name a few.

At the local level, Kassim works with partners in his municipality to find solutions to the issues that affect them and to create an environment conducive to social, economic, environmental and community development. First elected in 2012 as a Shippagan City Councillor and appointed Deputy Mayor in 2016, he became the first African-Canadian Mayor of the City of Shippagan following the May 25, 2021 municipal election. In November 2015, he was among a group of 50 of Atlantic Canada's most inspirational leaders under 40 selected to participate in the 21inc Under 40 Leaders Summit held in Charlottetown. 

An interpersonal, diplomatic and convening force, Kassim seeks to foster the development, growth and revitalization of communities in New Brunswick through dialogue, collaboration, consultation and action. Kassim holds a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A) and a Bachelor of Applied Computer Science from the Université de Moncton. Kassim is married to Karine and is the father of two young daughters, aged 8 and 6.

Thursday, October 21

Keynote: Dr. Lena Chan
Growing a city in nature – Singapore's story

11:15 a.m. – 11:35 p.m.

Dr. Lena Chan will share her experience in transforming Singapore into a City in Nature and how it is conserving its biodiversity. This work involves a major change towards nature-based solutions and is the primary response to overcome biodiversity loss, climate change, and COVID-19. Dr. Chan will also share how Singapore, and cities like Montreal and Edmonton, have applied a City Biodiversity Index (CBI), also called the Singapore Index on Cities’ Biodiversity (SI), to evaluate and monitor biodiversity conservation efforts at the city level.


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Dr. Lena Chan is the Senior Director of the International Biodiversity Conservation Division, National Parks Board of Singapore. She obtained her M. Sc. from McGill University in Montreal and her Ph. D. from Imperial College London in London, England. Dr. Chan is a representative for the National Focal Point (NFP) for the Convention on Biological Diversity, a governing board member of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, co-chair of the World Economic Forum Global Commission on BiodiverCities by 2030, co-chair of the ICLEI City with Nature Knowledge & Research Hub, and a member of the Biophilic Cities Network’s Advisory Board.

Dr. Chan has worked on several projects, including the development and updating of the Singapore Index on Cities’ Biodiversity (SI), drafting the NParks’ Nature Conservation Masterplan (NCMP), and supervising the Pulau Tekong Coastal Protection and Mangrove Enhancement project. She has published scientific papers on ecology, parasitology and women, and the environment. She has also co-written educational books on conservation biology and co-edited supplements, including a biodiversity survey of the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve in Singapore, published in 2019, and a biodiversity survey of the Central Nature Reserve, published in the peer-reviewed journal “Gardens’ Bulletin Singapore” in 1997.

Expert Panel discussion: Applying lessons from Singapore to Canada
Moderated by Dr. Alison Shaw, Executive Director, ACT - Action on Climate Team at SFU (Simon Fraser University Vancouver)

11:35 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Building off Dr. Chan's keynote commentary, this discussion panel will translate how the story of Singapore carries lessons, challenges and opportunities across the landscape in Canada. Panelists will draw on their experiences to advance natural asset protection and enhancement across small, remote and built environments and inspire ideas and innovations on how these solutions can help us build more equitable, resilient and biodiverse communities.


Dr. Lena Chan
Senior Director, International Biodiversity Conservation Division, National Parks Board (NParks) of Singapour, Singapore National Parks Board

Francois Croteau
Councilor for the City of Montreal and Mayor of the Rosemont – La Petite-Patrie borough

Mandy Gull-Masty
Grand Chief of the Cree Nation

Michelle Lewis
Natural Asset Technician, Town of Gibsons, BC


Dr. Alison Shaw

Dr. Alison Shaw

Dr. Alison Shaw is a scientist, practitioner, and pioneer with more than 20 years of experience in research-to-practice approaches for climate change and sustainability. She was the first authorized research observer in the 2001 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change process and has since been designing ways to integrate climate and sustainability strategy into policy and practice at all scales. As founder of FlipSide Sustainability, she leveraged her training as a scientist, strategist, and organizational coach to catalyze the leadership and innovation necessary to guide organizations into the new era of business consciousness.

As Executive Director of ACT – the Action on Climate Team at Simon Fraser University, Alison aims to advance pioneering research to practice approaches and partnerships. She and her team continue to mobilize low carbon resilience (LCR) approaches to ensure that policy, planning, strategy, and operational decisions in the public and private sectors reduce climate risks and emissions while also advancing sustainability goals such as equity, health, biodiversity, and clean economic development. Alison begins from the premise that climate change and sustainability are not environmental problems but are instead organizational and community design challenges. At ACT she and her team co-create, test, and evaluate practical and effective approaches to future-proof communities, businesses, and governments, mobilizing best practice solutions to accelerate resilience, decarbonization, and the sustainability transition at all scales.

Francois Croteau

Francois Crouteau

François William Croteau completed his undergraduate studies in history, art history and sociology at the University of Montreal. He continued his studies at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), obtaining an executive MBA in 2007 and a doctorate in urban studies in 2017. His studies focused on urban governance in Montreal and stakeholder management.

François has been Mayor of Rosemont La Petite-Patrie since 2009. He has made a mark in innovative ecological transition policies, focusing his efforts on resilient urban development and sustainable mobility. As a member of the Executive Committee responsible for the Smart City, IT, Innovation and Higher Education portfolios, François has distinguished himself through his policies in ethical governance in digital transformations.

Mandy Gull-Masty

Mandy Gull-Masty

Mandy Gull-Masty is a member of the Cree First Nation of Waswanipi. On July 29, 2021, the Cree Nation elected Mandy to a four-year term as the Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) and Chairperson of the Cree Nation Government. She is the second woman ever elected to Deputy Grand Chief and the first woman to be elected Grand Chief of the Cree Nation. She believes her four pillars are the foundation and the key to unlocking a healthy future for Eeyou Istchee: Cree Based Model for Governance and Financial Planning, Investment in the Cree language and Cultural Preservation, Protection of Eeyou Istchee and the Cree Way of Life, and Cree Mixed Economy. 

First elected to public office in 2014, Mandy served as Deputy Chief to her home community, the Cree First Nation of Waswanipi. She was instrumental in ensuring that mining explorations align with community concerns and environmental protection. In July 2017, Mandy was elected to a four-year term as Deputy Grand Chief and Vice-Chairperson of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)/Cree Nation Government. She was pleased to serve Eeyou Istchee in mandates that included Chairmanship of the Eeyou Land Use Planning Commission, Justice Committee Member, and leader to the Cree-Quebec Table on Environment and Protected Areas.

Mandy successfully pursued an educational path, achieving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Sciences and a degree in Public Affairs and Policy Study from Concordia’s School of Community and Public Affairs. Mandy has over 12 years of experience in administration and management, working for various Cree entities and organizations at both the local and regional levels.

Michelle Lewis

Dr. Alison Shaw

Michelle Lewis is the Natural Asset Technician for the Town of Gibsons, BC, a municipality at the forefront of Natural Asset Management work. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Urban Forestry Leadership at the University of British Columbia (UBC). As this being the first year the Urban Forestry Leadership program is offered, Michelle was one of only ten chosen worldwide for this program. Currently, Michelle is working on a Source to Sea Watershed Scale Mapping project in partnership with the Municipal Natural Assets Initiative (MNAI). This follows on the heels of another project, Managing Natural Assets to Coastal Resilience, which focused on the role of natural assets in mitigating the risks to coastal communities in the face of the climate crisis.


Workshops run two hours in length and are concurrent with the training sessions. Participants do not need to pre-register but must understand they will not be able to participate in any concurrent training sessions.

Tuesday, October 19

Transforming homes across Canada through local financing programs

1 – 1:50 p.m.

Municipalities and their partners are helping drive deep greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions across Canada by offering local financing programs for home energy upgrades. These innovative programs offer financing and other services for residents to make their homes more energy-efficient, comfortable, and affordable.

In this session, you’ll learn more about how these programs work and how FCM can support you in designing and delivering a program that works for your local context. You’ll also hear from municipal leaders across the country about how they have designed programs that meet their community’s needs and their local climate change goals.

Guest presenters:

  • Hilary Carlson, HG Controls Specialist, City of Saskatoon 
  • Julie Salter-Keane, Manager, Climate Leadership, City of Kingston


  • Yvonne Ritchie, Project Officer, Capacity Development, FCM
  • Jasmine Bradet, Project Officer, Funding Services, FCM

Designing for natural infrastructure benefits

1 – 1:50 p.m.

Green infrastructure is a key component of effective municipal climate adaptation strategies. Its implementation can lead to improved stormwater management, a reduced urban heat island effect and more livable communities.

Despite the many potential benefits, many local governments struggle to plan or implement green infrastructure solutions to benefit service delivery or reduce climate change challenges.

Join the Green Infrastructure Foundation (GIF) and Ontario Parks Association (OPA) for training on reimagined municipal spaces with green infrastructure installations. The workshop will also offer insight into valuation techniques that capture the benefits of green infrastructure, including those not typically produced by grey infrastructure alternatives

Guest presenters:

  • Rohan Lilauwala, Program Manager, Green Infrastructure Foundation
  • Paul Ronan, Executive Director, Ontario Parks Association 


  • Dustin Carey, Capacity Building Officer, FCM

Net-zero community design

2 –  2:50 p.m.

This session will profile GMF’s recently released Towards a Net Zero Community – 10 lessons from Blatchford, Edmonton guidebook, a free resource about a municipal-led sustainable community development and a 2020 Inspire Award Winner. Drawing on Edmonton’s experience, this workshop will tell the story of Blatchford that set a goal for net-zero and the lessons learned along the way. You’ll hear the story of Blatchford and how it’s using conservation, efficiency, and renewables to reach its carbon neutral goals. 

A spotlight will also be placed on how the adoption of "people first” design guidelines and how itis helping them the city build a walkable, attractive and safe neighborhood. 

We will also explore how FCM can support you to start on the road of towards net-zero community design.

Guest presenters:

  • Dr. Christian Felske, Director of Renewable Energy Systems (RES), City of Edmonton
  • Anjali Varghese, Manager of Planning and Infrastructure, Blatchford redevelopment, City of Edmonton
  • Ben Henderson, Councillor Ward 8, City of Edmonton


  • Noémie De Vuyst, Advisor, Programs Outreach, FCM
  • Paulina Ascencio, Project Coordinator, Capacity Development, GMF

Engaging communities in urban forest planning with Tree Canada

2 - 2:50 p.m.

One of the key elements of urban forest management planning is effective public consultation. Engaging communities where they live can foster more meaningful, reciprocal, and inclusive relationships with our urban forests, and the communities and governing bodies who care for them. This panel will discuss various elements for consideration in public consultation processes such as civic engagement, types and functions of stewardship, and cultivating environmental ethics and meaningful relationships among urban stakeholders.

Guest presenters:

  • Martha Copestake, Urban Forester, City of Ottawa
  • Dr. Erika Svendsen, Research Social Scientist, USDA Forest Service


  • Marie-Paule Godin, RPF, Programs & Engagement Coordinator, Tree Canada

Wednesday, October 20

Climate change and community facilities: solutions for small municipalities

1 - 1:50 p.m.

This workshop will present a pathway for small and rural municipalities to advance greenhouse gases (GHG) reductions in their community facilities. The session will start with an overview on creating an asset management inventory to deepen understanding of energy use and to highlight GHG reduction opportunities. We will explore how GMF’s Community Buildings Retrofit (CBR) initiative and Infrastructure Canada’s Green and Inclusive Buildings program (GIBC) can help drive deeper reductions in buildings energy use. This workshop will also share case studies on how small rural municipalities have advanced leadership and action on managing their recreational facilities and integrating climate change mitigation in the planning of these buildings’ retrofits.

Guest presenters:

  • Maéva Ambros, Project Manager, Center for Expertise and Research in Urban Infrastructures (CERIU) 
  • Adeniyi Adeaga, Energy Manager, Foothills County, AB
  • Matthew Baird, Director Resilient and Innovative Communities, Infrastructure Canada


  • Marcel Roquette, Project Officer, Capacity Development, FCM
  • Emilie Marleau, Advisor, Programs Outreach, FCM

Parks and resiliency: a discussion on parks, climate change, and COVID-19 recovery

1 – 1:50 p.m.

Parks are where we go to find nature, play, and connect with others. However, they are also critical in helping cities mitigate and adapt to climate change. Parks are natural systems that provide habitat, temperature regulation, community well-being benefits, and much more. 

In this session, we will share findings from Park People’s annual Canadian City Parks Report, which showcases how parks can address the impacts of COVID-19 and the challenges of climate change. The annual report highlights challenges, trends, and creative practices based on a survey of Canadian park staff and users. The interactive workshop will engage participants in discussion and will examine how COVID has impacted parks. Park People will share insights and tools to help participants understand the significance of parks and help ensure their benefits reach all communities.

Guest presenters:

  • Stephanie Stanov, Project Manager, Park People
  • Adri Stark, Project Manager, Park People 


  • Jessie Grainger, Knowledge Management & Learning Officer, FCM

The pathway to net-zero home energy retrofits

2 – 2:50 p.m.

To achieve Canada’s net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions target by 2050, all existing homes will need to be retrofitted to near net-zero emissions in the next few decades. This requires new policies, tools and partnerships to transform the pace and performance of residential retrofits across Canada.

Join our expert panel of municipal, federal and industry representatives to learn about the top priorities on the pathway towards net-zero retrofits and opportunities available for municipal leadership. Then join the facilitated networking session at 3 - 3:50 p.m. EST for an interactive discussion that will build on the learnings from this session.

Guest presenters:

  • Sonja Winkelmann, Director, Net Zero Energy Housing, Canadian Home Builders’ Association
  • Lisa Dockman, Residential Energy Transition Program Manager, City of Edmonton
  • Patric Langevin, Project Lead and Facilitator, Local Energy Efficiency Partnerships (LEEP), Natural Resources Canada
  • Mathieu Gillet, Head of business development, Écohabitation
  • Ralph Torrie, Director of Research, Corporate Knights


  • Robin Goldstein, Advisor, Capacity Development, FCM

Integrating climate considerations into your municipality’s asset management practices

2 - 2:50 p.m.

Municipalities deliver essential services and infrastructure that support Canadians’ quality of life. From the roads and bridges that keep people and goods moving, to the treatment plants that make our water safe to drink, local governments are building better lives for residents.

To continue providing reliable services, municipalities are adopting asset management practices that help prioritize infrastructure investment while balancing cost, risk, and levels of service expectations.

As the impacts of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent across Canada, communities of all sizes are now faced with the challenge of integrating this key factor in their planning and decision-making process.

This session will highlight best practices from municipalities that have improved their asset management practices by integrating climate considerations and will explore how these solutions can be replicated in communities across the country. 

Guest presenters:

  • Kim Fowler, Manager of Long Range Planning, Energy and Sustainability, Regional District of Nanaimo
  • Duane Nicol, CAO, City of Selkirk
  • Chris Chen, Executive Director, Asset Management Ontario


  • Michael Burt, Project Director, Municipal Asset Management Program, FCM
  • Emilie Marleau, Advisor, Programs Outreach, FCM

Thursday, October 21

The capacity to act: what it takes to create local change for climate change

1 - 1:50 p.m.

This session will discuss the readiness and capacity of the municipal sector to propel the implementation of Canada’s emissions reduction commitments and pathways toward net-zero emissions.

Leaders in capacity development support and municipal practitioners who have advanced a number of communities across Canada will share their experience, insights, and strategies to keep building community competencies and capabilities to succeed. Learn how a foundation of key support programs, partnerships, systemic change strategies and self-financing approaches can advance your tangible community projects.

Guest presenters:

  • Keith Lawrence, Senior Environmental Analyst, Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD)
  • Julius Lindsay, Project Manager, Climate Change and Sustainable Development, Policy Planning Division, City of Richmond Hill
  • Megan Meaney, Executive Director, ICLEI Canada
  • Tonja Leach, Executive Director, QUEST
  • Sarah Brown, Executive Director, NWTAC


  • Devin Causley, Manager, Capacity Building, FCM

Indigenous-led conservation and municipal partnerships

1 – 1:50 p.m.

Local communities and Indigenous Peoples are specifically referred to in the United Nation’s Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) as having a unique role to play with regards to protecting and conserving biological and cultural diversity. In a Canadian context, collaboration between local government and Indigenous Nations also holds the greatest potential for true reconciliation, and long-term sustainable development. This workshop will explore the challenges and opportunities for municipalities and Indigenous governments to create mutually beneficial relationships through an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs) model or regional development.

Guest presenters:

  • Eli Enns, IISAAK OLAM Foundation
  • Monica Shore, IISAAK OLAM Foundation


  • Sara O'Neill, Advisor, Policy and Public Affairs, FCM

Elder Welcome:

  • Larry McDermott, Executive Director, Plenty Canada

Customizing energy solutions for your community 

2 – 2:50 p.m.

Tackling energy use in municipal and community buildings is a crucial step in achieving a low-carbon future. Using GMF’s Municipal Energy Roadmap, municipalities can find cost-effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in their buildings, while maximizing benefits like job creation and community well-being.

In this session, you’ll explore how to use the Roadmap to prioritize energy solutions for your local context and hear how other municipal leaders have applied these solutions. You’ll also hear about a new learning opportunity that FCM is offering for municipal staff to explore these ideas further and to connect with peers on implementing energy initiatives.

Guest presenters:

  • Abhishek Chakraborti, Senior Environmental Program Manager, City of Edmonton
  • Craig Stephens, Energy and Environmental Specialist, Town of Caledon


  • Yvonne Ritchie, Project Officer, Capacity Development, FCM

Funding and municipal support for sustainable affordable housing

2 - 2:50 p.m.

The need for affordable housing across the country is significant – from large cities to small communities. Most of the affordable housing stock is over 25 years old representing a critical opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through the retrofit of existing affordable housing units, or through the construction of energy efficient new builds. This contributes to Canada’s climate goals, improves affordability, and reduces energy poverty for residents.

Join this interactive workshop to learn about stackable funding available to support sustainable affordable housing retrofits and new builds in your community. You will also hear examples of the ways that municipalities can support these important projects.

Guest presenters:

  • Spencer Andres, Senior Planner and Project Manager CitySpaces Consulting Ltd.
  • Sandie Price, Outreach Representative, Partnerships and Promotions, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
  • Kathy Moore, Mayor, City of Rossland, BC


  • Emilie Hayes, Advisor, Capacity Development, FCM
  • Jessica Golden, Advisor, Programs Outreach, FCM

Training sessions

Training sessions run four to six hours in length and are concurrent with the workshop sessions. Participants must pre-register for these training sessions and understand they will not be able to participate in any concurrent workshops.

Fostering sustainable behaviour

Daily Tuesday, October 19 – Thursday, October 21 from 1:00 - 2:50 p.m.

*This training session will be delivered exclusively in the English-language. Training material for participants will be available in French and English languages.

This workshop provides a comprehensive introduction to community-based social marketing and how it’s being applied throughout the world to foster behaviours that protect the environment.

Participants will receive in-depth exposure to community-based social marketing and build the knowledge needed to design and evaluate their own social marketing programs. Further, participants will have extensive opportunities to discuss the application of community-based social marketing to the design of actual programs.

Workshop attendees will learn the five steps of community-based social marketing (selecting behaviours, identifying barriers, developing strategies, conducting pilots, and broad-scale implementation) and be exposed to numerous case studies illustrating its use. 

Guest presenters:

  • Doug McKenzie-Mohr, Executive Director, Community Based Social Marketing


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For over three decades, Dr. Doug McKenzie-Mohr has been working to incorporate behaviour change into the design of environmental programs. He is the founder of community-based social marketing (CBSM), an approach that has been used globally in thousands of sustainability initiatives. He is the author and co-author of three books on CBSM. One of these books, “Fostering Sustainable Behaviour,” has been recommended by Time Magazine and has become requisite reading in programs protecting the environment. Doug is also the author of the Fostering Behavior Change Minute newsletter, which is read weekly by 20,000 subscribers. His work has been featured in the New York Times and he is the recipient of the American Psychological Association’s inaugural award for innovation in environmental psychology. He is also the recipient of the World Social Marketing conference’s inaugural award for contributions to the field of social marketing. A former Professor of Psychology, he is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Victoria and Royal Roads University (in Victoria, Canada). More than 75,000 program managers have attended his workshops.

The opportunity of natural assets management

Tuesday, October 19 from 1:00 - 2:50 p.m.

Across Canada, infrastructure is aging. Its capital and operating costs are rising, municipal service delivery is strained, and many ecosystems are in declining health. Climate change exacerbates these challenges. 

Healthy, well-managed natural assets can form part of the solution. Local government can provide those solutions, such as stormwater management, at lower capital and operating costs when compared to engineered alternatives. Natural assets can also store carbon, support biodiversity, and provide other benefits on which large and small communities depend.

Join this workshop session to learn about:

  • The evolving practice of municipal natural asset management.
  • Inspiring examples from across Canada in communities large and small.The first steps you can take.

Guest presenters:

  • Michelle Molnar, Technical Director, Municipal Natural Assets Initiative (MNAI)
  • Nikita Bhalla, Engineering and Environmental Advisor, Municipal Natural Assets Initiative (MNAI)
  • Donna Chiarelli, Asset Management Advisor, Municipal Natural Assets Initiative (MNAI)


Michelle Molnar

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Michelle Molnar is the Technical Director of the Municipal Natural Assets Initiative, as well as an Environmental Economist and Policy Analyst at the David Suzuki Foundation. Her work focuses primarily on the conservation of natural capital using tools such as ecological economics, policy analysis, and public outreach. She is the author of several natural capital valuation reports, a past President of the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics and has served on the B.C. government’s Climate Solutions and Clean Growth Advisory Council.

Nikita Bhalla

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Nikita Bhalla comes from a background in civil structural engineering and asset management. As an Engineering & Environment Advisor at MNAI, she provides technical assistance in the field of natural asset management. Her earlier work, as a contractor to TransLink, supported various asset management initiatives including capital planning, investment prioritization and asset criticality.

Donna Chiarelli

Dr. Alison Shaw

Donna Chiarelli brings 15 years of experience with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and focuses her efforts on building the capacity of local governments and on supporting innovation in asset management. Specifically, Donna provides direct support to the Municipal Natural Assets Initiative (MNAI), which provides participating municipalities with core asset management resources and tools.

Delving into natural asset management: service levels, carbon and risk

Wednesday, October 20 from 1:00 - 2:50 p.m.

*This session is advanced training on natural asset management. Attendees should either have strong working knowledge of or practical experience in Natural Asset Management, or have attended the first training session, “The opportunity of natural assets management”,  held on Tuesday, October 19th.

Local governments in Canada are turning to municipal natural asset management to build climate-resilient communities while also meeting climate change action targets.

Building on the fundamental concepts from the first training session, this training workshop looks at the deeper, more technical aspects of Canada’s natural asset management.

Join this session for a more detailed look at technical aspects including:

  • How local governments can consider determining levels of services for natural assets, including data requirements and current limitations.
  • Opportunities and limitations of natural assets in storing or sequestering carbon and their potential to avoid emissions from grey infrastructure.
  • The impact of climate change on natural assets and associated services in risk assessments, based on recent research and projects by the Municipal Natural Assets Initiative.

Guest presenters:

  • Michelle Molnar, Technical Director, Municipal Natural Assets Initiative (MNAI)
  • Nikita Bhalla, Engineering and Environmental Advisor, Municipal Natural Assets Initiative  (MNAI)
  • Donna Chiarelli, Asset Management Advisor, Municipal Natural Assets Initiative  (MNAI)

Zero emissions 2050 – vision to implementation in your community

Wednesday, October 20 – Thursday, October 21 from 1:00 - 2:50 p.m.

Local leaders from communities of all sizes know they can create jobs and build strong communities while getting on a path to net-zero emissions by 2050. But how exactly? Join us to work on a compelling vision for a low carbon future and ‘backcast’ the big dial-turning actions to get there, such as electric mobility and zero-emission buildings. Blending long-term visioning with short-term implementation guidance, this workshop will provide tools to help you succeed, including:

  • Communicating with different audiences
  • Embedding a climate lens across municipal processes
  • Funding climate action

Complete the optional homework and get the ‘Community Climate Action Implementation Certificate.’

Guest presenters:

  • Dale Littlejohn, Executive Director, Community Energy Association (CEA)
  • Maya Chorobik, Director of Climate Leadership, Community Energy Association (CEA)
  • Jen Grebeldinger, Communications Lead, Community Energy Association (CEA)
  • Robyn Webb, Climate Solutions Lead, Community Energy Association (CEA)
  • Danielle Wiess, Strategy & Collaboration Lead, Community Energy Association (CEA)


Dale Littlejohn

Dale Littlejohn

Dale Littlejohn leads a team of 20 professionals as Executive Director for the Community Energy Association (CEA). Dale is a senior advisor to local governments developing actions, calculating their impacts, and implementing plans to save energy and emissions in their operations and communities. Prior to joining the Community Energy Association, Dale was a Senior Manager in the consulting practice of Deloitte where he led corporate strategy, technology strategy and sustainability projects globally.

Maya Chorobik

Maya Chorobik

Maya Chorobik is the Director of Climate Leadership with the Community Energy Association (CEA). Maya has been with CEA for 4 years and, prior to that, worked in local government. Maya’s work spans all areas of CEA, including developing climate and energy plans, facilitating peer networks, coaching for staff and elected officials, and working with local government on policy and project implementation. Maya is the facilitator for the BC Municipal Climate Leadership Council (BCMCLC), which provides education and peer networking to locally elected officials committed to climate action. As part of this role, Maya is coordinating the development of the BC Climate Leaders Playbook, a resource designed to engage elected officials on high impact climate action.

Robyn Webb

Megan Lohmann

Robyn Webb is the Climate Solutions Lead with the Community Energy Association (CEA). Robyn has worked on climate action for over twelve years in Manitoba, Alberta and BC. In her role at CEA, Robyn builds off her experience implementing leading edge climate solutions for Cities in the areas of decarbonizing buildings, transportation, and land use. Prior to joining CEA Robyn worked for the Cities of Victoria and Edmonton on climate policy and program implementation for over 8 years. Before that she was responsible for implementing a Province of Manitoba climate action program at the neighbourhood level in Winnipeg.

Danielle Wiess

Patricia Bell

Danielle is the Strategy & Collaboration Lead with the Community Energy Association (CEA). Danielle supports local governments with energy and emissions planning and project implementation. Since joining CEA in July 2019, Danielle has managed or supported development of several Climate Action Plans, including the communities of Prince George, Squamish, and Vernon. Danielle’s ability to strategically navigate deliverables has her leading several implementation projects focused on mobility, electrification and infrastructure, including deploying collaborative multi-regional EV charging networks.

Jen Grebeldinger

Jennifer Grebeldinger

Jen Grebeldinger is a communications specialist. Over the past 12 years she has engaged communities and facilitated change by animating ideas and creating engaging materials for print and web. Jen has spent most of her professional career with innovative organizations that emphasize community and stakeholder engagement. This experience has allowed Jen to cultivate skills to create holistic outreach strategies in support of project goals. With training and practical experience in graphic design, she is also skillful in creating print and web assets to support communications and outreach plans.

Networking Sessions

Tuesday, October 19

Project Accelerator with MaRS Urban Innovation Lab

3 - 3:50 p.m.

This Project Accelerator (PA) ideation info session will help participants develop innovative municipal project ideas with design thinking and systemic design approaches. The workshop series will be introduced in this session, and officially launches in November with a 3-part workshop series. Come meet the team during the 2021 Sustainable Communities Conference to discuss your idea, get initial feedback, and to apply for the first November cohort!

Guest facilitators:

  • Sacha Sud, Director, Smart Cities, MaRS Discovery District
  • Jerry Koh, Senior Director Impact Coalitions, MaRS Discovery District
  • Sue Talusan, Senior Manager Impact Coalitions, MaRS Discovery District

Networking session for communities advancing equity and reconciliation in climate action

3 - 3:50 p.m.

How do municipalities advance equity and reconciliation in climate action? It is a question so many of us have asked, thought, and tried to action. Come share your questions or community stories and be inspired by the work others have initiated.

Guest facilitators:

  • Mumbi Maina, Social Planner, City of Vancouver
  • Lindsay Telfer, Manager, Capacity Development, GMF

Wednesday, October 20

2022 Sustainable Communities Awards Information Session

3 - 3:50 p.m.

Do you have a community project that you are proud of, or think will inspire others? In this session, learn how to forward your projects for consideration of the 2022 Sustainable Communities Award. Come hear from previous award winners and get your questions answered about the application process. Get ready - we are launching nominations for our 2022 Sustainable Communities Award starting this November.

Guest facilitators:

  • Devin LaFleche, Sustainability & Transit Coordinator, Town of Cochrane
  • Yves Hennekens, President, YHC Environnement

Group discussion: The pathway to net-zero home energy retrofits

3 - 3:50 p.m.

Join the panelists from today’s workshop (W7) “The pathway to net zero home energy retrofits” for an interactive discussion on our collective work in residential retrofits and where the work needs to be to meet our shared goal of becoming net-zero by 2050. You are invited to join multiple small -group discussions to hear what other communities are doing, share your work, and identify possible steps for you and your community. This session will build on the learnings from the workshop but all conference delegates are welcome to participate.

Guest facilitator:

  • Janice Ashworth, Project Manager, Resiliency & Climate Change Unit, City of Ottawa

Thursday, October 21

Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) members meet-up

3 - 3:50 p.m.

*This networking session is for Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) members only. Members of the PCP secretariat will be moderating the session and guiding the discussion with questions. Join this networking session to meet other PCP members and learn about each other’s progress within the PCP 5 milestone framework.  At the end of the session, participants will receive information about PCP's upcoming events and an announcement will be made recognizing the Milestones that members have achieved to date.

Networking session for small, rural and remote communities.

3 - 3:50 p.m.

Through a series of fun, interactive activities, this session provides an opportunity to connect with and share conference highlights, questions, and possible next steps on the path to sustainable communities. Converse with fellow conference delegates by exploring key sustainability challenges within small, rural and/or remote communities. This session is highly interactive and involves a variety of opportunities for you to connect, learn, and share with other colleagues while in small breakout groups.

Wellness Programming & Socials

Wellness programming: short film screenings

Daily Tuesday, October 19 – Thursday, October 21 from 10:00 - 10:50 a.m.

Join the Wellness Program for screenings of several short films, courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada. These films focus on climate change, climate resilience, and how we think about cities and municipalities across Canada. Ranging from old to new, the films provide a variety of perspectives on sustainable communities and compel us to ponder about our own cities and municipalities. To watch additional films online for free, please visit

Showcase health break

Daily Tuesday, October 19 – Thursday, October 21 from 12:15 – 1:00 p.m.

Open networking

Tuesday, October 19 from 4:15 – 5:30 p.m.

It's the end of Day 1 for the Sustainable Communities Conference. Please grab or refresh your coffee, tea, or water and start meeting other conference delegates. You may find yourself reconnecting with old colleagues or meeting new ones. This is an informal networking session - move your way through the breakout rooms at your own pace.

Social Event (Trivia)

Wednesday, October 20 from 4:15 – 5:30 p.m.

Join us for an exciting hour of trivia. We will be using a special platform called SocialPoint to create a virtual version of the game. Come show off your knowledge of sustainable communities and municipalities!

Industry Showcase, Connected Labs, and "Ask an Expert" Sessions 

Daily Tuesday, October 19 – Thursday, October 21 from 10:00 - 10:50 a.m.


Tuesday October 19, 2021

Ask an Expert

Geosource Energy
10 - 10:50 a.m.

Ask an Expert with Geosource - Demystifying Geo-Exchange for Municipal Buildings

Darynne Hagen – Manager, Project and Content Development at Geosource Energy.

Ask this expert questions related to geo-exchange design, construction and overall integration into municipal buildings. Specializing in the implementation of on-site renewable energy for the past 18 years, Geosource has enabled over 300 buildings to improve energy performance and lower carbon emissions. As Manager of Project and Content Development, Darynne has a deep understanding of the technology, and can answer a wide variety of questions related to geo-exchange and its use in municipal buildings.

Not sure where to start? Here are some examples:

  • How do I know if geo-exchange is a good fit for my next building?
  • Can geo-exchange be used in district/shared/community energy systems?
  • Will geo-exchange work with building retrofits?
  • How can we incentivize our developers and residents to implement geo-exchange in their projects?
  • How can I mitigate or justify the higher upfront cost of geo-exchange?

Connected Labs

VIA Rail
12:45 – 1 p.m.

High Frequency Rail: Reimagining the Way We Live and Travel

Cynthia Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer

Learn about VIA’s environmentally friendly HFR electric transportation project. HFR is a sustainable, unifying, socially equitable and growth generating project, and is the result of extensive thinking informed by over 40 years of expertise in passenger rail service.


Food Cycle Science
3:00 - 3:15 p.m.

FoodCycler Municipal Solutions: In-Home Food Waste Diversion

Christina Zardo, Manager of Municipal Solutions, Food Cycle Science

Alex Hayman, Director of Strategic Solutions, Food Cycle Science

FoodCycler provides Canadian municipalities with residential food waste diversion solutions using our innovative in-home electric compost alternatives.


Northstar Clean Technologies
3:20 - 3:35 p.m.

Clean Technology Solution: Repurposing Single-Use Asphalt Shingles for Diversion Away from Municipal Landfills

Aidan Mills, CEO
Gord Johnson, President

Learn how our clean technology solution can have a significant impact on the environment by reducing landfill usage, reducing the CO2 impact of liquid asphalt, fiber and aggregate production, and contributing to the circular economy.


3:40 - 3:55 p.m.

Concrete Measures to achieve a net-zero facility

Benoit Rodier, Director of Business Development, CIMCO Refrigeration

Ice rinks are among the top three emitters of greenhouse gas within a municipal-owned building. The solution to offset this greenhouse gas lies within the refrigeration system itself. Learn how you can get your municipal ice rink to net-zero and access government grants to reach your net zero goal.

Wednesday October 20, 2021

Ask an Expert

CSA Group
10 - 10:50 a.m.

Ask an Expert with CSA Group - Standards-based Solutions for Stronger Communities: Flood Mitigation and Resilient Infrastructure

Michael Leering, P.Eng, Director, Environment and Business Excellence Standards, CSA Group

Lisa Prime, Chief Planner, City of Cambridge and Founder PRIME Strategy & Planning

Dwayne Torrey, P.Eng, Director, Environment and Business Excellence Standards, CSA Group

Sylvie Boulanger, Ph.D., P.Eng. Senior Consultant, MTB Consulting

CSA Group presents experts who highlight standards-based solutions for flood mitigation in new and existing communities, and solutions for more resilient and durable infrastructure such as bridges. Experts will share their recent experiences incorporating standards into municipal plans, and speak to the important role standards can play in helping preserve existing communities and build strong communities well into the future.  

Not sure where to start? Here are some examples:

  • How can municipalities build in flood resilience in their communities, both short and long term?
  • How can other stakeholders such as developers benefit from building in flood resilience into their new community design?
  • What trends do you foresee with respect to climate resiliency and how will they impact municipalities?


Connected Labs

12:45 – 1 p.m.

Call for Sustainable Municipal Projects: Get Funding and Expertise

Libby Carew, Municipal Lead, MITACS
Clement Villemont, Director of Business Development, Quebec, MITACS

The data and tools you need to implement sustainability solutions require talent – and budget. Mitacs connects municipalities with funding and innovation expertise to bring your projects to life. Stormwater, waste, green transport and more, tap into the resources you need. We are seeking new sustainability projects.


Ontario Power Generation (OPG)
3:00 - 3:15 p.m.

Electrification and Charging infrastrucure solutions for your Municipality
Keegan Tully, Managing Director at PowerOn Energy Solutions

Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG’s) new subsidiary, PowerON Energy Solutions, will be sharing their plan to provide electrification and charging infrastructure that enables municipal transit agencies and other corporate fleets to power their vehicles using clean electricity.


Rillea Technologies Inc.
3:20 - 3:35 p.m.

Reduce Chemical Hazards to Protect Employees and Environment

Lisa Hallsworth, CEO Rillea Technologies Inc.

Rob Hallsworth, COO Rillea Technologies Inc.

Municipalities use hundreds of chemicals containing carcinogens, GHG’s and water pollutants. Learn how data enables elimination, substitution, and sustainable use.

Thursday October 21, 2021

Ask an Expert

Sustainable Solutions Group (SSG)
10 - 10:50 a.m.

Ask an Expert with Sustainable Solutions Group (SSG) - MEEDing the Moment: Jumpstart Your City’s Climate Action Planning

Yuill Herbert - SSG Principal

Marcus Williams - whatIf? Technologies Principal

GHG inventories are a necessary first step for municipalities to begin carbon reduction efforts; however, creating unique, bottom-up GHG inventories is time consuming and resource intensive - a process many municipalities are unable to tackle.

That’s where the Municipal Energy and Emissions Database (MEED) comes in. MEED is an online platform with GHG inventories for every single municipality in Canada. Drawing on national and provincial data, MEED provides community-specific energy and emissions data based on factors such as population, households, dwelling units, employment, weather, and known large emitters.

Join this session to learn more about MEED and ask questions such as:

  • How can my municipality make the most out of limited resources to start taking climate action?
  • How can my municipality use MEED to inform future climate planning and existing city planning processes?
  • How can my municipality figure out which climate mitigation and adaptation actions to prioritize?


Connected Labs

Dunsky Energy + Climate Advisors
12:45 – 1 p.m.

E-FLEETTM: Transitioning Municipal Fleets to Zero Emission Vehicles

Jeff Turner, Senior Research Lead, Dunsky Energy + Climate Advisors

Moe Kabbara, Consultant, Dunsky Energy + Climate Advisors 

Learn how Dunsky developed an optimized roadmap for the Halifax Regional Municipality to transition its vehicle fleet to ZEVs by 2030.


Earth Day Canada
3:00 - 3:15 p.m.

Waste Diversion for your Community’s Local Businesses

Katherine Forster, Canadian Outreach Officer

Earth Day Canada's municipal waste diversion program supports your community’s local businesses in reducing waste - diverting up to 80% from landfills.

© 2021 Federation of Canadian Municipalities