On September 25th, 2014, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne released 30 mandate letters she has written her ministers – these letters provide priorities and action items that Premier Wynne expects each minister to work on during their tenure.
We took some time to review the mandate letters in relation to some of the key interest areas of our clients (see our summary assessment post) – businesses, Aboriginal communities, municipalities with interests in (click on the links for summaries from the mandate letters for each topic):
- climate change, greenhouse gas reduction, and cleantech
- water and the natural environment,
- social entrepreneurship,
- low cost natural gas,
- Aboriginal community wellbeing and social & economic development,
- mining and the Ring of Fire.
In this post we focus on Climate Change & Ontario, and related support for Cleantech innovation - our B Corporation has a mandate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change. We're also progressing with a new carbon offset initiative and related commercial biogas research. We're intrigued by the opportunities that may emerge in Ontario to "act on climate". We are pleased to see the importance Premier Wynne places on our core interests, especially her focus on Climate Change & Ontario.
Around these mandates, we see synergies that can be further explored:
- Climate change intiatives driven by Aboriginal communities
- Clean energy initiatives that take advantage of expansion of natural gas infrastructure, especially biogas
- Expansion of Aboriginal power sector incentives, including loan guarantees, beyond well known renewables, to include clean energy such as natural gas and innovations in bioenergy and biogas
The Premier's mandate items include around Climate Change include:
Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
Moving Forward on Climate Change
- Building on, and supporting, the most current science, lead the development of a new long term climate change strategy for Ontario. This strategy will be forward looking to 2050 and will contain an action plan to help our government achieve its greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2020. Implementing the strategy and achieving our targets will require an all-of-government approach and, as Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, you will work with and be supported by colleagues, including the ministers of Finance, Energy, Transportation, Municipal Affairs and Housing, Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Research and Innovation, and Natural Resources and Forestry to complete the strategy in 2015. Developing initiatives to engage the broader public and stakeholders in a discussion about climate change and its risks.
- Developing initiatives to engage the broader public and stakeholders in a discussion about climate change and its risks.
- Supporting the Secretary of the Cabinet and the President of the Treasury Board to ensure climate change is taken into account in the government decision-making process. This will include greenhouse gas (GHG) impact analyses for significant policies, legislation and regulations and adaptation considerations for public infrastructure investments.
- Supporting the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and the Minister of Energy, and working with other provinces and territories, on the development of a Canadian Energy Strategy that includes co-ordinated efforts to reduce GHG emissions.
- Developing new alternative fuel rules in 2014 to help big, energy-intensive industries reduce their GHG emissions.
- Developing and implementing improved approaches to waste diversion. Your ministry will do so by building on the release of the Waste Reduction Strategy and working with industry, municipalities and other stakeholders toward the objective of re-introducing waste reduction legislation. The goal for your ministry is to ensure the ongoing sustainability and appropriate governance of waste diversion programs. This is critical to protecting the environment, recovering economic value in the waste stream and reaping GHG reduction benefits by using resources more efficiently.
Ministry of Agriculture
- Continuing to work with partner ministers and the agricultural sector to decrease nutrient run-off, reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and make our agricultural sector as resilient as possible to climate change.
Ministry of Energy
- Collaborating, including across borders, on the development of a strategy to ensure a clean, reliable and sustainable energy supply. You will work with other ministers, including the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, of Intergovernmental Affairs, and of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure on the development of a Canadian Energy Strategy with other provinces and territories. The strategy should balance national interests with the unique profiles, priorities and needs of individual provinces and territories.
- Ensuring that the strategy includes co-ordinated efforts to improve energy efficiency and conservation, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, foster innovation in the energy sector and facilitate the safe transportation and transmission of energy. You will work with the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change to encourage federal partnership in addressing the climate change challenge — which is both local and global in scale.
- Ensuring that the strategy facilitates electricity imports and exports between Ontario and its neighbouring provinces by identifying barriers, solutions and opportunities for the development of interconnected transmission infrastructure.
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
- Reviewing the Building Code to continue to ensure buildings are safe, accessible and cost-effective. You will focus on moving Ontario forward as the North American leader in climate-resistant and environmentally efficient construction.
- Undertaking a review of the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program. Your goals are to ensure the program design and criteria reflect current needs in addressing extreme weather events and build upon lessons learned from recent experiences, such as the 2013 ice storm. You will do so in alignment with the comprehensive review of the province’s emergency management system by the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
- Working with municipalities and other partners to promote urban forestry. Your goal is to work with these partners to plant one million trees in urban areas as part of our commitment to plant 50 million trees provincewide.
- Preparing the Invasive Species Act for re-introduction. You will continue to address concerns surrounding the prevention, early detection and eradication of — and rapid response to — invasive species in Ontario’s natural environment.
- Advocating and collaborating with other jurisdictions to address the threat of invasive species. You will present Ontario’s concerns at the bi-national and federal level.
Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure
- Developing strategies for key-growth sectors, such as advanced manufacturing and automotive, agri-food, cleantech, financial services, information and communications technology, natural resources, tourism, media and culture. Together, these strategies will represent the government’s broader economic policy objectives and will support investment and job creation. I ask that you work in co-operation with partner ministers, industry, postsecondary institutions and the not-for-profit sector to develop these strategies.
Ministry of Research and Innovation
- Collaborating with the Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, and partner ministries, to develop and deliver sector strategies. You will focus on sectors with a strong culture of innovation, such as life sciences, advanced manufacturing, cleantech, and information and communications technology.
Shared Value Solutions Ltd. is one of the first 100 B Corporations in Canada. We bring the best environmental peer review, strategic advice, community engagement and traditional knowledge, land use, and socio-economic research expertise to address your challenges and opportunities. Working with leading companies, civil society, Aboriginal communities and government organizations, we drive shared value solutions.