Just talked to Marketa Stastna, Marketing Coordinator for Vrtucar. Vrtucar is a car-sharing service for people who do not have a car or want to be more green. Vrtucar says that each shared car removes 9-13 privately owned ones. In addition to regular cars, there also have a selection of hybrids.
The first presentation is starting - along with the three mentioned early, there are some city councillors and politicians here. Riley Brockington is first.
"GEDO is about more than electricity, it's about walkable communities. It's about transportation that keeps our lives and business moving. About good jobs, resilient communities and healthy environments for our children's and grandchildren's generations."
David Chernushenko, another city councillor, is speaking now. Talking about where the city is now at the moment on green energy work. "We're all getting excited about solar panels and wind turbines, but what we really should be focused on is why we are using so much energy in the first place."
"We are blessed now, in this particular province, to be off coal." Huge health benefits. The electricity that we are using in Ontario now is at least very low carbon. We can work on phasing out the nuclear as we go.
Chernushenko says the light rail project has many benefits, like transportation, fewer people driving. But the huge bang is the rail itself, which will be an electrified system. It is hoped that the Trillium line (formerly the O-Train) will be converted as well.
City is working on preparing a renewable energy transition strategy. That is what we are working on now. Will need to include all of the different types of current energy uses and all of the sectors in the city. "It can't just be the city but also the public." City uses only two per cent of energy use; public and everybody else's use is 98 per cent.
Political candidates in the Ottawa Centre riding are coming up. Each candidate gets five minutes to answer these three questions:
1. Why do you feel green energy (conservation, renewables, transportation, etc.) is important?
2. Which projects in the community are you most proud of and why?
3. What will you and your party do to support residents and businesses adoption of green energy in the community?
Speakers will be:
Damian Konstantinakos (Conservative Party)
Thomas Milroy (Green Party)
Catherine McKenna (Liberal Party)
Paul Dewar (New Democratic Party)
John Akpata (Marijuana Party)
Stuart Ryan (Communist Party)
Damian Konstantinakos says technology is evolving, changing the way we generate power - but also putting more pressure on the fuel industry (need to make the most of fuel). Wants to see more people biking, walking. Will personally focus on the area of rare earth metals. Not just about metals in cell phones, but cars, solar panels, all areas of technology related to green energy.
Thomas Milroy has not yet shown up, we are going right to Catherine McKenna.
McKenna says we have a real opportunity here, great local companies, people, councillors doing all the right things. Only through partnerships that we will make a real difference. McKenna will work hard to make sure we have better pathways. "It's a little thing, but I believe little things can make a real difference in people's lives."
Canada's green investment bond: To support large and small scale energy projects. "Need to be investing in those of you looking to make a real difference."
Paul Dewer is up. Says green energy is the future of our planet. It's about climate change. "It's about my kids, and hopefully one day if I ever have grandkids." Wants to stimulate the economy "in a green way". Clean tech sector is expected to exceed three trillion dollars a year by 2020.
Most proud of the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative (OREC).
"We would issue 4.5 billion dollars in bonds for clean technology". Also says we have to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (by 34 per cent).
Stuart Ryan from the communist party is up. Says the communist party does have a green energy platform. He is involved in a community choir called Just Voices which supports peace, environment and social justice. Says his party calls for the nationalization of things the tar sands. Wants to get out of NAFTA, etc. because it allows the sales of raw materials without any development here.
Thomas Milroy is here, he's coming up to the floor now.
Says this is a fabulous event, that Canada hasn't done too badly in renewable energy and renewable energy jobs last year (thinks we came sixth). Imagine what we could do with support, leadership from the federal government. If they tried to move away from a fossil fuel based economy.
Presentations are over for now; will resume at 12:30 p.m.
Just talked to Geoff Chadsey, with the Canada Green Building Council. The Council is also the organization that does the LEED standards test. Says they update the requirements for certification as industry standard improve, to push businesses and companies into improving their buildings and housing as well.
I'm talking to Kevin Force of OREC. Said they currently have 13 projects in Ottawa installing renewable energy systems.
Last post of the day. Let's Talk Energy has a booth here; they are a national program that wants to increase awareness and literacy among Canadians towards sustainable energy. Also want to develop an app geared towards children for this purpose.