Loading Events
  • This event has passed.
vegetables on a plate

Climate Resilient Food Systems in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Region

When: May 5, 2016
Time: 9:00 am


About the Symposium: The Ontario Climate Change Symposium is the premier forum for the sharing of cutting-edge research and best practice policy and initiatives that address climate change in the province.  The 2016 Symposium will focus on the agriculture and agri-food sector in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region, bring together stakeholders from across the value chain to help inform the development of strategies and policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and develop programs to safeguard the sector from a changing climate.  The Ontario Climate Change Symposium is convened by the Ontario Climate Consortium, which is a partnership formed by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, the Region of Peel, the University of Guelph, York University, McMaster University and Western University.


  • Facilitate the production, adoption and application of climate research with respect to provincial policy and local governance as it relates to the Greater Golden Horseshoe Region’s agriculture and food sector;
  • Provide a forum for sharing recent research and practical applications relevant to climate change impacts and vulnerability, and greenhouse gas emissions reductions;
  • Foster the translation of regional climate change research into policy solutions; and,
  • Facilitate collaboration across research fields and public policy silos.


Evan Fraser, Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security, University of Guelph
Evan Fraser is the author of approximately 70 scientific papers or book chapters that explore the nexus of issues surrounding agriculture, climate change and food security. He has written for the Guardian.com, CNN.com, ForeignAffairs.com, the Walrus and the Ottawa Citizen, and has two popular non-fiction books about food and food security including Empires of Food: Feast, Famine and the Rise and Fall of Civilization. Evan currently holds the Tier I Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security and is a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society.

Hank Venema, Chief Scientist, International Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD) and Director, Centre for Climate Risk Reduction on the Prairies

Dr. Venema was recently appointed Director of Planning for the newly launched Centre for Climate Risk Reduction on the Prairies, a joint initiative of the University of Winnipeg, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and Great West Life. This new initiative will be a network offering research, advice and policy development to governments, businesses and community members on the pressing and increased impacts of climate change. The goal is to identify and anticipate risks to increase community resilience to climate change. Dr. Venema has been invited to share with the Symposium the rationale behind the creation of the Centre, as well as the stakeholder-driven approach that underpins its organizational model. From 2004 to 2013, Dr. Venema led IISD’s research on water and agricultural issues in pioneering the application of natural capital principles to water management challenges in Western Canada. He has served as IISD’s Chief Scientist since 2014.


The Role of Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) Region Land-Use Planning and Agriculture in the Ontario Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan

Wayne Caldwell, Dean Ontario Agricultural College, Professor of Rural Planning and Development, University of Guelph
Dr. Caldwell has lectured across Canada on the future of rural communities and has published extensively in the areas of planning, community development, agricultural land preservation, siting livestock facilities, rural land use, and the environment. He is an experienced facilitator with a primary focus on issues of change in rural and agricultural communities. His current research projects have a strong focus on sustainable agriculture, and rural resilience in the context of climate change.

Dianne Saxe, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario
Dr. Saxe is the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO), a tough but fair watchdog over Ontario’s environmental, energy and climate performance, and guardian of the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR). The ECO is a bridge between the public and the government on environmental issues. Prior to her appointment, Dianne was one of Canada’s most respected environmental lawyers. She has 40 years’ unparalleled experience writing, interpreting, and litigating Ontario’s energy and environmental laws. Dianne’s career began with the Ontario Public Service and two major Bay Street law firms. She then established one of Canada’s top environmental law boutiques.

Keith Currie, Vice President Ontario Federation of Agriculture & Member of Coordinated Land Use Planning Advisory Panel
Keith Currie, a Simcoe County crop farmer, serves as a Vice President at the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA). In 2015 he was named by the Government of Ontario as one of six members on the expert advisory panel for the Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review which is looking at the policy framework in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Region of Southern Ontario. The Expert Panel submitted its report to the Government in Fall of 2015. The Symposium provides an opportunity for Mr. Currie to share and discuss the Advisory Panel’s findings as they relate to the agriculture and agri-food sectors in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region.


Contact Ian McVey, Ontario Climate Consortium.