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Climate Change in Muskoka & Parry Sound
Active Living Centre
Huntsville, ON
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Climate Change in Muskoka & Parry Sound
What to expect and what we can do about it

**  Admission by donation to cover costs **

Keynote speaker       Peter Sale

Peter Sale, PhD, is a marine environmental scientist, with research experience in Canadian lakes and tropical coastal marine systems around the world.  Currently Distinguished University Professor (Emeritus) at University of Windsor, he lives with his wife, Donna, in Muskoka and brings his expertise in aquatic ecology to the deliberations of the Muskoka Watershed Council.

TABLE TALK PRESENTATIONS:  Choose five from the following 10 min. talks with a 5 minute question and answer period.


1. Protecting our Watershed

Kevin Trimble will describe the relationship between the watershed ecosystem and climate change in the context of our socio-economic health, our communities and flood management. He will discuss natural capital and why we need to assess, plan and manage our land use at the watershed scale, rather than focussing on single municipalities or narrow issues like water management.

Kevin Trimble is the Chair of the Muskoka Watershed Council. He has spent the last thirty years as an ecologist and moved to Muskoka with his wife Moreen in 2014. Now semi-retired, they live on Brandy Lake and have two children and two grandchildren.

2. Forest Sustainability and Climate Action: Sell trees  Save Forests?

An ecologist by background, Tom Clark is a skeptic about industrial solutions to environmental problems. He has been looking at the problem of forestry and wildlife and working with ENGOs, Forest companies and government for 40 years.  Tom has some thoughts on the pros and cons of the market based approach to environmental problems and will share an example of how one market based solution, the Forest Stewardship Council, helped changed forestry practices around the world and in Muskoka Parry Sound.

Tom Clark  is a consulting ecologist working on wildlife ecology and forest management. He was the founding Chair of Westwind. License for the French Severn Forest -- the first large public forest FSC certified in Canada. Toms work has included  forest management auditing in Canada and the U.S. He is a co-author of Diversity: Forests, People, Communities, the framework for developing public forest policy in Ontario.

3. The Ash Muskoka Project.

Norman Yan will explain the nature of ecological osteoporosis, the weakening of our forests and their diminishing ability to capture carbon and withstand stronger wind events in our changing climate. Learn about AshMuskoka, an environmental restoration project to help our forests, and especially our maple bushes recover from calcium depletion. Find out how you can be part of the solution and contribute to restoring calcium to our Muskoka forests.

Norman Yan, PhD FRSC, is a senior research scholar with York University, chair of Friends of the Muskoka Watershed and a researcher both here and abroad. He has devoted half a century of work to understanding human impacts on Ontarios lakes, how the damage can be fixed, and its re-occurrence prevented.  His research has extended to include the impacts of introduced predators, ozone depletion, climate change, road salt and calcium depletion in our lakes and our forests.

4. The Role of Business and Industry

Moreens presentation will focus on practical ways that natural infrastructure can be utilized to make landscapes more resilient to climate change, with a focus on how the business community can contribute to these changes.
Moreen Miller works in the construction and aggregates industry, and is the former president of Fowler Construction.  She is currently the Chair of the Board of Defence Construction Canada, a federal crown corporation based in Ottawa.


5. Sourcing our food to reduce our footprint
How does the food you eat affect the environment and what you can do to reduce your impact? In this talk you will learn about the various ways your food choices contribute to climate change and learn how you can reduce your footprint and vote with your dollars!

Keri-Lyn Freebird is an Environmental Technologist by trade, but found her way to the local/organic food movement 13 yrs ago.  She is a passionate foodie, advocate for clean, regional eating and currently manages the Grocery Market at Muskoka North Good Food Co-op.

6. Aquaculture and Vertical Growing

Matt is committed to sustainable food production. He will explain the importance of urban farming and its role in building a resilient local food economy from the producers point of view.

Matt Richter is our 4 time Green Party of Ontario candidate for Parry Sound Muskoka. He is the small business owner/operator of Best Ever Foods. Matt has been a TLDSB teacher since 1998.

7. Building Green and Affordable  
                                                                                    Rick Zytaruk will discuss the significant impact of buildings on climate change and share his thoughts on what we can do to change the story.  He has a wealth of knowledge on the choice of materials to contribute to a healthier home for both people and the planet and is committed to making a difference for our grandchildrens future.

After 40 years in the business world and a bit of contemplation time, Rick Zytaruk came out of retirement to help kick start Tooketree Passive Homes, building Pre-fabricated wall sections in a factory in Baysville for High Performance homes.  He is focused on building homes that are low cost to operate, healthy for the inhabitants and help combat climate change by sequestering carbon.

8. Waste Reduction and Eliminating Single Use Plastic  

Together Christina Hunter and Deserae Doolittle will be highlighting the impact of waste on our community locally and globally and making the link to climate heating. They will motivate us with concrete strategies to encourage personal action plans which will support Muskoka in limiting waste and moving towards a zero waste community. 

Christina Hunter  has been a Director and Chair of Fund-raising at Muskoka Conservancy. She is the founder and chair of Little Sprouts Eco-Club and the recipient of the Paul Harris Fellowship Award in 2017 She has been a board member of Syrian Refugees Gravenhurst. With Deserae she is a founder of  Reusable Revolution, a zero waste advocacy group. Christina is the parent of two.

Desarae Doolittle has been a community liaison for Friends of Muskoka Midwives since 2015, a certified La Leche League Canada Leader since 2016, a South Muskoka Harm Reduction Committee Member since 2015, Twisted Literature region lead 2018. She is also a  Community Mental Health Substance Use counselor. As a minimal consumption advocate she co-founded the  Reuseable Revolution with Christina. She is a parent of two children.


9. Myths and Truths about Carbon Pricing

Arleigh will explain the principles of pricing carbon and the issues surrounding this strategy to reduce emissions.

Arleigh Luckett's social activism began in the 60s. She has spent twenty years working for non-profits and  her values continue to be  deeply rooted in community. Exemplified by her life path she has maintained strong connections to the land and its protection. Arleighs community activism includes Guiding, supporting Syrian refugees and PFLAG. She is currently the president of the Parry Sound Muskoka Green Party of Ontario.

10. A Just Transition for Canada

Gordon will speak about the elephant in the room, how to rapidly decarbonize Canadas economy when oil and natural gas production are Canadas fastest growing sources of emissions. How can this be managed with no one left behind? He will also speak of our need to rewild much of Canada and grow forests on a massive scale to act as huge carbon sinks and preserve biodiversity.

Gordon Laxer, PhD, is the founding Director and former head of Parkland Institute (1996-2011). He is a Political Economist and professor emeritus at the University of Alberta, and is the author or editor of six books, including Open for Business: The Roots of Foreign Ownership in Canada. He is the author of After the Sands: Energy and Ecological Security for Canadians, which was a finalist for the 2016 John W. Dafoe prize in non-fiction books.

11. Giving a Voice to Lower Income Citizens - Understanding the Barriers                    

Janice will share WHY lower income individuals often feel they are unimportant to these conversations and HOW the community can support them to bring forward their views. In Muskoka, it is significant that 13% of our community live in poverty. Everyones voice matters. Liz will share the Circles program.

Janice Larade is a grandmother and mother who has been living in Huntsville since 2014. She found herself in situational poverty on a very low income after her divorce. She feels she has been strategically placed in her community amongst the issues of life such as mental, emotional, physical, housing, addictions, abuse and the ageing population in poverty. She has a wealth of life experience to share and is a member of the Circles community.                                                                                                                                                     Liz Angell coordinates 'Circles'. This is a community-based poverty-reduction initiative led by YWCA Muskoka that creates relationships across income groups to support individuals and families out of their situation. 

12. A Student Perspective   Huntsville High School
We welcome student Alicia McLinden bringing her thoughts to the table talk forum with a young persons perspective.   Alicia McLinden   is a grade 12 student at Huntsville High School. Next year she is pursuing a degree in Environmental Science at the University of Waterloo. She hopes to end up with a career that uses her love for science to help solve environmental issues we face today.

13. Drawdown 100 Solutions to Reverse Global Warming
DRAWDOWN is that point at which greenhouse gases in the atmosphere peak and begin to decline.  Project DRAWDOWN has compiled 100 existing solutions in all areas of human activity to reduce emissions or sequester carbon from the Atmosphere.  Scaling these up will reverse global warming.                                                                                               Sue will share this resource which helps change despair and apathy to hope and action.
Sue McKenzie is a retired teacher, mother, long-time social, political and climate activist, and a 45-year resident of Muskoka,  She has pledged to work for a Green New Deal for Canada.


Active Living Centre (View)
7 Camp Kitchen Rd
Huntsville, ON P1H 1P5


Education > Workshops
Other > Green

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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