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Building Local Community Confidence in Renewable Energy Development

September 23, 2016

Ivey Tangerine Leadership Centre

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Energy development has become increasingly contested at the local level. While opposition to pipelines is top of mind, energy projects of all stripes, including those from renewable sources, have confronted powerful local opposition in some communities. What is driving these energy conflicts? Are existing regulatory processes flawed, or do the sources of opposition stem from elsewhere, be it industry practice, broader questions of public policy, or fundamental value changes in society? How extensive is opposition – is it a vocal minority or is opposition more widespread in communities? What can we learn from successful projects with broad-based community support? What is the role of local governments in community energy planning and in resolving controversies? And what should governments, regulatory authorities, and project proponents do to address this growing set of challenges? This event, organized by the Ivey Energy Policy and Management Centre, brings together expert panelists to address these questions from public, private, and academic perspectives.

For expert insights from The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Ken Hewitt, Mayor, Haldimand County, Margaret Loudermilk, Research Director, Ivey Energy Centre, Michael Lyle, Vice President, Planning, Law and Aboriginal Relations, IESO, and Kris SmithExecutive Vice President, Downstream, Suncor, please join this Idea Forum, “Building Local Community Confidence in Renewable Energy Development”, organised by the Ivey Business School’s Energy Policy and Management Centre. 

Event Information

Date: September 23, 2016
Time: 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Location: Ivey Tangerine Leadership Centre, Toronto, Ontario   
Schedule: Event Agenda  


Keynote Speaker

The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario 

The Hon. Elizabeth Dowdeswell was invested as Ontario’s 29th Lieutenant Governor on September 23, 2014. Her eclectic public service career has spanned provincial, federal, and international borders, and has transcended disciplinary and sectoral lines.

Ms. Dowdeswell began her professional career as a teacher and university lecturer. After serving as the Deputy Minister of Culture and Youth for the Government of Saskatchewan, she held increasingly senior positions in the Canadian public service, most notably as head of the Atmospheric Environment Service. Throughout this period, she managed several public inquiries and royal commissions.

Her international negotiating experiences prefaced her election in 1992 as Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. Upon returning to Canada in 1998, she established an international consulting practice and became the founding President and CEO of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization. Immediately prior to her appointment as Lieutenant Governor, Ms. Dowdeswell was the President and CEO of the Council of Canadian Academies. She has also served on numerous boards of corporate and non-profit organizations.

Ms. Dowdeswell was born in Northern Ireland and immigrated to rural Saskatchewan with her parents in 1947. She earned a Bachelor of Science in home economics and teaching certificate from the University of Saskatchewan (1966) and a Master of Science in behavioural sciences from Utah State University (1972). An Officer of the Order of Canada, Ms. Dowdeswell holds 11 honorary degrees.


Ken Hewitt, Mayor, Haldimand County  

Ken Hewitt was first elected Mayor of Haldimand County in 2010 and has deep family roots in the area. As Mayor, he has witnessed the development of more than 500 MW of wind and solar projects since 2008, making Haldimand one of the most active municipalities for renewable energy in Ontario.

After graduating with a business degree in economics from the University of Ottawa, Ken Hewitt began a career as a Financial Planner with Canada Life. Over the years he gained management experience with companies such as Manulife and Sunlife. With the many changes in that industry, Mr. Hewitt found himself back in Caledonia where he has established his own business. Currently is he helping individuals and businesses set financial goals, budgets and strategic plans for financial success.

Margaret Loudermilk, Research Director, Ivey Energy Centre

Margaret Loudermilk joined the Ivey Energy Policy and Management Centre as Research Director in 2014. She is an Adjunct Research Professor in the Business, Economics and Public Policy group at Ivey. Her research is mainly methodological and focuses on measuring the economic impacts of energy policies. She is now leading major new research projects for the Energy Centre on social license in the energy and infrastructure sectors, and on aboriginal participation in energy projects. Prior to joining Ivey, she was a Research Scientist at the University of Chicago’s Center for Robust Decision Making on Climate and Energy Policy as well as an Adjunct Professor of Econometrics and Statistics at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. She received her PhD in Economics from Michigan State University, specializing in econometrics and industrial organization. 

Michael Lyle, Vice President, Planning, Law and Aboriginal Relations, IESO  

Michael Lyle is Vice-President, Planning, Law and Aboriginal Relations at the IESO. He is responsible for legal services, regulatory affairs, First Nation and Métis relations and long-term planning.

Mr. Lyle has extensive experience in the regulation of the electricity sector in Ontario. Previously, he was General Counsel and Vice President, Legal, Aboriginal and Regulatory Affairs at the Ontario Power Authority, and as such, was closely involved with the organization's planning activities. Mr. Lyle has also served as counsel for the Ontario Energy Board and, before that, counsel at the Ministry of Energy.

Mr. Lyle obtained his law degree from the University of Toronto and also holds a BA in economics from the University of Western Ontario.

Kris SmithExecutive Vice President, Downstream, Suncor

As executive vice president, Downstream, Kris is responsible for the operations of Suncor’s refining network in North America, as well as industrial, commercial and retail marketing of refined products under the Petro-Canada™ brand. Kris is also accountable for Suncor’s global lubricants business, renewable energy portfolio and energy supply and trading activities.

Since joining Suncor in 2000, Kris has held a variety of roles. Most recently, he served as Suncor’s senior vice president, Supply Trading & Corporate Development, where he was responsible for marketing, logistics and energy trading, corporate strategic planning and development, and the company’s business process and information services. Kris has also held positions in the General Counsel’s office, the U.S. downstream business and at Suncor’s Oil Sands operation.

Kris obtained his bachelor of arts with honours from the University of Alberta in 1992, and his bachelor of laws from Dalhousie University in 1995. He is a member of the Alberta and Colorado bars. Prior to joining Suncor, Kris was a lawyer at a respected law firm in Calgary, Alta.

Kris sits on the board of directors for the Canadian Fuels Association, as well as on the board of directors of Actua, Canada’s largest science, technology, engineering and mathematics youth outreach organization. He is also Chair of the 2016 United Way Region of Peel Campaign.


Gord Lambert

Gord Lambert is former Executive Advisor, Sustainability and Innovation, at Suncor Energy. Previously, he was Vice President, Sustainable Development; prior to assuming that role in 1997, Gord spent two years as Director, Sustainable Development for TransAlta Corporation and 15 years with a major Canadian integrated oil and gas company. He is involved with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development in support of its work on climate change. In 2015, he was appointed Suncor Sustainability Executive-in-Residence, where he will support both the Ivey Energy Policy and Management Centre and Ivey's Centre for Building Sustainable Value.




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