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Climate Resilient Food Systems in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Region

Ontario Climate Symposium 2016

The 2016 Symposium focused on the agriculture and agri-food sector in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region, bringing 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.

cover of 2016 OCC symposium proceedings report



  • 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 an inclusive forum for sharing diverse perspectives on 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_HEADSHOTEvan 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_HEADSHOTHank 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_caldwellWayne 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 2Dianne 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-smallKeith 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.

David McInnisModerator: David McInnes | President and CEO, Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute
David McInnes is President and CEO of the Ottawa-based Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI), an independent, non-partisan organization focused on advancing a national dialogue on emerging issues facing Canada’s agri-food sector (www.capi-icpa.ca). David is also currently a director of WaterAid Canada, a global international charity dedicated to improving access to clean water and sanitation in the developing world. Previously, David was Vice-President, International Relations at MDS Nordion, a major life sciences company, and has worked for the Canadian Bankers Association, the Bank of Nova Scotia and the Royal Commission on the Economic Union and Development Prospects for Canada. David is a graduate of the London School of Economics and Dalhousie University in Halifax.


Contact Ian McVey, Ontario Climate Consortium.