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Ontario's Best Minds Across 11 Universities, Government and Industry to Tackle the Challenges of Climate Change at the Ontario Climate Consortium's (OCC) First Annual Research Symposium

Apr 30, 2013


Toronto, April 30

On May, 13th The Ontario Climate Consortium (OCC), a collective of scientists, researchers, climate professionals, practitioners and decision makers spearheading climate change research and practice from Ontario, will be participating in the First Annual OCC Climate Change Research Symposium. More than 200 people are set to attend the symposium which will provide a forum for advancing research and action on climate change by bringing together business, government and academia. The symposium will bring climate related research and application to the fore with a focus on defining actionable opportunities to address climate impacts in Ontario - with an ultimate aim of building more resilient communities, infrastructure and ecosystems.

Confirmed speakers include:

Keynote:               Scott Vaughan, President and CEO, the International Institute for Sustainable Development

  • Dr. Gordon McBean | Professor, Western University, Chair- Canadian Climate Foundation (CCF) and the Ontario Climate Consortium (OCC)
  • Dr. Francis Zwiers | President and CEO, Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium (PCIC)
  • Alain Bourque | Director, Impacts and Adaptation, Ouranos Consortium
  • Barbara Turley-McIntyre | Senior Director, Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship, The Co-operators Group Limited
  • Patricia Koval | Partner | Torys LLP
  • Dr. David Bidwell | Great Lakes Integrated Science Assessment (GLISA), NOAA, hosted at the University of Michigan & Michigan State University
  • Marjorie F. Shepherd | Director, Climate Research Division, Atmospheric Science and Technology Directorate, Science and Technology Branch, Environment Canada

Other presenters include scientists and researchers from 11 Ontario universities (including Dr. Mark Winfield (York University), Dr. Horia Hangan (Western University) and Dr. Ioannis Tsanis (McMaster University) to name just a few), as well as public and private sector agencies and organizations.

Media and participants will:

  • Learn about advances in research as to how a changing climate and extreme weather impact food security, insurance liabilities, threats to supply chains, and public health, etc;
  • Hear what issues business and industry currently face in responding to changing climate;
  • Investigate how challenges across sectors (e.g. critical infrastructure, health, etc) could be addressed through research and active collaboration with Ontario's leading university researchers, Conservation Authorities and local government;
  • Learn what research is currently underway in the province of Ontario and the role it will play in shaping policy and decision making for years to come; and
  • Get an inside look at how the Ontario Climate Consortium (OCC) and its partners are building a framework to advance identified priorities for action on climate change adaptation and mitigation.


DATE: Monday, May 13th, 2013

TIME: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM (6:00 PM - 7:30 PM Evening Reception and Keynote)

LOCATION: University of St. Michael's College, 81 St Mary St, Toronto, Ontario M5S1J4

Media Registration: Please register with Rowena Calpito, Toronto and Region Conservation,

Public Registration:

Twitter: @ontarioclimate


9:00 - 9:30 Introductions and overview of the day

9:30 - 11:00 AM Plenary Panel 1: Climate Risks and Liabilities: Framing the Research Issues and Defining the Priorities

11:15 - 12:30 PM Plenary Panel 2: A Model for Collaboration: Research and Practice - Canada's Leading Climate Consortia (Presentations and Discussion)

1:30 - 3:00 PM: Session 1

1. Climate Proof?: Climate-Resilient Infrastructure

2. Climate Prognosis: Human Health and Climate Change

3. Canada is Climate: Canada's Parks, Pastimes and Future

3:15 -4:30 PM Session 2

1. Climate Landscape: Water and Natural Resources

2. Eat, Drink and Be Merry: Climate Change, Food and Agriculture

3. The Climate-Energy-Economy Nexus: Power for the Future

5:00 - 6:00 PM Keynote: Sustainable solutions in turbulent times. Scott Vaughan, President and CEO, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

6:00 - 7:30 PM Networking Wine and Cheese 



The Consortium developed through a consensus building process with universities across Ontario, all levels of government, conservation authorities, NGOs and the private sector. The Consortium builds upon the well-established climate science expertise located within partner universities but also the practical experience of end-users such as large urban municipalities in the greater Toronto area and conservation authorities across the province.  Toronto Region Conservation (TRCA) provides secretarial services and coordination for the Consortium in partnership with York University, McMaster University and Western University. The Secretariat is located in Toronto, Ontario, but has linkages with university, public, private and NGO partners throughout the province.

Supporter universities include Ryerson University, Trent University, University of Guelph, University of Ottawa, University of Waterloo, and the University of Windsor. For more information visit:





Media Contact:
Rowena Calpito, Toronto and Region Conservation, 416-661-6600 ext 5632,


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Media contact:

Elizabeth Oakley
Tel: 416-661-6600 ext 5856

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