Right Here, Right Now: Readiness for a Clean Economy

November 23, 2023

As Canada, and the world, transition to new energy, transportation, and materials management systems to achieve our environmental objectives, a number of common questions have been raised:

  • How ready are we?
  • What successes have we had, and are they enough? 
  • What gaps exist?
  • What challenges and constraints need to be overcome?
  • What pace and scale must we progress at to ensure that we meet our targets?

The “Right Here, Right Now” conference and gala will reflect upon our environmental achievements, while acknowledging the challenges we continue to face. Together, we will explore solutions to ensure readiness and seize this opportunity for collaborative, cross-sectoral engagement.

We are pleased to announce  that our 2023 Sponsorship Opportunities package is now available, check out the link below to find out the many ways you can support and participate in this year’s gala and conference.

Learn More About Sponsorship Opportunities

Delivering Remarks

The Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy, M.P.P.

Ontario Minister of Finance, Member of Provincial Parliament, Pickering-Uxbridge

Peter Bethlenfalvy is Ontario’s Minister of Finance. He was elected as MPP for Pickering—Uxbridge in 2018 and was re-elected in 2022.

As Minister of Finance, he is responsible for the management of the province’s finances and building the environment for long-term economic prosperity. Throughout COVID-19, Minister Bethlenfalvy provided the supports Ontario families, workers, and businesses needed through the pandemic. Now, with Premier Ford, he is working to Get It Done for our health care system, communities, and economy to ensure they are stronger than ever before.

Prior to entering public service, Minister Bethlenfalvy served in senior leadership roles for several financial institutions including as President and Chief Operating Officer of TD Securities (USA) and Co-President of DBRS.

He has served on the Board of Directors for many charitable organizations. In 2014, he joined the True Patriot Love Expedition to the magnetic North Pole in support of Canadian military families.

He holds both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Business Administration from McGill University which included a year at the HEC School of Management, Paris, and a Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Toronto.

Conference Keynote Speaker

Melanie Debassige, MBA, ICD.D​

Executive Director of the Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation​

Melanie Debassige, MBA, ICD.D is an Anishinabek Kwe from the M’Chigeeng First Nation. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation. Melanie was appointed to the Ontario Clean Water Agency Board of Directors in October 2013 where she serves as a Board Director and Chair of the First Nations Committee. In March 2018, she was appointed to the Board of Reconciliation Canada where she holds the position of Director/Treasurer. Melanie completed the Director’s Education Program at the Rotman School of Management and is a certified corporate director which complements her Master’s in Business Administration. Melanie was recognized in 2015 by the Canadian Board Diversity Council in the Diversity 50 which is a list of highly-qualified board candidates. In 2018, Melanie undertook the role as strategic advisor to the National Energy Board of Canada on Indigenous issues. In August 2019, she was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Canada Energy Regulator on August 22, 2023 she was appointed to the role of Vice Chair. In 2019, she was recognized in Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100. She also served on the Ontario Provincial Sectoral Audit Committee, Community Services. Most recently she was appointed in January 2023 to the Legal Aid Ontario Board of Directors.

Conference Panelists

Pat Dalzell

Exec. Director of Corporate Affairs at Bruce Power​

Pat Dalzell is the Executive Director of Corporate Affairs at Bruce Power, a role primarily focused on the development and growth of the corporate identity through government and stakeholder engagement; corporate and community communications; and promoting areas of energy innovation and the use of nuclear isotopes in the fight against cancer. Previous to this, he held the role of Director of Government and Stakeholder relations coordinating partnerships with all levels of government along with key member associations, economic development groups, the electricity system operator and labour representatives. Pat currently serves on the board of directors of the Canadian Nuclear Association and is the Chair of the Association of Power Producers of Ontario (APPrO).

Bob Masterson

President and CEO at Chemistry Industry Association of Canada

Bob Masterson is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC). He is the chief spokesperson and leading advocate for Canada’s chemistry and plastics industry, the country’s third largest manufacturing sector.

In this role, Bob is focussed on three priorities: Improving Canada’s investment and regulatory environment to have the chemistry and plastics sector recognized as a leader in (or driver of) the emerging circular and net carbon zero economy; ensuring the activities of the industry are aligned with societal expectations through Responsible Care®, the made in Canada and now global ESG initiative for the industry; and building a diverse, trusted and healthy workplace. while sustaining CIAC as a Great Place to Work Canada® Certified™

Bob holds an engineering degree from Queen’s University, and Masters Public Administration from Carleton University. He is a Chartered Director through the McMaster DeGroote School of Business and recently joined the Board of Directors of Women Building Futures™ an organization focussed on creating opportunities for women in the skilled trades.

Céline Vaneeckhaute

Associate Professor at Université Laval, Director of BioEngine Research Team at BioEngine, and Canada Research Chair

Céline Vaneeckhaute is associate professor at Université Laval in Quebec, Canada, director of the BioEngine Research Team on Green Process Engineering and Biorefineries (BioEngine), and Canada Research Chair in resource recovery and bioproducts engineering. Her main research field concerns the recovery of nutrients, energy and water from waste and wastewater sources. Her innovative work has led to the achievement of numerous prestigious research awards such as the Young Leadership award (International Water Association, IWA), the Prix du Québec Relève Scientifique (Quebec Government) and the Prix Honoris Genius Relève (Quebec Order of Engineers). She is steering board member of the IWA resource recovery from water cluster, director of the Water Research Center at Université Laval, and president of the waste management division at the Canadian Space Agency (Food production topical team), to name a few.

Andrew Van Iterson

Manager of Green Budget Coalition
Andrew Van Iterson manages the Green Budget Coalition (GBC), which uniquely brings together 22 of Canada’s leading environmental organizations, collectively with over one million members and supporters, to develop and promote recommendations for the federal budget.  Senior Finance officials have repeatedly called the GBC the best stakeholder to Finance, and one called the GBC the “most effective advocacy group in Canada.”  
The Green Budget Coalition’s budget recommendations address a comprehensive set of issues across climate adaptation and mitigation, nature and biodiversity, agriculture, human health, and environmental justice.  The GBC operates on an annual cycle that informs and precedes the government’s budget cycle, and meets at senior federal levels including the Deputy Prime Minister, and broadly across over fifteen departments and agencies.

Gala Delivering Remarks

The Hon. Andrea Khanjin, M.P.P.

Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, and Member of Provincial Parliament, Barrie-Innisfil

Andrea Khanjin is Ontario’s newly appointed Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, and the Member of Provincial Parliament for Barrie-Innisfil.  

At the age of four, Andrea immigrated to Canada with her grandparents to Barrie. She is proud to be the first female Progressive Conservative Jewish cabinet Minister in Ontario’s history.  

Andrea is no stranger to the environment portfolio. She formerly served as the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks from 2018-2022, and successfully introduced an Act to proclaim the Provincial Day of Action on Litter which takes place every second Tuesday in May each year.  

She is also the longest serving Deputy Government House Leader for the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario since 2019. In addition, she has served as the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, and Deputy Government Whip.  

Andrea lives in Innisfil with her husband Kevin and 2-year-old son Oliver.

Julie Dabrusin, M.P.

Member of Parliament, Toronto—Danforth, and Parliamentary Secretary to Ministers of Environment & Climate Change and Energy & Natural Resources

Ms. Dabrusin has previously served as the Chair of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage and the Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. She was also a member of various other committees, parliamentary associations, and interparliamentary groups.

Ms. Dabrusin grew up in Montréal and completed her undergraduate degree in Near and Middle East Studies at McGill University, before attending law school at the University of Toronto. She then practised litigation, including for a time as commission counsel to the Toronto External Contracts Inquiry, which reviews municipal government procurement.

Ms. Dabrusin was an active volunteer in her community. She founded Friends of Withrow Park, served on the Board of Directors of Park People, and started initiatives such as the local Second Harvest Hunger Squad. In 2012, she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her community service.

Ms. Dabrusin has been a strong advocate for her community on issues of gun control, healthy eating, and banning single-use plastics. She is also a champion of Canada’s creative and cultural industries.

She and her family have lived in Toronto for over 20 years.

Award Recipient

Bob McDonald

Canadian Writer & Science Journalist

Bob McDonald is a renowned Canadian science communicator and broadcaster, celebrated for his passion for unraveling the scientific mysteries of our world and inspiring curiosity across many generations – through television, radio, print, and live media. Bob McDonald is an officer of the Order of Canada and currently lives in Victoria, BC. This year marks 50 years of extraordinary achievements in Bob’s science communication career, including his reporting as science correspondent for CBC Television’s “The National” and hosting CBC Radio’s award-winning program, “Quirks & Quarks”. 

Known for his enthusiasm and insightful interviews, he brings the wonders of the natural world and the frontiers of scientific discovery into the daily lives of Canadians. His most recent publication, “The Future Is Now: Solving the Climate Crisis with Today’s Technologies” explores how we can achieve a greener future. His commitment to making science accessible has inspired many to embark on their own journeys of discovery.  

Congratulations Bob!

Recent Recipients

2022 Pollution Probe Award

Edward Burtynsky

Fine Art Photographer

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2021 Pollution Probe Award

Naila Moloo

Nanotechnology Innovator and Writer

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2020 Pollution Probe Award

Larissa Crawford

Founder and Managing Director, Future Ancestors Services

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2023 Gala Sponsors

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