Gala 2023

Right Here, Right Now: Readiness for a Clean Economy

November 23, 2023

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.

Event Gallery 2023

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!

Gala 2022

Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow: Greening Canada in an Uncertain World

November 22, 2022

Conference Keynote Speaker

Cynthia Leach

Senior Director of Economic Thought Leadership of RBC

Cynthia is the Assistant Chief Economist, Thought Leadership at RBC. She helps shape the narratives and research agenda around the team’s forward-looking economic and policy analysis, covering topics such as the future of work, innovation, and net-zero transition.

Previously, Cynthia was an executive at Finance Canada, most recently heading a team responsible for housing finance policy. Cynthia holds an M.A. Economics degree from the University of Toronto.

Event Gallery 2022

Award Recipient

Edward Burtynsky

Fine Art Photographer

Edward Burtynsky is regarded as one of the world’s most accomplished contemporary photographers. His remarkable photographic depictions of global industrial landscapes represent over 40 years of his dedication to bearing witness to the impact of humans on the planet. Burtynsky’s photographs are included in the collections of over 60 major museums around the world.

Congratulations Edward!

Gala 2021

Code Red: Youth Perspectives on Addressing the Climate Emergency

November 30, 2021

Conference Speakers

Stella Bowles

Youth Environmentalist

Faith Edem

Policy Analyst, ECCC

Beth Eden

Interim CEO, QS World Merit

Helen Watts

Senior Director of Global Partnerships, Student Energy

Ricky-Lee Watts

Youth Programs Manager, Indigenous Clean Energy

Award Recipient

Naila Moloo

Nanotechnology Innovator and Writer

Naila is a 15 year old author and innovator passionate about the intersection of sustainable energies and nanotechnology. She is currently building transparent and flexible solar cells in a lab leveraging nanomaterial, as well as developing a bio-plastic from duckweed through interning at Pond Biomaterials.


Congratulations, Naila!

Gala 2020

Environmental Equity: Not-Our-Typical Conference and Gala

November 17, 2020

Conference Moderators

Michael Jacobs

CEO, CIPS (Cambium Indigenous Professional Services) Inc.

Michael is a member of the Curve Lake First Nation and brings a unique leadership profile to the CIPS team. Michael’s specialty is management consulting and community engagement for First Nation communities and projects. Michael has worked on multiple energy projects as well as projects in health, economic development, infrastructure development, governance, housing and environmental stewardship. Michael is a confident project manager and works seamlessly with First Nation leadership, staff and community members. Michael’s unique ability to translate the needs of all stakeholders into a language that is understood and relevant to a variety of audiences ensures that communications and information exchanges have value to all participants.

Chris Henderson

Executive Director, Indigenous Clean Energy and Chair, GLOBE Series

Chris Henderson is a Canadian eco-entrepreneur, community leader and environmental innovator.  For the past 35 years, he has led and been at the forefront of ground-breaking Canadian enterprises and local/national business, social and ecological initiatives which have global impact and resonance.

Chris is a trusted and insightful commentator on economic, environment and energy issues that respect the Planet, and generate enduring outcomes for corporations, communities and Canada.  Chris prime current role in advising and equipping Indigenous peoples and communities to develop and own clean energy projects to catalyze social development, economic opportunity and to combat Climate Change. His first book Aboriginal Power was published in 2013.

Award Recipient

Larissa Crawford

Canadian Writer & Science Journalist

Larissa is a restorative circle keeper, published Indigenous and anti-racism researcher, award-winning ribbon skirt artist, and proudly passes on Métis and Jamaican ancestry to her daughter, Zyra. She is the Founder of Future Ancestors Services, a youth-led professional services social enterprise that advances equity and climate justice through lenses of ancestral accountability and anti-racism. Larissa is a CohortX Climate Justice Fellow, a Raven Trust Capital Fireweed Fellow, Action Canada Fellow, and a 2019 Corporate Knight’s Top 30 Under 30 in Sustainability.

Gala 2019

Collaborating on a Future of Environmental Vision for Canada

November 19, 2019

Conference Moderators

Chris Henderson

Professor of Sustainable Energy at Simon Fraser University, and Chair and CEO of the British Columbia Utilities Commission

Mark is professor since 1986 in the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University, interrupted in 1992-97 when he served as Chair of the BC Utilities Commission. His PhD in energy economics is from the University of Grenoble, and his research focus is the design and application of energy-economy models for assessing climate policies. Internationally, Mark has served on the IPCC, the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, and the Global Energy Assessment, and domestically on the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy and the BC Climate Action Team. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the CD Howe Institute, and in 2009 was named BC Academic of the Year by the Confederation of University Faculty Associations. In 2006, his Sustainable Fossil Fuels won the Donner Prize. He is one of only eight professors at Simon Fraser University awarded the title, Distinguished Professor.

Award Recipients

Environmental Leadership Award

The Right Honourable M. Brian Mulroney, 18th Prime Minister of Canada

Rising Star Award

Autumn Peltier, Anishinabek Nation Chief Water Commissioner

Peter Middleton Legacy Award

Pollution Probe Founding Members