Transitioning to Clean Energy: A Great Lakes Case Study

Check out the recording from this webinar below!

The Council of the Great Lakes Region hosted a webinar on Thursday, April 28 with the Nuclear Innovation Institute (NII) to discuss the economic and environmental benefits of clean energy.

Using the region of Bruce, Grey, and Huron Counties of Ontario as a living case study, a region locally referred to as the Clean Energy Frontier, we heard from a diverse panel sharing their first-hand knowledge and experience on the direct and indirect opportunities that come with the transition to clean energy.

Clean energy provides a model for sustainable growth that needs to be emulated to achieve the massive energy transition needed to curb the worst effects of climate change. Sharing findings from a recent local economic impact study, NII spotlighted the successes and benefits of the carbon-free electricity that is being produced in the tri-county region, from cleaner air and clearer skies to better jobs and the spurring of innovative solutions. Our panelists provided unique perspectives on how the clean energy transition has impacted their businesses and respective positions in the community. 


Jessica Linthorne, Director, Clean Energy Frontier Program at the Nuclear Innovation Institute

With a focus on building relationships, Jessica leads the Clean Energy Frontier Program for the Nuclear Innovation Institute. Her background in economic development and communications combined with a collaborative and data-driven approach to problem solving gives her the ability to build and implement effective strategies. Prior to joining NII, Jessica worked in municipal government with a focus on facilitating sustainable growth.

The Clean Energy Frontier program is an advocacy, awareness-raising and economic development program led by Bruce Power and Bruce County, operating within the Nuclear Innovation Institute. It focuses on promoting the valuable contribution that Bruce, Grey and Huron bring to Ontario and Canada in the drive towards a net-zero future, while building on the region’s advantages in clean energy.

Mayor Ian Boddy, City of Owen Sound, Ontario

Now in his 12th year on Council, Ian Boddy has served as Mayor of the City of Owen Sound since 2014. A born-and-raised Grey County resident with 30 years of experience practicing law, he has been a champion of sustainable growth, investment in critical infrastructure, and an ardent supporter of the City’s commercial and industrial sectors.

Ian believes in approaching every decision with the best interest of the City and its citizens in mind. He has a strong commitment to building partnerships with businesses, community groups, and neighbouring Municipalities to bring new ideas and innovation to the forefront.

A pragmatic leader with a track record of making tough choices under pressure, Ian continues to work hard towards the City’s vision of being “where you want to live”.

Steve Furness, Manager of Economic Development and Tourism, Grey County

Steve was born and raised in the City of Owen Sound and is a proud graduate of the OSCVI, Huron College, University of Western Ontario, and the University of Waterloo. He spent 10 years with Parks Canada across the country before returning to work for the City of Owen Sound. 

Steve is currently in his 5th year with the awesome Grey County Economic Development team. He has a passion for positive big ideas and likes to say ‘Go with the willing’. Steve looks forward to a summer of sailing and a bumper crop of tomatoes. 


Lora Shrake, Senior Program Director, Business and Sustainability, Council of the Great Lakes Region

Lora Shrake is the Senior Program Director, Business and Sustainability for the Council of the Great Lakes Region. With over 20 years of experience, Lora has dedicated her career to the environment and sustainability issues. Her management and leadership spans across non-profit operations, environmental program management, stakeholder engagement, strategy, and research.

Prior to joining CGLR, Lora led a national green building council in the United Arab Emirates where she oversaw all aspects of the organization’s cross-functional development, including its impact and reach.

Mark Fisher, President and CEO, Council of the Great Lakes Region

Mark Fisher became the President and CEO of the Council of the Great Lakes Region (CGLR) in 2014, which comprises CGLR Canada, CGLR USA and the CGLR Foundation.

Immediately prior to joining CGLR, he served as a foreign policy advisor in the Privy Council Office, which supports the Prime Minister of Canada and the federal Cabinet, where he focused on advancing Canada’s interests in North America and the Asia-Pacific region.

Mark has extensive experience advising senior government, corporate, academic and NGO leaders on a range of pressing socioeconomic and environmental issues facing their sector, as well as the pathways and dynamic collaborations required to address them.

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