NorthCAN workshop on April 4, 2023. Click here for more information and register to participate in-person or online.
Northern BC Climate Action Network (NorthCAN)
Northern BC has low levels of capacity for transitioning to a low-carbon economy. Low capacity, however, does not mean no capacity. Interest and experience does exist in communities throughout Northern BC, but individuals are often disconnected, in different sectors, and separated by geography. In response, this Network was created as a hub for sharing knowledge and experiences, identifying opportunities to collaborate, and leveraging capacity – all to support climate action in Northern BC.
- accelerate implementation of low-carbon solutions that foster and support community well-being and preparedness for local climate impacts
- encourage local/regional innovation, research, and bold decision-making
- expose participants to new funding, contacts, and opportunities
The Network exists “in and for the North” and brings together individuals from local governments (staff and elected officials from municipalities, and regional districts), Indigenous governments, health and education, business and industry, and NGOs; these individuals have climate-related interest and expertise in the areas of buildings, transportation, energy systems/security, waste, and/or land use. These are areas where local governments have significant influence; they are also large sources of local greenhouse gas emissions and important for community resilience.
What Does Being a Member Entail? What Are the Benefits?
- Network with others who share a concern for climate change, a passion for innovation, and a commitment to leadership
- Receive early notice of government investments and priorities while also providing Northern perspectives and voices to governments
- Find partners who could lead to new projects, business opportunities, and funding
- Learn about new developments in the region and contribute ideas for keynote speakers, break-outs, and featured projects
- Identify priorities for action and implementation
- Advance local initiatives through collaboration and joint funding applications
- Develop solutions and preview new products, technologies, and programs
- Address skills and capacity gaps in Northern BC
Meetings are held over zoom 4-5 times per year and occur over lunchtimes, Pacific time. Meetings include presentations about northern success stories and identification of emerging topics/ideas. Meetings also present indigenous perspectives on the land, history, and culture.
Leading from the North: Building Connections across the Region for Climate Action
Presented by CEA, the University of Northern British Columbia, and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions
April 4, 2023
This workshop is marking NorthCAN’s first anniversary by providing opportunities to meet with others, foster collaboration for northern leadership in climate action, and build capacity for the low-carbon transition through education and training. This will be an event not to be missed!
Click here for more information about the program, keynote speakers, and a reception/dinner on April 3. Register to participate via zoom or in-person at the UNBC campus in Prince George.
Rob Van Adrichem (Community Energy Association), Network Liaison
Sam Sedlowsky, Network Admin
Funding for NorthCan
Thank you to BC Hydro for providing the funding to initiate the Northern BC Climate Action Network.
Thank you to the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions for funding NorthCAN’s one-year anniversary workshop and for providing financial support to those who travel to the event from outside of Prince George.
Chair: Niki Lindstrom, Director of Research and Analytics for the First Nations Housing and Infrastructure Council . Niki grew up in Smithers and currently resides in Prince George on the traditional territory of the Lheidli T'enneh. She is a member of the Saulteau First Nation in Treaty 8 territory and has lived in Northern BC all her life.
Meeting opening and click to watch the entire recording
BC First Nations Climate Strategy and Action Plan: An overview of this new plan – the first of its kind in Canada – was provided by Patricia Rojas (BC Assembly of First Nations) together with Josh Kioke and Cheyenne Arnold-Cunningham who work for the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. They explained how the plan was initiated by the Chiefs in 2019 and published in early 2022 after a variety of public engagement sessions in different regions of BC. The plan outlines 143 actions and so implementation is now a priority. “It’s a big issue and we have to work together,” said Patricia, adding that partners must come to the table ready to recognize First Nations’ inherent rights.
Kluskus bioenergy and housing project: Christoph Schiiling, Indigenous Programs lead for FPInnovations, provided an overview of two significant projects that FPInnovations is advancing for the Lhoosk’uz Dene Nation in the remote community of Kluskus, located nearly 200km west of Quesnel. One It is a combined heat-and-power bioenergy system that will displace 100,000 litres of diesel fuel that the community currently burns annually while managing the adjacent forest to remove wildfire fuel. The second is a housing project that is creating 300 square foot modular housing units that are highly energy-efficient and largely made of wood to be easily transportable while also minimizing the carbon emissions associated with the building materials. These can be configured in different ways to meet the housing needs of the occupants.
A poll was conducted during the meeting that captured the locations of the meeting participants and asked them whether they feel Northern BC will lead the rest of the province in climate action.
NorthCAN updates and Coming Events
The next NorthCAN meeting is being planned for April 4, which marks one year since the network’s inaugural meeting. More information will be provided soon, but save the date in your calendars.
- View the meeting summary
- Thank you to Casda Thomas for chairing the meeting and to our presenters: Sinead Earley, Danielle Wiess, and Sam Zirnhelt.
- This introductory webinar about heat pumps included information about their operation in cold climates.
- View a summary of the questions and answers posed during the webinar
- View the CleanBC Slides
- Thank you to Shaun Cormier for presenting about energy-efficient housing in Takla Landing being built by the Takla Nation. We also discussed and finalized our network terms of reference.
View the meeting summary
- We have scheduled our next two meetings to be September 28 and December 13, between noon and 1:30pm pacific time. Please hold the dates for now and we’ll be in touch again soon with agenda details. If you’d like to present on a topic, let us know.
- Given many comments/questions in our meetings about heat pumps, we’re organized a presentation from a CleanBC Community Energy Coach (https://betterhomesbc.ca/community-coach/ ) about heat pumps. It will be at noon (pacific time) on August 25. Save the date and time for now; in early August, we’ll be in touch again with the registration details. Thanks to Sahil from UNBC for suggesting this webinar for the network members.
- We’re also working on a NorthCAN web page, where we’ll provide access to meeting summaries and links to other resources, such as the recording of the heat pump webinar if you aren’t able to participate that day. Will be in touch soon with the URL. In the meantime, if you know of others who may be interested in being a member of this network, send them to this page.
- CEA and the Northern BC members of the BC Municipal Climate Leadership Council hosted an inaugural meeting of a climate action network in and for Northern BC. Nearly 90 people registered, representing local governments (both staff and elected officials), Indigenous communities, post-secondary education, business/industry, health care, and non-profit organizations – all sharing an interest in contributing their expertise and capacity to encouraging climate action in Northern BC communities.
- View the meeting summary
Building a Legacy – North: www.communityenergy.ca/bal-north
Wildland Development: https://www.wildlanddevelopment.ca/
Trappeur Homes for energy-efficient log homes: http://www.trappeurhomes.com/
Home Performance Contractor Network: http://homeperformance.ca/home-performance-contractornetwork
Local Government Climate Action Program: https://www.communityenergy.ca/lgcap/
New Government of BC heat pump rebates for northerners: