Green Building Day on The Hill 2023
During the week of October 23, 2023, CAGBC returned to Parliament Hill to talk about how the green building sector can help advance important policies and programs. It marks the second year of CAGBC’s Green Building Day on the Hill initiative, which brings together our members with key policymakers and Parliamentarians.
“Green Building Day on the Hill is the result of ongoing work by our Advocacy and Government Affairs team to grow awareness of green buildings as a proven solution for emissions reductions, job creation and resiliency,” said Thomas Mueller, CAGBC President and CEO. “We recognize that to increase market uptake at scale and achieve climate targets, green building needs the support of the industry and the federal government. This event brought together representatives from all parties to help advance green building policies and investments.”
During the week of Green Building Day on the Hill, CAGBC hosts meetings with influential Members of Parliament to discuss how the green building sector can help support relevant policies and programs. This year, conversations were dominated by the need for affordable and green housing as well as greater resiliency and carbon reductions in Canada’s building stock.
October 25 was the linchpin of Green Building Day on the Hill activities. CAGBC was joined by leaders from the green building sector and government policymakers for two panel discussions, sponsored by Julie Dabrusin, Member of Parliament for Toronto–Danforth and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
The first panel focused on federal leadership on green building and net-zero opportunities. Much has been done to advance green building within the federal government. With over 34,000 buildings in its portfolio, the federal government has the power to fundamentally shift the market. The Greening Government Strategy’s focus on energy efficiency and carbon reduction will see the federal government lead the market toward carbon reductions. The anticipated Green Buildings Strategy will help bring together many of the programs and activities designed to decarbonize Canada’s built environment, especially operational emissions, while increasing resiliency and affordability.
Along with coming changes to the National Building Code, areas of focus include actions to increase access to clean energy, efficiency and grid capacity improvements, as well as supports for low-carbon construction and retrofits through materials research and development and transparency, workforce capacity building, data acquisition and reporting, and access to financing.
CAGBC’s Chair and EllisDon Chief Strategy Officer, Jody Becker, moderated the discussion, which featured Dean Haslip, Director General of the Office of Energy Efficiency at Natural Resources Canada; Trevor Nightingale, Associate-VP Engineering Division for the National Research Council (NRC); Nick Xenos, Executive Director of the Centre for Greening Government with the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS); and, John Cuddihy, Senior Director for Climate Change Mitigation at Infrastructure Canada (INFC).
The second session gave CAGBC members an opportunity to hear how the federal political landscape is shaping approaches to green building policy. Moderated by Dr. Philippe Couillard, former Québec premier, and Senior Business Advisor at Strategy Corp Inc., the panel experts included David Coletto, Chair and CEO of Abacus Data; Joanna Kyriazis, Director of Public Affairs at Clean Energy Canada; Tyler Meredith, Founding Partner at Meredith Boesskenkool; and, Heather Scoffield, Senior Vice-President of Strategy at the Business Council of Canada.
Day on the Hill concluded with a Parliamentary reception sponsored by Julie Dabrusin (MP, Liberal Party of Canada), Gérard Deltell (MP, Conservative Party of Canada), Charlie Angus (MP, New Democratic Party), and Mike Morrice (MP, Green Party of Canada).
We thank all our sponsors and panellists, the many MPs and Senators who attended the reception, and our valued members for their support for Green Building Day on the Hill. We also thank MP Melissa Lantsman (CPC), MP Pat Kelly (CPC) for meeting with us, and MP Richard Cannings (NDP) for his kind words at our reception.
We look forward to continuing these conversations, especially in the lead up to the federal Green Buildings Strategy, which will support Canada’s legislated commitment to reduce 40 to 45 percent emissions by 2030. The Strategy will detail federal actions that will be implemented and will offer opportunities of collaboration with all levels of government, the private sector, communities, and individuals across Canada.