Leading by Example: Implementing the SDGs in Canada

February 11, 2020 — Events

Victoria Conference Centre – Victoria, Canada  
March 10-11, 2020

March 10, 2020


Welcome Remarks
NewCities & The Victoria Foundation


Land Acknowledgement & Opening Keynote by Local Titleholder: Putting the SDGs in Context
Jackie Albany
, Councillor, Songhees Nation
Ron Rice, Executive Director, Victoria Native Friendship Centre


Keynote: Welcome to Victoria
Lisa Helps, Mayor, City of Victoria


Opening Panel: Paving the way for the Sustainable Development Goals in Practice 
SDG(s) in Focus: Goal #5, 16, 17

One of the biggest strengths of the SDGs is that they provide a common language to address some of the most pressing challenges we face – not only between different geographies, but between different sectors and stakeholders. Five years into Agenda 2030, is this common language actually bridging any gaps? Is participation in this conversation accessible for all?

In many cases, sustainability as a concept merely replicates
existing power structures and excludes those that paved the groundwork for these goals to exist, such as Indigenous people, among others. While the global main stage may often exclude these groups, there is a lot to learn from the many people actively engaging with the goals in practice across Canada and the world. If the legacy of Agenda 2030 is to be more than a marketing exercise, we need an approach that centers the work of these local communities, national and local governments, Indigenous peoples, as well as the fundamental inclusion of women, non-profit, and private stakeholders alike.

David A. Bennett, Director, Communications and External Relations, FortisBC
Andrew Chunilall, CEO, Community Foundations Canada
Lisa Helps, Mayor, City of Victoria
Mary Rowe, President and CEO, Canadian Urban Institute

Moderated by:
Athena Madan, Assistant Professor, Royal Roads University

10:40 – 10:50

From Talk to Action: Introducing SDG Leading By Example Grants
Presented by the Victoria Foundation
Sandra Richardson, CEO, The Victoria Foundation

10:50 – 11:00

SDG Leading By Example Grant Recipient Presentation


Networking Break

11:30 – 11:40

Dr. Saul Klein
, Dean, University of Victoria Gustavson


Panel: Creating Sustainable Cities by Transforming Urban Systems
SDG(s) in Focus: Goals #5, 9, 11, 13, 16

When it comes to sustainability, cities pose both a threat and an opportunity for change. With over 80% of its residents living in urban areas, Canada is facing a set of challenges found when rapid urbanization meets worsening planetary instability, and our way of life in cities is making it increasingly unlikely that we’ll achieve the SDGs.

For cities to make good on their potential as a force for sustainable change, improved design and form is needed. Transformation in infrastructure and the built environment can yield substantial improvement in resource efficiency, climate adaptation, and behavioral change, alleviating some pressure on the living environment, fresh water and food supplies, and public health.

Dr. Hannah Teicher, Researcher in Residence, Built Environment, Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions
Gerard Peets, Assistant Deputy Minister, Policy and Results, Infrastructure Canada
Kathryn Travers, Development Agent, Equal Participation of Women in Democratic Life, Concertation Montréal

Moderated by:
Joe Perkins, Anchor, CHEK News



1:30 – 1:40

SDG Leading By Example Grant Recipient Presentation


Panel: Future-Proofing the Market Economy
SDG(s) in Focus: Goal #8, 11, 12, 13, 16

‘‘Vote with your wallet” is one of the most common responses to the question “what can I do to help the planet?” Consumer preference can be a powerful force for influencing sustainable production and consumption, but it must be supported with different visions of what business-as-usual can be. Many businesses and certification programs are making an explicit connection between economics and social impact, using business, innovation, and entrepreneurship as strategic levers to make progress on environmental protection, poverty, equity, and inclusion.

Paola Andrea Ardiles, Co-Founder, Bridge For Health Coop
Alexa Blain, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Deetken Impact
Paul Lacerte, Managing Partner, Raven Indigenous Capital Partners and Co-founder, Moosehide Campaign
Meg O’Shea, Manager, Small to Medium Enterprises, Program Manager, Thriving Vancouver, Vancouver Economic Commission

Moderated by:
Bruce Williams, Interim CEO, South Island Prosperity Partnership



Workshop 1: Public Engagement and Mobilization on Climate Action — Issues and a Case Study

Hosted by BC Sustainable Energy Association

Location: Oak Bay – Floor 1

The workshop will address the challenging problems of engaging and mobilizing people to take personal action on climate change and to support societal action, as seen from the perspective of a public interest not-for-profit organization (BC Sustainable Energy Association). It will also focus in on a case study — the Youth Involvement Project or YIP — for engaging high school level students.

The BCSEA Youth Involvement Project (YIP) is part of the Victoria Chapter’s outreach to high school students who require 30 hours of volunteer work experience as part of the Ministry of Education’s graduation requirements. The Victoria Chapter has been in touch with some of the “green” businesses who are members of the BCSEA, and have agreed to provide this opportunity for high school students. Such progressive action provides students with the latest scientific knowledge in the Global Climate Heating Crisis which can relieve their anxieties. By doing something positive in their knowledge of the future “green” technologies they can make their future choices in post-secondary education courses and careers.

Workshop 2: Gender Inclusive Cities

Hosted by Kathryn Travers & Dr. Tiffany Muhler Murdahl 

Location: Saanich – Floor 1

The implementation of the SDGs must strive to leave no-one behind if they wish to solve problems global in scale. This interactive workshop will explore how to begin overcoming gender gaps in cities by exploring different approaches such as inclusive citizen participation and intersectional urban planning as pathways to promoting gender inclusive cities that are more sustainable for all. 

Workshop 3: Regional Impact Measurement Approach

Hosted by Coastal Communities Social Procurement Initiative

Location: Colwood – Floor 2

Coastal Communities Social Procurement Initiative is a 2 year pilot connecting local government procurement to community priorities. Many issues shaping community priorities extend beyond the scale of individual communities and require coordinated action at regional and global scales. The members of the initiative are working to develop a measurement framework that captures the social value created by local government procurement at a regional level and aims to connect these impacts to the Sustainable Development Goals. This session will provide an overview of the initiative, and share the process and proposed measurement framework. There will be a discussion around identifying common inputs and processes, and challenges and opportunities in taking a regional impact measurement approach. 


Transition from workshops


SDG Leading By Example Grant Recipient Presentation


Panel: Strength in Strategic Coordinated Action: How does Alignment Look in Practice?
SDG(s) in Focus: Goal #11, 13, 17

While many cities and towns around the world are making progress toward the 2030 Agenda, developing relevant indicators and collecting subsequent data can be difficult. Often practices that align well with the SDGs are not explicitly tied to the Goals, meaning that policy alignment and progress toward the Goals is often missing or under-reported. Utilizing more explicit and replicable plans could provide a blueprint for action for other similar municipalities and contexts to repeat, improve, and scale successes. How can we align differing agendas with the Goals, what benefits rest in doing so, accurately measure our progress, and do so in a way that invites increased engagement?

George Benson, Co-founder, Climate Migrants and Refugees Project
Jonathan X. Coté, Mayor, City of New Westminster, British Columbia
April Ingham, Executive Director, Pacific Peoples’ Partnership

Moderated by:
Dr. Tiffany Muller Myrdahl, Senior Lecturer in Gender, Environment, and Urban Communities, Simon Fraser University


If you wish to carry on, join us for casual drinks at 10 Acres Commons
Cash Bar

March 11, 2020

9:15 – 9:25

Welcome to Day Two!

9:25 – 9:40

Grand Chief Abram Benedict, Mohawk Council of Akwesasne


Keynote Conversation: Indigenous City 
SDG(s) in Focus: Goals #1, 5, 10, 16

The 2030 Agenda has the potential to guide a conversation of transformation and reconciliation if undertaken from a rights-based and culturally sensitive approach. However, in many implementation strategies, it misses the mark. How can we establish objectives in order to empower and incorporate First Nations and Urban Indigenous perspectives in the provision of essential social services, education, healthcare, and economic opportunity, as well as supporting Indigenous arts, culture, awareness, and understanding.

Florence Dick, Cultural Liaison, Capital Regional District’s Wastewater Treatment Project
Shauna Johnson, Marine use planner, WSÁNEĆ Leadership Council

Moderated by:
Lisa Helps, Mayor, City of Victoria


Coffee Break and Networking
Bring business cards!


Panel: Can Technology ‘Fast-Track’ Progress on the SDGs?
SDG(s) in Focus: Goals #4, 9, 11, 17

With 2020 to 2030 primed to be the ‘action phase’ for Agenda 2030, will technology play the role of the enabler or the disruptor? With the rise and distribution of technology, endless possibilities and extraordinary threats exist in its widespread implementation. Technology can enable entire sectors of our economy to change rapidly, leading to increased efficiency, improved resource management, and democratization. It can also pose threats to privacy and equity of access. In order to harness the power of technology for good, we must coordinate between business, government, and citizens, to actively align policy with real needs identified within the SDGs.

Charlis Clappis, President, Board of Directors, First Nations Technology Council
Dianne Hunter, City Manager, City of Fort St. John
Dana Wong, Manager, Climate Action, FortisBC Energy Inc.

Moderated by:
Fred Haynes, Mayor of Saanich, British Columbia


Panel: Town Hall: Small Places, Big Ideas
SDG(s) in Focus: Goals #10, 11, 16, 17

All too often, important quality-of-life conversations are approached from a distinctly urban perspective. What strategies are being employed in small and medium sized locales to create more inclusive, healthy, and sustainable places? What can we learn from smaller places that can be applied to larger ones and how can we engage Indigenous leadership on various levels? In this session, we will hear from a panel of experts and open the floor to a lively conversation with the audience.

Bill Given, Mayor, Grande Prairie, Alberta
Keith Henry, President and CEO, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada
Kathryn Travers, Development Agent, Equal Participation of Women in Democratic Life, Concertation Montréal

Moderated by:
Rébar Jaff, Director of International Programs, Artisanal Gold Council


Closing Remarks
The Honorable George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy




Optional Site Visit
City of Victoria Urban Food System Tour
In partnership with the Public Health Association of BC, Can You Dig It Provincial Manager Aaren Topley and City of Victoria Food System Coordinator Alex Harned Join on a City of Victoria Urban Food Systems tour. We will begin our tour at Victoria High School to learn about how youth can be empowered through learning about Indigenous ways of knowing and being and working with a local urban farm on school grounds. This will be followed by a stop at the Compost Education Centre to learn about some of their programs including a new Neighbourhood Composting Pilot Project. We will end our tour at Mason St. Farm to learn about the successes and challenges and maintain an urban farm.

Please register your participation at the Registration desk prior to departure.

Start location: Please meet in front of the Victoria Conference Centre and we will be shuttling to Victoria High School Learning Farm (1260 Grant St.) at 2:05pm.

Tour Information: We are hosting this tour in rain, shine, or snow. Please be prepared to be outside for 2 hours and dress accordingly. For those not from Victoria – We live in a wet windy climate and even if the sun is shining in March it may still be cold outside.

Tour Guides: Aaren Topley, Provincial Manager of Can You Dig It (Public Health Association of BC) and Alex Harned, Food System Coordinator (Victoria of Victoria)