July 2021

Summer, a time to sit back, relax and … reflect. CNL has accomplished a lot in the past year and a bit, we’ve learned a lot. Over the summer, we want to work collaboratively with you and our partners to reflect on how best to sharpen our focus to drive deep systems change as we go forward.

In this issue, we take a look at how the County is taking on Climate Change, how the CNL Youth Group is engaging citizens one Bee balm plant at a time, and how you can take action. 4

  1. CNL and the Lanark County Climate Action Plan
  2. Lanark County takes some action on Climate Change
  3. Sustane – a proposed waste management solution for Lanark
  4. CNL’s Youth for Climate Action Pollinator Walkways Project
  5. Actions you can take
  6. Learning and Events
  7. Local Climate Action in the news

1. CNL and the Lanark County Climate Action Plan

On Monday, June 21, representatives from across Lanark County met to launch the County Steering Committee that will guide the development of the County’s Climate Action Plan (CAP).

Climate Network Lanark had advocated for such a committee since last fall and were consulted to design the committee and its functions. Developing a Climate Action Plan under the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Partners for Climate Protection protocol involves three steps or Milestones:

 Milestone 1

Collecting data on the emissions from Lanark County and Smiths Falls.

Milestone 2

Setting reduction targets for both the Corporate and Community streams.

Milestone 3

Developing the actions that the municipal governments and the community will take to achieve those targets.

A few items were addressed in that first meeting. Staff had recommended a reduction target for the Corporate stream of 20% over the next 10 years to 2030. However, the IPCC says we must cut emissions by 55% over that same time frame and Canada has now committed to a 40-45% cut in that time. Some members of the committee recommended increasing the target, a motion was passed to forward to County Council that the target be changed to a minimum of 20%.

The committee also recommended that Lanark County Council endorse the Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) program that CNL had taken to the County and has been developing for delivery locally with the local Conservation Authorities.

As per our recommendations the committee has a mix of representatives, from lower-tier municipalities to citizens to staff.

Chair, Economic Development Committee Councillor John Fenik (Town of Perth Mayor)
Lanark County CAO, Kurt Greaves
Climate Environmental Coordinator, Michelle Vala
Clerk/Deputy CAO, Leslie Drynan (or designate Deputy Clerk, Casey Whiticar)
Partners for Climate Protection and CNL Rep Sue Brandum and Gordon Harrison
Beckwith Reeve, Richard Kidd
Carleton Place Property and Project Manager, Ross Rankin
Drummond/North Elmsley Councillor, Paul Kehoe
Mississippi Mills Public Works Technologist, Kathryn Maton
Montague Councillor, Klaas Van Der Meer
Perth Citizen Member, Tony Hendriks
Tay Valley Township Citizen Member Bob Argue
Lanark Highlands and Smiths Falls To be determined

2. Lanark County Takes Some Action on Climate Change

Lanark County has started to take some action to mitigate climate change. You can find out more by going to the County’s Climate Action Newsletter, but an overview follows

  • One Million Trees Program – In partnership with Rideau Valley Conservation Authority’s ongoing tree-planting program, will see 1 million trees planted in Lanark County within 10 years.

  • – Provided 8 free 1-year memberships to local businesses in this program that connects sustainable businesses with people

  • Single Use Plastics Ban – Starting July 1, 2021 Lanark County is encouraging businesses and residents to eliminate plastic bags and plastic straws. At the end of 2021, the Federal Gov’t will ban bags, straws, stir sticks, six-pack rings, cutlery and food ware made from plastic. 

  • Bring Your Reusable Bag (BYRB) – Businesses can contact to request window stickers promoting this BYRB.

  • Municipal Electric Vehicle Program – The County is providing grants of $2,500-$5,000 to any lower-tier municipality that purchases an EV or Hybrid EV for its municipal use. (Municipalities are examining purchasing EV half-tons for their Building Inspectors and other municipal uses.) 

  • Sustainable Transportation – Lanark County participates in the Silver Chain Challenge.
  • Insulate Lanark – Offers up to $2,500 per household for insulating and improving efficiency for households that receive less than $70,000/year and meet other criteria.

SUSTANE Technology – A Local Waste Management Solution?

The management of recyclables in Ontario is being turned over to the private sector within the next few years under an Extended Producer Responsibility program. The province will also be banning the dumping of organic materials in the landfills of large municipalities, to reduce the production of methane from landfills. Municipalities will remain responsible for handling garbage. About half of Lanark County’s garbage is exported outside the County, to landfills in Ottawa, or Moose Creek or possibly elsewhere. About half goes to landfills within Lanark County. They are filling up and will need a solution within the lifetimes of most of us.  

Lanark County is in early discussions exploring a partnership with Renfrew County to adopt the Sustane technology.  Sustane Technology has developed a Waste To Energy technology to divert municipal solid waste from landfills to transform it into biomass pellets and diesel fuel that will eventually be burned, and recyclable metals. Sustane uses pyrolysis that it says "cooks the waste with steam and dries the biomass so no waste combustion occurs. Fuel for the cooking and drying comes from propane during the initial startup phase, and a small vent (stack) vents normal heating vapours." However, opponents of WTE technology argue that the plants perpetuate the notion of throwing things away, rather than increasing composting and recycling because they require a set input of garbage over years. Sustane has been testing and running a commercial facility in Chester, Nova Scotia since 2016. The federal government is now helping Sustane Technologies commercialize its process for the industrial market and accelerate the company’s growth. McNab Braeside in Renfrew County has expressed interest to Sustane to divert waste from Renfrew and Lanark County to a commercial facility. 

We are looking for your concerns and questions about this possibility.

CNL’s Youth for Climate Action Pollinator Pathways Project

After the success of their Be-a-Bee Bud initiative, which saw youth volunteers plant 10 "by donation" pollinator patches on private property, which funded 5 larger public patches in Drummond North Elmsley, Perth and Almonte, the youth team is now starting a Pollinator Pathway Project.  

If you thought about butterflies or bees when designing your outdoor space, we want to know about it! The youth group is building a map of the many pollinator friendly areas in Lanark County, and we are looking for your help identifying locations. You can fill out this form to be added to the map, and opt into inclusion on our pollinator garden walking tours. For more info contact, or visit our CNL page. You can also check out Lake 88’s July 5th program and hear youth rep Clara Misener talk about the project and her recent presentation to the David Suzuki Foundation’s Butterfly Ranger Team.  Congrats also to project co-leader Jordan-Anne Rich who has received a full sponsorship from the MVFN to attend the Ontario Nature Youth Summit.

Actions you can take

Have a look at Sustane’s website, especially the FAQ page, and fill out our 3 minute survey

Complete the County’s Plastic Waste Reduction – Residential Survey

Complete the County’s Plastic Waste Reduction – Business Survey

Add your garden to the Pollinator Pathway Project

Share these links in your network – the more data we can glean, the easier it becomes to shape a robust Climate Action Plan.

Local Learning and Events 

July 9th – July 25th: Youth Circle for Mother Earth BioBlitz through Plenty Canada

July 14th at 7pm: The Evolution of the Blue Box Program in Ontario: Thinking Outside the Box. Zoom event through REAL as part of their AGM

July 17th: Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust Radiothon on Lake 88, featuring Dr. Paul Keddy 

Applications due now: Youth Truth and Reconciliation Training Program through Plenty Canada 

Local Climate Action in the News


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Image © Charlotte Pragnell

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