The Canadian Brownfields Network (CBN) presented its second annual HUB Awards at its national Conference in Toronto on June 15.  The awards acknowledge individual contribution to the redevelopment of brownfields (also known as contaminated sites), according to CBN Vice-President and Awards Chair Grant Walsom.

“’HUB’ stands for ‘Heroes Underpinning Brownfields’; the winners of the awards as a group really are the hub for the ongoing redevelopment of brownfield sites, and their work does underpin increasing re-use of these sites,” said Grant Walsom, CBN President.  “Brownfield redevelopment is an important part of Canada’s economic and environmental future, and we thought it was time to recognize the people who are making that happen,” added CBN Past-President Eric Pringle.

The awards are presented in three categories, relating to the career stages of brownfielders:

  • Foundation:  Presented to a contributor to the Brownfield industry in Canada who has had a profound impact on how things are done today.  Their work has provided a Foundation upon which the current practices and policies have been based.  This is a “career achievement” award
  • Pillar:  Presented to a recipient who has proven to be a Pillar of Strength in a significant aspect of the Brownfield industry in Canada.  They continue to provide valuable expertise and influence into the policies and practices that we are employing.  The Pillar award is a mid-career award
  • Vision:  Presented to a relative new-comer to the Brownfield Industry in Canada and who is providing valuable insight into programs, policies or practices that will be improving how Brownfield redevelopment in Canada is completed.

“We’re proud to announce the winners of this year's awards,” said Walsom.  “They are Alan Durant, long-time employee of Imperial Oil and leader in the remediation of brownfield properties (Foundation); Bruno Thielmann of REDEFINE Development Corp. (Pillar); and Todd Latham of Active Media Inc. (Vision).  Each winner has, during the course of their careers, made significant contributions to the brownfield industry.  Alan Durant, in particular, is a pioneer in brownfield remediation; his experience actually influenced much of the process as currently defined and carried out.” 

“The HUB Award hardware is made from a piece of reclaimed equipment, and each individual award is unique,” said Walsom.  “This serves a double purpose - as a reuse of something that had been regarded as unusable, it's a metaphor for brownfields themselves, and the uniqueness of the award mirrors the uniqueness of the contributions each of our winners has made.”

CBN is Canada’s only national non-profit organization dedicated solely to brownfield redevelopment.  It provides input to regulatory agencies on identifying and overcoming challenges to brownfield redevelopment, resources to developers and owners of brownfields, and information to participants and stakeholders in the brownfield sector.  Founded in 2004 as a result of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment’s National Roundtable on the Economy and the Environment, CBN recently celebrated ten years of service to the sector and the country.  CBN’s Board is made up of members from a wide variety of disciplines engaged in brownfield redevelopment, and well represents the diversity of the sector.



Alan Durand, Toronto, ON

Alan J. Durand, 2017 HUB Foundation Award Winner

A.J. (Al) Durand retired from Imperial Oil (Esso) after a 35 year career primarily in engineering, retail Marketing and emerging environmental operations. The last 20 years of this service, focused in the environmental area, included development of petroleum industry standards and practices, contaminated site investigation work, insurance, risk management, new remediation approaches and establishing Brownfield redevelopment practices. This petroleum industry experience has been re-applied over the past 10 “retirement” years in working with other oil companies, environmental consultants,  government organizations and agencies internationally  in developing new technologies, practices and approaches to advance site remediation and redevelopment activities in Ontario.

Al has been a major supporter over the years of a shared industry / government approach and vision to developing sound, pragmatic environmental practices and regulations encouraging risk based, business driven solutions supporting sound government policy and regulations. This has included working nationally with the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Canadian Association for Conservation of the Canadian Environment (PACE), Canadian Petroleum Products Institute (CPPI; now the Canadian Fuels Association) and the Canadian Brownfields Network (CBN) , where  he chaired their Technical Advisory Committee.

Most recently Al has worked in Ontario with CBN, the Ontario Environmental Industry Association (ONEIA) and the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) to develop excess soils best management practices supporting sound policies and regulations that encourage the proper handling and beneficial reuse of excess construction soils in Ontario.    



Bruno Thielmann, Principal, REDEFINE Development Corp., Burnaby, BC

Over the past almost 40 years, Bruno has played a key role in many of the largest development projects in the Greater Vancouver Area as well as the provinces of BC and Alberta. His experience in multi-family, commercial and industrial land developments have contributed to a broad expertise in optimizing the value of the lands he has developed.

Bruno has also worked with numerous First Nations groups throughout his career aiding their vision of economic independence through run-of-river power projects, forestry, and aqua-culture. He is currently developing a 22 acre site with Musqueam First Nation that will yield 1.25 million square feet of mixed use residential projects.
Being ‘unconstrained by convention’ has contributed to his successes by seeing the opportunity in many challenging projects.

Bruno was first introduced to the world of Brownfields in 2004 in the development of the 84 acre ‘Pacific Link Industrial Park’, a former landfill and auto wrecking / salvage site. Dredging sand from the Fraser River directly onto the site for flood proofing also kept thousands of dump trucks off the roads.

This experience led to the remediation and redevelopment of other significant developments in the Vancouver area including several former service station sites where local municipal governments also became integral to the success of the remediation through redevelopment. Remediating contaminated and often abandoned or underutilized sites in effect ‘recycles’ land that already has existing infrastructure in place which helps constrain our ‘footprint’. Bruno has advised and worked with the Ministry on the provincial Brownfield Renewal Strategy and often speaks at the Contaminated Sites conferences representing the developers perspective to the regulators and practitioners.


Todd Latham, President, Active Media Inc., Toronto, ON

Todd is Founder and President of Actual Media Inc., a national creative agency which produces ReNew Canada magazine, the Top100 Projects report, Water Canada magazine and a number of events including the Canadian Water Summit, the Water’sNext Awards Gala, the Top100 Projects Key Player & Owners Dinner and the CBN Brownie Awards. Todd is a business media leader, idea generator, owner, investor and front line communicator with broad practical knowledge and an extensive network in the global business of environment, water and infrastructure.  He has twenty-nine years’ experience working in all forms of media as an entrepreneur with constant deadlines and simultaneous client projects, but also as a devoted volunteer helping dozens of industry and community executives, boards, committees and groups.

Todd is a board member of the Canadian Network of Asset Managers (CNAM), the Ontario Public Works Association (OPWA) and the Ontario Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure (OCSI).  He is a senior associate of the Canadian Urban Institute and a member of the University of Toronto Environmental Finance Advisory Committee. In 2011 he travelled to Antarctica with Sir Robert Swan and became an alumnus of 2041 - an international group committed the renewable energy and the preservation of the continent.

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