June 21, 2021 - CBN News

CBN 2021 Virtual Conference Recap

By: Andrew Macklin


We kicked off the conference with a session on Brownfields 2021 and Beyond. The session, co-moderated by Tammy Lomas-Jylha (Executive Director, CBN) and Chris DeSousa (President, CBN) looked at how businesses and industries reacted to this past unforgettable year or two - both issues and opportunities. First speaker was Whelan Sutherland (CEO, Treaty 1 Development Corporation) who provided an overview of the Master Planning for the former Kapyong Barracks - a landmark project (160 acres) not only for the Treaty One First Nations, but also for Winnipeg, Manitoba and Canada. Next up were presentations from sector representatives (Michael Jacobs, CEO, Cambium Indigenous Professional Services (CIPS) Inc., Barbara Daly, Senior. Project Manager, City of Edmonton, Pete Craig, Director of Project Innovation, QM Environmental, John Georgakopoulos, Partner, Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers LLP, and Carl Spensieri, VP, Environment, Berkley Canada) on how covid impacted their organizations and clients. An interactive panel discussion then drilled down on these market shifts, how businesses pivoted to adapt, and in some cases, took advantage of new opportunities. Excellent kickoff event that gave - Brownfielders and the CBN - insight into brownfield redevelopment trends and where we need to focus going forward.

The Understanding and Overcoming Barriers to Brownfields Planning, Development, and Finance session started with brief presentations outlining the brownfield development challenge and municipal interventions by the co-moderators, Melissa Walker (Director, Kilmer) and Chris De Sousa (President, CBN).  This set the stage for a lively panel conversation with Alex Speigel (Partner, Windmill Development Group), James Evans (Senior Manager, Environmental Risk RBC), Peter Ellis (Principal Planner, Region of Waterloo), and Jim Tischler (Michigan Land Bank Authority).  The panel described the primary planning, development, and financing challenges that they face and shared from their experience what has helped them overcome these challenges.  Panel members discussed the viability of existing tools and additional actions needed to support the market and keep municipalities engaged in supporting brownfields.

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