The Region should be capitalizing on its reputation for innovation and its start-up culture.
Firstly, the Region can lead by example, including installation of solar energy, hybrid electric cars/buses etc, continuous improvement in the adoption of advanced waste management/reduction strategies to reduce landfill requirements and waste water treatment.
Secondly, through the Official Plan, through policy and other mechanisms, the Region, working in conjunction with the local hydro companies, should require district heating, heat pumps and/or installation of solar panels on all new commercial and residential buildings to minimize our carbon footprint.
These technologies pay for themselves, especially in new-builds. Any opportunity to set higher efficiency standards for new-builds should also be implemented. We need to take our work on the environment to the next level.