Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, recognized the one-year anniversary of the draft Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan by introducing a new advisory panel on climate change.

“Our Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan is our roadmap to providing effective and affordable solutions to address climate change and protect our environment,” said Minister Yurek. “I am proud of the progress we have made so far and look forward to the advisory panel’s advice on how we can continue to take action on our plan’s climate change commitments in a way that respects hardworking Ontarians and balances a healthy environment with a healthy economy.”

The advisory panel on climate change consists of experts on climate change resiliency who have experience in a variety of sectors, including the not-for-profit, agriculture and insurance sectors.


Paul Kovacs is the founder of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction at Western University and has been the executive director of the Institute for the past 22 years. He is also the co-chair of the Infrastructure and Housing Working Group of Canada’s Adaptation Platform and the Science and Technology Working Group of Canada’s Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction.


Lynette Mader is the manager of Provincial Operations for Ontario for Ducks Unlimited Canada, overseeing conservation program delivery and associated programs, including government relations, restoration services, education programs and communications. Mader is a member of the Species at Risk Program Advisory Committee, which advises the government on issues related to Ontario’s species at risk program.


Alex Gill is the executive director of the Ontario Environment Industry Association and serves as moderator of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance. Gill is an instructor in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at Ryerson University and is the director and co-founder of the institution’s SocialVentures Zone, a social business incubator that has supported more than 70 start-ups since 2014.

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Blair Feltmate has been the head of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation at the University of Waterloo since 2015. The centre focuses on cost-effective ways to help minimize risks posed by extreme weather. Feltmate chairs the development of two flood adaptation standards for the Canadian Standards Association and is the chair of the Government of Canada Expert Panel on Climate Adaptation and Resilience Results.

Georjann Morriseau has over 10 years experience in the public and corporate sector, and served as the director of Indigenous Affairs and Public Relations at Resolute Forest Products. Morriseau was chief and councillor for the Fort William First Nation and has served on numerous boards. She is currently a vice-chair of the Thunder Bay Police Services Board and was federally appointed as Commissioner, First Nation Tax Commission. She was also a founding board member for the Governance Development Network, which promotes and builds upon self sustainability within First Nation communities.

John Riley is science advisor to the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). Riley has led NCC’s work developing conservation blueprints for Canada’s Great Lakes and Prairies, and conservation atlases for Labrador and northern Alberta. He is a co-founder of the Partnership for Public Lands, Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation and Greenbelt Foundation, and has written books on the Hudson Bay Lowland, the Niagara Escarpment and Georgian Bay World Biosphere Reserves.

Katherine Balpataky is the director of Corporate Partnerships and Business Development for ALUS Canada.  Balpataky is a director and the treasurer for Rain It In and former co-chair of the Canadian Water Summit. (Balpataky is also a former editor with Actual Media, Inc., the parent company of Environment Journal.)

Keith Currie has over 25 years of experience with the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) and is returning for his third term as the president of the OFA. He is also the first vice president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. Currie’s advocacy has led to numerous appointments in advisory panels, including the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Minister’s Advisory Panel.

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Patricia Koval is a corporate director and lawyer in Toronto. Koval currently serves on the boards of The Living City Foundation, Turtle Survival Alliance and the Chelonian Research Institute, as well as on the Advisory Council of Wildlife Conservation Society. She also formerly chaired the Board of World Wildlife Fund Canada.

Todd Jerry is the director of Government Relations at the Insurance Bureau of Canada. From 2014-2015, he was the federal director of Parliamentary Affairs, Issues Management and Appointments for the Office of the President of the Treasury Board.

“The knowledge exists to prevent losses from flooding, wildfire and other climate extremes,” said Kovacs, chair of the advisory panel. “Members of the advisory panel on climate change look forward to working with the Government of Ontario to champion climate resilience. Working together, we can break the alarming trend of rising severe weather damage to homes, businesses and public infrastructure. Action on climate resilience is a critical element of a comprehensive strategy on climate change.”

For further information, click here Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan: Progress So Far


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