Churchill Summit Promotes Sustainable Future

Polar bearsWINNIPEG, MB –The University of Winnipeg’s Institute of Urban Studies (IUS) presents its Churchill Sustainability Planning Framework to the Mayor of Churchill Mike Spence and his town councillors as part of an intergovernmental summit on the development of a sustainable future for Canada’s North, Churchill Beyond 2012: A Sustainability Summit, which runs in the port town from March 28 - 30, 2012. This summit will use the Churchill Sustainability Planning Framework, as a foundation outlining a number of possible sustainable futures for the northern town and surrounding area. The document was created  as a result of a two year multi-stage consultation process in partnership with the local Churchill Sustainability Committee, IUS at The University of Winnipeg with funding provided by OmniTRAX Inc and completed in early 2011.
President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Lloyd Axworthy and IUS Senior Research Associate Michael Dudley will be presenting at the Summit.
"This report reflects the spirit of cooperation that signals the aims of all the key stakeholders to create the desired community that is economically viable and environmentally sustainable,” explains Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, President and Vice Chancellor. “This next step gives life and hopefully the needed resources to the sustainable plan as it’s presented to several levels of government during this important summit that engages in discussions of port of Churchill’s future.”
“This report was created through a strong partnership between the Town of Churchill and its residents along with UWinnipeg professors and close to a dozen students. The cooperative approach ensured we created a sustainable plan that incorporates ideas from the community and sound policy and scientific research,” said Jino Distasio, Director of IUS.
“This summit engages all the key stakeholders to take this Sustainability Framework and make it into an action plan,”said Churchill Mayor Michael Spence. “The Framework promotes educational and capacity-building opportunities as a way of enabling the people of Churchill to make positive changes to the ecological, social, and economic aspects of our community, and to help in creating a better, stronger community. It’s a process that we hope other northern communities can emulate.”
Funding & Community Partners
This planning process was made possible with funding from OmniTRAX and collaboration and support from Mike Goodyear, Executive Director of the Churchill Northern Studies Centre and Chair of the Churchill Sustainability Committee, as well as Churchill Mayor Mike Spence and his administration, in particular the Town's Chief Administrator Officer, Albert Meijering. Winnipeg Elder Thelma Meade assisted in community consultations. Thanks also to provincial planners Paul Raths and Katherine Cruickshank with Community Planning and Development for their partnership in land use planning and UWinnipeg faculty members in Geography and Environmental Studies, including Dr. Danny Blair, Dr. Bill Buhay Dr. Patricia Fitzpatrick, Dr. Bill Rannie and Dr. Richard Westwood, as well many of their students who have worked on the project.
OmniTRAX, Inc. is one of North America’s leading transportation services companies offering a broad range of customized solutions to the industrial and transportation sectors. Based in Denver, Colorado, it is the private owner/operator of the Port of Churchill as well as the railway line that serves it, the Hudson Bay Railway Company. For more information, OmniTRAX.
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Naniece Ibrahim, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg
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