MINDEMOYA – Climate change seems to be on the mind of most people these days, and with this in mind, the township of Billings and municipality of Central Manitoulin worked together to apply for, and successfully, hire a climate change coordinator.
Kristin Koetsier has been on the job as climate change coordinator for both communities for over a month. “I started in April as the climate change coordinator for both Central Manitoulin and Billings,” she told the Recorder this past Monday. “It’s going to be quite a process to get to know the communities, and what they want to see in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and planning for reduction targets.”
“So far we have begun to look at goal setting,” said Ms. Koetsier. “Community consultations are very much part of this overall process and we are hoping to have some sort of public outreach (meetings) this summer. We need to know what the needs and wants are of the communities.”
The climate change co-ordinator will focus on the planning and implementation of municipal climate change priorities in both communities. Ms. Koetsier will help work on initiatives to improve adaptation to climate change, reducing green house gas emissions, and creating a community-wide response and plan for future years, in each municipality.
The two communities received funding through the provincial government (Municipal Energy Plan Program (MEP program)) and federal government (Federation of Canadian Municipalities) and in-kind support from ReThink Green’s Smart Green Communities program.
Ms. Koetsier position is for a 22 month contract. “Hopefully within the extent of the contract length we will have an implementation plan in place to look beyond the next 22 months as well and into the future.”
Ms. Koetsier, who is originally from Barrie, said “I love it so far,” in response to a question on how she likes living and working on the Island.