Sustainable Orillia – Happy Holidays and a New Year Forecast for Our Supporters

Be Kind, Be Careful and Share
I want to first wish you a safe and happy holiday season. Even though many of the restrictions have been lifted we all know that the triple threat of COVID, Influenza and RSV create a new set of problems to face. We also know that many in our community are finding it more difficult than usual and I know that we will all be part of Orillia’s reputation for looking after one another.

More Optimistic than Ever – We are making progress
This time last year we were still anticipating the approval of the Climate Plan “Orillia’s Climate Future”. Well it was approved earlier this year and in addition to the mitigation strategies and targets in the Plan we know that the adaptation component will be added and that the Plan will be in front of City Council for implementation approval soon. This is a remarkable achievement for our community and one that I hope the surrounding township councils will also embark on very soon. Climate Change does not recognize boundaries and so we need an “all in” approach.

The Plan outlines targets for the so called “Three Big Moves”:
1. Increasing generation of renewable energy.
2. Moving to zero emission transportation including electrification and increased active transportation.
3. Energy Efficient Building Retrofits.

The Plan also targets a 90% waste diversion rate and this is critical if we are to achieve the necessary circularity in our economy and use of resources.

We also are mindful of the importance of balancing our global economy dependence with self security in food and energy, which the events of the last year have demonstrated as increasingly important.

The Plan’s targets are for the Corporation of the City of Orillia and for the Community. While we will need to hold the current and future Council’s accountable for the City’s share, we are the community and we all need to make the necessary changes in our choices and actions to begin the transition to a net zero lifestyle and achieve the community targets.

Our 2023 Plans include Working with Orillia Council and Staff in 2023
We are very impressed with the progress made during 2022 by Orillia City staff and Council toward a more sustainable community. Our early planning for 2023 is focused on working to support the efforts of staff and Council in Orillia to help achieve the stated climate change targets and to assist our community to doing their part

Increasing Capacity – To do so, we need your help
There are many more initiatives that we want to undertake than we have the capacity to do so. We understand that volunteering of one’s time and skill is something not taken lightly. We all do so with the expectation that our time and efforts will be rewarding and each of us views the reward differently.

We would like to discuss with you how working on any of our projects might be rewarding for you and so help you come forward to share your passion and talent with the rest of our community. If you have been thinking about how you might help, please feel free to reach out to us at ‘’.  Wouldn’t stepping up to work with Sustainable Orillia be a great New Year’s resolution?

Looking Forward to 2023
The Board of Sustainable Orillia has recently approved the 2023 Strategic Planning framework and is finalizing the project outlines. We are excited by this plan which will support the targets in Orillia’s Climate Future and deal with the other big issues of loss of biodiversity and the development a new Official Plan under the Municipal Comprehensive Review within the context of Bill 23. Please join us in helping our community make the necessary changes to become the sustainable community we all want it to become.

On behalf of the volunteers who make up the Board and Sectors we thank you and wish you the very best of this 2022 holiday season.

Stan Mathewson

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