U of W hosts ‘interactive’ energy workshop

This event looks at the future of energy use in Manitoba

On March 10, the University of Winnipeg (U of W) will host a workshop entitled “Re-envisioning an Energy Strategy for Manitoba: Planning for 2030 and beyond.” This event will take place in Convocation Hall (room 2W16) from 1 to 8 p.m.

According to the U of W website, this event is “an interactive workshop for consumers, researchers, students, energy providers, entrepreneurs, decision-makers and anyone who is interested in the future of energy use in Manitoba.”

“The purpose of this event, and why we started down this path, is because we wanted to initiate a discussion among Manitobans about what energy in this province will look like in 2030 and beyond,” Gloria Desorcy, executive director of the Consumer’s Association of Canada’s (CAC) Manitoba branch, says.

“It is designed to bring together people with a variety of energy-based perspectives and interests,” she says.

The committee organizing this event is comprised of CAC Manitoba, the Community Appropriate Sustainable Energy Security Partnership, the Public Interest Law Centre and Amanda Gelfant.

Desorcy urges members of the public to register for this event, adding that their “input will be essential to the outcome of the workshop.”

“After each panel at the workshop, attendees will break into groups and share their own personal visions for our energy future, and their priorities for issues and strategies going forward,” she says.

Dr. Patricia Fitzpatrick, associate professor of geography at the U of W, says this workshop is a great opportunity for all.

“What we have come to see is that the discussion about the environment and energy planning seems to be really siloed and segmented, so we thought that this was a great opportunity to bring people together to think about what we, as Manitobans, envision moving forward,” Fitzpatrick says.

When asked about what the most important energy issues within the next 10 years will be, she says, above all, she’s “interested in hearing from Manitobans and workshop participants about what their answer to this question is.”

Other important energy issues on Fitzpatrick’s mind are the cultural and social impacts of hydroelectric power.

She adds that it’s essential to have events like these on university campuses.

“As a professor, I think this is a great opportunity for students to come out and have a say,” Fitzpatrick says.

Desorcy agrees with the importance of having this event on a campus.

“It brings us close to the home of academic expertise in this area, and it brings us into contact with the students who will be living the energy future of Manitoba and who will be the energy decision-makers of tomorrow,” she says.

This workshop is free of charge. Light food and refreshments will be provided.

To register for this workshop, email energystrategyworkshop@gmail.com.

Published in Volume 74, Number 20 of The Uniter (March 5, 2020)

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