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3ThoughtThursday – clean water, economic development forum, sharing insights

The Clean Energy Frontier program did some discovery work this week: at the Walkerton Clean Water Centre, through the Saugeen Shores 3rd Annual Economic Development Forum and with the Kincardine Strategic Initiatives team.

1) On a rainy and cold October afternoon I drove to Walkerton to learn about the Clean Water Centre.

For years I have heard for how amazing this facility is and finally it was my turn to sit down with CEO, Carl Kuhnke and Brockton’s Deputy Mayor, Dan Gieruszak to learn about the programming and services provided by the Centre.

The Deputy Mayor is also the Chair of Brockton’s Economic Development Committee and sits on the Regional Steering Committee for the Clean Energy Frontier programit has been wonderful to get to know Dan and share our enthusiasm for strategic economic development.

During our meeting we talked about green infrastructure, renewable energy, and how builders could consider a net-zero approach with new developments.

We talked about the future of hydrogen, small modular reactors and all of us agreed on the incredible economic impact the tri-counties are seeing and will continue to see because of the clean energy sector.

Something very special is happening in Bruce, Grey, Huron.

2) The Town of Saugeen Shores hosted their third annual Economic Development Forum this week and invited the Clean Energy Frontier to facilitate the conversation. With closer to 30 participates this group of stakeholders included local elected officials, small business owners, tourism operators, and others with a tie into economic development.

Round table discussion included welcoming newcomers, tourism, creating an entrepreneurial culture, economic recovery, labour/workforce, and innovation. The conversation was uplifting, insightful and inspiring.

Together, the group agreed that the Town pivoted well to support small business during the pandemic. The revision of the patio policy bylaw continued to come up as a win for the Townand as facilitator I had the opportunity to remind the group that this bylaw revision is a clear reflection of listening to business owners and implementing a change that worked for everyone. It is no secret these proactive changes were able to move because of strong support from the Mayor and Council.

Saugeen Shores is a special place. The business community is exceptionally talented, smart, successful and is backed up by an incredible economic development program at the municipality. You can learn more at

3) Speaking of highly talented professionals, the small but mighty Strategic Initiatives team from Kincardine popped by earlier in the week to learn about NII and to share their insight. Three incredible women sat in front of the NII team and spoke with passion and enthusiasm for change.

They are doing remarkable work in the space of economic development, corporate communication, equity and access, and so much more. As we chatted about programs and services, it become clear that I want to work with this team every chance I can get.

Thanks to the team from Kincardine for coming by and for sharing your insight with us. We can’t wait to share our work with you and support your effects with the clean energy sector.

You can learn more about economic development in Kincardine by visiting their website.


Jessica Linthorne is the Director of the Clean Energy Frontier.


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