Written by Casey Clair, Climate and Energy Advocate
It’s December, and finally, it is time for another Sustainability Spotlight! Meet Jody Linklater, CEO of Clean Communities Corporation (CCC), an Indigenous cleantech company.
It began with Jody’s father, Leonard Linklater of the Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation, who inspired Jody by spurring economic development in his community through his work at Nelson House Development Corporation. It was also Jody’s own experiences that pushed him towards joining Clean Communities.
“It was hard for me, as an Indigenous person, watching corporations and outside influences come to our First Nations and offer to get involved in – whether it’s land, or housing, or whatever it is – and not seeing real benefits,” said Jody.
Available grants that can help bolster economic development can be challenging for some Indigenous communities to acquire. Many grants have finite application periods that don’t align with the timeline First Nations need regarding consultation.
“If I wanted to produce some sort of economic stimulus to the First Nation, in some cases, the consultation process could take up to 3 years,” said Jody. This is why Clean Communities is invested in Indigenous clean energy projects across Canada.
One of the clean energy projects Jody is working on is a 6.8-million-dollar solar farm in Cardston, Alberta.
“When it’s done, the asset will probably be over 21 million dollars, producing power for the next 40 years. I will be employing up to 40 Indigenous people to build this solar plant in southern Alberta,” said Jody.
The Clean Communities project SunRISE (Rural Indigenous Sustainable Energy) will produce 4 MWp (megawatt peak). This is enough solar energy to power ~650 homes.
Another project that CCC is working on is in partnership with TransPod. Together, they are on their way to constructing an 18-to-22-billion dollar, 300-km, high-speed magnetic train between Edmonton and Calgary. It will take approximately 45 minutes to commute between the two cities. It will save hundreds of thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from being emitted each year, among other benefits. Even though this project will span the next 12 years and recruit around 140,000 workers, there is still concern for employment once the project is completed.
That’s why Clean Communities wants to train and re-train people “…so that they can move into this job for the next 12, 15 years, and we’re telling the government that this is not just a one-off. These highly skilled people will not only build this one transport unit, but they’ll build the next one, the next one, and the next one.”
These are just a couple of projects that Clean Communities is working on. Jody wants Chamber members to be aware of the need for a hydrogen board in Manitoba. Hydrogen is another form of clean energy available through the splitting of atoms.
Are you looking to transition to renewable energy? Efficiency Manitoba has rebates for solar photovoltaic systems and other incentives for reducing energy consumption in your home or business. Contact our Energy and Climate Advocate, Casey Clair, by phone (204) 688-1304 or email [email protected].