The Green Resilience Project to explore links between climate change, income security

By Roderick Benns

Community resilience in Canada is under threat in many ways, from farmers facing drought, to communities experiencing poverty.

A series of 25 to 35 conversations is set to happen across the country – including in the riding of Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock – which will explore the link between climate change, income security, and community resilience.

The Green Resilience Project aims to explore how policies in these areas can support each other to offset public fear and uncertainty, and provide communities with the time, energy and resources they need to build resilience at the local level.

In the local area, Joli Scheidler was selected as the community partner to conduct the community conversations, which is funded through Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Climate Action and Awareness Fund.

Scheidler, based in Lindsay, is a PhD candidate at York University in Health Policy and Equity, as well as a sessional instructor for Ontario Tech University in Oshawa. She has also been heavily involved in the basic income movement, including as a project manager for a large basic income research study.

She says those people who are typically left out of conversations like this will get to be included in the community conversations, saying it’s so important to avoid having only a “typical top-down approach.”

“It will be great to have some regular voices from our community take part in this discussion,” says Scheidler. “Income security is so important in this area, and we’ve certainly seen the effects of climate change here, too.”

Scheidler says she is still looking for participants in areas north of Lindsay. 

The point of the project is to get community perspectives on the ways in which income security policies (like basic income) can help build resilience and encourage local action on the climate crisis.

Scheidler also wants to uncover “what is already being done” when it comes to community solutions and will document anticipated future needs in the area in terms of climate change.

Building community resilience—understood here as a community’s ability to meet, respond to and recover from major challenges like the ones brought on by climate change—is an essential part of any plan to bring greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050, according to a media release from The Green Resilience Project.

The release points out that today, community resilience in Canada is under threat in many ways, from farmers facing drought, to communities experiencing poverty, systemic racism, heat waves, wildfires, flooding and more.

The pandemic has made it clear that society won’t be able to confront these urgent challenges meaningfully or sustainably without addressing all of them together, according to background information from the project. 

To contact Scheidler to participate, email her at or call 905-493-2863.

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