Society at a ‘climate crisis crossroads’: Orillia mayor

Residents concerned for the planet’s future now have an opportunity to weigh in on an emerging plan aimed at creating a local response to a global crisis.

Input from a public survey will aid the development of a Community Climate Change Action Plan, with participants invited to share their vision for what the city is calling “Orillia’s Climate Future.”

The survey is available at .

“To get to Orillia’s Climate Future, where we want Orillia to be, will require everyone to take a part in making that happen,” Renee Recoskie, manager, property and environmental sustainability, told Simcoe.com. “If we don’t involve the public and make sure their input is heard and this plan is an approach for Orillia, it won’t be successful.”

The action plan will identify how the municipality can lower its greenhouse-gas emissions, while also guiding the community’s future growth in a more sustainable way.

Society is “at a climate crisis crossroads,” and residents’ input is vital in developing a local solution, Mayor Steve Clarke said.

“Together, we can work towards a more sustainable future locally, which will have positive ripple effects globally,” he added.

Survey participants are being encouraged to contribute feedback on Orillia’s climate-change priorities and vision statements, which will act as guiding principles as the municipality crafts its approach to a crisis that is already manifesting itself in heat waves and increasingly severe storms.

The vision statements touch on topics ranging from economic vibrancy and social equity to zero waste, low-emitting transportation, renewable energy and green spaces.

The statements were developed by the city’s community-based steering committee, which includes representatives from Sustainable Orillia, the Orillia District Chamber of Commerce, Lakehead University, Georgian College, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, and local businesses and organizations.

The survey is available until Sept. 20 at 4 p.m. Hard-copy versions of the survey are also available at Orillia City Centre, located at

The Community Climate Change Action Plan is expected to be presented to council for review and endorsement in early 2022.