20% of all Canadian households face high energy burdens – spending more than double the Canadian median on home energy needs as a percentage of income. As the Government of Canada prepares the 2021 Federal Budget, we need to come together to ensure that everyone is included.

A virtual rally for energy justice

Using energy efficiency to fight energy poverty in Canada

On March 4, 2021, we held a virtual rally to hear from leaders and activists across Canada. Speakers will share stories about the challenges of living with a high energy burden and working for change. We discussed solutions – including energy efficiency.

Help advocate for low income energy efficiency!

Watch the replay 💡


Sandy Hopkins
CEO of Habitat for Humanity Manitoba

Sandy's Bio

Sandy is in his 15th year as CEO of Habitat for Humanity Manitoba. For the 17 years prior to joining Habitat, Sandy operated Hopkins & Associates, a consulting company that provided advice to non-profit
organizations in the areas of corporate governance, strategic and business planning. During those years he worked with non-profits in all sectors of the economy including business e.g. Canadian Wheat Board, airport authorities; business associations; industry associations; arts organizations; charities; unions.

Sandy was the founding Board Chair of the Winnipeg Airports Authority serving as Chair from 1992 to the end of 2003 and has been extensively involved in a wide variety of volunteer activities including serving
as Board Chair of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and the Winnipeg Public Library Board. He has served as a Director of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce; the Canadian Airports Council; Chair of the
Advisory Committee to the Transport Institute of the University of Manitoba, Member of the Millennium Library Steering Committee and Vice Chair of the Advisory Committee to the Nav Canada Board of Directors. He has chaired more than 250 Board meetings.

Sandy was one of the citizen members on the Mayor’s Rapid Transit Task Force, and served on the Task Force to End Homelessness in Winnipeg in ten years.
Sandy currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of two organizations: Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba and QNET. Sandy has been recognized for his community work with the following awards: The Queen’s Golden
Jubilee Medal, The National Transportation Week National Award of Achievement; The City of Winnipeg
Community Service Award and the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Long Service Award.

Yasmin Abraham
Co-Founder of Kambo Energy Group

Yasmin's Bio

Yasmin Abraham, MBA, is co-founder of the Kambo Energy Group and visionary behind Empower Me, Canada’s only energy and climate focused program designed specifically for communities often missed in the traditional design of programs.

A thought leader in Canada in designing and delivering energy efficiency programs equitably, her passion has led Kambo to work with governments, utilities, and municipalities across Canada. Under Yasmin’s leadership Kambo has delivered energy efficiency upgrades in 6,500 homes of multi-barriered Canadians.

In 2018, Yasmin testified at the House of Commons special committee on energy efficiency to share the impactful work she and her team has accomplished. Yasmin is a member of the BC Step Code Special Committee, an expert contributor for Efficiency Canada, a fellow with the Energy Futures Lab, a member of the Edmonton Climate Innovation Fund Executive Advisory Committee, a member of the Green Municipal Fund Peer Review Committee with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and a mother to two precocious children. 


Jordyn Burnouf
Associate at Medicine Rope Strategies

Jordyns Bio

Jordyn Burnouf is a Nehiyaw/Cree woman and member of the Black Lake Dene Nation in Treaty 8. Jordyn grew up in the Métis community of Île-à-la-Crosse, SK in Treaty 10 territory where she is currently leading her community’s energy efficiency project, Bringing it Home, as part of Indigenous Clean Energy’s national initiative to address the housing and energy needs of First Nation, Métis, and Inuit communities in Canada. Jordyn is also an Associate with Medicine Rope Strategies, an Indigenous-owned and operated consulting company, dedicated to providing sustainable, practical, and innovative approaches to community, economic, and strategic partnership development. With a strong passion and relationship to the land, Jordyn is currently working on clean energy initiatives with a focus on environmental and energy conservation, Indigenous land-based teachings, and youth engagement. Jordyn continues to advocate, mobilize, and create space for youth and women in the energy sector as a member of Indigenous Clean Energy’s Advisory Council, and as Co-Chair of the 2021 SevenGen Indigenous Youth Energy Summit.

Nick Mercer
Regional Energy Coordinator with Nunatsiavut Government

Nick's Bio

Nick Mercer is a settler-researcher, originally from Nova Scotia, and holds a Doctorate in Geography from the University of Waterloo. Passionate about co-learning and community-based research, Nick has studied extensively participatory approaches to energy planning and the integration of Indigenous Knowledge and perspectives in the energy sustainability discourse. Nick is a firm believer that just and equitable sustainable energy transitions are grounded in the rights, needs, and priorities of communities. Nick’s research has found that efficiency measures can meaningfully enhance energy security, while also protecting the sovereignty of local energy systems. Currently, Nick holds the position of Regional Energy Coordinator with Nunatsiavut Government, where he is responsible for mobilizing the Energy Security Plan to advance sustainability in five diesel-dependent Labrador Inuit communities.

Brendan Haley
Policy Director at Efficiency Canada

Brendan's Bio

Brendan has a proven record in energy policy entrepreneurship and analysis. While energy coordinator at Nova Scotia’s Ecology Action Centre, he was the principal catalyst behind the creation of Canada’s first energy efficiency utility, Efficiency Nova Scotia. He served on the Efficiency Nova Scotia/EfficiencyOne Board of Directors from 2012-2018. He developed and taught a course in energy efficiency policy, and contributed to an energy efficiency textbook.

Brendan has a PhD in Public Policy from Carleton University where his research used political economy and systems of innovation frameworks to understand the role of traditional natural resource sectors in Canada’s low-carbon transition. He was awarded a prestigious Banting Post-Doctoral Fellowship in 2016-2018. He also holds a Masters of Environmental Studies from York University and a BSc in Economics from Dalhousie University.

Brendan has provided strategic advice and written on energy and innovation policy for organizations such as the Smart Prosperity Institute, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the Pembina Institute, Dalhousie University’s Eco-Efficiency Centre, and the Acadia Centre.

Sean Kelly
Director of Energy for the Clean Foundation

Sean's Bio

Sean Kelly is a non-profit sector professional with 30 years of experience in program development and management, strategic communications, public relations, and adult education. He is currently the Director of Energy for the Clean Foundation, overseeing a team that works on reducing energy poverty, promoting clean energy, and contributing to a greener economy. Previously, he was Manager of Communications at Clean.

Sean has also worked for Cuso International, Unicef Nova Scotia, the Lester Pearson Institute for International Development, and the Community Sector Council of Nova Scotia. He was the editor of The Sustainable Times, a magazine on environment and development issues sold across Canada. Sean has been published in the Globe and Mail, Outpost, New Internationalist, and Saltscapes, and has won a National Magazine Award, a Gabriel Award for radio documentaries, and a Global Citizen Award from the UN 50th Anniversary Committee of Canada.

Allison Ashcroft
Managing Director of Canadian Urban Sustainability Practitioners (CUSP) 

Allison's Bio

Allison is the managing director and co-creator of the Canadian Urban Sustainability Practitioners (CUSP) network. She is recognized for her knowledge and experience working on climate action and sustainability with local governments and their partners, and formerly within local government, as the Climate Action Program manager at the City of Victoria from 2009 – 2015.

Allison’s work on behalf of the CUSP network is focused on transformative systems change and partnership building; research on emergent issues; data visualization at the nexus of climate and equity; and, channeling her previous life as a CPA, is working to advance innovations in finance, and adopt rigorous standards for the quantification and disclosure of climate risk, and the establishment of science-based carbon budgets for climate-informed strategic planning and capital spending in local government.

Jacqueline Wilson
Counsel at Canadian Environmental Law Association

Dylan Heerema
Senior Analyst & Researcher, Community Energy – Ecotrust Canada

Dylan's Bio

Dylan is a policy and technical expert with a passion for resilient and sustainable communities. Originally from Calgary, a strong connection to the B.C. coast brought Dylan to Vancouver, where he has worked on energy efficiency, diesel reduction, and renewable energy initiatives for remote and Indigenous communities across Canada.

Dylan holds a M.Eng. in Clean Energy Engineering from the University of British Columbia and a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Calgary. Over the past five years, he has worked extensively with governments, communities, industry and NGOs on climate and energy policy. Dylan also brings experience in the utility planning and regulatory process to the Community Energy team, which he joined in 2019.

Outside of work you can find Dylan skiing, climbing, paddling and celebrating life on beautiful, unceded Coast Salish territory.

Emma Gammans
Communications Specialist at the Energy Futures Lab

Emma's Bio

Emma works as Communications Lead for the Energy Futures Lab, an Alberta-based coalition of innovators and leading organizations working together to advance solutions for Canada’s energy future.

Emma’s work with the Lab involves delving into the complexities of Alberta’s energy past, present and future to develop and deliver strategic communications and programming. She is deeply involved in a number of the Lab’s initiatives, including its work on energy poverty in Alberta.

With a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Creative Writing from the University of Calgary, Emma is passionate about making complex narratives more accessible and relatable by way of storytelling. 

Jacqueline's Bio

Jacqueline is counsel at the Canadian Environmental Law Association. She has represented clients before various provincial and federal administrative tribunals, and has appeared at all levels of Ontario and federal Courts. She specializes in climate change, energy and land use planning, and is CELA’s student program coordinator. She received her JD from the University of Toronto in 2010.

Hosted by:

Corey Diamond
Executive Director of Efficiency Canada


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