Inuvik residents will have a chance to learn more about the wind energy proposal for Inuvik, how it will impact the community and how they can get involved in the decision-making process at a free workshop Nov. 8.

The workshop, organized by Pollution Probe – Canada’s oldest environmental charity – will take place at the Midnight Sun Recreation Complex from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Richard Carlson, Pollution Probe’s director of energy policy and energy exchange, facilitates a wind energy workshop in Wawa, Ont., similar to the one set to run in Inuvik Nov. 8.
Photo courtesy of Pollution Probe/Mariana Eret

“We’re running a pilot project called Energy Ambassadors where we’re trying out a new way of engaging with communities, by going in early and trying to provide facts and context within which the project is being developed,” said Richard Carlson, Pollution Probe’s director of energy policy and energy exchange.

Carlson said Pollution Probe is a neutral organization that aims to educate and inform residents, rather than to advocate for or against the wind energy project.

“We’re not there to advocate for or against the project. We’re not working with developers, we’re actually working with the [Town of Inuvik],” said Carlson. “Our role is really to just help people understand why the project is happening, the large issues around energy that this leads into, and what the change will mean for them in their lives.”

Carlson said the goal of the workshop is to help residents understand energy infrastructure well enough to come to an informed opinion on the subject, so that they can advocate on behalf of their communities.

“The old ways of doing things are not the only ways to do things,” he said. “There’s a lot of new stuff happening, and there’s a lot of new infrastructure being built, and in order to make sure that these projects are meeting the needs of the community, we need to make sure that the community is involved in the decision-making process.”

The Energy Ambassador project is a new initiative that is only on its fourth run. Carlson said previous workshops have been held in Wawa, Ont., Saskatoon, Sask., and Digby, N.S.

“At the same time that we hope to help the Town of Inuvik out in understanding how the energy is changing, we also hope to learn how to better run future energy engagement workshops,” he said.

Those who cannot attend the workshop on Thursday can find more information on Pollution Probe’s website.

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