The Environment
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Thinking about the complexities of today’s environmental challenges could make them seem insurmountable, and Ontarians did show concern over the last year about whether enough was being done to confront them. For the most part, though, Ontarians expressed the opposite feeling: a passion for facing these challenges and creating a future where preserving the environment went hand-in-hand with innovation and economic development.

Our Conversation with Ontarians
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Our Top Priorities
Read about how universities are helping preserve The Environment, as well as our recommendations for how to ensure Ontario is working toward a sustainable and prosperous future.
What Ontarians Want
A focus on sustainable job creation and economic development: reducing emissions, preserving our province’s natural beauty and moving toward a low-carbon economy.
Support for and development of renewable energies and technology.
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A proactive approach to energy efficiency and wildlife conservation.
We have to ensure that we are good environmental stewards of this country and create a green economy to protect it, and through our inventions allow this green economy to flourish across the world, providing security for all Canadians.
- A parent responding to our survey
Ontarians were adamant over the last year about the importance of preserving our environment – and they also signaled the opportunities that a green economy will bring.
Many businesses would benefit [from a green economy], not just traditionally ‘green’ businesses… And the benefits would be spread across Canada, in both large and small communities, rather than being isolated in one or a few pockets.
- Federation of Canadian Municipalities
Many Ontarians highlighted that pushing toward a low-carbon, green economy is fundamental to ensuring that the province flourishes long into the future.
Ontario needs to focus on building its environmental economy and reducing its environmental footprint. This requires innovation, and will create jobs.
- A student responding in our survey
Getting to a green economy will require innovative technologies that help with conservation and open up access to renewable energies.
Addressing climate change will require a broad range of innovation in not just our technology, but also our institutions, our behaviours and our relationships with each other and with our environment. The kinds of society-spanning innovations required will not be strictly technological, and they will not be achieved quickly. And yet they are profoundly important.
- Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Achieving a low-carbon future will also require more than technology. Partnerships among urban planners, engineers, farmers, economists and plenty of others will have to be part of the solution, as will shifts in individual behaviour.
I am worried for my child's future in terms of how the world will look in ten years. Will there be plenty of clean water? Will the air be polluted and filled with smog? Will there be forests and beaches that my child can explore?
- Survey respondent
Ontarians expressed concern about whether future generations would have access to the clean lakes, forests, rivers, and parks that make Ontario so special. Asked to what extent they agreed with the statement, “the environment will be protected and valued,” survey respondents gave an average answer of 5.6 out of 10.
I am really excited to save the environment through business ventures that can also improve the economy.
- A student responding to our survey
But Ontarians also displayed a passion for ensuring Ontario is a leader in conservation and environmentalism, and for creating a green and clean future for all Ontarians.
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Our Top Priorities

Read about how universities are helping preserve The Environment, as well as our recommendations for how to ensure Ontario is working toward a sustainable and prosperous future.

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Diversity and Access

Learn more about what Ontarians had to say about diversity and access in the province's communities.
read the report

In our report, you will find a comprehensive summary of what we heard from Ontarians and how Ontario's universities are working across all sectors to help students thrive, support our communities, and drive a growing, dynamic province.