Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Humber’s North Campus on Tuesday and spent some time with students talking about sustainability and climate change.
“I’m happy to be here at Humber today because it is a place that … has shown real leadership on not just learning about climate change, but solving the challenges that are related to it in a way that leaves us all better off as we protect the environment,” Trudeau said.
After announcing the government’s plans to implement its national climate framework and move forward with a carbon tax on provinces that are not currently part of the plan, he held a question and answer session with students in the Interior Design, Landscape Technician, and Sustainable Energy and Building Technology programs.
There was a large media presence during the prime minister’s visit as well. Two Humber student journalists, Kit Kolbegger and Michelle Halim, were provided with the opportunity to be part of the media pool.
Trudeau was presented with a gift bag containing honey produced in Humber’s on-campus beehives, maple syrup prepared by Culinary Management students and sustainably sourced from the trees in the Humber Arboretum, and chocolates made from scratch by Stefanie Francavilla, winner of the Skills Canada National Competition gold medal in baking.
Students from the Baking and Pastry Arts Management and Advanced Chocolate and Confectionary Artistry programs prepared breakfast for Trudeau and Ministers Bill Morneau, Catherine McKenna and Kirsty Duncan, MPP, Etobicoke North.
Following the Prime Minister’s visit, students in the Sustainable Energy and Building Technology program met with Humber President Chris Whitaker to demonstrate the basic principles of electricity generation from solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind energy systems.
“I think Justin Trudeau’s visit was really amazing and inspiring,” said Luba Czepil, an interior design student. “In my program we already learn about sustainability, and today made me think that I want to push that even more through my designs.”
McKenna, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, spent some time visiting Humber’s energy retrofit of its NX building. Humber is currently replacing the outside of the building, and revamping the heating and cooling systems.
Once complete, these measures are expected to reduce the building’s energy consumption by 30 per cent. With this project, Humber is on the way to achieving Canada’s first passive house retrofit certification – a rigorous, voluntary standard which significantly reduces the building's ecological footprint.