Passive House Canada names former Ontario environment minister Chris Ballard as its new CEO


By Mark Buckshon

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Ontario’s former environment minister Chris Ballard has been appointed as Passive House Canada (PHC)’s new chief executive officer.

“After an extensive executive search for a new CEO, Chris’s commitment and experience working with industry, consumers, government and not for profit organizations made him an excellent choice for the CEO position,” said board chair Deborah Byrne, who was also a member of the CEO recruitment committee. “We count ourselves lucky to have him joining the organization.”

PHC says Ballard has a history of supporting environmental and land use causes, most recently as Ontario’s former Minister of Environment and Climate Change, implementing the previous Liberal Party government’s plan for a clean environment and a sustainable economy.

He also served as the Minister of Housing and the Minister responsible for Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy and Member of the Treasury Board.

Ballard is a past executive director of the 60,000 member Consumers’ Association of Canada (Ontario) and a founding board member of the Consumers Council of Canada. “His leadership in journalism, communications and public affairs includes terms as president and board member of the Public Affairs Association of Canada,” the PHC statement says.

Ballard replaces Rob Bernhardt who announced in early 2019 his intention to step down, PHC says in a news release with a Victoria, BC dateline.

“The opportunities Passive House Canada offers to make a difference at this pivotal time are tremendous – and create a responsibility to get it right. I am excited by the prospect of working with such an amazing team in collaboration with industry, government and consumers,” Ballard said in a statement.

“I also want to acknowledge Rob and his extraordinary tenure with PHC. He has made an immense contribution during the past four years and has been central to the organization’s success. I am delighted that Rob will continue to advise and support PHC on key projects.”

In 2016, founding CEO Rob Bernhardt was given the mandate to create a professional, national association, and is credited with growing the organization’s presence across Canada, advocating at all levels of government, building membership and delivery programs. Bernhardt will continue as an advisor to the organization during the transition and assist with special projects.

“I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve as CEO of Passive House Canada and am pleased with the progress made during our initial years. I am truly excited by the prospect of having Chris, with his knowledge and experience in public and professional life, continue to build the organization and ensure its success while meeting the challenges that lie ahead.”

“The board and members of Passive House Canada are indebted to Rob for his leadership in building the organization and positioning it for success in offering Canadians better buildings,” said Suzanne Christensen, a PHC board member and  the CEO recruitment committee’s chair. “With climate change negatively impacting our lives and our economy, it is critical we maximize building energy efficiency as rapidly as possible to provide Canadians with more sustainable, comfortable, affordable and resilient buildings.”


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