Minister Bains announces appointments to the Board of Sustainable Development Technology Canada

News release

Investments in clean technology improve our lives, create jobs and protect the environment

June 25, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

When we support clean technology, we support our entire economy. Innovations in clean technology are not limited to just one industry—companies across Canada and across sectors are coming up with new ways to solve the world’s environmental challenges. By helping these companies accelerate and grow, we can create well-paying jobs that drive the economy and help Canada meet its climate change goals.

Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced three new appointments, including a new Chair, to Sustainable Development Technology Canada’s (SDTC) Board of Directors following an open, transparent and merit-based selection process. SDTC is a foundation created by the Government of Canada that works with Canadian companies to help them accelerate new clean technologies and bring their ideas to market.

Annette Verschuren, O.C., has been appointed as Chair of SDTC’s Board of Directors. Ms. Verschuren is currently Chair and CEO of NRStor Inc., an energy storage development company. Formerly, she was president of Home Depot Canada and Asia, overseeing the massive growth of the company’s Canadian operations over the 15 years she was in the position. Prior to that, Ms. Verschuren was president and co-owner of Michaels of Canada, where she opened 17 stores in 26 months. Ms. Verschuren is a board member of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group of Boston, Air Canada, Saputo and Canadian Natural Resources Limited. In addition, Ms. Verschuren is a board member of CAMH Foundation, the Rideau Hall Foundation and the MaRS Discovery District. She also co-chairs the Smart Prosperity Initiative, which is mapping out a course to a stronger, cleaner economy for Canada.

In 2011, Ms. Verschuren was honoured as an Officer of The Order of Canada for her contribution to the retail industry and Corporate Social Responsibility. She also serves as Chancellor of Cape Breton University and chaired fundraising efforts for the University’s new Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy & the Environment.

Newly appointed SDTC Director Erin Mahoney is currently Commissioner of Environmental Services for York Region, overseeing water and wastewater services, waste management, forestry, corporate asset management and corporate energy for 1.2 million residents and 28,000 businesses. Ms. Mahoney is past Chair of the Regional Public Works Commissioners of Ontario and has over 25 years of public and private sector experience on projects involving water and wastewater treatment, waste management, environmental legislation and public engagement. She is a member of the American Water Works Association, Toronto Board of Trade, Canadian Water Network and American Public Works Association.

Also being appointed to the SDTC Board of Directors is Jill Earthy. Ms. Earthy is currently the Head of Female Funders, a Vancouver-based investment company whose mission is to increase diversity in the investment and tech industries. Prior to that, she was Chief Growth Officer of FrontFundr, an online platform connecting entrepreneurs and investors. Her previous roles include Regional Director for BC & Yukon of Futurpreneur Canada and CEO of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs. Ms. Earthy serves as a Director on the Board of Governors for Simon Fraser University, as Board Chair of the Women’s Enterprise Centre and as co-Founder of the WEB Alliance, a collective of over 25 Women’s Business networks in the lower mainland of BC. In 2016, she was acknowledged as one of B.C.’s most influential women in business by BCBusiness magazine.


“Congratulations to the newly appointed members of the Board of Directors of Sustainable Development Technology Canada. The experience and diversity these successful and enterprising individuals bring to the Board will help facilitate the success and progress of some of Canada’s most promising clean tech innovators and entrepreneurs. I would also like to thank outgoing Chair Jim Balsillie for his leadership, insights and experience.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“We owe a debt of gratitude to outgoing Chairman Jim Balsillie for his leadership and for his guiding vision that has reoriented SDTC towards supporting commercial outcomes while providing environmental stewardship. I look forward to continuing this important work to drive both positive environmental outcomes and economic growth under the leadership of the new Board Chair and with the additional expertise these new Board Directors will bring to SDTC’s Board of Directors.”
– Leah Lawrence, President and CEO, Sustainable Development Technology Canada

Quick facts

  • Canada is number one in the G20 for cleantech innovation. Twelve companies recognized on the 2019 Global Cleantech 100 List are Canadian, ten of which have been funded by SDTC.

  • The clean technology market is set to exceed $2.5 trillion in the next four years.

  • SDTC is an arm’s-length foundation created by the Government of Canada to support Canadian companies with the potential to become world leaders as they develop and demonstrate new technologies to address some of our most pressing environmental challenges.

  • SDTC has invested more than a billion dollars in hundreds of ideas at more than 300 companies. These companies are creating more than 13,000 well-paying jobs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 18.1 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent annually.

  • The 15 members of SDTC’s Board of Directors come from the private and not-for-profit sectors and are responsible for SDTC’s governance and oversight, including accountability for the management of finances and strategic direction. The Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development is responsible for the appointments to seven positions on the Board, including the Chairperson.

Associated links


Dani Keenan
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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