Dedicated to RESEARCH.
NOVEMBER 26, 2019 - Randy Hope co-chairs the steering committee for the Thames River Phosphorus Reduction Collaborative (PRC) and he’s passionate about getting solid evidence about what’s contributing to higher phosphorus levels and then identifying ways to reduce them.
“In order to keep fresh water clean, we need to be proactive in finding out where the problem exists,” he says. “It’s not helpful to point fingers – instead we need to identify and fix issues.”
Hope currently has his own consulting company – White Knight Advisory International Inc. – and has a long history of public service. He was Mayor of Chatham-Kent from 2006 to 2018 and represented the area as its Member of Provincial Parliament from 1990 to 1995.
He got involved with the Thames River PRC as mayor and as a member of the board of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative (GLSLCI), which is also a co-sponsor of the collaborative.
“We border on both Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair, and with 2,000 square kilometres of prime agricultural land, I felt I had no choice but to play a leadership role in this,” he says.
Hope also points to his 30 years in the labour movement for his ability to bring people to the table and facilitate conversations because “it’s not all one-sided.”
He was also head of the local Public Utilities Commission, which gave him insight into how the municipal water system works.
Hope is very proud of the people who are participating in the collaborative – like project co-ordinator Charlie Lalonde – because they come at it with a scientific, solution-based mindset to demonstrate that things can be done. He hopes that the work of the Thames River PRC can provide a model for our U.S. neighbours for working together to develop effective technologies.
He gives a lot of credit to the GLSLCI as an ‘extremely important initiative because it is built on a community of common interest – the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence, where the water doesn’t really recognize international borders.”
Hope is supportive of the agricultural community and rejects the rural-urban argument that sometimes crops up.
“It’s about fresh water – something we all need and we need to identify the ways to keep it clean,” he says.
“If we don’t act to do that, our most precious natural resource is in jeopardy.”