Canada’s handyman in Copenhagen
December 09, 2009
Torstar News Service
COPENHAGEN (Dec 9, 2009)
As officials hash out a global deal to cut emissions and transform a carbon-based economy into one powered by wind, sun and water, Mike Holmes will be thinking about the wood, drywall, caulking and windows.
The television handyman is in the Danish capital as an official adviser to the Canadian government at the global climate change summit.
Holmes, 46, won a Gemini Award for his series of shows, Holmes in New Orleans, in which he constructed 13 homes for people who had lost theirs during the flooding that followed hurricane Katrina.
The draw was seeing houses built to withstand the next catastrophic flood or hurricane, something scientists say will occur more frequently if global temperatures rise. And the homes exceeded leading standards for energy efficiency and environmental design.
Canada, with its frozen winters and scorching summers, is just a variation on the New Orleans theme, Holmes said. The technology exists to build houses that won’t burn in yearly wildfires or be turned into matchsticks by tornadoes.
“I watched the three little pigs and the truth is we can do it,” Holmes said.
The unpretentious and hard-working Halton Hills native is the political equivalent for the Tories of the Tim Hortons crowd they have tried to target in election campaigns.
Holmes said he takes his new role seriously. “This is not a joke to me. I think I have an opportunity to help in this.”