Aqua Hacking summit looks for new ideas in water preservation

One of Canada's oldest and richest families is hoping to give back to their country by protecting one its most vital resources: water.

See Full Article

The de Gaspe Beaubien's lineage in Canada can be traced back to the early 1600s. They have been business leaders, media moguls and politicians, among other things.

And while the family, which was recently estimated to be worth $740 million, has been involved in philanthropy before –- Philippe II de Gaspe Beaubien was the founding president of the healthy living non-profit ParticipACTION -- the latest generation is also looking to get into the act.

That's why the family's fourth generation -- which includes Philippe IV de Gaspe Beaubien, his brother Louis-Alexandre, and their cousins Aidan and Tatianna Mattrick – came up with the idea for Aqua Hacking, a summit that is designed to spur new technology dedicated to water preservation.

The inaugural event took place last May in Gatineau, Que.

This year's summit, which is focused on the Saint Lawrence River, was announced on Tuesday.

"Canada's freshwater supply needs our care," said Louis-Alexandre de Gaspe Beaubien, 16, at the kick-off event.

The two-day conference is set take place on Oct. 6 and 7 in Montreal, and will use a hackathon to bring together digital designers, tech experts, engineers and water authorities in their quest to create better ways to safeguard the Saint Lawrence.

"My generation is one of technology … so we said: 'Why not take that and put that in something more constructive,'" Louis-Alexandre de Gaspe Beaubien, told CTV Montreal.

Quebec's Environment Minister, David Heurtel, was also in attendance, and saluted the effort.

"It goes from coastal erosions to situations like last fall with the (sewage) dumping," said Heurtel.

"How can we make sure that we avoid getting to a point where we have no choice, but to do something like that?"

The summit will cover a range of issues, such as climate change, water quality and declining ecosystems.

Aqua Hacking is also asking the public for submissions on issues relating to the protection of the Saint Lawrence River.

"In the least, we're still taking action," said Louis-Alexandre de Gaspe Beaubien.

"So even if the benefit isn't as immense as we hoped, at least something will be done."

The opportunity to give back is something Louis-Alexandre de Gaspe Beaubien is grateful for.

"If you've been given a lot, we've always been taught you have to give back," he said.

And that's all his father, Philippe III, can ask for.

"I'm so proud of him," said Philippe III de Gaspe Beaubien.

"It's always great for one generation to do better than the next."

With a report from CTV Montreal's Tarah Schwartz



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • Koko, the gorilla famous for learning sign language, has died

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Koko, the gorilla who is believed to have mastered sign language, has died. The Gorilla Foundation says the 46-year-old western lowland gorilla died in her sleep at the foundation's preserve in California's Santa Cruz mountains on Tuesday. Source
  • New app aims to preserve Indigenous language

    Tech & Science CTV News
    A new mobile app has launched that allows users to learn words and phrases in a traditional Indigenous language in order to promote retention and growth of Indigenous language and culture. The Challenge4Change app teaches users Anishinaabemowin, which was once the everyday language of many Indigenous communities in Ontario with close to 100 dialects. Source
  • More than 20 countries aim to toughen climate goals by 2020

    Tech & Science CBC News
    More than 20 nations ranging from Canada to France to Britain to Pacific island states said on Thursday they would try to limit their greenhouse gas emissions more than already planned under the Paris climate agreement by 2020. Source
  • Orlando International Airport to scan faces of U.S. citizens

    Tech & Science CTV News
    ORLANDO, Fla. -- Florida's busiest airport is becoming the first in the nation to require a face scan of passengers on all arriving and departing international flights, including U.S. citizens, according to officials there. The expected announcement Thursday at Orlando International Airport alarms some privacy advocates who say there are no formal rules in place for handling data gleaned from the scans, nor formal guidelines on what should happen if a passenger is wrongly prevented from…
  • Tyrannosaurus rex could not stick out its tongue: study

    Tech & Science CTV News
    The Tyrannosaurus rex is crowned the "lizard king" of the dinosaurs, a historically fierce meat-eater often depicted lashing out its tongue. But researchers said Wednesday this would have been anatomically impossible. That's because the long-extinct T. Source
  • Lion euthanized after escape from cage in Belgian zoo

    Tech & Science CTV News
    BRUSSELS -- A female lion has been euthanized after escaping from its cage in a Belgian zoo. Planckendael zoo was evacuated after the escape Thursday. Spokeswoman Ilse Segers said the lion did not get out of the zoo area and that no visitors were in danger. Source
  • Koko, the gorilla who knew sign language, dies at 46

    Tech & Science CTV News
    WOODSIDE, Calif. - Koko, the gorilla who mastered sign language, has died. The Gorilla Foundation says the 46-year-old western lowland gorilla died in its sleep at the foundation's preserve in California's Sana Cruz mountains on Tuesday. Source
  • University of Waterloo invites Indigenous girls to explore tech careers

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Emma Smith remembers being a girl on the Western University campus in London taking part in a health sciences camp specifically for Indigenous girls. Smith, who is Anishnabeg and is from Walpole Island, said the camp "was something that kind of kept with me for a number of years. Source
  • Federal government mulling changes to national beer standards

    Tech & Science CTV News
    OTTAWA - Your beer is about to undergo a government makeover. Federal officials are proposing changes to national beer standards that would widen the number of ingredients permitted in a pint and force brewers to list every ingredient on a can or bottle. Source
  • Mars rover goes dark as red planet overtaken by global dust storm

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- A dust storm at Mars is now global, keeping NASA's Opportunity rover out of touch with Earth. Flight controllers lost contact with the rover more than a week ago. At the time, the dust storm covered one-fourth of Mars. Source