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Clean, energy-efficient projects coming to interior B.C.

Clean, energy-efficient projects coming to interior B.C.

September 2, 2020 at 1:49 pm  BC, News, Politics

People in communities and First Nations in interior B.C. will benefit from new projects that will create local jobs, make housing more affordable and make community spaces and public buildings energy efficient and durable.

The provincial and federal governments, along with the City of Kamloops, are investing in building energy-efficiency upgrades to the Canada Games Aquatic Centre. The upgrades  include improvements to the building design and function, including mechanical and electrical systems, to significantly reduce energy use at the aquatic centre and increase building durability.

“From the upgrades to the aquatic centre in Kamloops, to the impressive green-energy projects on two B.C. First Nations, we are seeing how smart investments will help communities to save energy and reduce harmful emissions, while building a strong resilient future for residents,” said Catherine McKenna, federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “Canada’s infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country and builds stronger communities.”

More than $1.14 million through the provincial CleanBC Communities Fund and $1.37 million through federal government’s Green Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program will support the project. The City of Kamloops will contribute more than $913,000 to the energy-efficiency upgrades.

Another CleanBC Communities Fund project will receive investment in an energy self-sufficient affordable housing project at Kanaka Bar Indian Band, powered by solar and wind technology. The project will avoid the need for fossil fuel heating and support the development of 20 affordable housing units in Lower Kanaka. The idea is to demonstrate a replicable, sustainable, resilient development where the foundations of clean air, water, food, shelter and energy meet to address public concern around climate change.

The provincial government will contribute $66,000, with the federal government providing more than $330,000. Kanaka Bar will contribute approximately $44,000 towards the project.

“Investing in people in communities across the province is key to help build a cleaner, better future for everyone,” said George Heyman, B.C.’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Through our CleanBC climate and economic plan, we’re working together with Indigenous communities and local governments to make life more affordable, support clean energy projects, and energy-efficient homes and buildings that are modern and comfortable.”

In addition, Lower Nicola Indian Band will install solar photovoltaic panels on community and residential buildings, including the First Nation’s arena, firehall, health building, community centre, waterworks buildings and social housing rental buildings. The community solar gardens project will lower energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions, while creating a more resilient, sustainable future on the path to reconciliation. The project is supported by nearly $740,000 from the federal government and an additional $246,000 from Lower Nicola Indian Band.

CleanBC is a pathway to a more prosperous, balanced and sustainable future. It was developed in collaboration with the BC Green Party caucus and Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, and supports the commitment in the Confidence and Supply Agreement to implement climate action to meet B.C.’s emission targets.


Patrick Michell, Chief, Kanaka Bar Indian Band –

“Living sustainably and self-sufficiently has been the way of life for the T’eqt”aqtn’mux (or the crossing place people) since time immemorial. Colonization made us dependent on others for basic necessities and in late 1970s, we decided to do something about it. Sustainable energy use today is a cornerstone of Kanaka’s long-term holistic self-sufficiency strategy and The Crossing Place project is affordable housing powered by sustainable use of small-scale renewable energy sources. We are grateful to both Canada and British Columbia for their respective contributions towards this exciting and unique legacy project.”    

Stuart Jackson, Chief (Kukpi), Lower Nicola Indian Band –

“In 2016, the Lower Nicola Indian Band started on its path of sustainable and green energy with the installation of a solar garden on the roof of the Lower Nicola Indian Band School. We believe strongly in utilizing the gifts of Mother Earth in a way that reflects our commitment to stewardship of the land and benefits our people. The abundant sunshine we are blessed with will help our community in a clean and sustainable way. We are grateful to the federal and provincial governments for partnering with us through the CleanBC Communities Fund to help us advance our path.”

Ken Christian, mayor of Kamloops  –

“Environmental leadership is a strategic priority of this council, and that is reflected in the projects we undertake as a city. The revitalized Canada Games Aquatic Centre will not only support the health and wellness of our residents through recreation, but also through improved energy efficiency and reduced emissions. We are thankful to the CleanBC Communities Fund for this significant investment in our community.”

Quick Facts:

  • The CleanBC Communities Fund invests in public infrastructure owned by local governments, Indigenous communities, not-for-profits and projects in partnership with for-profit entities.
  • Together, the federal and provincial government have committed more than $46 million in 11 projects across British Columbia as part of the first intake of the CleanBC Communities Fund. The second intake is open until Nov. 12, 2020.
  • Examples of eligible projects include electric-vehicle charging stations, public building retrofits to improve energy efficiency and clean energy projects that reduce community energy expenses and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The CleanBC Communities Fund is part of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program’s Green Infrastructure Stream.
  • Through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.

Learn More:

More information on the CleanBC Communities Fund, including program eligibility criteria and how to apply for the next intake, is available at: www.gov.bc.ca/cleanbc-communities-fund

Read about the Government of B.C.’s CleanBC plan: www.cleanbc.gov.bc.ca

For more information on the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/Investing-in-Canada-Infrastructure-Program

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