Government of Canada Supports Renewable Energy Alternatives in Indigenous and Northern Communities

News release

February 9, 2021 — Ottawa (Ont.) — Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

The Government of Canada is working with partners to reduce Northern communities' reliance on diesel for heating and electricity by increasing the use of local renewable energy sources and improving energy efficiency.

Today, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, and Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories, announced that the Northern Responsible Energy Approach for Community Heat and Electricity program (Northern REACHE) provided financial support of $95,000 to the Aurora Research Institute, in association with Delta Enterprises, a Gwitch'in owned company, to study the potential of converting waste cardboard into pellets as biomass feedstock for heating homes and businesses throughout Inuvik.

The goal is to build a facility that will take up to 60 per cent of the community's cardboard bound for the landfill and instead, recycle it into heating pellets, thereby supplementing Inuvik's biomass pellet supply and reducing reliance on fossil fuels used for heating.

By supporting an emerging northern biomass industry, the Government helps to create local jobs, transition to clean energy and keep investments in the North by using local resources and building a regional economy. This will support healthier, more sustainable communities, across the North.

This investment is part of Canada's nearly $700 million commitment to help rural and remote communities get off diesel, through programs delivered by Natural Resources Canada and Infrastructure Canada.

Through Canada's climate plan, the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, the Government is working with provinces, territories and Indigenous partners to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, build resilience to a changing climate and support the transition to a clean growth economy.


"The Government of Canada is proud to partner with the Aurora Research Institute and this important clean energy project. Home-grown, innovative ideas, such as this, will create environmental, social and economic benefits and support healthier, more sustainable communities. True success comes from empowering communities and their vision for a clean, green future. These are Northern ideas and Northern solutions."

The Honourable Daniel Vandal, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Northern Affairs

"Helping Northerners as they develop innovative opportunities to meet energy needs is an investment in both a healthier economy and a healthier climate."

Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories

"The federal government's support of innovative Northern projects is welcomed by Aurora College. Partnerships such as this will continue to increase as Aurora College transforms into a polytechnic university, contributing to the economic diversity of the Northwest Territories and strengthening the knowledge economy. This project is an exciting example of Northern ingenuity creating unique responses to northern challenges in a responsible, sustainable manner that benefits the northern economy, environment, and communities."

The Honourable R.J. Simpson, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment,
Northwest Territories

Quick facts

  • As cardboard breaks down in the landfill, it releases methane, which has the global warming potential of 21 times that of carbon dioxide.

  • Recycling cardboard will reduce pressure on the landfill.

  • Through CIRNAC's climate change programs, more than $130 million has been invested to date to support 615 unique projects.

  • As of September 2020, Northern REACHE had supported a total of 108 projects across Canada's north with an investment of more than $20.4 million.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Antoine Tremblay
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Daniel Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs

Media Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

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