The Government of Canada announces funding to help Ontario colleges and universities save energy and money

News release

April 5, 2018 – Hamilton, Ontario

College and university campuses across the province will see a range of energy-saving upgrades thanks to new funding announced today by the Government of Canada. Investing in energy-efficiency retrofits will help to protect the environment and grow the economy by reducing carbon pollution, supporting good local jobs, and helping schools reduce operating costs.

During a visit today to McMaster University, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced up to $145 million in federal funding to support Ontario’s new Greenhouse Gas Campus Retrofit Program.

The Province of Ontario has committed to contribute $214 million in grants to the Campus Retrofit Program, and it is offering universities and colleges interest-free loans valued at up to $300 million to retrofit college and university facilities in 2017–18. The provincial investment is part of Ontario's five-year Climate Change Action Plan, which is making life more affordable for people across the province and making Ontario a leader in the global fight against climate change. The Action Plan is funded by proceeds from Ontario’s cap on pollution and carbon market.

The Government of Canada’s contribution comes from the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund, which provides $1.4 billion to provinces and territories that have adopted the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. Today’s announcement is part of the $420 million the Province of Ontario will receive through the Leadership Fund to support priorities Ontario has identified to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


“Canadians understand that the environment and the economy go together. Universities and colleges play an important role in training and equipping Canada’s future leaders to tackle the challenges and opportunities that climate change presents. We’re proud to work with the Ontario government to put practical climate solutions into action on campuses across the province. By investing in energy-saving upgrades, we can support good local jobs and help schools reduce their operating costs, while cutting carbon pollution and supporting clean economic growth.”

– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Canada

“Climate change is a global threat, and it requires action on all levels of government and by all parts of society. This investment is a great example of how Ontario and the Government of Canada are working together to help public institutions join the fight against climate change and improve energy efficiency, while creating more comfortable, greener learning environments for students across the province.”
– Chris Ballard, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Ontario

Quick facts

  • Ontario's carbon-market proceeds are required by law to be invested in programs that help households, businesses, and public institutions reduce greenhouse gas pollution.

  • Ontario’s carbon market has generated approximately $2.4 billion in proceeds to improve schools, hospitals, transit, and other projects, such as new bike lanes that are building a greener, more energy-efficient province.

  • According to ECO Canada, 100 000 Canadians worked in energy-efficiency jobs across the country, in 2013.

  • A total of 24 colleges and 21 universities are eligible to apply and participate in the Greenhouse Gas Campus Retrofit Program.

  • The Government of Canada’s Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund provides $1.4 billion to help make homes and buildings more energy efficient, comfortable, and affordable to run; encourage businesses to innovate and access technologies; and support the forest and agriculture sectors to enhance stored carbon in forests and soils.

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Caroline Thériault
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Twitter page

Environment and Natural Resources in Canada’s Facebook page

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