Government of Canada supports climate action by McGill University

News release

February 22, 2019 – Montréal, Quebec

Canadians are feeling the impacts and costs of climate change first hand. By working together, we can take action on climate change in a way that benefits all Canadians. That’s why the Government of Canada is working with businesses, cities and towns, Indigenous communities, universities, schools and hospitals to reduce pollution, improve our health, and make life more affordable.

Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced support for climate action by McGill University. The government is investing up to $1.8 million to help McGill upgrade its heating equipment and distribution system, upgrades that will reduce fuel consumption, reduce emissions, and make the local air cleaner.

At McGill’s downtown campus, fossil fuel-based heating equipment will be replaced with clean electricity and heat exchangers will be installed, recovering heat and reducing energy use even further. At McGill’s Gault Nature Reserve site, located at Mont-Saint-Hilaire, their oil-based heating equipment will be replaced with clean electricity. These investments are practical ways to reduce both air and carbon pollution, save energy, reduce costs, and create good jobs in the clean economy.

The funding comes from the Government of Canada’s Low Carbon Economy Fund – an important part of Canada’s climate plan. Canada’s climate plan puts Canada on track for the biggest reduction in carbon emissions in our country’s history. The plan has over 50 measures, including investing in clean energy and phasing out coal power, building public transit, and introducing a price on pollution so that it is no longer free to pollute.


“Canadians across the country are coming up with innovative and affordable solutions to increase energy efficiency and reduce emissions, saving people money and creating good jobs along the way. By investing in these projects, from coast to coast to coast, the government is making sure we are positioned to succeed in the $26 trillion global market for clean solutions and to create good middle-class jobs today and for the future.”

Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Quick facts

  • McGill University, Montréal, Quebec will receive up to $1.8 million in funding through the Low Carbon Economy Challenge Champions stream.

  • The University will distribute heat more efficiently through the installation of heat exchangers in the central heating plant of its downtown campus. Recovering heat from flue gases will improve efficiency, thus reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

  • The University will install a new electric boiler at its downtown campus that will replace one of the natural gas-fired steam boilers, reducing energy use and lowering emissions. McGill's Gault Nature Reserve will convert its oil-based heating equipment to clean electricity, which will eliminate heating oil consumption, making this campus almost fully carbon neutral.  

  • According to Clean Energy Canada, the energy-efficiency measures in Canada’s climate plan will help improve Canada’s economy and environment between now and 2030 by creating 118,000 new jobs, boosting our GDP by $356 billion, and saving Canadian households an average of $114 a year. The economic benefits of energy efficiency are enormous for Canadians. Every $1 spent on energy efficiency generates approximately $7 of GDP.

  • The Low Carbon Economy Fund is divided into two parts:

    1. The Leadership Fund provides up to $1.4 billion to provinces and territories to leverage investments in projects and programs that will generate clean growth and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to support the Pan-Canadian Framework.
    2. The Challenge provides over $500 million in funding to support projects that will leverage ingenuity across the country to reduce emissions and generate clean growth.

    The Challenge is being delivered through two streams:

    • The Champions stream, valued at $450 million, was open to provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous communities and organizations, businesses, and not-for-profit organizations.
    • The Partnerships stream, valued at $50 million, was launched on December 20, 2018, and is targeting smaller applicants, including small businesses, not-for-profit organizations, smaller municipalities, and Indigenous communities and organizations.

Associated links


Sabrina Kim
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 Climate Change Canada’s Facebook page

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