Canada and FCM Combat Climate Change by Investing in Retrofits for Community Buildings

News release

April 13, 2021                                                           Ottawa, Ontario                                                       Natural Resources Canada

In communities across the country, Canadians are feeling the impacts of climate change. By investing in existing and new initiatives that lower emissions and enhance the resiliency of communities, we can create good, middle-class jobs and advance Canada’s clean energy future.

The Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, on behalf of the Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., and Garth Frizzell, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), today launched the Community Buildings Retrofit initiative to help communities of all sizes overcome the barriers of limited budgets and expertise when undertaking greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction projects.

Funded by a $167-million federal investment in FCM’s Green Municipal Fund, the new initiative supports Canadian municipalities, big and small, and not-for-profit organizations in undertaking retrofits and other upgrades to lower emissions by improving energy performance, lowering operating costs and extending the life of community assets. These investments will help communities decrease emissions generated by existing community buildings such as arenas, pools, libraries and recreation and cultural centres.

The Community Buildings Retrofit initiative will provide grants and loans to fund a portion of each project and expects to disburse the full funding envelope over the next six years. FCM will fund the most innovative projects identified through their peer and staff review of proposals received through this open call, expecting to see the first capital projects approved before the end of 2021–22.

This new initiative is part of a $950-million federal investment in the Green Municipal Fund designed to scale up energy efficiency and lower emissions across Canada. It is complemented by new measures in Canada’s strengthened climate plan to support green and inclusive community buildings through retrofits, repairs, upgrades and new builds. By supporting municipalities in pursuing these projects, this initiative will help create jobs in communities and create retrofit models that can be replicated across Canada to ramp up local employment while reducing GHG emissions at the local level.

Investing in innovative solutions to lower emissions and improve energy efficiency is key to creating cleaner, healthier communities and sustainable economic growth for all Canadians.


“Improvements in energy efficiency will get us a third of the way to our Paris targets. With today’s announcement, we’re working to lower our emissions and creating good jobs. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”

Seamus O’Regan Jr.
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources 

“Community buildings, such as libraries and arenas, are at the centre of our communities from coast to coast to coast. Upgrading these important public spaces is a critical part of our plan to cut pollution and fight climate change while creating jobs across the country. Through programs like the Community Buildings Retrofit initiative, we are building a cleaner, healthier future for our children and grandchildren.”

Jonathan Wilkinson
Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change 

“Community centres from pools and libraries to cultural and recreation centres are critical to the lives of Canadians. Working with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, we’re funding retrofits across the country to make these buildings more energy-efficient, reducing costs and tackling emissions. This initiative will create jobs, help us tackle climate change and build cleaner, more inclusive communities.”

Catherine McKenna
Canada’s Minister of Infrastructure and Communities 

“Whether big or small, local governments are at the heart of climate action. With community buildings like arenas, pools and recreation centres emitting some of the highest levels of municipal GHGs, successful retrofit projects can have a significant impact on climate change efforts. Together, we can improve our community infrastructure and work to meet Canada’s climate change goals.”

Garth Frizzell
President, Federation of Canadian Municipalities 

Associated links


Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada

Ian Cameron
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources


FCM Media Relations


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