Canada and FCM Announce New Green Investments  in Northern Ontario Communities 

News release

June 29, 2021                            Espanola, Ontario                                 Natural Resources Canada

In communities across the country, Canadians are experiencing the impacts of climate change. By investing in initiatives that lower emissions and increase the resiliency of communities, we are creating jobs and building Canada’s low-emission energy future.

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, on behalf of the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources, and Joanne Vanderheyden, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), today announced a $1.4-million investment through FCM’s Green Municipal Fund (GMF) to help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in communities in Northern Ontario.

The Town of Espanola will receive $1,276,500 for its biosolids management and digester optimization project. This initiative will improve treated effluent and operational reliability and provide a model for managing existing biosolids for small communities across Canada. The benefits of this project include reduced GHGs equivalent to 591 tonnes of carbon dioxide over the next 20 years, lowered energy consumption of 40 percent and $100,000 annual savings in biosolid hauling and treatment costs.

The City of Timmins will receive $86,500 to investigate opportunities to transform its wastewater pollution control plant into a net-zero resource recovery facility by exploring source-separated organic availability and the most beneficial uses of increased biogas production.

The City of Kenora will receive $40,000 to advance climate action with a Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Plan (SNAP) to reduce emissions, cut energy waste and move toward more sustainable sources of energy as part of its efforts to manage the effects of a changing climate.

The Town of Bracebridge will receive $36,000 to study the feasibility of building a net-zero recreational and cultural centre that will include an ice rink.

These varied initiatives highlight some of the ways that GMF continues to support transformative environmental initiatives at the community level and build on its 20-year record of environmental and economic impacts. The Government of Canada has invested $1.65 billion in GMF since its inception, enabling municipalities to support projects like these that leverage local resources to drive innovative solutions. 


“Local governments influence half of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. That means local action is critical. With support from the Green Municipal Fund, this is happening: municipalities of all sizes are implementing smart low-carbon solutions. Empowering this local expertise is vital to meeting Canada’s climate goals. When orders of government work together to reduce emissions, we’re building more resilient communities.”

Joanne Vanderheyden
President, Federation of Canadian Municipalities

“Local green solutions create jobs, lower emissions and build a more prosperous and sustainable economy for all. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr.
Minister of Natural Resources

“Tackling climate change is the challenge of our lifetime, but there are lots of great ideas about how to reduce emissions. The investment announced today will help local ideas come to life and support our region in becoming more sustainable. Every action counts, and these projects will help Canada meet our emissions target.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

“Cities are key partners in pioneering practical climate solutions. Through the Green Municipal Fund, we’re supporting municipalities in their efforts to lower emissions through projects like energy-efficient retrofits, electric and hybrid electric transit pilots and efficiencies in wastewater treatment. By working together, we can create good jobs and grow the economy, protect the environment and build cleaner, more inclusive communities.”

The Honourable Catherine McKenna
Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“Canadians in communities across the country are working hard to cut pollution and create jobs. Improving the energy efficiency of our homes and buildings will do just that while helping Canadians save on energy costs. Together, we are building a cleaner, healthier future for our children and grandchildren.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“By investing in these initiatives, we’re not only taking action to lower greenhouse gas emissions in Northern Ontario, we’re also creating green jobs and more resilient and sustainable communities for Canadians.”

Marc G. Serre
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources
Member of Parliament for Nickel Belt

“The Town of Espanola is grateful to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Green Municipal Fund for supporting our innovative biosolids management and digester optimization project.  Our partnered commitment to this project will significantly reduce environmental impact and will increase operational efficiencies and cost savings in pursuit of a sustainable quality of life for our community.”

Jill Beer
Mayor, Town of Espanola

“Any time we can talk about upgrading our current programs and services to a sustainable operation, it is positive news for the City. Add to that the possibility of adding a composting program, and we’ll have a system in place that will greatly lower the City’s carbon footprint. I want to thank Minister O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, and Joanne Vanderheyden, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, for helping us further explore this opportunity.”

George Pirie
Mayor, City of Timmins

“The City of Kenora is thrilled to be one of four applicants to receive funding from the Green Municipal Fund through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. This funding will help advance our Sustainability Action Plan and support our goal of developing projects with a local context and specific challenges and opportunities in Kenora. Climate change adaptation and mitigation are not the sole responsibility of one entity; they rely on collective action. We are excited to have this opportunity to work with our community partners to make meaningful changes in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, moving toward more sustainable energy sources, reducing waste and managing the impacts of a changing climate.”

Daniel Reynard
Mayor, City of Kenora

“The Town of Bracebridge is delighted to be receiving funding from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Green Municipal Fund. We will use this funding to support the cost of commissioning a study to investigate methods of achieving net-zero energy consumption on our new multi-use community centre. By partnering with us to complete this study, the Government of Canada and FCM are helping our Town find new and innovative ways to reduce our carbon footprint and demonstrate strong environmental stewardship, which is an important pillar of our Strategic Plan.”

Graydon Smith
Mayor, Town of Bracebridge

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