Minister Wilkinson Announces Nearly $260,000 in Clean Energy Support for Indigenous Communities in Ontario

News release

November 10, 2022            Toronto, Ontario            Natural Resources Canada     

Building clean energy capacity in rural and remote communities is crucial to reducing dependence on fossil fuels. The Government of Canada is committed to working together in collaboration with the Indigenous partners and the electricity sector in Ontario to tackle climate change, transition to clean energy and create greater economic opportunity in the province.

Today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, congratulated the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) on its First Nations Energy Symposium that took place on November 8–9, 2022, and announced an investment of nearly $260,000 to build community capacity through Indigenous energy champions.

IESO’s Indigenous energy supporting programming includes technical, hands-on training for Community Energy Champions (CECs) who have been hired by Indigenous communities and organizations across Ontario to advance clean energy projects within their community. Natural Resources Canada funding will build on the IESO’s current CEC program to help plan and advance community-driven energy-related priorities.

The CEC training will integrate initiatives and objectives proposed by the communities and organizations and provide the CECs with foundational knowledge to implement clean energy solutions. The multi-module curriculum will also include demonstrations of home energy audits, establishing an energy baseline, building retrofits, energy generation opportunities, community engagement strategies and developing or updating community energy plans.

This investment demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to supporting Indigenous leadership and remote communities in Ontario as they develop innovative clean energy solutions to displace fossil fuels, advance self-determination and combat climate change.


“Every community deserves to have access to the resources they need to reduce emissions, increase energy efficiency and displace fossil fuels. That is why the Government of Canada is committed to working with Indigenous communities to build the necessary capacity and acquire the skills and expertise needed to advance clean energy and low-carbon energy solutions. Today’s investment in IESO’s clean energy champions program is a step forward, providing the foundational tools required to achieve community-led clean energy priorities.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Natural Resources Canada

“The Community Energy Champion program is already delivering results with over 52 champions helping implement energy efficiency and clean energy projects in Indigenous communities across Ontario. This additional funding will help enhance and expand the training provided to participants and further support the development of Indigenous energy leadership.”

Lesley Gallinger
President and CEO, Ontario’s Independent Electricity Operator (IESO)

Quick facts

  • Federal funding for this project is provided through Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities program, which strives to reduce reliance on diesel in rural and remote communities by deploying and demonstrating renewable energy projects, encouraging energy efficiency and building local skills and capacity. The program is part of the government’s Investing in Canada plan, a more than $180-billion investment in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.

  • Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Clean Air, Strong Economy ensures Canada will remain a world leader in clean power. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting local solutions and community-driven projects that will build a clean energy future for all. Together, we are building healthier, greener and more energy-resilient communities for future generations.

  • This investment is yet another step in reaching Canada’s target of a net-zero grid by 2035. And just like investments in everything from clean energy to nature protection, today’s announcement is part of achieving Canada’s ambitious climate change goals to build a cleaner, healthier and affordable future for all Canadians.

Associated links


Natural Resources Canada
Media Relations

Keean Nembhard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources

Follow us on Twitter: @NRCan (

Page details

Date modified: