Canada and British Columbia invest in innovative green infrastructure projects
Castlegar, British Columbia, March 12, 2021—The safety and well-being of Canadians are top priorities of the governments of Canada and British Columbia. Investments in green infrastructure during this extraordinary time create jobs, stimulate economic growth, and encourage innovations that help communities be more energy efficient, cleaner, and more resilient.
The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and the Honourable George Heyman, B.C. Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, announced funding for the construction of a new Passive House certified building in Castlegar, to serve as a Hub of Tourism and Economic Development, and for the construction of a Biomass Energy Centre in the District of Sicamous.
The Government of Canada is investing more than $1.7 million in these two projects through the Green Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada plan. The Government of British Columbia is contributing more than $1.1 million.
Hub of Tourism and Economic Development
The Castlegar and District Chamber of Commerce will construct a new Passive House certified building to accommodate several organizations vital to the City. Passive House is a leading standard for low-energy efficient buildings. To meet the standard, constructions use the “passive” influences in a building—like sunshine, shading and ventilation—instead of heating and cooling systems, coupled with very high levels of insulation and airtightness.
The Castlegar hub will include a co-working and large collective space for community events, gatherings, and tech charging stations, and will also be accessible for public use. It is hoped that the project will inspire other local trades and businesses.
The Government of Canada is investing more than $1.4 million in this project; the Government of British Columbia is providing more than $924,000; and the Castlegar and District Chamber of Commerce is contributing over $2.7 million.
Biomass Energy Centre
The District of Sicamous will build a Biomass Energy Centre, consisting of a biomass heating boiler system and a boiler house. This innovative technology uses wood waste, which is repurposed as fuel for the biomass system. The Biomass Centre will provide thermal heat to several buildings in the District of Sicamous. In addition to generating more clean energy, the project will help decrease greenhouse gas emissions throughout the District.
The Government of Canada is investing more than $264,000 in this project; the Government of British Columbia is contributing over $220,000; and the District of Sicamous is providing over $176,000.
“Investing in cleaner infrastructure is key to our economic recovery and tackling climate change. Innovative projects, like the new Passive House certified building in Castlegar and the Sicamous Community Biomass Energy Centre, will support community development, save money, create jobs and help protect the environment by improving energy efficiency and reducing emissions. Canada’s infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates good jobs across the country, and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities.”
The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
“Through our CleanBC plan we’re working with communities across B.C. to build cleaner, better infrastructure that supports people and local economies. By investing in these projects, communities in Castlegar and Sicamous will benefit from buildings that reduce emissions through new bio-heat technology and save money through the highest energy-efficiency standards and use of natural landscape heating and cooling opportunities.”
The Honourable George Heyman, B.C. Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
"On behalf of the Castlegar and District Chamber of Commerce, we would like to express our immense gratitude for this considerable contribution toward our highly-anticipated green-conscious building. This project will set a new precedent for environmentally conscious rural infrastructure, thus significantly impacting the Castlegar community and surrounding West Kootenay region. Ultimately, we are incredibly proud to be taking a substantial step in creating green infrastructure."
Tammy Verigin-Burk, Executive Director, Castlegar and District Chamber of Commerce
“The District of Sicamous is proud to partner with CleanBC by adopting an alternative heating system for our industrial/commercial users. The abundant wood waste that surrounds our community will be redirected to this facility delivering on two key initiatives — 1) reducing/redirecting the threatening fuel source to the bio-heat facility; and 2) reducing our carbon footprint and GHG emissions.”
Terry Rysz, Mayor of District of Sicamous
Through the Investing in Canada plan, the federal government is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
$26.9 billion of this funding is supporting green infrastructure projects.
Across B.C., the Government of Canada has invested more than $4.3 billion in over 544 infrastructure projects under the Investing in Canada plan.
The CleanBC Communities Fund invests in public infrastructure owned by local governments, Indigenous communities, not-for-profits and projects in partnership with for-profit entities.
Together, the federal and provincial governments have committed more than $110 million to the first and second intakes of the CleanBC Communities Fund.
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Executive Director, Castlegar and District Chamber of Commerce
Evan D. Parliament
Chief Administrative Officer, District of Sicamous
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