Canada and British Columbia invest in two energy efficient infrastructure projects

News release

Klemtu, British Columbia, March, 8, 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 provide an opportunity to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, and make our communities cleaner, more inclusive and more resilient.

The Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Digital Government, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, the Honourable George Heyman, B.C. Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, together with Chief Councillor Roxanne Robinson of the Kitasoo Xai’xais Nation and Mike Overend, Director of Development for the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, announced funding for two green infrastructure projects that will be key to transitioning the communities to renewable energy. These projects include the modernization and expansion of the Klemtu hydropower plant, and the installation of solar panels and vehicle charging stations for the Thompson Okanagan Inspiration Centre.

The Government of Canada is investing a total of nearly $4 million in these two projects through the Green Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The Government of British Columbia is contributing over $800,000 through the CleanBC Communities Fund. The recipients are contributing a combined total of over $700,000.

Klemtu Hydropower Project

Built over 40 years ago, the hydropower plant in Klemtu is in need of upgrades due to aging components, notably to increase its capacity and reduce the occurrence of blackouts. The project includes replacing the penstock system to reactivate the original turbine, which will provide a significant source of renewable energy for the remote community of over 300 people. 

The upgrades will also help decrease Klemtu’s reliance on fossil fuel, and significantly reduce carbon emissions. This project will create an opportunity for growth in the community through job creation, and will also support the construction of more homes in the area.

The Government of Canada is investing over $3.89 million in this project. The Government of British Columbia is contributing over $778,000 through the CleanBC Communities Fund. For its part, the Kitasoo Xai’xais Nation is contributing over $653,000.  These amounts build on previous investments from the Government of Canada ($518,000) and the Government of British Columbia (approximately $5.5 million).

Thompson Okanagan Inspiration Centre

This Centre, which promotes and sells local Indigenous art, is a key stop-over for anyone visiting the region. The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association will acquire and install solar panels and three electric vehicle charging stations, which will be available for tourists and visitors. The solar panels will be used as the main source of electricity for the building, in addition to powering the vehicle charging stations.

Through this and future projects, the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association is planning to transition to a net-zero facility in the near future.

The Government of Canada is investing over $91,000 in this project. The Government of British Columbia is contributing over $57,000. For its part, the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association is contributing over $80,000.

Quotes

“The upgrades to Kitasoo Xai’xais Nation’s local hydropower plant will provide residents with a reliable and sustainable source of renewable energy. Congratulations to the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association in lowering the environmental impact of the Inspiration Centre and promoting the use of electric vehicles. These are both prime examples of green investments that help build strong, resilient communities. Canada’s infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country, and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities”

The Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Digital Government, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“These projects will help build new opportunities in Kitasoo Xai’xais Nation and in the Thompson Okanagan region by supporting cleaner energy, good local jobs and an environmentally sustainable economic recovery. Through CleanBC, we’re working with the federal government, Indigenous peoples and communities across B.C. to support investments that will make a difference in people’s lives while enhancing our actions to fight climate change.”

The Honourable George Heyman, B.C. Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy

“This is a exciting time for our nation, this is just one single step for the nation to continue to expand, grow and flourish. We look forward to a bright and prosperous future for our community.”

Chief Councillor Roxanne Robinson of the Kitasoo Xai’xais Nation 

"The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association appreciates the efforts by our Provincial and Federal governments to invest in clean energy projects. With this funding the Thompson Okanagan Inspiration Centre is a step closer to being a carbon neutral centre and allows us as an organization to walk the talk when it comes to our sustainable development initiatives." 

Mike Overend, Director of Development, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association

Quick facts

  • 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.

  • Across B.C., the Government of Canada has invested more than $4.3 billion in over 541 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. 

Associated links

Contacts

Chantalle Aubertin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
613-941-0660
chantalle.aubertin@canada.ca

Media Relations
Infrastructure Canada
613-960-9251
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154
Email: infc.media.infc@canada.ca
Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn
Web: Infrastructure Canada

Media Relations
B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Media Relations
250-953-3834

Kitasoo Xai’xais Nation
250-839-1255
kitasooband@gmail.com

Mike Overend
Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association
778-721-5462
industrysupport@totabc.com

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