Government of Canada funds the expansion and renovation of the Val-d’Or Native Friendship Centre
Val-d’Or, Quebec, August 17, 2022—Today, the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Quebec Lieutenant, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, announced $25 million in federal funding for infrastructure improvements to the Val-d’Or Native Friendship Centre.
"What we are announcing today is more than an investment in brick and mortar. It's a commitment to the Indigenous community in Val-d’Or that will benefit the entire community. This expansion and renovation project is a concrete action that will allow the Centre to continue its mission and that will positively affect the daily life of its staff and its users," said the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Quebec Lieutenant, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities.
“The heart of our Friendship Centre beats to the dynamic rhythm of our community. An innovative and engaging community that puts forward an urban Indigenous community governance model well-anchored in its environment. The countless initiatives deployed by the Centre over nearly 50 years in sectors such as health, social services, early childhood, education, community housing, employment, justice and social economy requires facilities that meet the expectations of the development. The Government of Canada’s announcement of unprecedented funding to upgrade our infrastructure represents a lot more than a financial investment for our community: it’s a concrete action that gives a true meaning to reconciliation,” said president of the board of directors for the Val-d’Or Native Friendship Centre, Elder Oscar Kistabish.
The funding will allow the Val-d’Or Native Friendship Centre to develop their infrastructure, notably by expanding and renovating its main building, as well as by building a new five-storey pavilion adjacent to it. This major project will modernize the important community hub and strengthen their culturally relevant and safe services for the city’s growing Indigenous community. The upgrades will include better access to the community hubs and living spaces, the development of the Indigenous Health Clinic, the retrofit of the Indigenous daycare centre, as well as the construction of new living spaces for the Cree of Eeyou Istchee coming to Val-d’Or to receive health care.
In addition to responding to the growing needs and realities of the community, the project will increase the Centre’s capacity and generate significant socio-economic benefits for all residents of the City of Val-d'Or, including members of the Indigenous community. The project will also make the renovated and expanded spaces entirely carbon neutral.
The Government of Canada is investing $25 million in this project through Infrastructure Canada’s Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program.
The Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program is an integral part of Canada’s strengthened climate plan. It provides $1.5 billion over 5 years to support renovations, repairs or retrofits to improve the accessibility and environmental footprint of existing public community buildings, as well as the construction of new publicly accessible community buildings that will serve underserved and high-need communities across Canada.
At least 10 per cent of the funding is allocated to projects for First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities, which includes Indigenous populations in urban centres.
Provincial/territorial governments, municipal and regional governments, public sector agencies, not-for-profit organizations and Indigenous organizations interested in the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program are invited to apply through the Infrastructure Canada website.
Applications for large-scale renovations to existing community buildings or new community building projects, with a total eligible cost of between $3 million and $25 million, were accepted through a competitive process that closed on July 6, 2021. A second competitive process is planned for later in 2022, but the date has not yet been determined. Information on the second process will be posted on the Infrastructure Canada – Green and Inclusive Community Buildings website as soon as it becomes available.
Applications for funding for small and medium-sized retrofit projects for existing community buildings, with a total eligible cost between $100,000 and $2,999,999, will be accepted on an ongoing basis and funded through an ongoing call for applications.
Announced in December 2020, Canada’s strengthened climate plan includes 64 new measures and $15 billion in investments to support a healthy economy and environment.
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc
Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities
Val-d’Or Native Friendship Centre
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