OTTAWA, ON, April 14, 2021 /CNW/ - As the Government of Canada continues to protect and support Canadians through the COVID-19 pandemic, it is also looking to meet ambitious climate objectives, support economic growth and job creation, and build more inclusive and resilient communities where all Canadians have opportunities to thrive.
Today, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, announced the launch of a program across Canada to support green and inclusive community buildings through retrofits, repairs, upgrades, and new builds. As part of the Strengthened Climate Plan, the program will deliver $1.5 billion in funding over the next five years to projects that improve the places where Canadians gather, access services, and connect with others in the community, while saving energy, cutting pollution, and offering thousands of good jobs.
The program will invest in projects that meet a minimum threshold for energy efficiency improvements and that increase social inclusion in under-served and high-needs communities across Canada. Projects could include: the installation of energy efficient windows in public libraries; the construction of an Indigenous cultural centre built to green specifications; and, other such projects that would reduce energy waste, improve ventilation and contribute to inclusive community spaces.
Local governments, provincial and territorial governments, and not-for-profit and Indigenous organizations may now apply for funding through the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program for projects that retrofit or build new publicly-accessible buildings that provide services to the public. At least 10 per cent of this funding will be allocated to projects serving First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities, including Indigenous populations in urban centres.
Through the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program, we continue to work together to build a healthier environment, a healthier economy and more inclusive communities for all Canadians.
"Community buildings are at the heart of Canada's towns and cities. Through the new Green and Inclusive Community Building program, we're investing $1.5 billion in energy efficient retrofits and net-zero new community buildings that will create good local jobs, tackle climate change and save money, and serve disadvantaged Canadians. These investments are part of our infrastructure plan that is creating jobs across the country and building cleaner, more inclusive communities across the country."
The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
"Our community buildings, like arenas, libraries and recreation centres, are important parts of our towns and cities across the country. Upgrading our existing community buildings and building new, green centres will help Canadians create healthier and more vibrant communities. By working together, we can cut pollution, help communities save on energy costs, and create good jobs."
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
"Tackling complex challenges like COVID-19, climate change, and building a sustainable economy, requires cooperation and a seat at the table for local governments to get results. That's why it's so refreshing to see the Government of Canada partner directly with local governments to deliver the green infrastructure and upgrades Canadians from coast to coast to coast need. This fund will create jobs and benefits for local communities today, lasting legacies for residents in the decades to come, and climate action that is long overdue."
His Worship Kennedy Stewart, Mayor of the City of Vancouver
"Making 'Every Building Greener' is critical for Canada's sustainable development and net-zero emissions future. This means that the environmental, social and economic benefits of green buildings need to reach every corner of our country. With this announcement, the government takes a deliberate step to invest in retrofitting and building new community spaces, including in underserved, rural and remote Indigenous communities. In addition to the positive environmental outcomes, green building has the power to improve occupant health, promote well-being and support learning outcomes – benefits that all Canadians should enjoy."
Thomas Mueller, President & CEO, Canada Green Building Council
Announced in December 2020, Canada's Strengthened Climate Plan includes 64 new measures and $15 billion in investments towards a healthy environment and economy, including 1.5 billion over five years for green and inclusive community buildings.
This initiative complements the Canada Infrastructure Bank's $10 billion Growth Plan, which includes $2 billion for large-scale energy-efficient building retrofits.
Some examples of the types of projects that could benefit from this initiative include: the construction of an Indigenous cultural centre built to green specifications; and other such projects that would reduce energy and waste, improve ventilation and contribute to inclusive community spaces.
Information about the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program may be found on the Infrastructure Canada website. Interested governments, not-for-profit and Indigenous governments, governing bodies and organizations are invited to apply.
Applicants with small and medium retrofit projects to existing community buildings will be accepted on a continuous basis and funded on a rolling intake basis.
Applicants with large retrofit projects to existing community buildings or new community building projects will be accepted through a competitive intake process. The deadline for receipt of applications for the scheduled intake stream is July 6, 2021.
SOURCE Infrastructure Canada
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