December 17, 2020

Vancouver, British Columbia—Canadians have learned the importance of forward planning, and collective action in this extraordinary pandemic year. COVID-19 will one day pass, but climate change will persist. Investing in innovative solutions to reduce pollution and improve energy efficiency is key to creating cleaner, healthier communities, and sustainable economic growth.

Today, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, the Honourable Hedy Fry, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Centre, and Garth Frizzell, President of FCM, announced more than $5.3 million through the Green Municipal Fund (GMF) to bring innovative sustainable solutions to seven B.C. communities. Kennedy Stewart, Mayor of Vancouver, also participated in the announcement.

In Vancouver, more than $4.2 million is going to the Sewage Heat Recovery Expansion Project. This will increase the capacity of the Neighbourhood Energy Utility (NEU) to provide buildings in the Southeast False Creek area with low-carbon heat and hot water. The NEU recycles heat from wastewater and uses a mix of renewable and conventional natural gas to reduce harmful emissions.

In the City of Courtenay, $29,300 is going to a study on the feasibility of building a new pedestrian and cyclist bridge over the Courtenay River to encourage active modes of transportation and reduce greenhouse gases.

The District of Summerland is receiving $45,900 for a series of studies to evaluate the viability of installing a one-megawatt solar array and two-megawatt battery storage system on a brownfield site that was previously used as a works yard and storage area.

In the City of Prince Rupert, $87,000 will go to assessing the feasibility of green infrastructure solutions—like engineered wetlands—to avoid the high capital costs of separating the city’s combined sewer while meeting federal wastewater regulations and discharge requirements.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary will use $10,000 under GMF to explore the feasibility and effectiveness of the rural use of electric vehicles for municipal fleets.

In the City of New Westminster, $82,500 will go towards a feasibility study on the proposed Sapperton District Energy System (SDES), which would use sewer heat recovery to reduce the carbon intensity of two of the largest development projects in the city: the Royal Columbian Hospital expansion and the nearby Sapperton Green, a 38-acre mixed-use development.

Finally, in the City of Richmond, $75,000 will be invested in a study to determine the best way to improve storm water run-off from industrial hub, Mitchell Island, into the Fraser River.

Quotes

"Vancouver is turning wastewater heat into useful, productive energy to help heat buildings and water as the city builds its way toward carbon neutrality in 2050. This green infrastructure project in False Creek, and six others being funded across the province by the Government of Canada, will help keep waterways clean, preserve wildlife, and save energy costs. Canada’s infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country, and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities."

– The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“Through our Investing in Canada plan, the Government of Canada is supporting many projects in Vancouver, and across BC, that will help reduce harmful emissions and protect our beautiful environment. From public transit improvements that encourage more people to leave their cars at home, to more efficient wastewater treatment, and energy-saving heating and lighting solutions, we are helping communities meet the realities of today, and thrive for years to come.”

– The Honourable Hedy Fry, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Centre

“We are investing in the green projects we need to grow our economy, save Canadians money, create jobs and achieve our climate goals.”

– The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources

“Municipalities are important partners in climate action. Their local solutions to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions will build upon the national work already underway to protect our environment, strengthen local economies, and create well-paying jobs in communities across the country.”

– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“Local solutions—scaled up—deliver major national impact, like economic growth and the emission reductions Canada needs to meet its climate change goals. Whether it’s through improved energy efficiency, fewer greenhouse gas emissions, or stronger local infrastructure, local governments get the job done efficiently and cost-effectively because they connect solutions to local needs and local realities. Supported by our strong federal-municipal partnership, FCM’s Green Municipal Fund helps municipalities do what they do best: deliver solutions that work.”

– Garth Frizzell, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities

“Last month, City Council approved a bold and ambitious Climate Emergency Action Plan to reduce our carbon pollution by 50%, but Vancouver’s history as a forward-thinking city dates farther back. Ten years ago, we opened the Neighbourhood Energy Utility in False Creek to recycle waste heat from sewage to provide low carbon space heating and hot water. With the Green Municipal Fund’s support, the NEU expansion project will grow to serve even more buildings and staff are developing a roadmap to 100% renewable energy for all connected buildings by or before 2030.”

– Kennedy Stewart, Mayor of the City of Vancouver

Quick facts

  • The Green Municipal Fund (GMF) is a $1-billion program funded by the Government of Canada and delivered by FCM.
    • Since 2000, GMF has helped bring over 1360 projects to life.
    • GMF projects have cut 2.7 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions—the equivalent of taking 608,000 cars off the road.
    • GMF supports local innovation that can be replicated and scaled up across the country to tackle Canada’s climate challenges.
    • GMF has created over 11,700 jobs across the country.
  • 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.
  • As part of the Investing in Canada plan, the Government of Canada has invested over $4.3 billion in 540 infrastructure projects in British Columbia.

Backgrounders

Vancouver Sewage Heat Recovery Expansion Project
Courtenay feasibility study of pedestrian and cycling bridge
Summerland Solar + Storage Project
Innovating wastewater technology in Prince Rupert
Regional District of Kootenay Boundary electric vehicle and infrastructure study
Reducing carbon intensity with a district energy system in New Westminster
Systems approach to supporting Fraser River ecosystems and industry in Richmond

Associated links

Green Municipal Fund: https://fcm.ca/en/programs/green-municipal-fund
FCM Funding: https://fcm.ca/en/funding
Investing in COVID-19 Community Resilience:
https://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/plan/covid-19-resilience-eng.html
Canada Healthy Communities Initiative:
https://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/chci-iccs/index-eng.html
Investing in Canada Plan Project Map:
http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/map
Federal infrastructure investments in British Columbia: https://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/plan/prog-proj-bc-eng.html
Investing in Canada: Canada’s Long-Term Infrastructure Plan:
http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/plan/icp-publication-pic-eng.html

Contacts

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

Media Relations
Federation of Canadian Municipalities
613-907-6395
media@fcm.ca

Media Relations
Infrastructure Canada
613-960-9251
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154
Email: infc.media.infc@canada.ca
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