June 24, 2021

Waterloo – In communities across the country, Canadians are experiencing the impacts of climate change. By investing in initiatives that lower emissions and increase the resiliency of communities, we are creating good, middle-class jobs and building Canada’s low emissions energy future.

The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth and Member of Parliament for Waterloo, on behalf of the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources, and Joanne Vanderheyden, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), today announced a $4.5-million investment through FCM’s Green Municipal Fund (GMF) for projects that will improve the quality of water and wastewater treatment and the flow of traffic in the region of Waterloo.

The Regional Municipality of Waterloo will receive $1.9-million to upgrade its Hespeler wastewater treatment plant with a membrane-aerated bioreactor to reduce operational costs, support future growth in the municipality, improve water quality, reduce energy consumption and cut down on treatment waste.

In addition, the Regional Municipality of Waterloo will receive $2.4 million to implement a new traffic system at 275 intersections to improve traffic flow across the entire region. The new system will collect data that will better integrate pedestrians, cyclists, rapid transit and emergency vehicles, leading to improved safety and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

The City of Waterloo will receive $175,000 to study the risks of sodium chloride infiltration from Stormwater Management Facilities in the Laurel Creek sub-watershed. This initiative will use a ground water model developed by the University of Guelph. Testing and verifying the model in Waterloo will be useful for any community concerned with sodium chloride contamination in high-risk areas.

These initiatives highlight how GMF supports transformative environmental initiatives at the community level and build on its 20-year record of environmental and economic impacts. The Government of Canada has invested $1.65 billion in GMF since its inception, enabling municipalities to support projects like these that leverage local resources to drive innovative solutions.


“Local governments influence half of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. That means local action is critical. With support from the Green Municipal Fund, this is what’s happening: municipalities of all sizes are implementing smart low-carbon solutions. Empowering this local expertise is vital to meeting Canada’s climate goals. When orders of government work together to reduce emissions, we’re building more resilient communities.”

– Joanne Vanderheyden, President, Federation of Canadian Municipalities

“Local green solutions create jobs, lower emissions and build a more prosperous and sustainable economy for all. This is how we get to net-zero by 2050.”

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

“By investing in municipal initiatives, we are supporting local green technologies that lower emissions and advance water management. Together, we are improving infrastructure and working to meet Canada's climate change goals.”

– The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth - Member of Parliament for Waterloo

“Cities are key partners in pioneering practical climate solutions. Through the Green Municipal Fund we’re supporting municipalities in their efforts to lower emissions through projects like energy-efficient retrofits, electric and hybrid electric transit pilots and efficiencies in wastewater treatment. By working together, we can create good jobs and grow the economy, protect the environment and build cleaner, more inclusive communities.”

– The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“Canadians in communities across the country are working hard to cut pollution and create jobs. Improving the energy efficiency of our homes and buildings will do just that, while helping Canadians save on energy costs. Together, we are building a cleaner, healthier future for our children and grandchildren.”

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

“Investments in infrastructure are vital to the sustained quality of life and smart growth in the Region of Waterloo. Thank you to the Government of Canada for these important investments in our community, and to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities for their advocacy on behalf of municipalities.”

– Karen Redman, Regional Chair, Regional Municipality of Waterloo

“Water runoff flowing into stormwater ponds today has the potential to become part of our drinking water resources in the ground and the Grand River tomorrow. Clean, safe drinking water starts with protecting those water sources. This testing will give us an idea of how effective our stormwater ponds are in helping to manage salt contamination and the potential to improve that performance in at-risk areas. Water flows across community boundaries, and we all have a role to play as stewards for this important resource.”

– Dave Jaworsky, Mayor of the City of Waterloo

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Associated links

Green Municipal Fund
Investing in Canada: Canada's Long-Term Infrastructure Plan
Investing in Canada plan project map


FCM Media Relations

Ian Cameron
Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources

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