Harper Government and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) support Ritchot’s Île-des-Chênes energy-efficient community centre (20/05/2014)
Île-des-Chênes, MB — Ted Falk, Member of Parliament for Provencher, on behalf of the Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, and Jenny Gerbasi, Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Board Member, and Councillor for the City of Winnipeg, Manitoba, today announced a Green Municipal Fund™ (GMF) loan of $1,501,667 and a grant of $300,333 for the Village of Île-des-Chênes in the Rural Municipality of Ritchot. Ritchot used the $1,802,000 in funding for the village's energy-efficient community centre which addresses the needs of a growing population, while meeting objectives for energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
"The Harper Government is helping municipalities across the country achieve their goal of a cleaner and healthier environment for their citizens through the Green Municipal Fund," said MP Falk. "Today's announcement is another example of how our government — in partnership with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities — is helping municipalities like Ritchot, who used this fund towards an energy-efficient community centre."
The two-storey, 30,000-square-foot centre features a large daycare facility, a 500-seat banquet hall with a commercial kitchen, and rental office space. Designed to achieve LEED® (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) Silver certification, it has been built to reduce energy consumption and operating costs. The centre is equipped with heat-recovery ventilators, well-insulated walls and roofs, triple-glazed windows, compact fluorescent lamps, and low-flow toilets and taps.
"The Green Municipal Fund offers a range of resources and services that specifically address the sustainable community development needs of municipal governments," said Ms. Gerbasi. "The financing and knowledge provided by the Fund supports the development of communities that are more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable."
To reduce energy costs, Ritchot opted for an award-winning district geothermal and cooling system that serves three separate buildings — the community centre, a refurbished arena that includes an ice making system and warmed spectator seats, and a fire hall located nearby. This type of system uses energy stored in the form of heat below the earth's surface to heat these three buildings through a distribution network. Combined energy costs are expected to be about 60 per cent lower than those for buildings of similar size with traditional heating and cooling systems. Ritchot is the first Manitoba municipality with a geothermal district system operating within three municipal buildings. Officials from Ritchot will share their experience and knowledge with other municipalities that are planning similar initiatives in the province of Manitoba and across Canada.
"Today's announcement by the federal government and the FCM confirms their commitment to supporting municipal governments through green infrastructure and reduced energy costs. The municipality achieved synergy by centralizing the necessary equipment and supplying services to many buildings. The grants greatly reduce the financial strain on smaller municipalities. Ritchot is proud to be part of this program, which is beneficial to the environment and the municipality's bottom line." said Ritchot Mayor Bob Stefaniuk.
This project is an exciting example of how GMF funding can be combined with other funding sources — a broad range of federal and provincial programs in this case — to improve municipal infrastructure.
The Government of Canada endowed the Federation of Canadian Municipalities with $550 million to establish the Green Municipal Fund™. The Fund supports partnerships and leveraging of both public and private-sector funding to reach higher standards of air, water and soil quality, and climate protection.
FCM has been the national voice of municipal governments since 1901. It fosters the development of sustainable communities to improve quality of life by promoting strong, effective, and accountable municipal government.