Ottawa Directs Dollars to Clean Grid, Transit, Indigenous Guardians
Federal departments and agencies have spent the last few days issuing a flurry of new funding announcements for clean technologies, and for nature protection through the Indigenous Guardians program.
Last Wednesday, Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan Jr. unveiled a C$960-million Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways Program, aimed at supporting non-emitting technologies like wind, solar, storage, hydropower, geothermal, and tidal, and at modernizing the country’s electricity grid. The Canadian Environment Week launch took place during a virtual forum hosted by the Canadian Electricity Association that laid out four key “disruptors” for electricity regulation—decarbonization, decentralization, digitalization, and democratization.
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A day later, the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) said it would invest $14.4 million to help Edmonton buy 20 new zero-emission buses and complete a municipal building retrofit study. “The CIB is determined to support Canadian municipalities’ climate action and infrastructure renewal,” said President and CEO Ehren Cory.
“In addition to supporting our economic recovery, this investment in zero-emission public transit and greener buildings helps ensure Edmonton is making tangible gains in its goal to become a competitive, low-carbon city of the future,” added Mayor Don Iveson.
“We are excited to be on the forefront of transit electrification in Canada and to offer Edmontonians a clean, quiet, and comfortable ride,” added Edmonton Transit Service branch manager Carrie Hotton-MacDonald. “Electric buses not only contribute to a more sustainable transportation option for our riders, but also cost savings for taxpayers through lower operating and maintenance expenses.”
On Thursday, as well, Environment and Climate Change Canada announced $600,000 in funding for 10 new Indigenous Guardians pilot projects. The program “supports Indigenous leadership in conservation, enabling communities to monitor ecological health, maintain cultural sites, and protect sensitive areas and species, while creating jobs,” the department said in a backgrounder. Funding in this round went to communities in British Columbia, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan.
O’Regan was also scheduled to make an electric vehicle infrastructure announcement Thursday morning, but there was no further information on that release as The Mix went to (virtual) press Sunday evening.