FORT ST.JOHN, COWICHAN VALLEY – Canadians have learned the importance of forward planning and of sustained, collective action in this extraordinary pandemic year. COVID-19 will one day pass, but climate change will persist. The infrastructure decisions we make today will provide cleaner, healthier communities using innovative solutions to reduce pollution, improve energy efficiency, and create sustainable economic growth.
On December 7, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Garth Frizzell, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, announced more than $11.5 million for two net-zero municipal building projects through the Green Municipal Fund (GMF). The GMF is funded by the Government of Canada and delivered to municipalities by FCM.
In Fort St. John, a new net-zero-energy building will be constructed and leased to the local Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) detachment to replace their existing 35-year-old building. For maximum energy efficiency and operational cost savings, the new four-story building will control heat loss and gain, minimize electricity consumption, and use energy-efficient mechanical heating-venting-cooling (HVAC) systems.
“As the Energetic City, we know energy, and the most valuable form of energy is what you conserve. With the Green Municipal Fund’s support, this building will significantly reduce the energy required to operate, reducing the annual operating costs and lowering our emissions. The replacement RCMP Detachment has been an identified need in Council’s Strategic Plan for several years, and we are excited to see construction ongoing,” said Mayor of Fort St. John, Lori Ackerman.
The District Municipality of North Cowichan will conduct a feasibility study to determine the specifications required to make the local RCMP detachment building a net-zero facility. The study will explore a range of measures, including optimizing the building’s envelope, lighting and HVAC systems, and adding an on-site solar photovoltaic system to generate energy.
The pandemic has made us think about what really matters in our communities, engage in meaningful conversations about taking care of those around us, and reflect on the kind of future we want to build – the same lessons we must apply to a climate-friendly future. Together with our partners we will build a fairer and more resilient Canada that works for everyone.
The Green Municipal Fund (GMF) is a $1-billion program funded by the Government of Canada and delivered by FCM.