Ottawa ON — The federal government has launched the Community Buildings Retrofit initiative to help communities of all sizes overcome the barriers of limited budgets and expertise when undertaking greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction projects.
Catherine McKenna, the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, made the announcement on behalf of the Minister of Natural Resources, Seamus O’Regan Jr., and Garth Frizzell, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).
Funded by a $167-million federal investment in FCM’s Green Municipal Fund, the new initiative supports Canadian municipalities, big and small, and not-for-profit organizations in undertaking retrofits and other upgrades to lower emissions by improving energy performance, lowering operating costs and extending the life of community assets. These investments will help communities decrease emissions generated by existing community buildings such as arenas, pools, libraries and recreation and cultural centres.
“Whether big or small, local governments are at the heart of climate action. With community buildings like arenas, pools and recreation centres emitting some of the highest levels of municipal GHGs, successful retrofit projects can have a significant impact on climate change efforts,” said Garth Frizzell, president, Federation of Canadian Municipalities. “Together, we can improve our community infrastructure and work to meet Canada’s climate change goals.”
The Community Buildings Retrofit initiative will provide grants and loans to fund a portion of each project and expects to disburse the full funding envelope over the next six years. FCM will fund the most innovative projects identified through their peer and staff review of proposals received through this open call, expecting to see the first capital projects approved before the end of 2021–22.
This new initiative is part of a $950-million federal investment in the Green Municipal Fund designed to scale up energy efficiency and lower emissions across Canada. It is complemented by new measures in Canada’s strengthened climate plan to support green and inclusive community buildings through retrofits, repairs, upgrades and new builds. By supporting municipalities in pursuing these projects, this initiative will help create jobs in communities and create retrofit models that can be replicated across Canada to ramp up local employment while reducing GHG emissions at the local level.