On March 14, 2022, environment restoration, new middle class jobs, and community economic revitalization were added to the future of many Canadians’ pockets with the funding of $12.6 million worth of energy retrofits for buildings, infrastructure renovation for cleaner energy and water.
That was when a combined investment totaling more than $12.6 million through Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ (FCM) Green Municipal Fund (GMF) to help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, reduce waste and improve the quality of water in communities across the province of Quebec was announced.
The Green Municipal Fund (GMF), administered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, is funded through an endowment by the Government of Canada. GMF helps local governments switch to sustainable practices faster. Its unique mix of funding, resources and training gives municipalities the tools they need to build resilience and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“Fighting climate change and creating new economic opportunities go hand-in-hand. Investing in green infrastructure in communities across the country will make our air cleaner, our economy stronger, and help propel us toward a net-zero future,” said Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
The City of Québec, together with the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (CHU) de Québec-Université Laval, will receive $11.5 million, including a $10-million repayable loan, for the construction of a heating system on the site of the Hôpital de l’Enfant-Jésus, using steam discharged by the city’s municipal incinerator.
The project would reduce GHG emissions produced by the new energy plant, improve air quality, reduce the incinerator’s potable water requirements and generate energy savings for the hospital. Among the many benefits of the project is a 52 percent reduction in fossil fuel consumption and electricity from the grid, along with a 94 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, as compared to a baseline scenario.
“The recovery of the incinerator’s steam by the Enfant-Jésus Hospital is an innovative project that is part of the City of Québec’s Sustainable Development Strategy launched last June. We are fully committed to reducing waste at the source, decarbonization and the fight against climate change. Cities have an essential role to play in this fight, and we intend to put all our efforts into it,” said Bruno Marchand, Mayor of the City of Québec.
Réemploi+, in partnership with the Régie des matières résiduelles (RMR) du Lac-Saint-Jean, will receive $400,000 to carry out a pilot project that will significantly reduce GHG emissions and divert more than 5,000 metric tonnes of waste from the ecocentres run by the RMR each year.
Instead of going to landfill, reusable items will be repaired and offered for sale at three “re-used materials hardware stores” in the region and online. Skills training will be available for people needing special support to enter the job market through this project.
“Local governments influence half of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. That means local action is critical, and it is happening. With support from the Green Municipal Fund, municipalities of all sizes are implementing smart low-carbon solutions. Together, we can improve our community infrastructure, accelerate the path to net zero and meet Canada’s climate change goals,” said Scott Pearce, Second Vice-President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
The City of Rivière-du-Loup will receive $400,000 to conduct a pilot project to increase the capacity of Rivière-du-Loup’s wastewater treatment plant using innovative technology not used anywhere else in the province. The pilot project includes testing the treatment system at the maximum flow conditions that have been projected for the next 30 years and training and transfer of technology to employees.
The Municipality of Sainte-Hedwidge will receive $240,200 to implement a centralized biomass heating system to meet the heating needs of three buildings (city hall, the church and presbytery and the municipal garage/fire hall). By switching from fuel oil to local residual forest biomass (wood chips), the municipality will reduce its GHG emissions by 97 percent and support the regional economy.
The City of Candiac will receive $54,750 to complete a feasibility study on the implementation of an energy recovery loop to distribute heating and air conditioning between emitters (industrial buildings) and receivers (municipal and residential buildings) in the Montcalm downtown area.
The City of Drummondville will receive $36,160 to carry out a pilot project in partnership with the Regional County Municipality (RCM) of Drummond to recover and recycle bulky items and CRD (construction, renovation, demolition) waste from the residential and business sectors. The pilot project aims to achieve a recovery rate of 61 percent of all residual waste, to reduce waste by 2.5 percent during the pilot project and by 5 percent during full-scale implementation.
“Investing in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build the resilience of our communities, such as the Enfant-Jésus Hospital project, can accelerate the step toward carbon neutrality. This project will also create a model that can be replicated elsewhere in Quebec and across the country,” said Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health.
The Town of Amqui will receive $29,900 to set up a pilot project to ensure the sustainable management of stormwater in the town’s Blais sector, a typical neighbourhood of family homes located on a steep slope upstream of the Matapedia River.
The initiative entails installing sumps and manholes, filter strips, bio-retention areas, turf and rain gardens. The goal is to achieve a reduction of at least 80 percent of suspended solids and 80 percent of the stormwater runoff volume in the neighbourhood.
“Upgrading new and existing buildings to be more energy-efficient while also investing in clean infrastructure and sustainable practices will help us achieve our climate targets, ensure that Canadians save money on energy costs, and create good, middle class, jobs. The Government of Canada is pleased to announce this investment, one that will boost resiliency and ensure a healthy environment and sustainable economy in communities across Quebec,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources.
The Conseil régional de l’environnement et du développement durable de l’Outaouais will receive $23,750 to carry out a feasibility study to identify facilitating factors, obstacles, as well as the interest of citizens and organizations in four municipalities (Chelsea, Cantley, La Pêche and Val-des-Monts) in the RCM of Collines-de-l’Outaouais in adopting sustainable mobility options, including the sharing of electric and hybrid vehicles.