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British Columbia to improve energy efficiency in First Nations

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Today, the governments of Canada and British Columbia announced they will continue to invest in local energy efficiency infrastructure. Thus, Patrick Weiler, Member of Parliament for West Vancouver, announced funding to upgrade two local health care centers; particularly, in the communities of Lil’wat Nation and N’Quatqua Nation.

Read more of our news content, here; Green fossil fuels with support on Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

In fact, this initiative aims to meet the needs of communities, enhance the quality of life, and support economic recovery from COVID-19. 

About the energy efficiency upgrades in British Columbia

Accordingly, the Lil’wat Nation will upgrade its Health and Healing Centre; specifically, to accommodate growing demand and make the building more energy-efficient. Also, to provide food service to community members.

Therefore, the project will consist of reconfiguring the kitchen, including installing a new HVAC and commercial kitchen equipment. Similarly, a net meter and solar power system, upgrading the WiFi throughout the building. Lastly, it includes replacing the roof gutters, furnaces, water tank, windows, and more.

Through these upgrades, the community will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save money, and improve the overall safety and comfort of building users.

On the other hand, the N’Quatqua First Nation will retrofit the community’s Health Centre; particularly, to include a rooftop solar power system and components to provide reliable energy to the facility; especially during the winter months.

Therefore, once completed, the community will benefit from cost savings, energy storage for emergency situations; and also from power outages, and reduced reliance on backup diesel.

Reception

Finally, the Government of Canada said it is investing more than $1.3 million in this project. Specifically, it is providing funding through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program’s new COVID-19 Community Resilience Infrastructure Stream. Accordingly, the federal cost-share is up to 100% for projects intended for Indigenous communities under this stream.

Worth noting, Patrick Weiler commented in a media release; “In fact, reliable and sustainable sources of energy are vital to supporting healthy, strong and resilient communities; especially in remote areas where energy security is top of mind. Therefore, the funding announced today will support the vision of the Lil’wat Nation and N’Quatqua First Nation to provide better health services to their community. It will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower energy costs.”

Thus, “working in collaboration with our provincial and Indigenous partners,” continued Weiler; “we are investing in projects like these to build a cleaner, more resilient, and inclusive communities across British Columbia.”

Similarly, The Honourable Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs, said; “Improvements to the Lil’wat Health and Healing Centre and the N’Quatqua Health Centre will help both communities respond better to the health and well-being of their members. Moreover, this funding helps the Lil’wat Nation to more fully accommodate the growing demand for health needs and concerns in the community; while the retrofit to the N’Quatqua Health Centre is boosting the local economy; particularly, through new construction jobs and providing more reliable services for the people in the region.”

Finally, Chantel Thevarge, N’Quatqua Councillor, said; “Indeed, as a remote community, energy security is always at the forefront of our minds. Therefore, N’Quatqua Chief and Council are excited to be taking another step forward in energy independence. Besides, they are looking forward to lowering our carbon footprint in the process.”

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