News Release: Green light for Fort St. John clean energy projects

Fort St. John, BC – Residents in the City of Fort St. John will benefit from two clean energy projects thanks to a $1.2 million contribution from the Government of Canada through the Gas Tax Fund transfer. The funding will support the addition of a micro-hydro unit to the City's wastewater system and the construction of a district energy system at the Pomeroy Sports Centre.

“Investing in clean energy is an investment in the long-term health and sustainability of our communities," said Bob Zimmer, Member of Parliament for Prince George—Peace River. “Our Government is proud to be a partner in this environmentally friendly initiative that will help reduce FortSt.John's greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs, while creating jobs and strengthening the local economy.”

The micro-hydro project will use wastewater effluent discharge to generate electricity, offsetting nearly $100,000 worth of energy usage each year.

The district energy project will recover the heat generated by the refrigerant plant at the Pomeroy Sport Centre to heat the facility and adjacent city-owned recreation facilities. The project, combined with energy conservation measures already in place in those buildings, will reduce the City's greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent and reduce energy costs by nearly $200,000 per year. The funding provided through the Gas Tax Fund will cover the complete cost of the micro-hydro project, and the design and development plans for the district energy project.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our community. We are very pleased that these projects will decrease two important aspects of our operations: GHG emissions and energy costs,” declared Fort St. John Mayor, Lori Ackerman. “A 20 per cent decrease in GHG emissions will assist the City in reaching its Climate Action Charter goal of carbon neutrality, while a decrease in operational costs of close to $300,000 per year is a start towards a more financially sustainable future.”

“Cutting-edge projects like these create a strong foundation for sustainable growth and development, while providing tremendous environmental benefits,” said Pat Pimm, MLA for Peace River North. “Through our federal partnership in the Gas Tax Fund, we are building important sustainable infrastructure that fosters the economic sustainability of communities and enhances the quality of life and well being of British Columbians.”

"Investment in better technology is helping communities like Fort St. John to reduce emissions and drive down operational costs," said Union of British Columbia Municipalities President Mary Sjostrom. "I am very appreciative of the support the federal Gas Tax Fund is providing for this project."

Since 2006, the Government of Canada has made unprecedented investments in infrastructure. Through the Gas Tax Fund alone, municipalities across the country have received over $10 billion in transfers for local priority initiatives. Making this fund permanent at $2 billion annually was part of Canada's Economic Action Plan – a plan to help create good jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity.

Between 2006 and 2014, British Columbia will receive more than $1.56 billion from the Gas Tax Fund to improve local infrastructure. The Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) administers the Gas Tax Fund in BC, in collaboration with Canada and British Columbia.

For additional information about federal investments in infrastructure and to stay up-to-date with Web feeds, visit www.infrastructure.gc.ca.

To find out what the Government of Canada is doing to promote jobs, growth and prosperity, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.

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For more information:

Geneviève Sicard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
613-991-0700

Marty Paradine
Corporate Sustainability Coordinator
City of Fort St. John
250-787-8150

Matt Gordon
Communications Director
Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development
250-953-3677

Paul Taylor
Relationships and Communications Advisor
UBCM
250-356-2938

Infrastructure Canada
613-960-9251
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154

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