New fund will help communities build Cleaner Infrastructure

British Columbia -The Province of B.C. and Government of Canada are investing in locally owned green infrastructure projects that help communities use clean energy and become more energy efficient.

Funding will be provided through the new CleanBC Communities Fund, part of the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan’s Green Infrastructure Stream (Climate Change Mitigation sub-stream).

“Through the CleanBC Communities Fund, we’re making sure that people throughout B.C. can benefit from clean energy infrastructure and efficiency upgrades,” said George Heyman, B.C.'s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Investing in community-owned projects helps all British Columbians to use less fossil fuels, while generating new economic activity, new jobs and building our clean energy sector.”

"The Government of Canada is proud to support the CleanBC Communities Fund, which will help the province transition to renewable energy systems, promoting a greener way of life for all British Columbians,” said Randeep Sarai, MP for Surrey Centre, on behalf of François-Philippe Champagne, federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “Together with the Province, we are helping safeguard the environment and supporting clean economic growth for B.C.’s communities.”

Beginning Dec. 18, 2018, local governments, First Nations, Indigenous organizations, not-for-profit and for-profit organizations can apply for cost-shared funding through the CleanBC Communities Fund for projects that manage renewable energy, improve access to clean energy transportation, improve energy efficiency of buildings or help generate clean energy to reduce community reliance on fossil fuels.

“Communities are the backbone of our province and play a key role on our path to a cleaner future,” said Selina Robinson, B.C.'s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “By partnering with local governments and investing in sustainable community infrastructure, we are building stronger, healthier and more resilient communities today and protecting our environment for future generations.”

“The CleanBC Communities Fund helps support communities around B.C. take advantage of the opportunities offered as we implement the CleanBC plan," said Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green caucus. "This investment will help kick-start new innovation in B.C. communities, making sure they are on the cutting edge of low-carbon solutions.”

Examples of eligible projects include publicly accessible vehicle charging stations, public building retrofits to improve energy efficiency and clean community energy projects that can reduce community energy expenses and, for those who are not connected to the province’s electricity grid, projects that can help reduce or eliminate diesel-powered electricity generation.

The Province is partnering with the federal government to invest up to $62.94 million through the initial intake of the CleanBC Communities Fund. This intake is supported by $34.3 million in federal funding and $28.6 million in provincial funding.

This cost-shared funding is available for public infrastructure owned by local governments, Indigenous communities, not-for-profits and projects in partnership with for-profit entities.

“B.C. local governments are looking for ways to reduce the carbon footprint of local operations and ensure the sustainability of our service delivery,” said Arjun Singh, president, Union of BC Municipalities. “This funding will support communities as they implement projects that fulfil the objectives of the Climate Action Charter.”

The CleanBC Communities Fund is also an important part of the B.C. government’s CleanBC plan. CleanBC puts B.C. on the path to a cleaner, better future — building a low-carbon economy that creates opportunities throughout the province, while protecting its clean air, land and water.

The Province is administering the program and will accept funding applications until March 27, 2019. Applications can be made through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program - B.C. program website.