Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

July 09, 2012 15:00 ET

Harper Government's Eco-Energy Investments Power British Columbia First Nations

CRANBROOK, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - July 9, 2012) - The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, announced today his support for 16 ecoENERGY projects in British Columbia First Nation communities.

"Our Government is investing in renewable energy projects that will improve the social and economic lives of the BC First Nations involved," said Minister Duncan. "These projects will not only support the First Nations in their efforts to develop clean energy infrastructure for their communities, they will lead to greater energy self-sufficiency and economic development opportunities."

Minister Duncan made this announcement while visiting ʔaq'am Community (St. Mary's Indian Band), where plans are underway to install a biomass energy heating system for the new ʔaq'amnik Elementary School. The First Nation plans to test the new system in the school and then expand it to include other community buildings. The biomass heating system will help to significantly reduce heating costs in the community.

"Our Community is committing to the development of renewable energy sources for all of our existing and new buildings," said Chief Cheryl Casimer of the ʔaq'am Community. "We are happy to see that the Government of Canada is making strategic investments in clean energy projects such as ours."

The Harper Government's ecoENERGY for Aboriginal and Northern Communities Program is providing $20 million in funding support between 2011-2016 to Aboriginal communities for the planning of renewable energy projects and for the design and implementation of clean energy projects integrated within community buildings. The program contributes to renewable energy projects and energy efficiency efforts and supports opportunities for clean energy development at the community level. A total investment of $1.2 million will support 16 ecoENERGY projects in First Nations communities in British Columbia.

This release is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca.

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Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Jan O'Driscoll
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable John Duncan
    819-997-0002

    Media Relations
    Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
    819-953-1160