Improving Energy Conservation Across Saskatchewan
Federal Gas Tax Fund Allocated to 42 Projects in 35 Communities
Investing in infrastructure is vital to strengthening the middle class and growing the economy. The governments of Canada and Saskatchewan recognize that modern, efficient community infrastructure contributes to clean growth, sustainability, and a high quality of life for future generations.
That is why more than $2.3 million from the federal Gas Tax Fund (GTF) is expected to support 42 community energy systems projects in 35 communities across the province this year. Under the federal GTF, the community energy systems category is used primarily for energy-saving building retrofits.
“The federal Gas Tax Fund allows Saskatchewan’s municipalities to direct federal dollars to their infrastructure priorities, including community energy systems,” said Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, on behalf of Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “Making smart investments to renew our energy infrastructure supports improved air quality and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, while creating well-paying jobs that help the middle class grow and prosper.”
“The demand to develop and renew infrastructure is vital to the continued growth of Saskatchewan’s communities,” Government Relations Minister Donna Harpauer said. “Energy conservation projects such as these will help to meet the future needs of these municipalities, as well as improving the quality of life for their residents.”
“Saskatchewan’s towns, villages, northern municipalities, and cities all have a leadership role in reducing our carbon footprint and developing carbon reduction strategies,” SUMA President Councillor Gordon Barnhart said. “Funds from the federal Gas Tax Fund help hometowns be green today so they can prosper for years to come.”
“Energy cost reduction is a smart investment now and into the future,” SARM President Ray Orb said. “The federal Gas Tax Fund provides dependable funding to allow rural municipalities to make their municipal operations more energy efficient and environmentally sustainable.”
“The northern municipalities truly appreciate the capacity provided through the GTF to set local priorities, including making investments in cost-efficient energy and renewables, which can help communities save money on energy costs over the long-term while allowing them to reduce their carbon impact,” New North Chair Bruce Fidler said. “Leaders recognize that these investments are key to the vibrancy and sustainability of the northern municipalities.”
Under the federal GTF, the community energy systems category is used primarily for energy-saving building retrofits. For example, the Northern Village of Pinehouse has installed a boiler system in the soon-to-be completed 10-unit seniors’ complex, providing affordable, energy-efficient housing for area seniors. Plans for a new solar panel will reduce energy costs and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions at a skating rink in the Town of Ponteix. The Village of Ceylon is adding insulation and siding to its water plant building in order to increase energy efficiency, while the Northern Village of Buffalo Narrows is in the process of upgrading the lighting and furnaces in all municipal-owned facilities to reduce overall energy use. The Rural Municipality of Douglas No. 436 is retrofitting three local recreational facilities—the Speers Recreation Centre, the Richard Curling Rink and the Hafford and District Communiplex—with new furnaces, lighting, doors and water heaters.
These upgrades will improve energy efficiency and reduce utility costs for the rural municipality.
- The federal GTF provides Canadian municipalities with a permanent, predictable and indexed source of long-term funding. Local communities have the flexibility to make strategic investments across 18 different project categories, including roads and bridges, public transit, drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, and recreational facilities.
- The Government of Canada is providing Saskatchewan with more than $59.1 million for community infrastructure through the federal GTF in 2017-18.
- The Government of Canada will provide more than $180 billion in infrastructure funding over 12 years for public transit, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, and transportation that supports trade, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
- Government of Canada’s $180-billion+ infrastructure plan in Budget 2017: http://www.budget.gc.ca/2017/docs/plan/chap-02-en.html#Toc477707375
- Federal infrastructure investments in Saskatchewan: http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/map-carte/sk-eng.html
- The federal Gas Tax Fund: http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/plan/gtf-fte-eng.html
- Federal Gas Tax Fund Administered by Saskatchewan: http://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/municipal-administration/funding-finances-and-asset-management/funding/federal-gas-tax-program.