Canada's North is experiencing substantial impacts from climate change, and many Indigenous communities have identified clean, reliable energy as key to a resilient future. The Government of Canada is investing in community-led clean energy projects with remote Indigenous communities to support building a low-emissions energy future, moving away from diesel dependency and advancing reconciliation and self-determination.
Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories, Michael V. McLeod, on behalf of the Honourable Seamus O'Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources, today announced over $640,000 for two projects in the Northwest Territories that will help rural and remote communities combat climate change by reducing their reliance on diesel fuel for heat and power.
The first investment of $442,000 is for Paulatuk Community Corporation's Beaufort Hamlet Energy Initiative. Working with the Hamlet of Ulukhaktok, this project will develop a community energy plan to support future energy efficiency initiatives and renewable energy projects. This includes increasing energy literacy and skills development to reduce diesel dependency.
The second investment of $200,000 is for Rat River Development Corporation to build a sustainable wood chip supply chain for the Gwich'in Nation. These wood chips will be locally harvested from willow trees for use in biomass systems in and around Fort McPherson, resulting in more Indigenous employment and participation in economic opportunities in the bioenergy and forestry sectors.
Both projects were funded through Natural Resources Canada's Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities, a $220-million program to reduce reliance on diesel in rural and remote communities by deploying and demonstrating renewable energy projects, encouraging energy efficiency and building local skills and capacity. The program is part of the government's Investing in Canada Plan, a more than $180-billion infrastructure investment in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes and Canada's rural and northern communities.
As outlined in Canada's strengthened climate plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, ensuring the availability of clean, affordable heat and power options is a priority for the government. The government is investing an additional $300 million to give rural, remote and Indigenous communities currently reliant on diesel the opportunity to be powered by clean, reliable energy by 2030.
SOURCE: Natural Resources Canada