GULL BAY, ON, Aug. 19, 2019 /CNW/ - The best solutions for combating climate change in rural and remote Indigenous communities come from the people who live there. That is why Canada is investing in these communities and enabling them to use less diesel fuel and more renewable energy — driving economic prosperity while protecting our environment.
The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, celebrated the official opening of the Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek — Gull Bay First Nation's new solar micro-grid, which will bring clean, renewable energy to the diesel-dependent community.
While visiting the community, Minister Hajdu met with the Chief Wilfred King and toured the community.
Natural Resources Canada provided $2 million to Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to support the Giizis Energy Micro Grid Project, which integrates a solar photovoltaic and battery power system that will supply renewable power to the existing electricity system. The project also received support from the Gull Bay First Nation, OPG and other partners.
Indigenous Services Canada is also providing Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek First Nation with over $1.2 million in support for this project.
The new system will manage energy resources from the solar array, battery storage and diesel generators for this First Nations community, located about 175 kilometres north of Thunder Bay. Prior to this project, the community was fully dependent on diesel for electricity. This project is a significant step in helping the community become self-sufficient, resulting in local economic benefits such as jobs and reduced reliance on diesel fuel.
Natural Resources Canada's investment came from the Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities Program, which supports a more sustainable and clean energy future by investing in projects that reduce reliance on fossil fuels in Canada's rural and remote communities. The program is part of the Government of Canada's more than $180-billion Investing in Canada infrastructure plan.
Canada's climate plan includes measures to protect the environment and leave a healthier planet for future generations, including actions to protect our oceans, phase out coal-fired electricity, invest in renewables and public transit and reduce plastic pollution. Green infrastructure and renewable energy technologies are a key part of Canada's plan to combat climate change while growing the economy.
"The development of more renewable energy projects in communities like Gull Bay First Nation is crucial to Canada's clean energy future. Canada supports clean energy options that reduce pollution, provide economic benefits and build resilient communities. We are proud to work in partnership with these local communities to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels."
The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
"Today is a day of celebration for the community of Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek (Gull Bay First Nation). The Giizis Energy Micro Grid is an Indigenous-led, first-of-its-kind, innovative approach to energy creation. This micro grid will provide clean, renewable energy to the community, reduce their reliance on diesel and serve as a catalyst for future economic development. We are proud contributors to this project, and I applaud the Chief and Council for their leadership and congratulate the entire community for this achievement!"
The Honourable Seamus O'Regan
Minister of Indigenous Services
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SOURCE Natural Resources Canada
For further information: Natural Resources Canada, Media Relations, 343-292-6100, [email protected]; Vanessa Adams, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Natural Resources, 343-543-7645, [email protected]