Federal Government Announces Net-Zero Building Investment

On April 24th, 2019, Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development — on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources — announced $375,000 for front-end engineering design (FEED) studies for net-zero energy communities in the Toronto area. These studies will be conducted for the Port Lands and the Etobicoke Civic Centre Precinct.

The Sidewalk Labs plan on Toronto’s waterfront has been criticized for its lack of transparency in data collection. Photo by Raysonho via Wikimedia Commons.

“These studies will provide the necessary information for the City of Toronto to plan and develop new communities — helping them maximize their energy efficiency and reduce their environmental footprint,” said Vaughan. “Through energy-efficient practices, and the use of alternative renewable technologies, net-zero buildings will play a key role in transitioning to a low-carbon future.”

According to Canada.com, buildings and homes contribute to 17 percent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. Natural Resources Canada suggests that the idea of Net-Zero Energy buildings is that it produces “at least as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis.” These studies look at applying a similar concept at the community level.

Through its Energy Innovation Program (EIP), which supports initiatives to accelerate clean technology development, Natural Resources Canada funded this project. The EIP is also part of a $180-billion Investing in Canada infrastructure plan.

“Net-zero communities are a key part of our TransformTO climate action strategy. This investment by the Government of Canada will help the City of Toronto move more quickly from planning to implementation to achieve its climate action goals,” said Vaughan.

According to Natural Resources Canada, Canadians expressed that our country “has an opportunity to play a leading role in the global low-carbon movement through Canada’s national energy dialogue, Generation Energy. Canada will continue to support clean energy initiatives that creates jobs, support investment and industry competitiveness, advances a clean future and help realize the Canadian global climate change goals.”

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