Ottawa unveils $1.5-billion plan to spice up inexperienced building

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Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna speaks in the House of Commons after Question Time on March 22, 2021.

Adrian Wyld / The Canadian Press

Infrastructure Secretary Catherine McKenna announces a $ 1.5 billion program to promote green buildings through retrofits, upgrades and new construction.

The five-year plan aims to save energy and reduce pollution while creating jobs. Potential projects range from environmentally friendly community centers to energy efficient library windows.

McKenna says the program, which she hopes will match the $ 2.75 billion in short-term transit spending announced last month, will invest in projects that meet a minimum energy efficiency threshold and promote inclusion, especially in communities with high needs.

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Thomas Mueller, head of the Canada Green Building Council, says green builds can improve residents’ health and quality of life.

The federal money will add $ 2 billion for large-scale energy-efficient building retrofits provided by Canada’s infrastructure finance agency. The Conservatives criticized in March for not completing a single project.

McKenna said energy workers have the right to worry about a living in a troubled fossil fuel industry, but the liberal government is pushing for a robust green economy transition that includes rehabilitation of abandoned oil and gas wells.

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