Canadian town wins grant for biomass heating system

By Infrastructure Canada | March 13, 2013

The Village of Telkwa will receive $680,230 from the Government of Canada through the Gas Tax Fund transfer to retrofit their municipal building and install an innovative biomass heating system, as well as to develop a sustainable subdivision plan.

"Building clean energy infrastructure is an investment in the economic prosperity and long-term sustainability of Telkwa," said Bob Zimmer, Member of Parliament for Prince George—Peace River. "I am pleased our Government is supporting this environmentally friendly initiative that will create jobs, strengthen the local economy and support the growing needs of the community."

The Village of Telkwa will improve the exterior of their municipal building and install a biomass heating system, which will burn waste wood from the forest around the community. The new system is intended to provide heat to the municipal building, a nearby business, a school and four residences, and will enable the Village to become a leader in green energy for Northern BC.

The completed project is expected to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by almost 10 metric tons a year. The sustainable subdivision plan will include a review and recommendations on how best to update the municipality's subdivision control bylaw.

"We are very excited to receive the Gas Tax funding to retrofit the exterior of our municipal office and to establish a district heating system," said Telkwa Mayor Carman Graf. "The Village of Telkwa recently structured their official Community Sustainability Plan within the principles of a long-term planning framework that established guidelines and principles related to economic, environmental, social and cultural sustainability. This project fits perfectly into that framework."

"Protecting our environment creates a stronger B.C. and sets the stage for a positive range of health, social and economic outcomes," said Bill Bennett, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. "This biomass heating system, which will assist Telkwa in achieving their Climate Action goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, is a great example of the type of innovative green infrastructure that will help build sustainable, resilient communities in this province."

"Telkwa's project will lead to cleaner air and reduce the cost of operating their municipal building for years to come," said Union of British Columbia Municipalities President Mary Sjostrom. "I am very pleased to see the Gas Tax Fund supporting this district energy system."

Since 2006, the Government of Canada has made unprecedented investments in infrastructure. Through the Gas Tax Fund alone, municipalities across the country have received over $10 billion in transfers for local priority initiatives. Making this fund permanent at $2 billion annually was part of Canada's Economic Action Plan—a plan to help create good jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity.

Between 2006 and 2014, British Columbia will receive more than $1.56 billion from the Gas Tax Fund to improve local infrastructure. The Union of British Columbia Municipalities administers the Gas Tax Fund in B.C., in collaboration with Canada and British Columbia.