Sudbury MP Viviane Lapointe announced Thursday that FedNor is providing $774,000 in a partnership with reThink Green to support expanding the Green Economy North program across Northeastern Ontario.
Lapointe said money will be used to provide capital grants to businesses and organizations.
"Specifically the funding will empower reThink Green to aid businesses, not-for-profits and public sector agencies to enhance productivity and reduce their carbon footprint," Lapointe said.
"With unprecedented investments in key sectors, the Government of Canada continues to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to workers and businesses in Sudbury, and across all of Northeastern Ontario. From agriculture to tourism to forestry and clean tech, our government is investing to make Northern Ontario a better place to live, work, play and visit," Lapointe said.
She added that the Thursday announcement is part of the overall $83-million commitment FedNor has promised for Sudbury and all of Northern Ontario over the next few years. These new programs were launched in the summer of 2021 and include the Canada Community Revitalization Fund, Tourism Relief Fund, Jobs and Growth Fund and the Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative.
Also speaking at the event was Nickel Belt MP Marc Serré who congratulated the reThink Green team for their efforts and leadership in getting the business sector more involved in promoting the green economy.
"And as Vivian mentioned, getting involved because the environment and economy go hand in hand. And there's no better place in Northern Ontario for looking at the green economy, green jobs. So thank you. Thank you for that leadership," Serré said.
Serré added that the FedNor grants would benefit Sudbury and all of Northeastern Ontario thanks to the networking done by ReThink Green and the Green Economy North initiative. Serré said he was encouraged to see the involvement of Science North and the fact that so many younger people were being inspired to get involved in science and in environmental initiatives.
Rebecca Danard, executive director of reThink Green, explained the initiative works by inviting businesses to take an energy audit, set a target for reducing their carbon footprint, and then work to achieve results.
"This contribution from FedNor that we're announcing today is a big step forward in bringing that vision to reality, because it will allow us to expand Green Economy North throughout all Northeastern Ontario," said Danard.
She explained that Green Economy North is a flagship program of reThink Green, and is one of nine hubs across the country that are part of the Green Economy Canada network. Danard said these hubs are supporting businesses from all sizes and sectors that are accelerating Canada's transition to a netzero future. To date, roughly 500 businesses have been engaged to reduce over 200,000 tons of greenhouse gas.
Julie Moskalyk, the Science Director at Science North, welcomed the group to Sudbury's hometown science centre. She mentioned that Science North is already working to reduce its carbon footprint in a number of ways. This includes a solar energy program that is already producing 20 per cent of the energy at the Dynamic Earth facility. During the pandemic, a waste management program was launched that diverted five per cent of waste from being sent to the landfill.
Moskalyk said a key factor in building Green Economy North is the sharing of new knowledge and new ideas so that others can benefit. As an example, she mentioned Country-103 CFRM, a radio station at Manitoulin Island that became the first green radio station in Canada by installing a micro wind turbine tower site to offset energy demands. Moskalyk said it was a good example of green success.
"We have a great opportunity now with our new role with reThink Green and Green Economy North to engage with so many other people," she said.