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$175,000 of government funding towards Guelph's Sustainable Neighborhood Action Plan (3 photos)

The Government of Canada announced funding for 125 new initiatives across Canada amounting to over $9.7 million.

The City of Guelph and the Windmill Development Group will team up together as part of the Baker District redevelopment project and use $175,000 of government funding to complete the Sustainable Neighborhood Action Plan.

The Government of Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) announced funding for 125 new initiatives in communities across Canada today amounting to over $9.7 million in order for municipalities to come up with new ways to reduce pollution, improve energy efficiency and find new uses for their public infrastructure.

MP Lloyd Longfield made the funding announcement today at City Hall on behalf of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Honourable François- Philippe Champagne and president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Vicki-May Hamm.

“All Canadians should benefit from modern and resilient infrastructure that will help make their home a better place to live for years to come. That's why the Government of Canada is investing in municipalities that take action to reduce pollution, protect communities from the impacts of climate change and improve the way they manage their existing infrastructure assets,” said Philippe Champagne in a press release.

“These investments will result in safer, cleaner and healthier communities that give all Canadians more opportunities to thrive.”

The Sustainable Neighborhood Action Plan will include ecological footprinting to evaluate local resource consumption to set measurable evidence-based targets that meet One Planet Living endorsements.

“There's a lot of good things happening in Guelph around federal initiatives,” said Longfield referencing to the recent Smart City Challenge prize Guelph received.

“The projects that improve air, water or land are especially important to Guelph. We're looking at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and looking at generating economic and social benefits in the community, particularly downtown.”

Longfield said cities account for 70 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions and the Green Municipal Fund will support projects directly or indirectly to lower these emissions so it can foster clean and healthy towns and cities that will, in turn, create economic growth across the country.

“Through the Green Municipal Fund, the municipalities can share lessons across Canada and help other communities to advance sustainability in all communities in Canada,” said Longfield.

The Green Municipal Fund is a $625 million program delivered by the Federation of Canadian municipalities and funded by the Canadian Government. 

CEO of Windmill Development Group Jonathan Westeinde said his organization looks forward to working with the City of Guelph because they want to develop places where people hope to see significant differences.

“All we can do is lead by great examples of what can be done and that's what we’re striving to do here with the Baker District project. And we do that with the One Planet Living system and that's really about trying to show developments that we can live within the ecological footprint of one planet,” said Westeinde.

“If everyone lived the way we lived in Canada, we would need four planets and that's not sustainable.”

Longfield said the total greenhouse gas emission reduction for the project announced is equivalent to over 310,000 tons of CO2 which equates to taking approximately 71,000 cars off the road.

Mayor Cam Guthrie said leading up to this project, a lot of people mentioned the importance of sustainability in terms of land use, the water, the air, energy, waste management and smart building technology.

“Guelph has always been a community leader as has great environment sustainability practices and we always put those things on top of our priority list on any developments that we are trying to do here,” said Guthrie.

“This is really for the whole community. Its really going to send out great vibes across our whole community when its finally done,” said Guthrie.