In April, a report from expert Canadian scientists showed that Canada was warming at twice the average global rate – and that Canada’s North is warming three times as fast as the global average. The report showed that if no action is taken, parts of the Yukon will see one of the largest temperature increases in Canada. People in Yukon are feeling the impacts of climate change. Thawing permafrost caused 3,000 hectares of lake in Old Crow Flats to disappear between 1951 and 2007. Canadians want to fight climate change, to be part of the solution, which is why Canada and Yukon are working together to reduce pollution, create good jobs, and support healthy communities.
Today, the Member of Parliament for Yukon, Larry Bagnell, on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, joined the Honourable Ranj Pillai, Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy Mines and Resources and the Honourable Pauline Frost, Minister of Environment and Minister responsible for Yukon Housing Corporation to announce a federal investment of up to $31 million to help the Government of Yukon make energy efficiency retrofits for residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings. This federal funding will support:
- The Social and Staff Housing Retrofits Program will support energy efficiency retrofits like new insulation and furnace upgrades for residential units for low-income families that are 40-50 years old. This new program will receive up to $6.3 million that will help families in residential buildings and rural communities lower their energy bills and reduce pollution.
- The First Nation Energy Efficiency Program supporting energy efficiency retrofits focused on First Nation housing with up to $5.2 million. The Yukon Government will work with First Nations communities to deliver this program.
- First Nations conducting energy retrofits of their community buildings to reduce costs and reliance on fossil fuels with funding of up to $1.7 million. This will provide annual savings up to $675,000 and make the local air cleaner and healthier to breathe.
- Yukon’s Energy Efficiency Incentive Programs will support the retrofitting of high-efficiency residential, commercial, institutional, and industrial buildings with up to $17.8 million, giving good incentives for Yukoners to build cleaner, better, more efficient buildings.
“We are taking real action on climate change, with practical solutions to reduce pollution and that help people save money. By improving efficiency in our homes and businesses, the Government is helping people across the Yukon take action in an affordable way. These investments will also help create good jobs and help us build up the strong clean economy of tomorrow. By building better today, we make sure our kids and grandkids will have a better future.”
– Larry Bagnell, Member of Parliament for Yukon
“Thanks to our partnership with the Government of Canada, we can help Yukon families, First Nation communities, and local businesses transition their residences and commercial or institutional buildings to low-carbon solutions. These initiatives help us transform the challenges of climate change into economic opportunities by creating good jobs in the building trades and construction industry. This initiative is part of our long-term efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and move Yukon towards a cleaner, affordable, and sustainable energy future.”
-Ranj Pillai, Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources
According to Canada’s Changing Climate Report, in the northern Yukon “catastrophic lake drainages in this region have become more than five times more frequent in recent decades.”
The Yukon Housing Corporation presently has 874 units in 308 buildings. A number of these are 40 to 50 years old, requiring significant investments including exterior siding, insulation, new doors, weather-stripping, as well as furnace upgrades.
The First Nation Energy Efficiency Program will enable the Yukon government to tackle the unique challenges facing First Nation communities, which represents a significant percentage of Yukon’s housing stock.
Retrofits for First Nation community buildings will allow approximately $195,000 to $675,000 in energy savings yearly as a result of retrofits to an estimated 15 buildings.
The Energy Efficiency Incentive Programs will see the expansion of programs to offer incentives to more Yukoners and include incentive programs for commercial, institutional, and industrial clients
The energy efficiency measures in Canada’s climate plan are estimated to create 118,000 jobs a year and boost GDP by $356 billion.