Today, the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs and Minister responsible for PrairiesCan and CanNor, and Chief Elvin Flett of St. Theresa Point First Nation, announced more than $1.5 million in federal funding for a solar power project in northern Manitoba that will reduce emissions and leverage renewable energy.
“Indigenous communities are leading the way with clean energy projects right across the country. The St. Theresa Point School solar project here in Manitoba is a perfect example of a locally-led initiative that will make a real difference in reducing emissions. Our Government will continue to work with provincial, territorial, municipal and Indigenous partners to invest in community infrastructure and build a greener, and more sustainable future for generations to come,” said the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs and Minister responsible for PrairiesCan and CanNor, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities.
“On behalf of the Council and all the people of St. Theresa Point First Nation, I am pleased to announce our First Nation’s commitment to develop a renewable energy source to alleviate the high energy costs and our total reliance of hydro grid, that at times is unstable due to environment realities. I want to thank Canada and other partners that have provided the expertise to support our First Nation vision for harnessing the natural energy resource as part of our effort to respond to climate change. I want to thank our people for their unwavering support to pursue the project, in spite of its daunting task,” said Chief Elvin Flett of St. Theresa Point First Nation.
Since 2018, the St. Theresa Point First Nation Chief and Council have been examining options to develop community-owned clean energy projects that could meet local needs. This funding will help retrofit the First Nation’s school, home to elementary, middle and high school students, with a solar panel system that will provide the necessary electricity to power the facility. Panels will be mounted on the school’s roof and will provide backup power to the facility which could also act as a gathering place for the remote community during power outages.
In addition to increasing the school’s self-sufficiency, these improvements will reduce energy consumption by more than 21% and greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 10 tonnes annually. St. Theresa Point First Nation is also anticipating that this project will generate hydroelectric savings between $50,000-75,000 annually. As a result, the community will be able to redirect cost-savings back into the school and enrich programming for its students. This project will also provide skills training and employment opportunities for community members.
By investing in infrastructure, the Government of Canada is growing our country’s economy, increasing the resiliency of our communities, and improving the lives of Canadians.