Canada Invests in Bioheat Conversion Technology for Indigenous Peoples


October 18, 2018

News release

October 17, 2018 - Kitimat, British Columbia - Natural Resources Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to pursuing investments that use our resources — Canada’s natural advantage — to enhance economic competitiveness while protecting our environment. This includes investments in emerging technologies that tap into the vast potential of forest-based biomass and bioenergy.

The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced over $686,000 in funding for an Indigenous bioheat project in Hazelton, British Columbia, as part of the Government’s commitments to creating good middle-class jobs and building a clean growth economy.

Under the lead of Gitxsan Energy Inc., an Indigenous-owned business of the Gitxsan Nation, the funding will support the adoption of forest-based biomass heating for the Upper Skeena Recreational Centre.

Under the project, forest-based biomass will replace propane as the heating fuel, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 255 tonnes a year in the recreation complex. The project will also create two full-time biomass harvesting jobs and 12 temporary construction jobs in the local Gitxsan community.

This is the first funding announced under the Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities Program. The goal of the program is to reduce the reliance of rural and remote communities on fossil fuel for heat and power, with particular emphasis on Indigenous communities. Projects like this will reduce the use of fossil fuels through the installation or retrofit of proven forest-based biomass heating options in communities or for industrial applications.

Quotes

“This project will directly benefit the community through good middle-class jobs and is a great example of how we are working with Indigenous partners to create forest-based economic development opportunities, all while helping Canada reach its climate change goals.”

Amarjeet Sohi
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources

“The Gitxsan people are very pleased to have the Government of Canada’s support for such an important local project. The new Upper Skeena Recreation Centre will fill a critical community need, and the use of bio heat continues our focus on the utilization of local resources. This highly advanced technology reduces greenhouse gas emissions while cleaning up the forest floor and consuming the abundant woody biomass throughout Gitxsan territory, and this in turn cuts forest fire hazards. This project has stimulated three more GHG-reducing initiatives, and we may see more to come.”

Rick Connors
President and CEO, Gitxsan Development Corp