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Feds investing $12M into Saskatchewan schools for energy efficiency programs

Jonathan Wilkinson said funding through the federal carbon pollution pricing system will make Saskatchewan schools more sustainable and climate resilient.
Jonathan Wilkinson said funding through the federal carbon pollution pricing system will make Saskatchewan schools more sustainable and climate resilient. Mike Sudoma / The Canadian Press

The federal government says money raised through its carbon pollution pricing system is being invested to make Saskatchewan schools more energy efficient.

Jonathan Wilkinson, the federal minister of environment and climate change, said $12 million will be used to fund 164 projects that will make schools more sustainable and climate-resilient.

Read more: Canada’s carbon tax increasing April 1 despite coronavirus economic crunch

“The government of Canada is fighting climate change while making life more affordable for Canadians,” Wilkinson said Thursday in a statement.

“By investing the proceeds from carbon pollution pricing in Saskatchewan into schools in the province, we are reducing emissions and creating a greener, more prosperous future for our children and grandchildren.”

Wilkinson said the projects will help schools save money and reduce energy costs.

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Officials with Environment and Climate Change Canada said the money will be used in a number of different ways — ranging from better-insulated windows to newer heating and cooling systems.

Among the projects announced are LED lighting upgrades at Riffel Catholic High School in Regina and boiler and roof replacement retrofits at Evan Hardy Collegiate in Saskatoon.

Read more: Premier Scott Moe calls on Trudeau to pause federal carbon tax ahead of Supreme Court appeal

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe was blunt in his remarks about the funding.

“It’s about time that they finally returned Saskatchewan’s, hardworking Saskatchewan families’, money back to them,” Moe said Wednesday during a news conference in Regina to announce plans for a new school.

“(The) government of Saskatchewan and the school boards have also contributed to this inefficient, ineffective carbon tax.”

Saskatchewan has challenged the constitutionality of the federal carbon tax.

The case is scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada over two days starting on Sept. 22.

The $12 million for the school projects is part of the roughly $43 million allocated to Saskatchewan under the federal climate action incentive fund for 2019-20.

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