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Quebec to inject $117M to help Montreal fight climate change

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Quebec to inject $117M to help Montreal climate change
WATCH: During a press conference Monday, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante detailed how money from the provincial government would be spent to help the city fight climate change – Mar 28, 2022

Quebec Environment Minister Benoit Charette announced $117 million in provincial funding for the City of Montreal to support its efforts to fight climate change.

The money will be used to boost the number of charging stations for electric vehicles, decarbonize municipal buildings and fund preventive initiatives linked to climate change.

Charette made the announcement Monday morning alongside Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante and Chantal Rouleau, the minister responsible for Montreal.

More charging stations

The funding will allow Montreal to install about 800 new public charging stations for electric vehicles over the next three years.

There are currently 1,000 charging stations in the city. The upcoming addition means the city is closer to its goal of reaching 2,000 stations by 2025.

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“It’s really important if we want to reach the goal of having nearly 50 per cent of the vehicle fleet electric by 2030,” Plante said.

Decarbonization of city buildings

The province’s funding will also be used to decarbonize some city property by carrying out “conversion work in about 15 municipal buildings.”

“It means that we want our buildings to operate without fossil fuels,” said Plante, pointing out that the building sector is the largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions after transport.

She said they want to eliminate fuel oil, propane and natural gas in those buildings.

The Atwater Market, the Botanical Garden and an operational centre for the Montreal police are among the buildings that will be converted to electricity.

Click to play video: 'Montreal students take to streets demanding climate action'
Montreal students take to streets demanding climate action

“This work will enable us to reduce our emissions by nearly 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (annually) and that is major,” Plante said.

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She said that by doing so, it is the equivalent of removing more than 3,000 vehicles from the road.

About $63 million of the province’s funding will be used to decarbonize buildings. The City of Montreal will inject $28 million, an amount that was already planned for the energy conversion of buildings.

Tree planting, green infrastructure

Part of funding will be used to fight climate change through planting trees and the installation of green infrastructure. It will also be used to build facilities to protect citizens against flooding and heat islands.

For example, the city plans to implement an ecological rainwater management project on Papineau Avenue in the Ahuntsic-Cartierville borough. The project includes 23 water retention basins and 15 vegetated retention basins.

Water retention basins help reduce sewer backups and the discharge of wastewater into waterways during heavy rainfall, and vegetated basins serve as sponges by absorbing rainwater. These are recognized measures to increase resilience and reduce the impact of climate change.

With the provincial funding, the city also plans to plant 94,000 trees by 2024.

Plante said her administration intends to plant 500,000 trees by 2030 under her administration’s climate plan.

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Charette said his government was “proud to recognize the leadership and support the efforts of cities like Montreal because their actions will have a significant effect on achieving Quebec’s climate transition targets.”

The province also announced it is injecting $49 million into Quebec City to help fight climate change.

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