New fund helps First Nations create green jobs

by NationTalk on April 6, 2011681 Views

For Immediate Release
2011PREM0025-000310
April 5, 2011

Office of the Premier
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation

Victoria – First Nations interested in pursuing the clean energy business can now access a unique provincial government fund, announced Premier Christy Clark today.

“By working together, we can ensure all British Columbians benefit from the opportunities created by B.C.’s clean energy advantage,” said Premier Clark. “The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund supports clean energy partnerships that will create jobs and strengthen Aboriginal communities and families.”The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund was created as part of Bill 17, the Clean Energy Act, which the B.C. government passed last year. The program is now in place to support First Nations and new power projects.

“The Aboriginal business community is an important partner in the clean energy industry,” said Mary Polak, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. “This fund is part of our government’s commitment to support opportunities that will help close the social and economic gaps that separate Aboriginal people and other British Columbians.”

Under the Clean Energy Act, the provincial government has made an initial contribution of $5 million to the fund. The fund is expected to grow, with further investments based on revenues the government receives from power projects as the clean energy industry grows.

“Renewable energy projects hold tremendous potential for First Nations to achieve economic self-sufficiency while generating power that leaves very little footprint on the land,” said Klahoose First Nation Chief Ken Brown. “This fund is part of the clean energy solution; it provides the opportunity for First Nations to benefit directly from clean energy projects.”

“More than 125 B.C. First Nations are already engaged in energy projects – like the Klahoose who’ve seen environmental and economic gains from partnering on the award-winning East Toba hydroelectric project,” said Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy and Mines. “This fund will encourage more First Nations to become a part of B.C.’s energy future and drive investment in clean, renewable energy projects.”

The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund aims to promote increased First Nation participation in the clean energy sector through:

· Revenue sharing from clean energy projects.

· Grants of up to $500,000 for First Nations to invest in clean energy projects.

· Capacity development funding of up to $50,000, to support First Nations with feasibility studies or engagement with proponents of clean energy projects.

For more information about the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund and the related application process, please visit: www.gov.bc.ca/arr

Contact:

Karen Williams
Senior Public Affairs Officer
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
250 387-1460

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