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B.C. P3s Win Big

Posted on December 7, 2009
Four of British Columbia’s public infrastructure projects won awards from the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships (CCPPP)—the announcement was made at this year’s CCPPP conference (more coverage of that conference to come in our March/April issue). All four award-winning projects have appeared on our annual Top 100 list—they’ve since been completed and moved off the list. The Canada Line Rapid Transit Project, the Sea-to-Sky Highway Improvement Project and the Golden Ears Bridge Project all won awards in the infrastructure category [...]

Community Revitalization for Calgary

Posted on November 4, 2009
Calgary City Council has approved a comprehensive redevelopment plan for the city’s West End. The downtown area will undergo a major transformation over the next 25 years. The canvas of parking lots and bus terminals is meant to become a mixed-use community. Mayor Dave Bronconnier announced Council’s decision to fund the West Village using a Community Revitalization Levy (CRL). CRLs are enabled through provincial legislation, and allow for new property tax revenues in a redevelopment area to be pooled for up to 20 years to pay for upfront infrastructure [...]

Canada Takes the Lead in Life-Cycle Research

Posted on November 4, 2009
The University of Calgary’s Faculty of Environmental Design is starting research in the emerging field of life cycle assessment (LCA)—a concept discussed often in our magazine. Dr. Getachew Assefa, who worked for years as a senior researcher at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, has joined the U of C under the newly established Athena Chair in Life Cycle Assessment. LCA evaluates and compares the full range of environmental impacts of products and services, in order to identify the least life cycle burdensome. “We need [...]

Whistler Gets Passive

Posted on September 25, 2009
Thanks to the upcoming Olympics, Whistler, B.C., has scored Canada’s first authentic passivhaus. ReNew Canada’s editor, Mira Shenker, toured some of these houses in the Netherlands and found out first-hand how something as simple as orientation can add up to huge energy savings. The building envelope of the Austria-house for the Olympic Winter Games 2010 was prefabricated by Austrian Passivehouse Group (APG), the Austrian flagship project in terms of energy efficiency officially adopted, and shipped by the timber building company, Sohm, in Alberschwende. [...]

B.C. Looks for Wood to Burn

Posted on August 22, 2009
Dwindling supplies of sawmill residues are making it tough for bioenergy project developers looking to start-up a business – because they have no raw material. The dive in British Columbia's lumber production following the U.S. housing crisis means the ceiling for sawmill residues, the traditional biomass feedstock, has been hit. But British Columbia, Canada’s first province to put a price on carbon, is counting on bioenergy to be a big part of its plan to tackle climate change. "The good news is that there is plenty of biomass to go around,” [...]

Funding for B.C. Brownfields

Posted on August 7, 2009
British Columbia just announced $1.06 million in funding for “environmental investigations” at 12 brownfield sites. This money is part of the previously announced Brownfield Renewal Strategy program. Established in April, the program includes funding of up to $40,000 for preliminary site investigations and up to $125,000 for other types of work. The Province will fund up to 85 per cent of the costs for preliminary site investigations, up to 70 per cent for detailed site investigations, and up to 50 per cent for all other types of work. “The Brownfield [...]

Winnipeg's Infrastructure Gap is $7.4 Billion

Posted on July 6, 2009
Winnipeg’s infrastructure is in bad shape – but that’s no surprise. In a release late last week, Mayor Sam Katz said, “With every passing day, our roads and bridges are falling into a further state of disrepair. Our public service has confirmed what we’ve always known—that the current level of funding is simply not an option if Winnipeg is expected to make serious strides to long term sustainability of its existing and new infrastructure priorities.” He’s referring to a report put together by the Secretary of Strategic Infrastructure Renewal [...]

Edmonton Mayor Joins Environmental Council

Posted on June 16, 2009
Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel has been appointed to the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives' (ICLEI) Executive Committee. Mandel made the opening remarks at the council's big meeting in Edmonton this week, leaning hard on his commitment to promoting bio-diversity as a major driver for cities of the future. "The city of Edmonton has a long history of retaining park land. You look at our river valley and the work we've done there," says Mandel.  "We have a lot of policies that direct the city and administration to make sure that [...]

$125 Million in Stimulus Funding for Saskatchewan

Posted on June 8, 2009
Last Friday, $125 million in infrastructure funding for a roadwork, water, sewer and other projects were announced for Saskatchewan. Premier Brad Wall and Saskatoon Rosetown-Biggar MP Kelly Block announced 57 infrastructure projects, including $1 million in federal funding to complete the city-wide bike path network in Saskatoon, which the city will match. Under the Provincial-Territorial Base Fund,$61.5 million worth of projects in Saskatoon will get$25 million in federal funding. This is the first time the city has gotten any funding from the Building [...]

New Solar Panel Lab for Vancouver

Posted on May 29, 2009
A new lab to test and certify solar panels and equipment just opened in Vancouver. "This new facility will increase testing capacity for the rapidly growing photovoltaic market which recorded 110 per cent growth in 2008," says Randall W. Luecke, president, CSA International, the testing and certification organization that opened the lab. The lab will serve both North American and international clients in a market that, according to CSA, is growing. In 2008, world solar photovoltaic market installations recorded revenues of $37.1-billion and reached [...]
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