Signatures and endorsements for the agreement from Federation of Canadian Municipalities CEO Carole Saab, Toronto Mayor John Tory, TAF CEO Julia Langer and Chair Parminder Sandhu
by Julia Langer
With the increasing urgency of the climate crisis, it’s out with incrementalism and in with big investments. New tools and new hope just landed in TAF’s bank account with a $40 million Canada fund, bringing our total asset to $90 million. Combined with the funding planned to roll out for other cities across the country through the Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3) network, this is a significant green impact fund for Canada representing $210 million.
This investment didn’t happen overnight – it is the culmination of over three years of work between TAF, the LC3 network, the Government of Canada, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), and the City of Toronto. And now it’s time to put it to work.
For our GTHA community, this means more resources for cleantech investments, deep energy retrofits for healthy homes, and grant support for climate-smart policies and programs. For a glimpse of the potential impact, our buildings team has deep energy retrofits in progress in about 400 social housing homes across the region. Next year we’re aiming for 1,600 healthier, greener, more resilient homes.
For Canada, this means we can build back better at the scale we need to make significant impact on urban carbon emissions. In partnership with FCM, and the LC3 network representing Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver, we can share resources and expertise to take on the complex issues facing our climate, shedding the silos that don’t reflect the borderless nature of carbon pollution.
Almost thirty years ago, Toronto City Councillors Jack Layton and Dan Leckie had the “wild idea” to create TAF as a $23 million municipal climate fund, and the successful model is now spawning nation-wide. We’re going to need more visionary thinking and creative ideas like this as Canada shifts its focus from emergency pandemic relief, to stimulus spending, to the long-term investment in a just, climate-focused recovery that millions of Canadians are calling for. Recognizing the Government of Canada’s vision in supporting LC3, we are hopeful.
Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3) supports cities and communities in reaching their carbon emissions reduction potential. This initiative, implemented in partnership between seven local centres and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), was established through an endowment from the Government of Canada.