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Canadian Government invests in Indigenous biomass district heating system

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The Government of Canada has invested CAD$2.7 million (€1.8 million) in a sustainable forestry project run by the Indigenous Oujé-Bougoumou Cree Nation in Quebec, which will create jobs, support the economy and displace diesel use.

Announced by Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, on behalf of Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources, the funding will be used to upgrade and expand an existing biomass district heating system.

The renewable energy project, which will also provide a market for local sawmill waste, will encourage local economic development and support better waste management.

The funding was provided through the Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities programme, which invests in projects that reduce reliance on fossil fuels and encourage energy independence in rural and remote communities.

"By investing in renewable energy projects directed by Indigenous communities in remote areas, we are seizing the economic opportunities presented by our forest sector while making it more resilient to a changing climate and creating good jobs locally,” commented Diane Lebouthillier. “We are proud to support the Oujé-Bougoumou Cree Nation in this project, which will contribute to reducing the need for diesel use and to lowering air pollution in Canada."

"The Oujé-Bougoumou Cree Nation is grateful for the funding it will be receiving from Natural Resource Canada's Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities Program to renovate our existing biomass-fuelled district heating system,” added Chief Curtis Bosum, Oujé-Bougoumou Cree Nation. “We have been proud to be a leader in the adoption of this technology that will allow our community to continue as an example for other communities throughout Canada in the areas of appropriate energy technology and local community development. Our heating system is a demonstration that the values and philosophies inherent in our Indigenous culture have relevance to contemporary challenges."