Kootenay RDs win Sustainable Communities Award
The Regional Districts of East Kootenay, Kootenay Boundary and Central Kootenay have been selected as a winner of a 2020 Sustainable Communities Award for exceptional work in the Visionary Award category for their Accelerate Kootenays project.
The awards honour and celebrate the most innovative environmental initiatives in cities and communities across Canada.
Accelerate Kootenays is Canada’s first community-driven, collaborative strategy to build a clean transportation network. It was a two-year, $1.5 million initiative of the Regional Districts of East Kootenay, Central Kootenay and Kootenay Boundary with support from Columbia Basin Trust, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Teck, the Province of BC, FortisBC, BC Hydro, and Powertech Labs.
The project, facilitated by the Community Energy Association, is creating an electric vehicle (EV) charging station network so EV travel to and within south eastern BC is convenient and reliable.
Only 11 local governments from across the country were chosen by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) for outstanding efforts in one of nine categories: asset management, brownfields, climate change, energy, neighbourhoods, transportation, waste, water and a new category in honour of GMF’s 20th anniversary.
Winners will each deliver a live, TED-talk-style presentation on their projects at FCM’s virtual Sustainable Communities Conference – held on October 20-22. Recipients in each category are also eligible for the Inspire Award, given to the most creative and innovative project following the conference.
The announcement was made Monday by FCM.
“Local solutions—scaled up—deliver major national impact, like economic growth and the emission reductions Canada needs to meet its climate change goals. Whether it is through improved energy efficiency, fewer greenhouse gas emissions or stronger local infrastructure, local governments get the job done efficiently and cost-effectively because they connect solutions to local needs and local realities. This year’s FCM Sustainable Communities Award winners embody those principles of sustainability and collaboration. Moreover, they exemplify how municipal innovation can have concrete impacts and deliver for Canadians,” stated Bill Karsten, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
“As a small rural area in British Columbia, we are proud of the meaningful impact Accelerate Kootenays will have on reducing our carbon footprint. This project is an example of innovation and partnership and it is an honour to see it recognized at the national level,” said Rob Gay, Regional District of East Kootenay Chair and Electoral Area C Director.
The Sustainable Communities Awards is an initiative of FCM’s Green Municipal Fund (GMF), a $1 billion program, delivered through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and funded by the Government of Canada.
Lead image: Partners and stakeholders celebrated the completion of the Accelerate Kootenays network in May 2018 in Creston. Representatives from the RDEK, RDCK, RDKB were joined by local government officials, Teck, Columbia Basin Trust, BC Hydro, FortisBC and the Provincial government – including Hon. Michelle Mungall. Photo credit: Community Energy Association.