Dozens of Manitoba farms and several affordable housing projects will soon have help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as the federal and provincial governments announced nearly $11 million in clean technology grants Thursday. 

Manitoba Environment and Climate Change Minister Tracy Schmidt and Winnipeg South Member of Parliament Terry Duguid announced the first 32 recipients of the low-carbon economy fund’s merit-based program at the University of Winnipeg.

​​The projects will “help Manitobans reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy use, and save money by lowering energy bills,” Duguid said.

“It’s about becoming more energy efficient, cutting energy costs and building resilient communities, all the while contributing to meeting Canada’s 2030 emission reduction targets,” he added.

Farmers to benefit from new funds to cut carbon pollution

The majority of the grants have been distributed to 24 agricultural businesses, helping farmers switch from carbon-intensive fuels like diesel and propane to natural gas or electricity.

More than a third of Manitoba’s annual greenhouse gas emissions come from the agricultural sector — a significant portion of which comes from fuels used in farm equipment.

Rick Rutherford, the third-generation owner of Rutherford Farms north of Winnipeg, said the grant will help fund a switch to cleaner fuels for his grain dryer — which consumes large amounts of fuel to heat and dry grain — and support electrification projects throughout his operation.

“Sustainability has been the cornerstone of what my vision has been for the last number of years,” Rutherford said. “We want to move to a carbon net-zero farm.”

We’re covering energy on the Prairies
The Narwhal’s Prairies bureau is here to bring you stories on energy and the environment you won’t find anywhere else. Stay tapped in by signing up for a weekly dose of our ad‑free, independent journalism.
The Narwhal’s Prairies bureau is here to bring you stories on energy and the environment you won’t find anywhere else. Stay tapped in by signing up for a weekly dose of our ad‑free, independent journalism.
We’re covering energy on the Prairies

The University of Winnipeg Community Renewal Corporation will use its share of the grant — nearly $4.5 million split across four projects — to develop Canada’s first net-zero mid- and high-rise residential buildings.

CEO Jeremy Read said the funds will help build 324 mixed income and affordable housing units in downtown Winnipeg, including the Market Lands development and a transitional housing centre for people experiencing gender-based violence.

“Today’s low-carbon economy investment is also testimony to how policy objectives such as the supply of quality, affordable housing and environmental sustainability don’t need to be mutually exclusive,” Read said.

Beyond the units themselves, Read said the funds will support hundreds of jobs and help build expertise in designing, planning and construction net-zero housing.

‘High demand’ for renewables funding: Manitoba environment minister

The recipients of the new funds are varied: the Whitney Forum Arena in Flin Flon, Man., will receive support to switch from natural gas to electric heating. Two residential buildings in Churchill, Man., will receive funds to support a switch from propane to electric heating. A Winnipeg fire station will use the funds to install geothermal heating and cooling.

Environment and Climate Change Minister Schmidt said there was “high demand” among Manitoba businesses for the clean energy grants. A provincial spokesperson said the province fielded 78 applications, 85 per cent of which came from the agricultural sector.

Altogether, the province estimates the projects will contribute $33 million to Manitoba’s economy.

“These are just some of the projects that will make a big difference in our communities while making life more affordable for Manitobans,” Schmidt said.

Like a kid in a candy store
When those boxes of heavily redacted documents start to pile in, reporters at The Narwhal waste no time in looking for kernels of news that matter the most. Just ask our Prairies reporter Drew Anderson, who gleefully scanned through freedom of information files like a kid in a candy store, leading to pretty damning revelations in Alberta. Long story short: the government wasn’t being forthright when it claimed its pause on new renewable energy projects wasn’t political. Just like that, our small team was again leading the charge on a pretty big story

In an oil-rich province like Alberta, that kind of reporting is crucial. But look at our investigative work on TC Energy’s Coastal GasLink pipeline to the west, or our Greenbelt reporting out in Ontario. They all highlight one thing: those with power over our shared natural world don’t want you to know how — or why — they call the shots. And we try to disrupt that.

Our journalism is powered by people just like you. We never take corporate ad dollars, or put this public-interest information behind a paywall. Will you join the pod of Narwhals that make a difference by helping us uncover some of the most important stories of our time?
Like a kid in a candy store
When those boxes of heavily redacted documents start to pile in, reporters at The Narwhal waste no time in looking for kernels of news that matter the most. Just ask our Prairies reporter Drew Anderson, who gleefully scanned through freedom of information files like a kid in a candy store, leading to pretty damning revelations in Alberta. Long story short: the government wasn’t being forthright when it claimed its pause on new renewable energy projects wasn’t political. Just like that, our small team was again leading the charge on a pretty big story

In an oil-rich province like Alberta, that kind of reporting is crucial. But look at our investigative work on TC Energy’s Coastal GasLink pipeline to the west, or our Greenbelt reporting out in Ontario. They all highlight one thing: those with power over our shared natural world don’t want you to know how — or why — they call the shots. And we try to disrupt that.

Our journalism is powered by people just like you. We never take corporate ad dollars, or put this public-interest information behind a paywall. Will you join the pod of Narwhals that make a difference by helping us uncover some of the most important stories of our time?

Heat, humidity, wildfires: what the weather report reveals about your health risks

For many Canadians, the summer months are a precious reprieve from long, cold and dark winters. Summer is for barbecues and beach days, camping and...

Continue reading

Recent Posts

Our newsletter subscribers are the first to find out when we break a big story. Sign up for free →
An illustration, in yellow, of a computer, with an open envelope inside it with letter reading 'Breaking news.'
Our newsletter subscribers are the first to find out when we break a major investigation. Want in? Sign up for free to get the inside scoop on The Narwhal’s reporting on the natural world.
Hey, are you on our list?
An illustration, in yellow, of a computer, with an open envelope inside it with letter reading 'Breaking news.'
Our newsletter subscribers are the first to find out when we break a major investigation. Want in? Sign up for free to get the inside scoop on The Narwhal’s reporting on the natural world.
Hey, are you on our list?
An illustration, in yellow, of a computer, with an open envelope inside it with letter reading 'Breaking news.'