Speech Article from  Natural Resources Canada

Kim Rudd, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources, on behalf of Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr, speaking on The conclusion of the largest demonstration project for net-zero energy housing in Canada

March 9, 2016

Thank you very much for inviting me here today. I'm so glad you were behind schedule, because I just got out of the House and I got to sit for 20 minutes or so and watch those fantastic, amazing projects that you have been working on. And I have to tell you, you energize us. This is exactly what we’re looking for, what we're hoping for, and we want to be a partner with. So thank you for giving me that opportunity.

And I do want to say good evening. Welcome to very warm Ottawa, for those of you who aren't from here. It's wonderful to be here tonight on behalf of the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources. The net-zero energy housing demonstration project, which I have had an opportunity to see here tonight, has showcased another promising way in which we can build a greener future together, a future where all homes will be designed to produce at least as much energy as they consume on a yearly basis. This is Canadian ingenuity at its best, and it reflects our government's own firm belief that a strong economy and a clean environment can and must go hand in hand.

I want to take a moment here tonight to recognize everyone who has helped to make this day possible, beginning with Owens Corning Canada. You must be very proud of what you've accomplished as the driving force behind this very exciting project. I also want to acknowledge buildABILITY Corporation as the project manager and the five builders who participated: Construction Voyer in Laval; Mattamy Homes in Calgary; Minto Communities here in Ottawa; Reid's Heritage Homes in Guelph; and Provident Developments in Halifax — a truly pan-Canadian group. You accepted the risk of investing a great deal of your own time and resources into making these 26 homes and condominium units a reality, contributing to the largest Canadian net-zero energy housing demonstration project, and I think we can all safely agree that it was worth it.

Finally, I want to highlight some of the project's other key partners as they've been shown here tonight, companies such as JELD-WEN Canada, Canadian Solar, Rheem Canada, Mitsubishi Canada and all of the consultants, municipalities and utilities who rallied around the project in each region. It was so good to hear you talk about the fact that you can't do it without your partners. Thank you to all of those partners for stepping up. Together, you overcame technology challenges and market barriers to prove that net-zero energy homes are a sound investment. Thank you for what you do.

Of course I'm also pleased to note that the federal government provided almost $2 million in funding to support this project through Natural Resources Canada's ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative. And we will maintain that momentum by continuing to support pilot projects, certification programs and research efforts to make net-zero energy homes even more accessible and affordable.

It's one of the best parts of my job to give good news. Why will we continue to support? Because our government proudly shares your vision for the future of energy-efficient home construction in Canada and around the world. We applaud the Canadian Home Builders' Association's pilot labelling initiative for net-zero energy homes. And we want to reduce our environmental footprint by promoting clean energy and technology. That's why Canada was among the 195 countries to sign the Paris climate agreement a few months ago. It's also why our government made sure Canada was one of the only 20 countries participating in the ambitious, new global initiative called Mission Innovation.

Among other things, Mission Innovation commits participating countries to doubling their government’s investments in transformative, clean energy research and development over five years. Because sustainability is the new imperative. Frankly, it has to be. We have to make greater use of renewable sources of energy. We need to invest more in clean technologies. And we have to ensure we realize the full economic and environmental benefits of energy efficiency. The net-zero energy housing demonstration project does all of these things. It offers us another chance to reset the course of our economy and create opportunities for generations to come.

So on behalf of Minister Carr and our government, I salute your determination and your dedication. You've shown us a viable, sustainable path to the future — one that is cleaner, brighter and more prosperous than ever. And that's definitely worth celebrating tonight.

Thank you very much.

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