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Minister Wilkinson Highlights the 2023 Fall Economic Statement and Related Household Energy Affordability Investments


VICTORIA, BC, Nov. 29, 2023 /CNW/ -Today, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, highlighted how the government's economic plan will take further action to support the middle class and make buildings and homes more energy-efficient as part of the 2023 Fall Economic Statement.  

The government's economic plan is building a strong economy that works for everyone ? with good jobs that people can count on. And this plan is working.

Over a million more Canadians are employed today compared to before the pandemic. Inflation is coming down, wage increases are outpacing inflation, and private-sector economists now expect Canada to avoid the recession that many had predicted.

In the face of a rapid global increase in interest rates, many Canadians are feeling the squeeze, particularly when it comes to affording a home to rent or own. In response, the 2023 Fall Economic Statement is focused on today's two key challenges.

First, the government is continuing to support Canadians at a time when some prices are still too high and mortgage renewals are looming. With new, targeted measures to help stabilize prices, make life more affordable and protect Canadians with mortgages, the government is taking concrete action to support Canadians. This includes ensuring Canadians have access to the tailored mortgage relief they need at a time of higher interest rates. To do so, the 2023 Fall Economic Statement announces the new Canadian Mortgage Charter, which details the relief that Canadians can expect from their banks if they are in financial difficulty.

Second, the government is accelerating its work to build more homes, faster, and make housing more affordable. Building on the significant action the government has already taken, the 2023 Fall Economic Statement introduces billions of dollars in new financing to build more homes, faster; takes steps to crack down on short-term rentals so that homes can be used for Canadians to live in; and will help to increase the number of construction workers across the country. This continues the federal government's work in leading a national effort to make housing more affordable across Canada.

Today, new federal investments were announced to reduce household energy bills while fighting climate change in the Greater Victoria area, including:

  1. A $4.6-million federal investment to support upgrades to the Twin Oaks Housing Cooperative built in 1984 in the District of Saanich, British Columbia.

    The 32-unit multi-family complex is benefiting from renovations and updates to improve energy efficiency and building resilience. This includes replacing windows and doors and installing air-to-water heat pumps and heat-recovery ventilators.

    This funding was provided through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' Green Municipal Fund's Sustainable Affordable Housing initiative, which is supporting similar projects across Canada.

  2. An investment of nearly $140,000 for the Greater Victoria Housing Society to support retrofits on the Sitkum Terrace in Victoria, B.C. This federal investment will support lower energy bills and enhanced resilience to climate impacts for the 75-unit seniors' building.

  3. An investment of approximately $750,000 in the University of Victoria to develop, deploy and test an online platform to optimize design solutions for net-zero-energy-ready and high-performance buildings.

The Government of Canada will continue to work with partners to help Canadians to save money while contributing to a strong and sustainable economy.

Quotes

"The Government of Canada is investing to reduce the cost of housing and energy while ensuring our buildings are more energy-efficient, resilient and comfortable. Today, I announced retrofit investments for homes in Saanich and Victoria that will help families and seniors to live in greater comfort, with lower energy bills. Through investments like these, we are addressing housing, affordability and climate challenges concurrently."

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Energy and Natural Resources

"Our economic plan is about building a strong economy that works for everyone, and the 2023 Fall Economic Statement is the next phase of our plan. With a focus on supporting the middle class and building more homes, faster, we are taking action on the priorities that matter most to Canadians today ? and we will continue doing everything we can to deliver for Canadians from coast to coast to coast."

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

"This investment supports the Greater Victoria Housing Society's commitment to sustainability, climate resilience and responsible capital planning. We are excited to move forward on this project, in partnership with the federal government and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, to renovate this seniors building. These improvements will not only improve the energy efficiency and quality of life for residents in this building but also ensure that we retain this affordable housing in the community for decades to come."

Virginia Holden
Executive Director, Greater Victoria Housing Society

"Housing co-operatives are a unique model of housing. They are diverse, self-governed communities. Co-op members work together to manage and maintain affordable homes for current and future members. At Twin Oaks Housing Co-op, we are particularly grateful for this funding that will allow us to maintain our homes while also greatly improving the energy efficiency of our buildings. We look forward to this project getting underway in the days to come and extend our gratitude to the parties who have made this possible."

Jennie Bartosik
President,Twin Oaks Housing Co-operative

"Through our Climate Leadership Plan, the City of Victoria is pursuing ambitious, high-impact measures to reduce local emissions, ensure our communities are climate resilient and help reduce energy costs. Sitkum Terrace is a key local resource for affordable seniors' living, and today's federal investment to support the Greater Victoria Housing Society in modern retrofits is a welcome contribution to achieving our sustainability and affordability goals."

Marianne Alto
Mayor of Victoria, B.C.

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