Vandal announces ‘energy champions’ plan for Nunavik
Federal minister tells Northern Lights conference teams will be created in 12 of 14 communities to promote green energy
Updated Friday, February 10 at 2:05 p.m.
A team of “energy champions” from communities across Nunavik will be created to promote greater use of green energy, federal Northern Affairs Minister Daniel Vandal said Friday.
Speaking at the Northern Lights conference and trade show in Ottawa, Vandal said close to $5.5 million will go to Tarquti Energy to build capacity for renewable energy by creating “teams of energy champions from local Inuit communities.”
The money will “provide the tools the champions need to set up their own clean energy projects,” he said, with a goal to help Nunavik switch to clean, renewable energy through grassroots green initiatives.
The “champions” will be chosen from within their respective communities, and project proposals they create will be vetted by a community-chosen Indigenous council.
“We are empowering local communities to develop their own projects and develop their own leadership,” Vandal told the crowd during his speech.
In 2022, Tarquti, a Nunavik-owned company that promotes clean-energy projects in Inuit communities, entered a partnership with Hydro-Quebec to promote green-energy projects across northern Quebec that were community-led and community-owned.
Twelve of the 14 Nunavik communities will be part of the Tarquti project.
The two communities not included in the federal funding are Inukjuak and Kuujjuaraapik, according to Janice Grey, Tarquti’s spokesperson. These two communities already have their own ongoing green-energy initiatives, she said.
Grey defines an “energy champion” as the community’s representative for Tarquti, keeping in touch with local organizations and acting as a liaison.
The process for selecting these champions will be through a job posting, with ads going up in Puvirnituq and Salluit in the coming months.
Grey said the non-for-profit group Indigenous Clean Energy will provide training to those selected.
On Friday, Vandal also announced the creation of a clean energy in Indigenous, rural and remote communities initiative, to help them access resources and funding for energy projects.
Note: This article was updated to include more information from Tarquti Energy
And what of the JBNQ Hydro Project and with that the green energy contribution of Nunavimmuit, it seems to have been forgotten by the Honorable minister.
If Mr. Vandal were serious about lessening nasty emissions which, on the evidence the Liberal government is not in any practical sense, I have a better proposition. Get oil moving out of the Rae Point oil well in the high arctic and ship it to Europe to replace the use of coal. With a flow of 10,000 barrels daily it’s what the industry calls an elephant. You even burn it unrefined as diesel, as they did at the lead-zinc mine on Little Cornwallis Island. This project has potential comparable with that of a big mine only with a much longer life.
A great example of our government pouring money mindlessly into feel good initiatives with almost no serious prospect of a positive measurable outcome.