Passive House Canada pleased with Federal Government announcements on two fronts

The Federal Government’s economic update delivered Monday offers insight into anticipated stimulus spending to address Covid-19 and a green economic recovery. In her address, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland committed to spending $100 billion over the next three years to jump start Canada’s economy. We thank Minister Freeland for tying Canada’s economic growth plan to the net zero green economy to make progress on climate action and advance a clean economy. The Minister said, “We need to invest in meaningful climate action. Failure to do so will only increase the costs and the risks of climate change to all Canadians.”

We can expect to see investments coming that target the green economy, support job training for energy auditors and others, and provide homeowners with financial support for energy efficiency home retrofits. Passive House Canada encourages the government to set retrofit guidelines that focus not only on energy, but also on the health, comfort and safety of our homes and buildings.

We know that energy retrofits done the wrong way can pose serious health issues, with compromised indoor air quality and mould growth being two significant issues of badly planned retrofits. We encourage the government to ensure energy auditors are trained to evaluate home health and comfort as part of their energy audit and to include recommendations around heat recovery ventilation systems and fuel switching to renewable energy.

As part of creating a competitive, green economy Passive House Canada (PHC) encourages the government to ensure adequate funding is available so that members of Canada’s building industry can access recognized training in net zero emissions building, component design and manufacturing and construction. It is critical that funding also be used to attract and train new workers to these good paying jobs as part of the green economic recovery.

A summary of the government’s Economic Statement can be found here.

In addition to the government’s economic update Monday, President of the Treasury Board, Jean-Yves Duclos, recently announced updates to the Greening Government Strategy to immediately transition government owned assets to net-zero and climate resilient operations. This requirement includes all new construction and major building retrofits.

We are excited to see the government taking action and leading by example. It’s a promising signal to the Canadian market to ready itself for the transition to zero carbon buildings, a requirement for Canada to meet its emission reduction requirements. In addition to this strategy, we encourage the government to identify clear performance targets and outcomes to ensure Canada can achieve the intended outcome.

Chris Ballard