Harry Daemen, board director with the St. Andrew’s Community Partnership Association, accepts $16,000 from the province’s Low Carbon Communities Program on February 14 to replace the church’s oil-fired steam boiler with an energy-efficient option.

PAQTNKEK MI’KMAW NATION: The province is investing in new clean energy and active transportation projects to reduce emissions in Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation and Antigonish County.

On February 14, Health and Wellness Minister, and Antigonish MLA, Randy Delorey, announced over $104,000 for three projects under the Low Carbon Communities Program.

“These projects that are being announced are going to help Antigonish reduce emissions and promote active transportation,” Delorey said. “Which is really important in the Municipality of the County of Antigonish, Paqtnkek and indeed the entire province; share in value of making progress towards a greener, cleaner future.”

Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation will receive over $49,000 to build a new 350-metre active transportation trail that will connect residents and institutions between Saqamaw Road to the Bayside Connector Trail – which they expect to have operational by the end of May.

“We’re absolutely thrilled that the province will assist with this active transportation trail. This new trail is the first of what we hope will be other similar corridors in our community,” Chief PJ Prosper said in a statement. “It promotes safety, and offers convenient access to the Bayside Travel Centre, especially for those without vehicles, all while helping to reduce out carbon footprint.”

Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation councillor Tma Francis said in council meetings, there was always a concern about the safety of community members going across.

“So that was our main goal; the safety of our kids in our community,” he said.

Photos by Drake Lowthers
Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation councillor Tma Francis said there has always been a concern about safety of their community members going across the Bayside Connector Trail.

The Municipality of the County of Antigonish will receive over $38,000 to complete a feasibility study to determine energy projects that best meet climate change mitigation, local employment and energy targets.

“The Antigonish-Paqtnkek joint solar energy feasibility study, allows us to explore how we increase options for low-carbon energy delivery,” Warden Owen McCarron said. “We hope to look for solutions that build on current practices and policies, identify new creative options for community members, options that are affordable, dependable and that support participation in energy-efficiency and renewables for all who are interested.”

McCarron said they want to work with new technology and connect with traditional practices while connecting with local schools and businesses for training and service development possibilities.

“Low Carbon Communities allows us to see what is possible.”

The St. Andrew’s Community Partnership Association (SACPA) will receive $16,000 to replace the church’s oil-fired steam boiler with an energy-efficient option and convert its heating system to optimize energy utilization.

“The St. Andrew’s community is committed to environmental stewardship,” Harry Daemen, the SACPA board director said. “So when the church started its project to upgrade an old oil-fires steam boiler, it seemed appropriate to extend the scope of the project to include other neighbouring facilities in the community.”

Daemen said such facilities included; a school, fire hall, community centre, curling club and a seniors’ housing complex.

Showcasing the province’s ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions Delorey highlighted 16,000 free energy-efficiency upgrades have been made to low-income Nova Scotians; 120,000 energy-saving heat pumps have been installed across the province; and $25 million has been invested in energy-efficiency upgrades to improve 2,400 Mi’kmaq homes and 11,500 public housing units across the province.

The Low Carbon Communities Program was developed to turn clean energy ideas into a reality, and it supports community-driven projects that help create long-lasting greenhouse gas reductions through low carbon and energy projects.

Over the past two-years more than $2.2 million has been invested in 46 projects through the Low Carbon Communities Program. For more on the provincial program, check out: https://novascotia.ca/low-carbon-communities/.

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Drake Lowthers has been a community journalist for The Reporter since July, 2018. His coverage of the suspicious death of Cassidy Bernard garnered him a 2018 Atlantic Journalism Award and a 2019 Better Newspaper Competition Award; while his extensive coverage of the Lionel Desmond Fatality Inquiry received a second place finish nationally in the 2020 Canadian Community Newspaper Awards for Best Feature Series. A Nova Scotia native, who has called Antigonish home for the past decade, Lowthers has a strong passion in telling people’s stories in a creative, yet thought-provoking way. He graduated from the journalism program at Holland College in 2016, where he played varsity football with the Hurricanes. His simple pleasures in life include his two children, photography, live music and the local sports scene.