Ontario invests $24 million toward green construction training
Ontario is putting $24 million of its cap-and-trade revenues into the development of green building skills.
The money will be used across the province to develop low-carbon building curriculums and upgrade training facilities, reports Global News.
Deb Matthews, minister of advanced education and skills development for Ontario, made the announcement, emphasizing the importance of modernizing apprenticeship programs and investing in green initiatives.
“It’s important for our planet, for our kids, for our grandkids, that government really takes a leadership role in reducing our carbon footprint. I think this summer is a really good example of how climate change is upon is, it’s not theoretical anymore,” she said.
With around 25 percent of the province’s carbon emissions coming from buildings, Matthews said the money will go toward training people how to build, renovate and maintain buildings in an environmentally-conscious way.
“Imagine an old apartment building that was built in the ‘70s. The windows are drafty, probably not as well insulated as we would want today … we need to retrofit those buildings,” Matthews said. “This 24 (million) is not about that, it’s about training the people who know to do that work.”
Jim McKinnon, a union official with LiUNA local 159, said there’s demand for green construction.
“In renovations now, people are looking at energy conservation and consumptions. It’s not new, but more and more people are looking at it, with hydro rates and costs,” he said.
The $24 million will be dispersed throughout the province over one year. Matthews emphasized it’s not taxpayer dollars, but a portion of the nearly $1-billion cap-and-trade revenue the province expects this year.