Saanich awarded $4 million to reduce carbon footprint

March 8, 2018

Media release
For immediate release


Saanich, BC – The District of Saanich will receive $4 million in Federal Gas Tax Funding to support a major mechanical infrastructure replacement at Saanich Commonwealth Place (SCP). The project aims to reduce the recreation centre’s carbon footprint by 90 per cent paving the way for the facility to achieve carbon neutrality. 

Design work will begin this year with construction in 2019 through 2021.The mechanical system replacement includes the deployment of biomass boilers, an upgrade from the existing natural gas boilers. This conversion enables the facility to use renewable fuel instead of fossil fuels, which are currently responsible for nearly one-fifth of Saanich’s total greenhouse gas emissions. The increased cooling capacity in many areas of the building will enhance services offered to the public. 

SCP was built as part of the legacy of the 1994 Commonwealth Games hosted in Greater Victoria. More than 2,500 citizens use the recreation centre every day and approximately 200 staff and 150 contractors are employed there. The facility offers a wide range of services, including the Bruce Hutchison public library, the Pacific Sport Institute Victoria, two 50-metre pools with a dive tank and teaching pool, hot tub, steam room, sauna, café, gymnasium, weight room, teen centre, dance studio and five multi-purpose rooms. The project’s phased construction will align with regularly scheduled shutdowns at SCP to minimize interruptions to business operations, programming and events. 

The total project cost is estimated at $4 million, which is fully supported through the Federal Gas Tax Fund. This project is a high priority and the contribution provided by the Federal Gas Tax Fund makes it possible to afford the replacement of key mechanical systems at SCP that have reached the end of their service life.

Each year, the Government of Canada provides over $278 million in funding for local government infrastructure across British Columbia through the Federal Gas Tax Fund. The Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) administers the Federal Gas Tax Fund in British Columbia in partnership with the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia. 

MLA for Saanich South and BC Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham

"An investment in community infrastructure is an investment in our quality of life. I would like to recognize the partnership between all levels of government that will renew a valuable community asset for the people of Saanich." 

Director Wendy Booth, President, Union of BC Municipalities

“Communities across BC are looking for funding to replace, upgrade and expand local infrastructure. The federal Gas Tax Fund is accelerating the pace of infrastructure renewal through the transfer of close to $3 billion since 2005 for projects in our province. I appreciate the Government of Canada’s long-term commitment to fund priorities identified by BC local governments.” 

Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell

"Saanich appreciates both the UBCM and the Federal Government for their financial support to increase energy efficiency of our recreation facilities as we work toward achieving 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050." 

Learn More

To see the full list of projects receiving funding during this announcement visit the Province of British Columbia website

To learn more about the federal Gas Tax Fund, visit the Government of Canada website.




Media contact:

Harley Machielse
Director of Engineering, District of Saanich 
250-475-1775 ext. 5446