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Provincial Minister Announces Green Initiatives at Providence

Community-LED Emissions Reduction (CLER) Program

The Honourable Ron Lemieux, Manitoba’s Minister for Local Government.
Dr. Gus Konkel (right), President of Providence College & Seminary, explains the operation of Providence’s new Blue Flame biomass stoker to Ron Musick, Reeve of the RM of De Salaberry (far left) and the Honourable Ron Lemieux (left).

The Hon. Ron Lemieux, Local Government Minister for the Government of Manitoba, came to the Providence campus today to announce three new initiatives that will help reduce GHG (Green-House Gas) emissions in Manitoba.

The three initiatives, all under the Province’s CLER (Community-Led Emissions Reductions) program will affect emissions in Otterburne, Winnipeg, and the Morden-Stanley-Thompson-Winkler area.

In addition to Minister Lemieux, the announcement was attended by the Honourable Vic Toews (Member of Parliament for the riding of Provencher), Ron Musick (Reeve of the Rural Municipality of De Salaberry), Dr. Roger Gingerich (Chair of the Providence Board of Governors), representatives from Manitoba Hydro and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), as well as community members, staff, faculty, students, and supporters of Providence College and Seminary.

In his remarks thanking Minister Lemieux for the province’s support of Providence’s new distributed-heating biomass system, Dr. Konkel, President of Providence College and Seminary thanked:

· The federal government’s Knowledge Infrastructure Program, which is contributing $250,000 to the project

· Manitoba Hydro’s support through its Natural Gas Optimization Program

· Bernie Wiebe, from B. B. Wiebe & Sons, the building movers who picked up and moved the barn that now houses the new biomass system

· Doug Edel, from Valley Agro Systems, who contributed the storage bins and feed handling system

· Frank DeFehr and DeFehr Furniture, who are supplying wood pellets as one of the biomass feedstocks

Frank DeFehr, DeFehr Furniture

  “This is an important step in Providence’s progress towards being one of the leading green campuses in Canada,” said President Konkel. “It will help us replace more than 60% of our natural gas use, bringing us significantly closer to our goal of being carbon neutral. And it is not something we could have done on our own.”

“This initiative builds on steps that Providence has taken in recent years toward becoming better stewards of God’s world,” said Dr. Konkel. “In the past few years we have:

· Installed new high-efficiency boilers in our facilities

· Installed a geo-thermal heating and cooling system in our new 25,000 sq. ft Reimer Student Life Centre

· Secured environmental clearance and begun research on a wind turbine electrical system

 “We still have many steps to go before we can truly say that we are doing all we can to be good stewards of the world God has created,” said President Konkel. “This is not our first step, and it is far from our last. But, with the help of all the partners here today, we are moving strongly in the right direction.”



Full text of the provincial government’s press release.

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Otterburne, Manitoba, Canada, R0A 1G0
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