The Canadian Solar Cities Project board of directors is pleased to announce that The District of Squamish has been selected as the fifth official Canadian Solar City. The District of Squamish achieved this designation by meeting each of the 10-point set of criteria established by The Canadian Solar Cities Project to recognize the most sustainable communities in Canada.
The Canadian Solar Cities designation fits with the District of Squamish Mayor Patricia Heintzman’s vision. “This is, without a doubt, a serendipitous moment both culturally and economically for Squamish as we rise to the climate change challenge. Squamish’s youthful, talent-rich population, community ethos and strategic location underscore this significant opportunity. Our vision is to create an ecosystem of innovation, research, bold venture capital and entrepreneurialism, and a new forward thinking network platform of governance that will pay big dividends in the new energy-innovation economy and chart a very positive and powerful course for our community. The Solar Cities Initiative is emblematic of our aspirations but it is not by any means our end game. It is a way to help us chart that course and ensure rhetoric actually leads to action.”
The District of Squamish initiative is an example of innovative community collaboration and leadership. The initial impetus for the application came from The Squamish Alternative Energy Group, a group of several hundred environmental leaders in Squamish, led by Matt Blackmon, and dedicated to finding renewable energy options for Squamish. Matt describes the group as, “Composed of citizens interested in helping our town develop clean sustainable sources of energy for use by businesses and individuals to help wean us from a reliance on fossil fuels.” “Let’s start by making Squamish a Canadian alternative energy example.”
By focusing on greenhouse gas emission reduction, long-term energy cost reduction through the application of renewable energy technologies, stimulating local economic development and encouraging local community development individual Canadian Solar Cities are on the path to a cleaner future. The initiative is designed to involve homeowners, businesses, institutions, schools and youth.
The Canadian Solar Cities Project is a non-profit, Canadian registered corporation dedicated to recognizing Canadian communities for leadership in sustainable practices, with a focus on solar. By meeting the Canadian Solar Cities criteria, qualifying Canadian communities are among the most sustainable places in the world.
The Canadian Solar Cities Project was established in the spring of 2012 and in June 2012 The City of Dawson Creek was accepted as the first official Canadian Solar City. Dawson Creek was followed by The City of Colwood, The T’Sou-ke Nation and The City of North Vancouver. Each of the communities met the set of criteria in unique ways with a wide variety of initiatives and each community serves as an example of environmental and energy security leadership.