Metro Vancouver to uncork $16m sustainability fund

Regional district has stashed $347,000 a year since 2005, won't use money for tax relief

Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin is a Metro Vancouver director who sits on th intergovernmental and administration committee.

Ten years after starting an innovation fund for sustainability projects, Metro Vancouver is starting to get close to actually using the money.

The regional district has been funneling $347,000 a year into its Sustainability Innovation Fund since Metro’s GST rebate of the same amount was first contributed in 2005.

It’s grown to $16.3 million and is expected to fund six projects a year to the tune of $100,000 each.

The money is to go to projects that result in measurable contributions to regional sustainability, by such means as greenhouse gas reductions, cleaner air or water, or ecosystem health improvements.

Projects proposed by either Metro or its member municipalities will be advanced this fall and winners picked next February.

Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin said the grants could fund “outside-the-box projects” such as putting solar panels on the roof of a leisure centre – extras that could add to regional goals that might not otherwise be justified in business-as-usual civic spending.

“It’s not truck loads of money, but it’s a little bit extra to kick start or try something creative,” he said.

A regional district committee approved the proposed use of the fund Thursday.

There was no serious consideration of liquidating the fund and using it for temporary tax relief instead.

“Yes, you could take it and give some relief in the current year,” Daykin said. “But what do you do after that?”

Metro Vancouver spends nearly $650 million a year, most of it on regional water and sewer services. The average household in the region paid $423 in regional utility fees and property taxes this year.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Surrey Eagles are currently seeking billet families for its players in advance of the 2020-‘21 BC Hockey League season. (Garrett James photo)
Surrey Eagles in ‘desperate’ need of billet families for BCHL season

COVID-19 pandemic has made finding homes for players difficult: billet co-ordinator

Matthew Campbell, director of the Fraser Valley Regional Food Bank, stands amongst a large amount of non-perishable food and household items being stored inside the Pacific Community Church. This year’s ‘Halloween For Hunger’ food drive, put on by students at Clayton Heights, will go to benefit the Fraser Valley Regional Food Bank. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Clayton Heights Secondary kicks off annual ‘Halloween for Hunger’ event

Students to collect much-needed items for food bank

Surrey RCMP cruisers outside a Newton townhouse Tuesday night. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
UPDATE: Toddler in hospital, woman dead following stabbings at Surrey townhouse

Police say two-year-old was among victims found at townhouse complex in the 12700-block of 66 Avenue

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
OUR VIEW: Lenient courts aren’t helping

It’s hard to fault the palpable frustration of Metro Vancouver Transit Police

Renee
Bigger for 2020, online Surrey conference clicks with writers from around the world

Registrants from 17 countries for ‘SiWC At Home’ edition of the annual event

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

John Horgan brought the NDP campaign to Langley on Wednesday, Oct. 21, just three days before the B.C. vote (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Horgan brings NDP campaign to Langley

Predicts gains, says people are looking at the party ‘differently’ after three years

Brody Peterson said he intends to dispute tickets issued by Grand Forks RCMP at his backyard “house warming” Saturday, Oct. 10. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Brody Peterson told The Gazette he intends to dispute tickets issued by Grand Forks RCMP at his backyard “house warming” Saturday, Oct. 10. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks RCMP recommend criminal charges after weekend party

Homeowner Brody Peterson said he’ll dispute tickets for refusing police instructions, alleged COVID violations

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A glimpse of some of the 480 (approx) cars written off as a result of the acid spills along the Trail highway in 2018. Photo: Trail Times
Kootenay Ford dealer’s frustration grows with ICBC

Trail AM Ford owner Dan Ashman says he just wants fair compensation from ICBC

Mail-in ballot from Elections BC (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
At least 26% of eligible voters have already cast a ballot, Elections BC says

Voters can cast a ballot until 8 p.m PST on Election Day

RCMP were called to an assault in the 23700-block of 110 Ave in Maple Ridge Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. (Curtis Kreklau/Special to The News)
PHOTOS: Assault in Maple Ridge sends three men to hospital

RCMP were called to a residence Tuesday night

Most Read