Toosey looks toward green energy future

Tl’esquox (Toosey) Indian Band is receiving a clean-energy investment through the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund (FNCEBF).

Tl’esquox (Toosey) Indian Band is among 12 more First Nations across British Columbia receiving a clean-energy investment through the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund (FNCEBF).

Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation John Rustad announced Monday that FNCEBF will support 10 capacity-building projects and two equity ventures in pursuit of clean-energy goals.

He made the announcement in a speech Monday at the 11th annual Clean Energy BC conference in Vancouver.

Tl’esquox Chief Francis Laceese said the $30,000 investment will help his community plan for clean energy projects and apply for other grants.

“We are investing $100,000 for geothermal heating in our new health and administration facility,” Laceese said Tuesday.

It will be the first building on the reserve with alternate energy.The band applied for funding for the geothermal heating, but wasn’t successful so it is paying for some of that itself to make it happen, he added. Geothermal is good for winter and summer, Laceese said.

“It can be converted to air conditioning, and further down the road we will be looking at solar energy. Once the building is completed, we will look at other grants out there to offset the thermal heat with solar energy.”

Highlighting the conference theme of innovative partnerships, Rustad told the crowd about the success of revenue-sharing initiatives that continue to see First Nations becoming partners in B.C.’s economy.

He said the FNCEBF has proven very successful as a new tool to engage First Nations. Over the last three years, B.C. has invested in 95 First Nations clean-energy projects.

Laceese said the last bit of concrete has been poured for the new health centre’s foundation.

“From there the walls be going up and they are hoping by Christmas they will have it up and just be working on the inside.”