The new RCMP detachment under construction in Cowichan will receive an $11.5 million investment from Ottawa and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in the form of a $10 million low-interest loan and a $1.5 million grant.
Jonathan Wilkinson, minister of Natural Resources, and Taneen Rudyk, president of the FCM, announced that the funding is from the Green Municipal Fund, which is intended to help pay for the construction of net-zero energy-ready facilities.
Wilkinson said the federal government is pleased to support sustainable infrastructure in communities across Canada.
“This investment is an important step in the development of a net-zero RCMP detachment facility to serve the residents of North Cowichan, Duncan, Cowichan Tribes and the surrounding areas,” he said.
“This is a great example of community-driven innovation and climate action.”
The $49-million project to build a new 50,000 sq. ft. headquarters for the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment, which is being constructed on a five-acre property owned by North Cowichan bordering Ford Road and Drinkwater Road, is expected to be completed by October, 2023.
The facility will bring together the detachment and the RCMP’s Forensic Identification Services, South Island Traffic Services and Indigenous Policing.
The Green Municipal Fund previously supported the construction of the new RCMP detachment in Fort St. John, and the Cowichan project is modelled on that design, but it has been optimized for North Cowichan’s unique climate and usage needs.
It will also incorporate energy efficiency in every aspect of the building design.
Optimized features of the building include structure and site orientation improvements, high-efficiency equipment, rooftop solar photovoltaic panels, solar shading to reduce cooling demand by 45 per cent and daylight sensors to reduce annual lighting operations by 25 per cent.
North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring said that when he thinks of the new RCMP building, efficiency stands out.
He said modelling Cowichan’s detachment building after Fort St. John’s new facility created efficiencies in planning and design.
“Bringing together the various policing services across the region into this one facility will allow for more efficient policing in our community, and with this funding announcement, the ability to construct a highly energy-efficient building is significant,” Siebring said.
“As we grow and replace infrastructure, leaving a legacy of sustainability is crucial to our future and the generations to come.”
The GMF, administered by the FCM, is funded through an endowment by the federal government.