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In the News
January 2008

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Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children partners to obtain solar energy

According to a news release, in an effort to reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions, the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is installing a new solar panel system on the hospital’s atrium roof. The solar energy system, an environmentally friendly method to reduce energy costs and increase savings for the hospital, will supplement SickKids’ hot water system.

Mondial Energy Inc. is currently in the process of installing the solar panels on the hospital’s roof. When the installation is completed at the end of November 2007, SickKids will be home to Canada's first hospital-based solar thermal energy site.

Under the 10-year fixed price contract, Mondial will cover the costs of the construction of the hospital’s solar thermal energy site and pay for, own and maintain the solar thermal panels. In return, SickKids will purchase solar thermal energy at a fixed price from Mondial, who will meter the energy delivered to the hospital’s domestic hot water system and enable SickKids to monitor its energy use in real-time. SickKids and Mondial expect to offset over 750,000 lbs of steam per year from the 92 solar panels installed.

Ninety-two collectors, also know as solar panels, are being installed on SickKids’ roof, along with 480 gallons of storage volume. The collectors are fixed to the roof on pre-engineered racks that are bolted on.

Solar thermal collectors gather the sun’s energy and use it to heat hot water for domestic use in the hospital. The collectors transfer heat to storage tanks via a heat exchanger. The solar side of the heat exchanger contains glycol antifreeze solution while domestic hot water is on the other side. Pumps operate to transfer this energy when the collectors are warmer than the solar tanks, for instance when the sun is shining. The storage tanks allow the system to continue to collect solar energy when building demand is low. Therefore, the collected solar energy can then be used at times of peak usage when the sun is not necessarily shining. Conventional water heating systems remain online for cloudy days.”

BC hospitals expand

Kelowna and Vernon hospitals

The request for proposals (RFP) to design, build, finance and maintain the expansion of the Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) and the Vernon Jubilee Hospital (VJH) has been released to three pre-qualified teams who were shortlisted from those who responded to the request for qualifications, which closed on June 4, 2007. The teams are: Infusion Health; Okanagan Health Solutions; and Plenary Health.

According to the news release, “once submissions to the RFP are received and evaluated, a preferred proponent will be selected and offered the opportunity to finalize an agreement to undertake the hospital expansions in Kelowna and Vernon.

The expansions consist of:

  • Vernon Jubilee Hospital Diagnostic and Treatment Building;
  • Kelowna General Outpatient Hospital; and
  • Kelowna General Hospital Emergency Department expansion.
  • The VJH component will consolidate existing programs and allow future expansion. It will include outpatient care services, intensive care, cardiac care and maternity and pediatrics.

    Construction is expected to begin in 2008, after tendering is completed and costs are finalized, with completion targeted for 2010. All health services will be funded by the province of BC through Interior Health, in keeping with the principles of the Canada Health Act.

    Royal Jubilee Hospital, Victoria

    The Vancouver Island Health Authority issued a request for proposals (RFP) in late September to three qualified proponent teams short-listed to participate in the competition to design, build, finance and maintain the new 500-bed Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria.

    This follows the Capital Regional Hospital District’s (CRHD) final approval of approximately $108 million in funding for its share of the approximately $269-million total cost of this project.

    Four teams responded to the request for qualifications (RFQ) that closed on June 7. Following evaluation of the responses received, three teams were short-listed. They are: B&B Royal Jubilee; ISL Health; and Plenary Health.

    The teams each have a variety of members who represent BC-based, national and international companies.

    The renewal of inpatient accommodation at Royal Jubilee Hospital will improve patient care, increase safety and efficiency for nurses, physicians and other health care professionals and reduce infection levels. The facility will be elder friendly with a design to provide patient-centred, best practice care for the elderly. This new and modern facility will help attract and retain health care professionals and improve education opportunities through better teaching and research facilities. The 500-bed facility will be designed to achieve a minimum standard of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver, designed to current health care and energy efficiency standards as part of the Province’s and VIHA’s commitment to a greener and more sustainable future.

    A fairness advisor, Hon. Roger Kerans, has reviewed the RFQ process and found that the evaluation was fair and unbiased. The fairness advisor’s report is available on Partnerships BC’s website: www.partnershipsbc.ca.

    The RFP will close on January 30, 2008. Construction is expected to begin in 2008, with the new, state-of-the-art facility to open for patients in 2010.

    All health services will be funded by the province of BC through VIHA in keeping with the principles of the Canada Health Act.”

    Surrey Outpatient Hospital

    The Surrey Outpatient Hospital project released the request for proposals (RFP) to design, build, finance and maintain (DBFM) the new facility in Surrey, British Columbia.

    Five proponent teams responded to the request for qualifications that closed on April 19. The following three teams were short-listed in May and have been invited to respond to the RFP: BC Healthcare Solutions; Infusion Health; Plenary Health.

    Once submissions to the RFP are received and evaluated, a preferred proponent will be selected and offered the opportunity to finalize an agreement to deliver the outpatient hospital in Surrey.

    The Surrey Outpatient Hospital will provide a full range of scheduled outpatient services, including day surgery, diagnostic imaging and medical clinics. The outpatient hospital will also include a primary health care clinic to deliver enhanced family practice services.

    Clinics for patients with chronic diseases such as congestive heart failure, asthma, diabetes, and other debilitating illnesses will also be co-located with the new outpatient hospital. Surrey Memorial Hospital currently handles almost 134,000 outpatient clinic visits and performs 94,300 outpatient diagnostic procedures per year. These numbers are expected to grow by nearly 60 percent by 2020.

    Construction is expected to begin in 2008, after the competitive selection process has been completed and costs have been finalized, with completion targeted for 2010.

    All health services will be funded by the province of BC through Fraser Health, in keeping with the principles of the Canada Health Act.

    The new outpatient hospital is part of the Surrey Health Services Capacity Initiative with a value of more than $200 million to address Surrey’s future health needs and ease congestion at Surrey Memorial Hospital. The initiative includes plans for a new state-of-the-art emergency and urgent care facility at Surrey Memorial Hospital to triple existing floor space; a new perinatal care facility above the new emergency facility; and, renovations at Surrey Memorial Hospital and new construction to create more renal stations and additional acute care beds.”

    Ontario’s Halton Region contracts for organic waste processing

    According to a news release on October 18, 2007, “AIM Environmental Group has won a four year contract to process Halton Region’s first region-wide organic waste GreenCart program from more than 140,000 homes. The $8.8 million contract will begin on April 7, 2008.

    AIM won the contract after submitting a proposal to Halton Region in May 2007 in response to a request for proposals for organic waste composting. AIM built and operates Hamilton's state-of-the-art central composting facility that opened in June 2006. The facility is an ‘in-vessel’ processing facility where food scraps are composted in tunnels for approximately 21 days. Finished compost is stored for about 60 days and then sold to market.

    Hamilton City Council gave approval for AIM to submit its proposal recognizing that it would optimize the use of the city’s facilities and reduce costs for Hamilton. The facility is capable of processing 60,000 tonnes of organic waste annually. The addition of organic waste coming from Halton Region will result in the facility reaching its maximum capacity.” For more information about AIM Environmental Group, please visit www.aimgroup.ca.

    Nova Scotia awards contract for Gold River Bridge

    The Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Public Works has awarded Dexter Construction Co. Ltd a $5,517,945 construction contract for the Gold River Bridge on Trunk 3 in Lunenburg County, which is part of a major tourist route, the Lighthouse Route. Dexter Construction will replace the existing bridge and provide a temporary, one-lane detour bridge during construction. The project is scheduled for completion by September 2008.

    Contracting so Canadian personal data stays in Canada

    The US Patriot Act, designed to fight terrorism following 9/11, can compel American companies to turn over any information that the US government demands. And it is having some unforeseen consequences. Given that so many American companies do business in Canada and with the Canadian public sector, a demand for information by the US government could conceivably mean Canadian records being delivered to the US authorities – not something Canadians are comfortable with and have said so.

    Only in Canada, eh! You may remember that when BC contracted for the management of medical records, the province had to take steps in the contracting process to ensure that all the records would be held only in Canada. The Province of Nova Scotia recently enacted legislation prohibiting public sector organizations from storing any information in the US. This means, the province must ensure that its digital storage capacity, outsourced or not, is sourced to reside within the confines of Canada. To comply with the provincial legislation, Dalhousie University, based in Halifax, NS, renegotiated contracts and in some cases switched suppliers. Other Canadian universities are also negotiating and renegotiating contracts to do the same.

    As well, some provinces have contracted private companies to provide some of their social services, such as job finding and employment skills training. The personal records of these Canadians may be at risk should the supplier be an American firm or be purchased by an American firm. A close look at how client data in these systems is handled and stored may now be necessary.

    As a result of Canadian buyer pressures, many American companies are responding to concerns about the implications of the Patriot Act on the operations and costs of their Canadian clients and are setting up servers in Canada to handle their Canadian business.

    VANOC signs 3M as official supplier

    This past summer, the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) welcomed 3M Canada as its official supplier in the large format graphics (building and vehicle wrap graphics) category.

    VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the 2010 Games. According to the news release, “3M becomes the exclusive supplier to VANOC to produce, install, maintain and remove building and vehicle wraps in the lead-up to and staging of the 2010 Winter Games. The six-year partnership includes sponsorship rights for the Canadian Olympic teams at the Beijing 2008, Vancouver 2010 and London 2012 Olympic Games.

    Vehicle wraps will include vinyl decals, clings, wraps or films bearing graphic designs. The wrapping program will touch vehicles, such as cars, vans and buses that are controlled and operated by VANOC or its suppliers of services.

    The building wraps will include vinyl decals, clings, wraps or films bearing Vancouver 2010’s graphic designs. They will be applied to privately or publicly owned architectural structures in the Greater Vancouver area and the Sea to Sky Highway corridor. Numerous offices and residential buildings will display designs inspired by Vancouver 2010’s brand colours and Canadian winter athletes. Wraps will be seen in downtown Vancouver, near Olympic venues, at the Vancouver International Airport and on vehicular approaches in Vancouver and Whistler.”

    One of the first projects to happen with 3M is through its collaboration with BC Ferries to wrap three new, 160 metre ‘Super C-class’ ships with giant images of the Games and the province.

    Nanaimo purchases emergency notification service

    In the face of recent and potential emergencies, the City of Nanaimo searched for a new way to communicate with citizens in an emergency situation. They found Message Impact Systems Inc. – a Nanaimo company that matches communication needs with technology solutions. The new emergency alert telephone system is based on VoiceREACH., a technology that allows thousands of telephone calls to be sent simultaneously delivering a digital voice message. If the system encounters a busy signal, it will re-cue the number and keep trying. It’s also capable of recognizing an answering machine and leaving a message. Citizens are being asked to sign up for the service and to keep their number current in the system. This is the only means to ensure that the telephone number dialled by the software is correct; telephone company databases are not available frequently enough and people move frequently. Sign up is available online at the city website. For more information contact Cam Scott at 250-755-4499.

    East Kootenay contracts recycling service

    The Regional District of East Kootenay has “awarded a 5-year contract to South Sky Recycling for the collection and processing of recyclable materials. …The contract with South Sky Recycling provides for payment of a diversion credit base rate of $255/tonne and started October 2007. Plastics recycling will be limited until November.”

    Canmore purchases reflect desire to use less water

    In addition to encouraging water conservation in the community, the Town of Canmore has been working on retrofitting its own facilities for the past three years. It recently completed a full water fixture retrofit (low flow toilets and showerheads and waterless urinals) program in its municipal facilities. The dual flush toilets use 6 litres for a full flush or 3 liters for a small flush – a significant savings on water every time someone uses the toilet. The changes at the town’s recreation centre, combined with leak detection, will decrease water usage at the centre by 60 percent.

    Canmore has a goal to reduce water distribution system losses from 22.4 percent to 10 percent; residential water consumption on a per capita basis by 20 percent; and reduce industrial, commercial and institutional consumption by 20 percent based on an average account usage. The first step Canmore took was to introduce water meters to the homes and businesses and it quickly saw water usage drop by 21 percent. The town tracks its own usage as well, having also metered the park irrigation systems. Canmore is also using the LEED building standard to make buildings more efficient in water usage.

    North Vancouver solar hot water panels funded

    Funding of more than $204,000 from the Canada-BC Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund (CBCMRIF) will enable the City of North Vancouver to build 120 solar hot water panels on the top of the new municipal library, creating 283,635 kWh of renewable energy. The energy created by these panels will supplement the district hot water heating system, which is fuelled by natural gas. A number of buildings in the City of North Vancouver use the district heating system.

    NextGen Biofuels Fund open for applications

    Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) will manage the NextGen Biofuels Fund™ which has been funded with $500 million from the Government of Canada.

    According to the news release, “the fund will support up to 40 percent, of eligible project costs for the establishment of first-of-kind large demonstration-scale facilities for the production of next-generation renewable fuels. The contribution will be repayable based on free cash flow over a period of 10 years after project completion.

    The NextGen Biofuels Fund is now open for applications. Applicants are able to submit applications at any time during the year. To be eligible, a project must:

    • be a first-of-kind facility that primarily produces a next-generation renewable fuel at large demonstration-scale;
    • be located in Canada;
    • use feedstocks that are or could be representative of Canadian biomass; and,
    • have demonstrated their technology at the pre-commercial pilot scale.
  • Next-generation renewable fuels are derived from non-traditional renewable feedstocks, such as fast-growing grasses, agricultural residues and forest biomass, and produced through the use of non-conventional conversion technologies.

    New Toronto GO Transit station goes green and accessible

    Early in September, GO Transit and the Ontario government opened the new Lisgar GO station. According to the news release, “as part of its commitment to protecting the environment, combating climate change and saving energy, GO Transit will install a wind turbine this fall to generate the equivalent of 80 percent of the energy required at the station.

    Lisgar station is located on the Milton GO Train line. With more than 900 parking spaces, it is ideally located at 10th Line and Argentia Road, near Highway 401 and Winston Churchill Boulevard. The Province and Greater Toronto Area municipalities invested more than $7.5 million in construction.

    The new station will be fully accessible for customers with disabilities, and will feature a station building, bus loop, kiss-and-ride for passenger pick-up and drop-off, and a canopied train platform with passenger waiting shelters.

    Wherever possible, recycled materials were used to build the station and energy efficient lighting and heating was installed to reduce energy consumption. To improve indoor air quality, environmentally friendly paints, solvents, and heating and cooling systems were also used.”

    Combustion engines tested in Sunshine Coast (BC) landfill gas conversion pilot

    According to the news release, “Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) will receive $1.08 million from the federal Gas Tax Fund for a project to convert landfill gas to electricity. The project, which is slated for the Sechelt Landfill, will involve the construction of gas extraction and collection infrastructure as well as instrumentation to monitor flow rates and processing efficiency.

    The project involves the installation of highly efficient external combustion engines that will convert landfill gas to electricity, which will be fed back into the BC Hydro grid as a source of revenue. The SCRD will be the first local government in Canada to apply this innovative environmental technology at a landfill site. Preliminary estimates suggest that the amount of energy produced will be more than enough to power the Regional District’s Chapman Creek Water Treatment Plant. The Regional District expects that the project will immediately result in a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

    While the technology has been successfully employed in other parts of the world, external combustion engines have not been widely employed in landfill gas applications in North America. Anticipated benefits of this technology include reduced environmental impacts (the engines run virtually emissions free), improved operating efficiency, reduced need for expensive pre-treatment of landfill gas, and lower overall maintenance costs.

    Engineering and design work is expected to commence in the fall of 2007 with construction beginning as early as the summer of 2008.

    Nunavut Community Skills Information System wins award

    In mid-September, the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) awarded the Government of Nunavut a silver award for the Nunavut Community Skills Information System (NCSIS). The Department of Education program was selected from 55 submissions across Canada.

    According to the news release, “NCSIS provides accurate data to assess individual employability skills and assists in the creation of targetted training programs. It does this by gathering detailed information about the essential skills required by available jobs and then compares that to the essential skills held by Nunavummiut. Using this information, individual job seekers can be matched to appropriate jobs.”

    IPAC launched the IPAC Award for Innovative Management in 1990. Each year the IPAC board of directors and sponsors choose a new theme – 2007’s was New Service Breakthroughs with Technology. A jury of eminent public servants, academics and business people evaluate the nominations.

    Nakusp, BC to contract for water system upgrade

    According to the news release, “the water system in the Village of Nakusp, BC will receive a significant upgrade thanks to $1.6 million from the federal Gas Tax Fund. System improvements will also allow the village to provide water and fire protection to areas within the community that currently are not serviced.

    The project will improve water quality through new pre-filters and a filtration plant that utilizes ultraviolet treatment. In addition, a new micro-hydro unit will power the treatment plant. Surplus energy will be used to power the sewage treatment plant or will be sold through BC Hydro’s Net Metering program. Decentralized green power generation combined with water treatment is both innovative and more sustainable than conventional practices. The village will be immediately employing Delterra Engineering of Kelowna to implement the design plans and prepare tender documents. It is anticipated that work will commence in early spring of 2008.”

    Ontario government greens its paper purchases and usage

    The Ontario government is changing its paper usage: using paper products with the highest practical grade of recycled or post-consumer content and taking measures to reduce the amount of paper it uses by making double-sided copying the standard for in-house printers and copiers. According to the news release, it will “adopt the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standard for at least 30 percent of all virgin paper purchased for its offices, as well as other uses as appropriate. Virgin paper comes directly from a forest and not a recycled source. The FSC is a non-profit collaboration of Aboriginal Peoples, environmentalists, labour and industry, all working together to find and implement better ways of managing forests. The government will also move toward increasing the level of recycled content in printed materials to 50 percent by 2012 and will encourage its printers and suppliers to meet these standards. The government will also work with the printing industry to ensure that the printers it does business with are FSC-certified.

    Saskatchewan invests in improved roads

    Saskatchewan is investing $5 billion over the next decade in a strategy to improve and realign its transportation system. According to the news release “major construction projects include:

    Highway 1 - resurfacing 15 km from the Junction of Highway 19 to east of Herbert (eastbound lanes). This contract has been put up for tender to the roadbuilding industry, at an estimated cost of $3.1 million.

    Highway 1 - resurfacing 5 km west of Gull Lake (eastbound lanes), at a cost of $2 million. The contractor is HJR Construction Ltd. of Saskatoon.

    Highway 1 - resurfacing 18 km from the Alberta border east (eastbound lanes), valued at $6.6 million. The contractor is HJR Construction Ltd. of Saskatoon.

    Highway 4 - resurfacing 16 km from south of the Wymark Access to north of the Junction of Highway 363, at a cost of $2.9 million. The contractor is HJR Construction Ltd. of Saskatoon.

    Highway 13 - resurfacing 15.8 km from Kincaid east at a cost of $3.5 million. The contractor is HJR Construction Ltd. of Saskatoon.

    Highway 21 - upgrading 14 km north of Leader to a granular pavement from a thin membrane surface and widening the shoulders. The cost of the project is $3.4 million. The contractor is Carmacks Enterprises of Saskatoon.

    Highway 271 - the bridge on Highway 271 will be replaced at Maple Creek. Work will begin in early November and will be completed by early December by Highways and Transportation bridge crews, with an estimated cost of $350,000.

    Highway 379 - grading and surfacing from the Junction of Highway 4 east to Redfield, at a cost of $3.5 million. The contractor is HJR Construction Ltd. of Saskatoon.

    Water system funded for Montmarte, Saskatchewan

    The Village of Montmartre, Saskatchewan received $318,324 in combined federal and provincial funding through the Canada-Saskatchewan Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund (MRIF) “to make a number of needed upgrades to its water treatment system. The upgrades include a new backflow prevention, distribution pump, valves, controls and an automated solution feeder. The total project cost is $636,650. The new well and water plant upgrades will provide long-term superior and safe drinking water.”

    Ontario invests in energy innovation

    The Ontario government is investing $3 million in innovative projects designed to help make the auto, energy and telecom sectors in the province reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and petrochemicals and be more environmentally sustainable. According to the news release, the projects are:

    “The Ontario Fuel Cell Innovation Program will provide $1.63 million to four fuel cell projects. Fuel cells are battery-like devices that combine oxygen and hydrogen to generate electricity. Giving off only water and heat, fuel cell technology is the next generation of clean energy.
    The Innovation Demonstration Fund will invest $1.4 million on two projects focused on commercializing biomaterials with applications in the auto sector. By replacing materials made with petrochemicals with biomaterials based on natural sources, the process of manufacturing vehicles in Ontario will become more environmentally sustainable.”

    Halton and Oakville Hydro partner on landfill gas energy project

    According to the news release, this summer Halton Region and Oakville Hydro Energy Services Inc. (OHESI) reached “a major milestone in a joint green energy project to capture landfill gas and generate electricity. The Landfill Gas Collection and Utilization Project is a partnership between Halton Region and OHESI that is now generating as much as 2.1 megawatts of electricity, enough green power for up to approximately 1,500 homes.

    The project consists of two phases that build on one another. To achieve Phase 1, the collection of the landfill gas, Halton Region has installed over three kilometres of piping within the buried waste at the Halton Waste Management Site (HWMS) to allow the gas to flow, under vacuum, from the landfill’s interior to the site’s first-ever enclosed flaring system. The gas collection and flaring process reduces odour at the site, as combustion of the gas renders it virtually odourless.

    Phase 2 is a gas utilization system constructed and operated by OHESI to generate electricity from the landfill gas collected by Halton Region’s system. Preliminary construction activities for phase 2 started in early September 2006. OHESI’s landfill gas utilization facility is now generating and transmitting green energy to the power grid, derived directly from the Region’s landfill gas supply.

    By design, the landfill gas collection system can be expanded in the future to accommodate additional capture of methane-rich landfill gas as the remaining landfill space is filled up, building on the benefits of the current project. The potential to increase green energy generation will also grow with each future expansion of the landfill gas collection field, allowing continued responsible use of this renewable resource.” More information can be obtained by contacting Rob Rivers, Halton Region at 905-825-6000 ext. 7689 or José Menendez, Oakville Hydro at 905-825-4470.

    Industry associations help you access expert advice

    According to a news release, the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA), Institute of Communications and Advertising (ICA), Purchasing Management Association of Canada (PMAC) and Association of Quebec Advertising Agencies (AAPQ) are offering free access (with permission from the author) to download from their websites a research paper titled, Magic and Logic: Re-defining sustainable business practices for agencies, marketing and procurement.

    The paper was published in 2006 for British advertising practitioners by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) and The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS). Explanatory footnotes have been added to aid Canadian practitioners. In addition to identifying how client marketers, procurement officers and advertising agencies can work together to best advantage, “the paper also calls for changes to a number of accepted industry practices in the areas of agency and marketing management, financial transparency, measurement of effectiveness and remuneration.” See the websites: www.ACAweb.ca, www.ica-ad.com, www.pmac.ca and www.aapq.ca.

    Fredericton biodiesel test produces positive results

    In partnership with Eastern Greenway Oils and the University of New Brunswick Chemical Engineering Department, Fredericton, NB launched a pilot project in March 2007 to test whether adding a refined vegetable oil fuel conditioner to the diesel being burned in city buses would make any difference to their greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).

    Six Fredericton transit buses were part of the test. The University of New Brunswick did baseline testing of emissions measuring the levels of nitrogen oxide, carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide.

    Three of the buses were then given the fuel additive – a vegetable oil product from Eastern Greenway Oils known as 4 Plus Premium Bio Diesel Additive – each time they filled up over the three month period of the pilot project. In September 2007 the results were announced by the city. Adding a refined vegetable oil fuel resulted in a 65 percent reduction in carbon monoxide and 20 percent better fuel economy. A small improvement in combustion efficiency was also recorded along with the reduction of harmful emissions, better mileage and longer engine life with less maintenance by using the additive

    There are 27 buses in the city fleet, so if one were to extrapolate that and have the entire fleet use the additive, GHG emissions would be reduced by 2,220 kg per year and the additional fuel economy aspect could mean savings of 106 litres of diesel per year per bus. Eastern Greenway Oils manufactures the base product from canola and mustard crops, which are grown in rotation with potatoes. More information can be obtained by contacting Fredericton’s John White at (506) 460-2227.  

    Partners fund upgrades to rail line and Churchill port

    According to a news release in early October, “the governments of Canada and Manitoba are providing $48 million in total, cost shared 50-50. Hudson Bay Railway Company is committing $20 million for rail-line maintenance as part of a renewed 10-year agreement by its parent company OmniTRAX Canada, which operates both the rail line and the port.

    The $68-million private, public-sector investment includes:

    • $60 million in total to upgrade the Hudson Bay rail line to Churchill; and
    • up to $8 million, split 50-50 by the federal and provincial governments, to support the port via the Churchill Gateway Development Corporation.
  • The Ottawa Hospital Regional Cancer Centre project RFP has closed

    According to a news release, “the request for proposals (RFP) to build and finance the Ottawa Hospital Regional Cancer Centre’s redevelopment project was issued on May 25, 2007. The bid submissions will be evaluated over the next few months and a successful bidder is expected to be named in late 2007. Construction is scheduled to begin shortly thereafter.

    This redevelopment project will include renovations and expansion of the cancer centre at The Ottawa Hospital’s General Campus and the addition of a new satellite cancer centre at Queensway Carleton Hospital. Visit www.infrastructureontario.ca for more information.”

    Fredericton firm wins new water treatment plant contract

    According to a news release, “Springhill Construction Limited, of Fredericton, has been awarded a $4,058,400 tender to build the city’s new water treatment plant.

    The company was the lowest of five bidders on the project. The contract calls for Springhill to erect a 1,130 sq. metre, brick and stone building, designed by architects from ADI Ltd., of Fredericton, and install the equipment the plant will use to treat water for public consumption from three new wells recently drilled in the Queens Square area… Site preparation work has been under way for several months. City crews demolished and removed a building that was previously located on the site. Charmac Construction is currently in the final stages of a separate $316,069.50 contract awarded last August to finalize the site for construction of the building.

    The new plant is one of the largest single water and sewer construction projects undertaken by the city. The cost of the total project is expected to be $8.5 million and it is expected to be completed and in use by the end of 2008.”

    BC develops secure virtual ID card

    The Government of British Columbia has been working with its IT suppliers to design an identity system that will allow employees to better provide, and the general public to better access, government services. One of the products is the virtual card. In early 2008, the BC government is planning to launch a pilot for the use of virtual cards, identity cards or managed information cards. The card will help provincial employees access the various government agencies’ differently designed IT infrastructures, each of which would normally require a separate username and password. The virtual card resides on the user’s computer, cannot be copied and can only be used by the card owner and does not contain information about the user; instead it references third-party authentication authorities that validate the user’s credentials. When a user uses a virtual card, the credentials are validated and then sent to the application so it can render a service to the user, explained Vadim Lander, senior vice-president of CA Inc., based in Islandia, N.Y. Also, the government cannot track use of the card.

    Calgary contracts for “green” wind energy

    In early October, ENMAX opened its Taber Wind Farm. Under a 20-year contract, it will provide wind power for the city of Calgary, which sees wind power as key to its “initiative to supply 75 percent of its corporate electricity needs from green sources, and increasing to 90 percent by 2012. The new wind power contract with ENMAX also allows the city to meet its goals under its Minus 50 Program to reduce corporate greenhouse gas emissions to 50 percent of 1990 levels by 2012.” According to the news release, “the new Taber Wind Farm is the largest capital project ever undertaken by ENMAX, and Alberta’s largest wind operation. It cost nearly $140 million to complete, and includes 37 Enercon turbines with a capacity to generate 81 megawatts (MW) of power. That is enough energy to power approximately 32,000 homes. The Government of Canada will contribute about $19 million over the next 10 years towards production of electricity from the wind farm.”

    BC builds new cancer centre in Prince George

    In October 2007, the BC government announced that as part of the Northern Cancer Control Strategy “a new cancer centre in the interior of northern British Columbia will be attached to Prince George Regional Hospital (PGRH) and will include radiation therapy and the addition of a cancer lodge to support patients and their families with accommodations. The centre will be managed and operated by the BC Cancer Agency.”

    As part of the strategy there will also be:

    • “Increased training and support for northern physicians on cancer control, including access to BC Cancer Agency resources through outreach and telehealth services.
    • Greater focus on cancer screening services and early diagnosis across the North and enhancing the marketing of screening and availability of diagnostic services.
    • Patient-centred care where navigational supports are provided to ensure northerners receive timely care and the same quality of care.
    • Enhancements to the system of cancer care in the North by strengthening the network of care that extends from smaller communities to the largest centres through the family practice and community oncology networks.
    • Recruitment and training initiatives to attract and retain the required professionals in the North.
    • Enhanced cancer prevention initiatives, including public education on lifestyle changes to prevent the incidence of cancer, especially around reducing tobacco use.

    Development of the strategy will cost approximately $100 million, which includes the new centre, renovations to PGRH, radiation and diagnostic equipment and expansion of the oncology services throughout the north. The cost estimates are being reviewed by government and will be refined as detailed planning and design work is completed. A request for proposal for design is expected to be posted by 2009. Construction would be targeted to start in late 2010, with a completion goal of 2012.”

    Dawson Creek uses carbon pricing to assess new fleet purchases

    According to the news release, “the city of Dawson Creek will calculate a vehicle’s environmental cost when purchasing new vehicles to help meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets. Implemented in August 2006, the city’s green vehicle purchasing policy will now apply a carbon price of $15 per tonne of greenhouse gas (GHG) emitted by the vehicle over its life cycle. The costs of GHG emissions are then added to the purchase price of a new vehicle to account for the advantages that fuel efficient, low emission vehicles provide in reducing carbon emissions. …The trucks and SUVs that the city has considered purchasing emit between 4 and 8 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year. By accounting for the price of carbon and the expected cost of fuel at the time of purchase, the cost of inefficient vehicles are increased by upwards of $5,000 compared to efficient vehicles.

    Carbon pricing compliments the existing policy of “right sizing” vehicles to the most common use, of implementing the city’s anti-idling policy and the enforcement of high maintenance standards to reduce operating costs.

    The city is now looking to integrate the same carbon pricing practice into its green buildings policy currently under development.” More information can be obtained by contacting Emanuel Machado at 250-784-3661.

    Partners fund enhancement of Confederation Trail in PEI

    Public and private partners are contributing to a project to enhance a section of the Confederation Trail at Hunter River, PEI.

    The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) contributed $59,867 through its Innovative Communities Fund. Service Canada contributed $57,000 through the Canada- PEI Labour Market Development Agreement. The PEI Department of Development and Technology contributed $50,000 and the Municipality of Hunter River will contribute $18,000 toward this project. According to the news release, “the project will add a new pathway to the existing Confederation Trail to link to the core of the Hunter River business community. Lighting and benches will be placed along the trail routes. A park area will be developed along the trail, interpretive signs will be added and a gazebo will be built for hosting community events. The community will name this park after the late Dr. Kent Ellis, who served the people of Hunter River and the surrounding area for more than 40 years.”

    Calgary’s solar powered parking system heats up

    In mid July, Calgary began to implement a solar-powered parking meter system to replace its thousands of coin-operated meters. The city plans to remove all the traditional meters from the downtown core by the end of the year. The switch to the ParkPlus system is expected to cost about $6 million.

    Streets are split into zones and there are one or two machines per street. The new patented system accepts cash, credit-card or cellphone payments. Those paying by cellphone must create an account on the ParkPlus system website (www.parkplus.ca/web/guest/cpa_secure/login) and instructions on how to use your cellphone to pay are found there also.

    When using the new meters to pay for parking, you must punch in the zone, the vehicle licence plate and the time and method of payment you wish to use. You have the option of a printed receipt but you do not need to return to your vehicle to put a ticket on the dash.

    Three PEI community centres do energy efficiency upgrades

    Under the Canada-PEI Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund (MRIF), the federal, provincial and municipal governments each contributed one-third of the total funding of $265,000 for energy efficiency enhancements to the Alexandra Community Centre, the Northport Community Centre and the Fort Augustus Recreation Club in the PEI.

    According to the news release, “the Northport Community Centre renovations totaled more than $98,000 and included the installation of highlight windows to enhance natural lighting and take advantage of passive heat. More energy efficient toilets, faucets, ventilation and insulation were also installed, and upgrades were made to the plumbing, heating and cooling systems. …The Fort Augustus Recreation Centre project involved more than $104,000 to enhance the roof to meet current building code standards and improve energy efficiency. Upgrades to the parking lot have improved public safety and wheelchair accessibility. For more information, visit www.infrastructure.gc.ca or www.gov.pe.ca/go/infrastructure.”

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