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Mount Mégantic: Minister Christian Paradis Announces a $250,000 Contribution


MÉGANTIC LAKE, QUEBEC - Minister Christian Paradis, Secretary of State (Agriculture), speaking on behalf of the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, today announced a contribution of $250,000 to the fight against light pollution being led by the ASTROLab in the national park of Mont-Mégantic in Quebec.

The Government of Canada congratulates ASTROLab and its partners for this undertaking and fully supports the campaign against light pollution,“ Minister Paradis said. Our contribution clearly shows the Government of Canada’s commitment to real change, so that Canadians can create the quality of life to which we all aspire.”

Since 2003, ASTROLab has been battling the light pollution that has been threatening visibility at the summit of Mount Mégantic and the continued viability of the activities at the observatory, Canada’s leading astronomy research centre. The campaign has significantly increased awareness of light pollution and has influenced municipal legislation in surrounding communities.

“Thanks to the involvement of the whole region and the contribution of Natural Resources Canada, the Mégantic region could become one of the first international sanctuaries for a universe of stars,” said the President of ASTROLab, Bernand Malenfant. “We are very proud of our project and thankful that Natural Resources Canada believes in this project, which is unique in the world.”

The campaign’s objective is to reduce light pollution at the summit of Mount Mégantic by 25 percent. To do this, ASTROLab will focus on the energy efficiency of exterior lighting, both public and private. Better use of existing and developing technologies will provide efficient lighting that does not needlessly spill light into the sky.

The campaign’s objective ties in perfectly with the ecoENERGY Initiatives of Canada’s New Government. One of the initiatives focuses on energy efficiency,“ Christian Paradis said. This innovative regional project will be a shining example of energy efficiency.”

-The ecoENERGY Initiatives announced by the Government of Canada in January consist of the following three focused measures.

-The ecoENERGY Technology Initiative - $230 million to accelerate the development of the next generation of technologies that will allow us to produce and consume energy more cleanly.
-The ecoENERGY Renewable Initiative - $1.5 billion to grow Canada’s clean energy industry, increasing production and lowering the price of all types of renewable energy.
-The ecoENERGY Efficiency Initiative - $340 million to help Canadians become more efficient consumers of energy in their homes, businesses and vehicles. The measure includes ecoENERGY Retrofit, a program that will provide energy-efficiency grants to homeowners, and small and medium organizations in the commercial, institutional and industrial sectors. ecoENERGY Retrofit began accepting applications April 1, 2007.


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