QUISPAMSIS (CNB) - The Town of Quispamsis is receiving $2.3 million under the Green Municipal Fund (GMF) to help make the QPlex Wellness and Conference Centre more energy-efficient.

The announcement was made today by Local Government Minister Bernard LeBlanc; Fundy Royal MP Rob Moore; Quispamsis Mayor Murray Driscoll; and Jean Perrault, president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).

"Today's investments will help Quispamsis proceed with an important green infrastructure project and help us work toward our goal of self-sufficiency," said LeBlanc. "By collaborating with organizations such as the FCM, we are assisting New Brunswick municipalities become more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable."

The GMF is an endowment financed by the Government of Canada and managed by the FCM. The GMF supports partnerships by the public and private sector to fund projects that improve air, water, and soil quality; and that provide climate protection.

"The federal government is assisting municipalities across the country in achieving their goal of a cleaner and healthier environment for Canadians through the GMF," said Moore. "Today's announcement is another example of how the Government of Canada, in partnership with the FCM, is helping Quispamsis build a greener future for its residents."

Following an agreement between the Government of New Brunswick and FCM in December 2008, those New Brunswick municipalities that could only obtain grants under the GMF now have access to low-interest loans through the New Brunswick Municipal Finance Corporation.

"This LEED Gold arena, conference centre and pool complex is the largest and most sustainable project that Quispamsis has undertaken," said Driscoll. "We are most appreciative of the GMF's low-interest loan and grant that will help make this project a reality."

The town expects to meet LEED Gold guidelines for the project, based on an initial forecast energy savings of 61.3 per cent relative to a similar building reference under the model national energy code for buildings. All planning has considered how to save energy and minimize effects on the surrounding landscape.

"The GMF is an excellent way for all municipalities in New Brunswick to obtain access low-interest loans and grants that will help them invest in their local sustainable infrastructure projects," said Perrault, mayor of Sherbrooke, Que. "We are pleased that, by working closely with the Government of New Brunswick and the province's municipal associations, we now have an agreement in place that guarantees all New Brunswick municipalities enjoy full access to GMF for projects such as the one we are announcing today."