Public Release: 

Government of Canada supports campaign against light pollution by ASTROLab of Mount Mégantic

Natural Resources Canada

This release is also available in French.

LAC-MÉGANTIC, QUEBEC -- Parliamentary Secretary Jacques Gourde, speaking on behalf of the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, applauds the efforts of ASTROLab to fight light pollution on the summit of Mount Mégantic.

Attending the launch of the third phase of the project, which proposes converting public and private lighting in the Mount Mégantic region, the Parliamentary Secretary reiterated the Government of Canada's support for the project.

"By taking steps needed to achieve your goal, you are ensuring the future activities of Canada's foremost astronomy research centre," said Mr. Gourde. "You are also making a significant contribution to energy efficiency in the region. That's why the Government of Canada is supporting your project with its contribution of $250,000."

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. 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 goals of the ASTROLab campaign dovetail perfectly with the ecoENERGY Initatives and with our intention to develop national standards for lighting efficiency," Mr. Gourde said.

The ecoENERGY Initiatives consist of three focused measures totalling more than two billion dollars:

  • The ecoENERGY Technology Initiative 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 to grow Canada's clean energy industry, increasing production and lowering the price of all types of renewable energy.

  • The ecoENERGY Efficiency Initiative to help Canadians become more efficient consumers of energy in their homes, businesses and vehicles.

Announced in April by Minister Lunn, the development of national standards for efficient lighting is another example of concrete and responsible action of the Government of Canada to protect the environment and the health of Canadians. The new standards are expected to come into force by 2012 and will make Canada the second country in the world to have progressively eliminated inefficient incandescent light bulbs in everyday lighting uses.

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For more information on ecoENERGY Initiatives and other initiatives of the Government of Canada, please visit www.ecoenergy.gc.ca.

For more information on ASTROLab and its campaign against light pollution, please visit www.ASTROLab-parc-national-mont-Mégantic.org/index_en.html.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

The Government of Canada congratulates ASTROLab for its campaign against light pollution in the Mount Mégantic region, declared Jacques Gourde, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources. Mr.Gourde also confirmed that a contribution of $250,000 from Natural Resources Canada. ASTROLab, an astronomy activity centre, is leading the fight to reduce the light pollution at the summit of Mount Mégantic by 25 percent and to improve energy efficiency in the region.

For more information, media may contact:

Kathleen Olson
Acting Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
613-996-2007

And the general public may contact:

Mon-Fri, 8:30-4:30 EDT
Telephone: 613-995-0947
TTY: 613-996-4397
(teletype for the hearing- impaired)
E-mail: questions@nrcan.gc.ca

NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media.

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