This Week in Lloyd: Black Heritage, Climate Action, and Research Funding

Guelph MP Lloyd Longfield [usually works a ways from the Royal City, but he’s still working for the people in his riding. So what has he been up to lately? This is “This Week in Lloyd.”

Tribute to Guelph Black Heritage Society

Tuesday marked the beginning of Black History Month, and Longfield rose in the House to pay tribute to a major piece of Guelph’s Black History, the Guelph Black Heritage Society and their headquarters, Heritage Hall.

“This building continues to serve as the cultural, historical and social centre within Guelph and Wellington County, and is the headquarters of the Guelph Black Heritage Society, which continues to work toward a more equitable society,” Longfield said. “It is a rich resource empowering Black Canadians and educating all around on anti-racism and discrimination while promoting cultural diversity, giving a leg up to Black entrepreneurs, running mental health workshops and bringing important lived experiences to our community.

“The Government of Canada is proud to support the Guelph Black Heritage Society in my riding, and I look forward to joining it for events in Guelph celebrating Guelph Black Heritage Month,” he added.

Government of Canada Looking to Fund Projects Fighting Climate Change

Longfield’s office sent out a media release this week to remind everyone that applications for several funding streams meant to take action to fight climate change are now open. Those streams include:

  • The Zero Emission Transit Fund, which covers funding for planning capital costs that shift public transit systems to cleaner electrical power like the purchase of zero emission buses.
  • The Active Transportation Fund, which is for capital projects that build or expand pathways, bike lanes, trails and pedestrian bridges.
  • The Rural Transit Solutions Fund, which is for of transit solutions in rural, remote and Indigenous communities.

The deadline for all three of these funding streams is March 25.

“I look forward to advocating for support and helping to coordinate local initiatives with federal programs and joint federal and municipal goals to turn the tide on the climate crisis we are facing together,” Longfield said in a statement.

More Support for University of Guelph Research

Last week, Longfield revealed $24 million in new Federal support for important research at the University of Guelph. It’s part of $550 million in funding being made to Canadian researchers from something called the New Frontiers in Research Fund, which are aimed at “large-scale, interdisciplinary research projects with the potential to realize lasting change.” The U of G funding will go to a project called for BIOSCAN:Tracing the Patterns of Life on a Changing Planet, which is being led by Dr. Paul Hebert.

“This federal support further strengthens the University of Guelph’s leading role in understanding and protecting life on Earth. This funding will indeed be transformational, enabling U of G researchers and their collaborators worldwide to preserve biodiversity and improve human, animal and ecosystem health around the planet,” said -Dr. Malcolm Campbell, vice-president (research).

The funding will further Dr. Herbert’s efforts to create a complete genetic reference library of all multi-cellular organisms on Earth through DNA barcoding; 10 million specimens in all will be catalogued by 2028. This information will be used to assess the human impact on climate change, invasive species, habitat disturbance and resource use.

“The Government of Canada is proud to support this next phase of biodiversity research at the University of Guelph, as Guelph leads the way in global understanding of biodiversity loss, as well as interactions between species,” Longfield said in a statement. “BIOSCAN will help us to understand how to protect all species from existential threats such as pandemics, building on Guelph’s One Health approach to improving life.”

The funding announcement also included $1.9 million for two new Canadian research chairs out of the U of G: Dr. Carla Rice will hold the Chair in Feminist Studies and Social Practice and Dr. Jesse Popp will hold the Chair in Indigenous Environmental Stewardship.

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