Tamara Vrooman has advised the government to support deep retrofits via the Canada Infrastructure Bank

New CIB chair is supporter of deep retrofits

Friday, January 29, 2021

The newly appointed chair of the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) arrives with a record of supporting deep retrofits. Tamara Vrooman, current president of the Vancouver International Airport, brings leadership experience in the private and public sectors to the mantle of the crown corporation’s 11-member board of directors.

CIB has a mandate to invest $35 billion in complex and innovative infrastructure, while partnering with private and institutional investors to further leverage government funds and stimulate economic growth. Most recently, it has been tasked with rollout of the three-year, $10-billion Growth Plan, which includes $2 billion for large-scale building retrofits.

“Tamara is an excellent choice for chair of the Canada Infrastructure Bank. She brings a strong financial and infrastructure background, and important leadership skills to the role,” says Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “Tamara clearly understands the critical role of infrastructure in building our country, growing our economy, creating jobs and attracting investment and tackling climate change.”

She is the former president and chief executive officer of Vancity, Canada’s largest community credit unit, and has previously served as the British Columbia’s deputy minister of finance. In 2019, as co-chair of the federal government’s Advisory Council on Climate Action, she submitted recommendations that perhaps foreshadow her new role.

The advisory council’s final report called on the federal government to “accelerate the pace of deep retrofits” in its own assets and to develop standardized and widely available tools for measuring expected and actual performance of retrofits. “The Canada Infrastructure Bank should be operationalized with expertise to disseminate these best practices, and to build and aggregate pipelines of local retrofit projects,” it states.

Vrooman replaces Michael Sabia as CIB chair following his recent appointment as Canada’s deputy minister of finance.

“Because of my background in both the public and private sectors, I believe I can be useful in bridging between the two to help the CIB develop and finance public interest projects of national importance,” Vrooman observes. “We have a vitally important job to do in fostering economic growth in Canada at an especially critical time.”

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