The federal Budget plan mentions “environment” 74 times, but very few of those references relate to climate change, contamination, air, soil or water. The “environment” that the Budget focuses on is the economic one, such as:
“an environment in which businesses can grow and succeed”
“Canada’s business environment”
“branding Canada as a premier destination for business investment”
“secure the low-tax environment”
“an environment in which companies can plan ahead, positioning themselves to compete for defence contracts”.
The budget also allows pipelines to deduct monies they put aside for future cleanup costs, in a “qualified environmental trust”.
The page that does deal with the natural environment promises:
Investing almost $870 million over two years for Canada’s Clean Air Agenda, including
$252 million to support regulatory activities to address climate change and air quality.
$86 million to support clean energy regulatory actions, focusing on energy efficiency.
$48 million to develop transportation sector regulations and next-generation clean transportation initiatives.
$58millionforprojectstoimproveourunderstanding of climate change impacts.
$25 million to advance Canada’s engagement in international negotiations and support the Canada-United States Clean Energy Dialogue.
$400 million in 2011–12 for the ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes program to help homeowners make their homes more energy efficient and reduce the burden of high energy costs. Further details regarding this program will be announced in the near future.
Providing $5.5 million over five years to Parks Canada to establish the Mealy Mountains National Park in Labrador.
Continuing action to systematically assess, remediate and monitor federal contaminated sites.
Renewing the Chemicals Management Plan with almost $200 million over two years to assess and manage the risk of harmful chemicals.
Providing Environment Canada with $27 million over two years to improve Canada’s weather services.
Reserves will also get some much needed money to repair their fuel tanks, which often leak, contaminating drinking water.
On the other hand, we have heard that cuts are planned to other parts of Environment Canada’s budget, paralleling the major cuts proposed for the US Environmental Protection Agency.The text of the budget does not explain where these cuts will be made. There is nothing for renewable energy. And environmental NGOs could also be affected by the tightened rules on donations to charities.