On Monday, March 19, 2007, Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty released a balanced federal budget containing several initiatives to address environmental protection. These initiatives include:
Infrastructure support: The federal government plans to provide $39 billion in additional funding over seven years, which will allows provinces and territories to better provide services and infrastructure including improving roads, bridges, rivers, oceans and the air.
Promoting Cleaner Transportation: Budget 2007 includes an additional $2 billion over seven years to support the production of renewable fuels. $1.5 billion will be used as an incentive to support the production of renewable biofuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel. $500 million will be allotted for Sustainable Development Technology Canada to invest with the private sector in establishing large-scale facilities for the production of next-generation renewable fuels. A vehicle efficiency incentive structure will be introduced that includes a new rebate of up to $2,000 for the purchase of a new fuel-efficient vehicle, and a Green Levy on new fuel-inefficient vehicles. Another $36 million over the next two years will be given to scrappage programs to retire older vehicles. The government will also extend the public transit tax credit to electronic fare cards and weekly passes used on an ongoing basis.
Cleaner Energy: Budget 2007 proposes to provide over $1.5 billion in the Canada ecoTrust for Clean Air and Climate Change to support major environmental projects with provinces and territories. It also commits to identifying additional measures to promote promising new clean energy technologies like carbon capture and storage. Plans will be underway to phase out the accelerated capital cost allowance for general investment in the oil sands by 2015.
Protecting the environment: The government plans to invest $22 million over two years to improve the enforcement of environmental protection laws, including a 50 percent increase in the number of enforcement officers. Over two years, $10 million will be allocated to conserve ecologically important lands in the Northwest Territories. $110 million will be for more effective implementation of the Species at Risk Act.
National Water Strategy: A new national water strategy will include $12 million over two years to support the clean-up of Lake Simcoe, Ontario, which has been affected by excessive amounts of phosphorus. Another $11 million over two years to accelerate the clean-up of the Great Lakes and $7 million for the Lake Winnipeg Basin, while $19 million to advance the health of the oceans and support greater water pollution prevention, surveillance and enforcement along Canadas coasts. Conservation and fisheries science research programs will receive $39 million. Over 10 years, $324 million will be given to the Canadian Coast Guard for six new large vessels to support its role in fisheries science and enforcement.