Trudeau’s big budget: A $4 billion windfall for Canada’s energy sector
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s plan to provide $4.6 billion to help Canada’s big energy sector comes as the country is trying to contain global warming and a sharp increase in the cost of energy.
The announcement comes just days after Trudeau announced the opening of a national carbon tax.
The plan also comes as Alberta, the country’s largest province, is facing growing pressure to raise its greenhouse gas emissions targets in order to meet Canada’s 2020 pledge to reduce emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2050.
The Liberals say they want to see Canada “recharge the carbon tax” and invest $2.3 billion in new pipelines, hydroelectric dams and other projects that will help meet the government’s greenhouse gas reduction targets.
The federal government says it has approved nearly $8 billion in pipeline construction over the past two years and more than $2 billion in natural gas pipelines and other infrastructure.
In a statement, Trudeau said the federal government will invest $1.2 billion “to provide certainty for our energy sector and the environment in Canada.”
The plan would see the federal and provincial governments contribute $1 billion each to an energy efficiency fund to help offset the costs of carbon capture and storage, as well as $500 million to create a “Green Energy Innovation Fund” to help businesses build “green” technologies.
The $4,6 billion will help create 1,000 jobs and invest more than a billion dollars in infrastructure, including a $1-billion boost to the Alberta oil sands, Trudeau’s statement said.
“I want to ensure we continue to invest in the future of our economy and our jobs, which is why I’ve set out to bring in the most progressive and ambitious tax and spending reforms in Canada’s history,” Trudeau said.
The new federal government would spend $1,300 per family per year to subsidize carbon capture equipment, and another $1 per family would pay a carbon tax on the carbon that comes from burning coal.
The government also said it would boost investments in renewable energy, such as wind turbines and solar panels.
“The investments in our energy system will make it more affordable, more sustainable, and better for our communities and our economy,” Trudeau told reporters in Montreal.
“It will also help the economy by providing jobs and creating more jobs in our province.”
The federal Liberals say the new tax is a “new model” for the Canadian economy and will ensure Canadians “are not left behind as we tackle climate change.”
They also said they would increase the government funding for climate change research and development, which the Conservatives have said it needs.
The finance minister said the plan will create jobs and spur the development of the world’s largest carbon capture technology.
“This is an investment in Canada and it will be a job creator for Canadians, and that’s why I’m announcing today the creation of a $4-billion fund for clean energy innovation,” Trudeau’s release said.
He said the fund will help “to accelerate the development and deployment of advanced technologies to capture carbon pollution from power plants.”
Trudeau said in an interview with The Associated Press last week that he had asked the government to create the fund to support research and “to ensure that the United States is not left without this kind of innovation.”
The government has said that the $1 a family per annum levy will be gradually increased over the next two years.
In the first year of the carbon levy, the government would collect $200 million a year.
The next year, it would collect about $2 million.
Then the government planned to collect $5 million a month, up to $7 million a week, for the next four years.
By 2020, the carbon taxes would be up to a $10-billion (U.S.) a year revenue stream.
Trudeau’s new plan comes a day after Trudeau’s Conservative government proposed a new tax on carbon dioxide emissions that it said would raise $2 trillion over the coming decade.
The Conservatives say they will not raise the carbon emission tax.
Trudeau said Tuesday he wants to see the carbon capture industry developed and the technology developed to capture more CO2 and reduce the global warming emissions that are responsible for the warming of the planet.
The Liberal government has pledged to invest $500 billion in renewable infrastructure, a commitment that will generate $500-million per year in the first four years, and more, as the economy improves.
Trudeau also said the Liberals are committed to increasing “green jobs.”
“The Green Jobs Fund will help to create more green jobs, create more new green jobs and help to get more green technology out of our country,” Trudeau wrote in his statement.
“As we build on this plan, we will ensure that Canadians and the economy as a whole are protected and protected for future generations.”
The Liberals also announced that a new cabinet-level committee will review the climate and energy industry and the Canada-European Union trade deal, which Trudeau has said would help reduce emissions in Canada.
Trudeau wrote that the panel will review whether Canada can keep its climate