Monday, March 28, 2011

Budget falls short of “green” expectations, coalition says

The Green Budget Coalition (GBC), a group of 21 of Canada’s leading environmental and conservation groups, has released its response to last week’s federal budget.

The GBC had called for a national green homes retrofit program that would have cost $1.25 billion over five years. That amount would retrofit 15% of Canadian homes by 2015, including low income housing.

The coalition also called for the creation of green bonds to provide access to capital for efficiency upgrades. The goal was to create a $2.5 billion fund over a five year period.

Budget 2011 did include $400 million in 2011-12 for the existing ecoEnergy Retrofit homes program.

The GBC also asked for $10 million over two years to develop “an ambitious and coordinated plan to protect Canada’s ecosystems, wildlife and wilderness heritage.”

Ottawa pledged to spend $5.5 million over five years to establish a new national park in Labrador.

The coalition asked Ottawa to honour its G20 commitment and save $761 million a year by removing four tax preferences for the oil industry: Canadian Exploration Expense, Canadian Development Expense, flow through shares and tax depreciation rates for oil sands leases and building mines.

Ottawa said it would reduce the preferential deduction rates for intangible capital expenses in oil sands projects, to align them with the rates in the conventional oil and gas sector, phased in over five years.

The full text of the GBC’s recommendations is available here.

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