Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), in February 2007, the $1.5 billion clean air and climate change trust fund was established to support those provinces and territories that identify major projects that will result in real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants.
In response to (b), while the Government of Canada transferred the funding to provincial and territorial governments through the trust, it is provincial and territorial responsibility to report directly to their residents, to their legislative assemblies, and their auditors on how they spend public funds, including reporting on how they used funding through the clean air and climate change trust fund.
Two types of approaches are apparent. First, some provinces and territories are using trust fund resources to directly finance specific projects. For example, Nova Scotia used its funds to establish ecoNova Scotia to support projects to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollution. Through 69 funded projects and programs in 2009, the initiative is projected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 172 kilotonnes, Kt, a year. Alberta directed approximately $80 million of the fund towards 10 projects focusing on, among other goals, technology advancement and leveraging further investments. These projects are projected to provide three megatonnes, Mt, of reductions by 2015.
Yukon directed its funds towards the installation of a third hydro turbine at the Aishihik hydro electric plant in south western Yukon. The Aishihik third turbine will be operational by the end of 2010 and will produce 3.8 Kt of emission reductions annually. New Brunswick dedicated resources towards landfill gas recovery projects, with three of these projects using the captured methane gas for power generation. This will result in 165 Kt of GHG emission reductions.
Second, other provinces have used the trust fund to help finance their overall climate change strategies. For example, Trust Fund resources have been used in Ontario to help finance a broad range of initiatives under its climate change action plan, including improving access to energy efficient technologies, increasing use of renewable energy sources, deploying new technologies to abate emissions, and public transit. Ontario has also committed to eliminate coal-fired generation by the end of 2014.
In Quebec the trust fund has been used to provide additional funding for its suite of climate change measures under its 2006-2012 action plan on climate change. These resources have been added to Quebec's green fund, to supplement funds collected through the green fund duty.
In Saskatchewan the trust fund has been used to support a wide variety of provincial investments being pursued towards the reduction of GHG emissions. These investments include the establishment of the go green fund, which provides financial support for the development and deployment of clean energy technologies, energy efficiency initiatives, renewable energy and wind power projects, and carbon capture and storage projects.
The Government of Canada has made a number of joint announcements with provinces and territories regarding the planned expenditures under this Trust, and in many cases provinces have publicly acknowledged the use of Trust Fund resources in their budget and project announcements. Details on planned expenditures for each province and territory are listed on the following Web site: http://www.ecoaction.gc.ca/trust-fiducie-eng.cfm.
In response to (c), the beneficiaries of the clean air and climate change trust fund are each of the provinces and territories, and through them, their residents and municipalities. Provinces and territories have the flexibility to draw the funds over three years according to their respective schedule and priorities.
The trust fund is allocated on a per capita basis and provides a minimum of $15 million per province and $5 million per territory to support efforts to develop technology, improve energy efficiency, and undertake other projects that will result in significant environmental benefits.
In response to (d), see the response to (c). Each province and territory was allocated funding. (
In response to (e) and (f), while the Government of Canada provided funding to provincial and territorial governments through the trust, it is provincial and territorial governments themselves that are responsible for allocating the funds to specific programs. Provinces and territories are responsible for reporting directly to their residents, to their legislative assemblies, and their auditors on how they spend public funds, including reporting on how they used funding through the clean air and climate change trust fund. Provincial and territorial governments are not required to report to the federal government.