Times Colonist, Mar 11, 2007, A2
by: Ian Bailey, CanWest News Service
VANCOUVER — Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government will inject tens of millions of dollars into B.C.’s bid to cut greenhouse gases next week during a visit to Vancouver.
On Tuesday, Harper is to disclose B.C.’s share of the federal government’s $1.5-billion EcoTrust Fund during an appearance with Premier Gordon Campbell, sources say.
The prime minister’s visit continues a cross-country series of spending announcements made by Harper during Parliament’s March break.
B.C.’s share of the EcoTrust for Clean Air and Climate Change fund was not immediately clear, though each province’s share is based on population.
A spokesperson for the federal environment department said yesterday that Harper would clarify things on Tuesday.
The prime minister first announced the creation of the fund last month, initially ceding $350 million to Quebec, and has followed that up with $586 million to Ontario.
The green announcement comes as Premier Gordon Campbell’s Liberal government has recently announced a drive to cut the province’s greenhouse-gas emissions by a third by 2020.
The premier is to lead a climate action team that is to figure out exactly how to reach that goal though some measures have been announced in the province’s new energy plan.
Earlier this week, Harper announced $1 billion in new money for Canadian farmers, and $1.5 billion for Toronto-area public-transit projects that includes Ontario’s share of the EcoTrust funds.
But all of the EcoTrust money, including B.C.’s share, hinges on passage of the next federal budget, which is to be released on March. 19, placing pressure on the opposition parties to support it.
Harper has said that money from the fund will be distributed to provinces and territories to co-fund major projects to promote clean energy, and combat climate change, air pollution and greenhouse gases.