Budget 2022 –Analysis by Ron McKinnon, MP - What is in Budget 2022 for Nature?
April 22, 2022
What is in Budget 2022 for Nature and the Environment?
Protecting BC’s Old-Growth Forests
British Columbia’s iconic old-growth forests have deep-rooted cultural significance to indigenous communities and are essential to all British Columbians. They are also critical habitats for dozens of species at risk and migratory birds and are critical natural stores of carbon.
- To conserve and protect these forests, Budget 2022 proposes to provide $55.1 million over three years, starting in 2022-23, to Environment and Climate Change Canada and Natural Resources Canada. The department will establish an Old Growth Nature Fund in collaboration with the Province of British Columbia, non-governmental organizations, and Indigenous and local communities. This funding will be conditional on the Government of British Columbia making a matching investment.
Fighting and Managing Wildfires
Last summer, Canadians again saw the devastating and tragic impact of wildfires in British Columbia. Communities like Lytton saw homes and businesses lost to fire. People across the country spent days under a haze of smoke. Canada is experiencing more frequent and more extreme wildfires, and this trend will continue as the climate changes. Wildfire risk is severe for remote and Indigenous communities, and fires have high economic and environmental costs.
- Budget 2022 proposes additional action to counter the growing threat of wildfires in Canada, including by providing support to provinces, territories, and Indigenous communities for wildfire mitigation, response, and monitoring through the following:
- $269 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, to Natural Resources Canada as exceptional support to help provinces and territories procure firefighting equipment such as vehicles and aircraft;
- $39.2 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, to Indigenous Services Canada to support the purchase of firefighting equipment by First Nations communities;
- $37.9 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, with $0.6 million ongoing, to Natural Resources Canada to train 1,000 additional firefighters and incorporate Indigenous traditional knowledge in fire management; and,
- $169.9 million over 11 years, starting in 2022-23, with $6.9 million in remaining amortization, to the Canadian Space Agency, Natural Resources Canada, and Environment and Climate Change Canada to deliver and operate a new wildfire monitoring satellite system.
Renewing and Expanding the Oceans Protection Plan
In 2016, the government announced the Oceans Protection Plan to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways and enable their safe and responsible commercial use. Under the Plan, the government has improved monitoring of marine traffic across Canada and restored the health of over 60 aquatic habitats nationally. Today, marine traffic continues to increase in supporting Canada’s growing economy. As a result, the federal government takes additional steps to strengthen marine safety, protect marine ecosystems, and create stronger partnerships with Indigenous and coastal communities.
- Budget 2022 proposes to provide an additional $2.0 billion over nine years, starting in 2022-23, with $78.7 million in remaining amortization, and $136.4 million per year ongoing, to renew and expand the Oceans Protection Plan. That builds on continued funding announced in 2016 and will result in an overall increase in federal funding for oceans protection over the next five years.
- Budget 2022 also announces the government’s intention to propose amendments to the Canada Shipping Act and other acts, including enabling the proactive management of marine emergencies and covering more types of pollution.
Protecting Our Freshwater
Canada holds 20 percent of the world’s fresh water supply. Protecting our freshwater is critically important to Canadians, our environment, and our economy. In 2019, the government committed to establishing a federal Canada Water Agency to work with provinces, territories, Indigenous communities, and other stakeholders to find the best ways to keep Canada’s water safe, clean, and well-managed.
- Budget 2022 proposes to provide $43.5 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, and $8.7 million ongoing to Environment and Climate Change Canada to create a new Canada Water Agency, which will be stood-up in 2022. The headquarters of the new Agency will be located outside of the National Capital Region.
- Budget 2022 proposes to provide $19.6 million in 2022-23 to Environment and Climate Change Canada to sustain the Freshwater Action Plan. The future of this initiative will be communicated at a later date. This funding will support clean-up efforts in the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River, Lake Winnipeg, Lake of the Woods, the Fraser River, the Saint John River, the Mackenzie River, and Lake Simcoe.
- Budget 2022 proposes to provide $25.0 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, to Environment and Climate Change Canada to support the Experimental Lakes Area.
- Budget 2022 proposes to provide $44.9 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, and $9.0 million ongoing to Fisheries and Oceans Canada to support the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. This funding will help coordinate Canada-U.S. invasive sea lamprey control activities, manage fisheries, and conduct scientific research in the Great Lakes.
Taking More Action to Eliminate Plastic Waste
The federal government is working with all levels of government, industry, and other stakeholders to take action on plastic waste and pollution and work towards zero plastic waste by 2030. A significant step towards this goal is the government’s intent to enact regulations prohibiting certain single-use plastics in 2022.
Under Canada’s G7 presidency in 2018, Canada championed the development of the Ocean Plastics Charter and worked with provincial and territorial governments to develop a Canada-wide Strategy on Zero Plastic Waste.
- Budget 2022 proposes to provide $183.1 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, to Environment and Climate Change Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Health Canada, Transport Canada, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, Statistics Canada, and the National Research Council. This investment will reduce plastic waste and increase plastic circularity by developing and implementing regulatory measures and conducting scientific research to inform policy-making. This funding will also help better understand the effects of microplastics on human health, monitor plastic contaminants in the North, inform ship plastic waste management, and monitor plastic pollution in water systems.
- Budget 2022 also proposes to provide $10 million in 2022-23 to Fisheries and Oceans Canada to renew the Ghost Gear Fund for one year to continue to assist projects that retrieve ghost gear, dispose of fishing-related plastic waste, test new fishing technology, and support international efforts to remove ghost gear from our oceans.
To read the Budget 2022 speech or to review the budget documents, please visit: https://budget.gc.ca/