Elizabeth May: Can the Emissions Reduction Fund be fixed?

Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
2021-11-25 15:15

Mr. Speaker, COP26 has ended, not with a bang but with a disappointing whimper, and 1.5°C might still be alive, but we must all do more globally. That means that, in Canada, the plans that have already been put in place have to be believable, they have to deliver results.

Today’s report from the Commissioner for Environment and Sustainable Development that Canada has 30 years of failure on climate focused on this new program, “emissions reduction fund”, which, after spending $70 million, the Auditor General is unable to find whether a single tonne of carbon was reduced.

Can the hon. minister update us on how this program can be fixed?

Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson (North Vancouver)
2021-11-25 15:16

Mr. Speaker, we certainly welcome the report by the commissioner, and my officials are presently reviewing its recommendations. While we agree with a number of the commissioner’s observations with regard to ongoing programming, one must remember that this particular program was a temporary COVID response measure and was intended to do two things: sustain jobs for workers and communities at a time of record low energy prices and ensure continued action on methane pollution at a time of economic crisis. This program has succeeded in those two elements, but we are now beyond the worst of COVID, and the oil and gas sector has certainly improved in terms of economic prospects. We have now commenced a review of the future of this program and the remaining funding.