Canadian Consulting Engineer

Budget promises $5 billion for environmental technologies

The Finance Minister of Canada delivered the government's Budget 2005 in Ottawa this week.

February 25, 2005   Canadian Consulting Engineer

The Finance Minister of Canada delivered the government’s Budget 2005 in Ottawa this week.
He promised to eliminate the corporate surtax. He will also reduce the general corporate income tax rate from 20% to 19%. Capital cost allowance rates will be more closely aligned with the useful life of assets, he said.
Another item that may have an impact on engineers was his promise to spend $398 million over five years to ease the integration of newcomers to Canada. A high percentage of immigrants to Canada hope to find work in the engineering field.
There were also announcements that could filter down and materialize in “hard” construction, environmental and technology projects. While many of these funding announcements are of monies spread over several years, following are some highlights.

Sustainable Environment:
Over $5 billion over the next five years (including over $3 billion of new funding) on environmental initiatives and green technologies. These include:
 $1 billion for an innovative Clean Fund to further stimulate cost-effective action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Canada.
 $200 million over five years and a total of $920 million over 15 years to further stimulate the use of wind power to generate energy.
 $97 million over five years and a total of $886 million over 15 years to stimulate the development and use of forms of renewable energy other than wind, such as small hydro, biomass and landfill gas.
 An estimated $295 million in enhanced tax incentives through accelerated capital cost allowance (CCA) to encourage investment in efficient and renewable energy generation and establishing that new accelerated CCA will only be considered for investments in green technology.
 $300 million provided to enrich the Green Municipal Funds. Half will be targeted to the cleanup of brownfields.
 $85 million to fund strategic investments to minimize the risk of invasive alien animal and plant species damaging our environment and economy.
 $40 million to improve the ecological integrity of the Great Lakes ecosystem.
 $28 million over two years to preserve the health of Canada’s oceans.
 $209 million for the maintenance and acquisition of capital assets in national parks and $60 million to restore the ecological integrity of parks.

Cities and Communities:
 Will share $5 billion worth of gas tax revenue over the next five years:
 In 200506, the share of the federal gas tax dedicated to cities and communities will be $600 million.
 By 200910, the share will increase to $2 billion, representing 5 cents per litre.
 Renew federal infrastructure programs such as the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund and the Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund, which invest more than 50 per cent of funding toward sustainable infrastructure.
(The government tells us that the gas tax sharing, the GST rebate implemented in 2004 and the Green Municipal Funds will provide Canadian communities with $9 billion over the next five years.)

Defence and Security:
 $59 million to address the most pressing security needs at Canadian diplomatic missions abroad.
 $3.8 billion for capital and other projects to support new roles for the military identified in the upcoming defence policy review.
 $1.0 billion over five years in support of key national security initiatives.
First Nations
$340 million over the next five years for First Nations housing on reserves, Aboriginal languages and culture, and the Aboriginal Healing Foundation.

To see the full budget, visit www.fin.gc.ca


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