Trudeau government boosts funding for environment, immigration

Trudeau government boosts funding for environment, immigration
From CBC - April 17, 2018

Environment, immigration, trains and those who fight gender-based violence will be getting a lot more money in the year to come, according to detailed spending plans tabled by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government Monday.

A review of the main estimates for the coming year also shows that the government will be spending a lot less money on most of its regional economic development agencies.

A government's main estimates offera window into its priorities. For example, under the previous Conservative government, departments involved in defence or public safety often saw an increase in their budgets while other policy areaslike environmental protectionsaw their spending cut.

Overall, spending will be up seven per cent over last year's main estimates and 2.1 per cent over what the government actually spent last year.

The main estimates outline the base budget for each department or agency. Over the course of the year, that funding can be increased or decreased through supplementary estimates approved by Parliament.

Big spending bump for Environment

Some of the shifts in spending can be explained by programs and projects that have come to an end, or new projects promised in Finance Minister Bill Morneau's most recent budget. And then there are the one-off expensessuch as Library and Archives Canada's plan to spend $1.1 million to acquire former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper's archives.

Many, however, reflect the Liberal government's policy priorities.

The budget for Environment and Climate Change Canada, for example, will increase to $1.5 billion in the coming year. That's 53.5 per cent more than it was initially allocated last year and 23.1 per cent more than it ended up spending last year.

The biggest increase in that envelope will be $473 million for the Low Carbon Economy Fund, part of the government's strategy to reduce carbon emissions. The Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change gets $14.5 million, while there will be an extra $14.4 million for the Freshwater Action Plan and $13.8 million more for cleaning up contaminated federal government land.

The estimates say the money will allow the department to provide national leadership on climate change.

However, spending will drop by $12 million for the Species at Risk Act and spending on remediation ofcontaminated sediment at Randle Reef in Hamilton Harbour will decrease by $15.2 million.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship is getting a 43 per cent bump in spending over last year's main estimates, to $2.3 billion. That's 17 per cent more than it ended up spending last year.

Much of the increase $289.9 million is the result of the immigration levels the Trudeau government set for 2017 and its plan for 2018 "to facilitate the entry of top talent and to support family reunification and protection of refugees."

More cash for border security, new trains

Regional economic development losing funds


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