Canadian government unveils green budget

Ottawa — that’s where the Canadian federal government lives, people — unveiled a budget yesterday with some $2.4 billion in new environmental spending. At the center of the eco-money is an $805 million Clean Fund that will dole out cash for private-sector projects that reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, as well as municipal or private initiatives that produce emissions credits under the Kyoto Protocol. There are also tax incentives for private home retrofitting and renewable-energy generation, along with a host of other green incentives, regulations, and infrastructure investments. Ottawa also says it is considering a program of “feebates,” whereby purchasers of gas-guzzling vehicles would pay a fee and buyers of fuel-efficient cars would receive rebates — a revenue-neutral program that could spur the sale of more eco-friendly autos. Said Mark Rudolph of the Clean Air Renewable Energy Coalition, “This budget is so green it should have been announced on St. Patrick’s Day.” Nice, eh?