Canada's new government announces ecoTrust funding for Northwest Territories



    YELLOWKNIFE, March 11 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable John Baird, Canada's
Minister of the Environment, joined by Northwest Territories Premier
Joseph Handley, today announced that Canada's New Government intends to
provide the Government of the Northwest Territories with $5 million as part of
the new Canada ecoTrust, which supports provincial and territorial projects
that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, smog and air pollution. The
NWT may also use these funds to adapt to a changing climate.
    "Canada's New Government is working with all governments to protect
environment for Canadians and reduce air pollution," said Minister Baird.
"Today's announcement recognizes the important initiatives of the Northwest
Territories to deliver measurable progress that benefits all Canadians."
    "Our experience tells us the North is being impacted by climate change
much more quickly than other parts of Canada. NWT residents are prepared to
take a leadership role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions," Premier Handley
said. "We are very pleased to join forces with Canada to take action to
address this critical issue. It will take a concerted effort by all Canadians
to make the changes needed - but we can do it by working together".
    Northwest Territories' funding under the Canada ecoTrust is intended to
support projects relating to energy conservation and efficiency, alternative
and emerging technologies as well as development of hydro-electric resources.
The Government of the Northwest Territories has indicated it will use Canada
ecoTrust funding to move forward on several territorial projects which may
include:
    
    - Development of hydro resources including mini-hydro-electric plants to
      service the small isolated communities of Whati and Lutselk'e;
    - Energy conservation activities to reduce household consumption of
      fossil fuels;
    - An Energy Efficiency Financing Program that supports residents in
      making energy-saving investments in their homes, appliances and
      vehicles;
    - Establishment of alternative energy projects utilizing wind and heat
      pumps; and
    - Utilization of residual heating systems and surplus hydro capacity to
      heat public buildings.
    
    The Canada ecoTrust for Clean Air and Climate Change will be designed to
allow each province and territory to develop technology, energy efficiency,
and other projects that will provide real results. The Government of Canada
will work with all provinces and territories to fully develop this new,
national fund.
    Canada's New Government is already taking concrete action to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution by committing to implement
aggressive regulations to reduce emissions in all industrial sectors and bring
in new initiatives in the energy and transportation sectors. Northwest
Territories' ongoing and new initiatives, supported by the Canada ecoTrust,
will complement those efforts.
    The Canada ecoTrust will be established using part of the anticipated
2006-07 budgetary surplus. Resources for the Canada ecoTrust initiative will
consist of $1.5 billion of new funding on a national basis. This funding will
be contained in the upcoming budget and is a part of the actions being taken
on the fiscal imbalance. This new funding will be available as soon as
Parliament approves the budget.

    (Egalement offert en français)




For further information:

For further information: Eric Richer, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of the Environment, (613) 286-6064; Environment Canada, Media
Relations, (819) 934-8008, 1-888-908-8008; Julia Mott, Cabinet Communications,
Office of the Premier Government of the Northwest Territories, (867) 669-2304

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