Canada's New Government announces ecoTrust funding for Manitoba

    Manitoba's investment to deliver real results to fight climate change

    WINNIPEG, March 3 /CNW/ - The Honourable John Baird, Canada's Minister of
the Environment, joined by Manitoba Premier Gary Doer today announced that
Canada's New Government intends to provide Manitoba with $53.8 million as part
of the new Canada ecoTrust to support provincial projects that will help
reduce greenhouse gas emissions smog and air pollution.
    "Canada's New Government is making these investments to help improve the
environment for Canadians by reducing greenhouse gases and air pollution,"
said Minister Baird. "Today's announcement recognizes Manitoba's leadership in
this area, and provides support for measurable progress that benefits all
    "We are pleased the federal government is here today, joining forces with
us in dealing with climate change," Doer said. "BusinessWeek Magazine has
recognized Manitoba as having the best regional climate change action plan in
the world and we are number one in Canada on energy efficiency. By adding a
strong federal partner, we will be able to accelerate our plans to continue
building Manitoba's renewable energy portfolio while conserving energy."
    Manitoba's funding under the Canada ecoTrust is intended to support
projects consistent with Manitoba's climate change action plan. When combined
with existing and new provincial initiatives, this funding will help Manitoba
reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 2 megatons. The government of Manitoba
has indicated that it will use Canada ecoTrust funding to move forward on
several provincial projects, which may include:

    -  expanding Manitoba's low-income energy efficiency program into
    additional communities, adding to the 300 megawatts saved to date
    through conservation efforts;

    -  supporting the creation of new biodiesel plants in rural Manitoba;

    -  increasing Manitoba's portfolio of renewable energy to include solar
    power and bio-gas; and,

    -  dedicating part of the fund to Manitoba's portion of an east-west
    Power Grid.

    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. Manitoba's
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

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