No budget yet for Liberals' promise to plant two billion trees by 2030
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's massive tree-planting promise from the 2019 election has yet to be allocated a single dime.
Trudeau pledged a year ago that the government would plant two billion more trees by 2030, or about 200 million extra trees per year. It was to be part of a $3-billion, decade-long effort to manage, conserve and restore forests, grasslands and wetlands, starting with $300 million in 2020-21.
It was clear last month that no trees had been planted this year, a failure Natural Resources Minister Seamus O'Regan's staff chalked up to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now it has become clear the program was never given any money.
``We are awaiting a budget decision,'' said Beth MacNeil, assistant deputy minister of the Canadian Forest Service, before the House of Commons' natural-resources committee on Oct. 30.
``But in the meantime we do continue, myself and my team, since late last fall to engage with potential partners.''
Alberta Conservative MP Rachael Harder said called the lack of a budget for tree planting ``shameful.''