Conservation Council welcomes $1B investment in energy efficiency, long-awaited incentives for electric vehicles, and support for coal workers in N.B.

FREDERICTON — The Conservation Council is pleased to see investments in Budget 2019 to make homes more comfortable, affordable and energy efficient, encourage the spread of cleaner vehicles across Canada, and help coal workers in northern New Brunswick prepare for the 2030 phase out of coal-fired electricity.

Budget 2019 acts on the recommendations of the Just Transition Task Force by committing $150 million in infrastructure funding to support economic diversification projects in communities affected by the planned phase out of coal-fired electricity, such as Belledune in northern New Brunswick. As co-chair of the task force, the Conservation Council’s Lois Corbett is pleased to see dedicated funding to help communities like Belledune take advantage of new economic opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

The budget includes investments to lower Canada’s carbon footprint on roads and highways by making electric vehicles more affordable and accessible. To do this, Budget 2019:

  • Provides $300 million for the creation of a new federal purchase incentive of up to $5,000 for electric battery or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles
  • Provides $130 million to expand the network of electric vehicle charging stations in rural areas, at workplaces, public parking spots, and commercial and apartment buildings.
  • Provides $5 million for Transport Canada to work with auto manufacturers in Canada to ensure EV supply meets the growing demand for zero-emission vehicles

The budget also brings significant investment of $1.01 billion to help homeowners, businesses and municipalities save money and create less carbon pollution through energy efficiency initiatives. Through this funding, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities will work with cities to cut energy waste by dedicating:

  • $300 million to provide financing to support home energy efficiency retrofits. Homeowners could qualify for assistance in replacing furnaces and installing renewable energy technologies.
  • $300 million to provide financing and support to affordable housing developments to improve energy efficiency in new and existing housing.
  • $350 million to provide municipalities and non-profit community organizations with financing and grants to retrofit and improve the energy efficiency of large community buildings as well as community pilot and demonstration projects in municipalities.

Another smart move in Budget 2019 is the introduction of a food policy for Canada supported by an investment of $134.4 million over five years. The funding will help Canadians access healthy, local food, reduce food waste, and support food production in northern and Indigenous communities.

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For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Jon MacNeill, Communications Director, Conservation Council; jon.macneill@conservationcouncil.ca; 506-238-3539

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