Federal finance minister Jim Flaherty delivered the 2011 budget today.

All three opposition parties have already stated that they will oppose the budget, so it is unlikely that any of these measures will be enacted. A May election now seems inevitable.

Some of the energy and environment highlights:

  • $870 million to extend the Clean Air Agenda, including $400 million to extend the EcoEnergy home retrofit program for one year; $252 million to support regulatory activity to address climate change and air quality; $86 million to support regulatory activity related to energy efficiency; $48 million for clean transportation initiatives; $58 million to improve the understanding of climate change impacts; and $25 million to support Canada's international negotiations on environmental issues
  • $97 million over two years to renew funding for technology and innovation in areas of clean energy and energy innovation  
  • $200 million over two years to extend a program to assess and manage harmful chemicals  
  • $365 million to cover losses at Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.  
  • Expanding the scope of power generation equipment eligible for accelerated (Class 43.2) depreciation to include equipment which recovers heat from industrial processes (estimated to cost $3 million over 2 years)  
  • A 12-month extension of the 15-per-cent Mineral Exploration Tax Credit, which had been scheduled to expire at the end of this month (estimated to cost $90 million)  
  • The removal by 2015 of the ability of oil sands businesses to accelerated the depreciation of lease acquisition and land clearing costs. By 2015, the depreciation rate will drop from 30% to 10%, in line with depreciation available to conventional producers.  
  • All federal projects with a life of longer than 20 years and costing more than $100 million would be subject to screening to determine if a public-private partnership would be an appropriate structure.

For further details, the entire budget is located here. The changes to Class 43.2 are discussed on page 77, the environmental highlights are on page 105, the mineral exploration tax credit is discussed on page 266, and the oil sands tax measures are discussed on page 288.