Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty reintroduced the Harper government's 2011 budget on Monday. The budget is virtually idential to the budget which was originally introduced in March, and which led to the defeat of the Harper government and the subsequent election. We wrote about the March budget here.
With respect to energy and environment, the budget is virtually unchanged from the March 22nd budget. The highlights in those areas were:
- $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)
- An extension of the 15-per-cent Mineral Exploration Tax Credit, to March 31, 2012
- 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.
The full text of the budget can be found here. As this budget is so similar to the last budget, provisions in this budget which are new have been printed in blue.