Government to invest in initiatives to make transportation cleaner

by Canadian Shipper

The Government of Canada will be investing more than $109 million in initiatives focussed on urban transportation, fuel-cell technology, increasing fuel efficiency and marketing low-emission vehicles.

David Collenette, Minister of Transport, David Anderson, Minister of the Environment, and, Ralph Goodale, Minister of Natural Resources, made the announcement at the 2nd annual Toronto Smog Summit.

Funding will come primarily under the $500-million Action Plan 2000 on Climate Change that the Government of Canada announced in October 2000. The Government is investing $1.1 billion for initiatives on climate change and clean air over the next five years.

When fully implemented, the Action Plan will lead to reductions in a number of air pollutants and is expected to take Canada about one-third of the way to the greenhouse gas reduction target that it set during the international Kyoto Protocol negotiations in 1997. These initiatives may also lead to reductions in a number of air pollutants.

“Transporting goods and services across Canada contributes to one-quarter of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. Our economy, however, depends on moving people and goods over great distances. By focussing on fuel efficiency and innovative vehicle and fuel technologies, we can reduce our emissions, while maintaining our productivity and enhancing our competitiveness,” says Minister of Natural Resources Ralph Goodale.

At the launch of the Summit, the Ministers and representatives of the Province of Ontario, the municipalities of Markham, Mississauga, Newmarket, Oshawa and Toronto, and the regions of Peel and York signed the Toronto 2001 Inter-governmental Declaration on Clean Air, which will see the $40-million Urban Transportation Showcase Program demonstrating ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, among other challenges.

Some $30-million has been allocated over five years to fund the development, integration and deployment of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) across Canada. These funds are provided under the Strategic Highway Infrastructure Program announced on April 3, 2001. ITS includes applications such as advanced systems for traveller information, traffic management, public transport, commercial vehicle operations, emergency response management and vehicle safety.

There will also be a $23-million investment in the Canadian Transportation Fuel Cell Alliance to investigate different fuelling options for fuel-cell vehicles; a $16-million Motor Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Initiative to improve new motor vehicle fuel efficiency in Canada through a voluntary agreement with the vehicle manufacturers and harmonized with the United States; and an agreement with the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association and the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada to market low-emissions vehicles starting this year.

Funding for these initiatives is built into the existing financial framework.

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