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Ottawa announces $3.16 billion to plant two billion trees over the next decade

Last Updated Dec 14, 2020 at 4:24 pm EDT

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The Canadian government says it will spend $3.16 billion over the next ten years to plant two billion trees across the country.

Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan made the funding announcement today at a tree nursery in St. John’s, saying the project will help Canada achieve its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised during the 2019 election campaign his government would plant two billion trees over a decade. 

The Liberals’ pledge is on top of the roughly 600 million trees that are already planted each year in Canada.

As of November 2020, the program hadn’t yet been funded and no trees had been planted.

O’Regan says the delay is the result of a complicated planning process as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that Ottawa gave small and medium-sized tree-planting businesses $30 million to help them through the health crisis. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 14, 2020.

The Canadian Press