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Transportation & Fuel Source Technology

Canada's New Government Helps Canadians Choose More Eco-Friendly Vehicles

The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and the Honourable John Baird, Minister of the Environment, announced today at the Toronto Auto Show that two new programs will help Canadians choose more eco-friendly vehicles. As part of its ecoTransport Strategy, Canada's New Government will commit up to $36 million in funding for new programs aimed at raising awareness, increasing availability of more environmentally friendly cars and trucks, and encouraging Canadians to make informed choices when purchasing a vehicle.

With up to $15 million in funding, the ecoTechnology for Vehicles Program will involve purchasing and testing a range of advanced technologies - including hydrogen, advanced electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles - and showcasing them at public events across Canada.

"Road vehicles are a major contributor to domestic air pollution and the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada," said Minister Cannon. "The goal of the ecoTechnology for Vehicles Program is to test the effectiveness and safety of advanced environmental technologies for vehicles, share our results with Canadians and help them make informed decisions about the cars they buy."

Minister Cannon, on behalf the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, also announced $21 million for ecoENERGY for Personal Vehicles. This program will provide fuel consumption information and decision-making tools such as vehicle labels, guides and interactive websites, to encourage consumers to purchase fuel-efficient vehicles that are currently available in the market.

Through these programs, Canada's New Government will work with the auto industry to make new vehicles more fuel-efficient. Together, these programs will play an important role in helping the auto industry to achieve the 5.3 megatonne reduction target for greenhouse gas emissions from light duty vehicles in Canada. The industry has agreed to pursue this target under a voluntary agreement with the government between now and 2010, following which new fuel consumption regulations will come into effect for the 2011 model year.

"Canada's New Government is taking action to deliver real reductions in air pollutants, greenhouse gas emissions and harmful substances in our communities," said Minister Baird. "The two programs launched today will help Canadians make informed decisions about buying eco-friendly vehicles. We will continue to work with provincial, territorial, and municipal governments as well as with the broader transportation community to develop a practical, cost-effective approach to protecting the environment so that present and future generations of Canadians benefit from a country that is cleaner, greener, and healthier."

The ecoTransport Strategy of Canada's New Government is aimed at improving the health of Canadians and the environment by reducing the environmental impacts of transportation; securing Canada's future prosperity and competitiveness by making critical transportation infrastructure sustainable both economically and environmentally; and promoting an efficient transportation system that supports choice and the high quality of life that Canadians expect.

Prime Minister Harper recently announced the Canada ecoTrust for Clean Air and Climate Change, which will be designed to provide financial support to provincial and territorial projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants. The resources for this initiative will consist of $1.5 billion of new funding on a national basis.

The new funding will be contained in the upcoming budget and is a part of the actions to be taken on the fiscal imbalance. It will be available as soon as Parliament approves the budget.

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