News Business & Policy Trudeau Government Promises Electric Car Subsidies, Public Transit Support, Wind and Tidal Power By Lloyd Alter Design Editor University of Toronto Lloyd Alter is Design Editor for Treehugger and teaches Sustainable Design at Ryerson University in Toronto. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Lloyd Alter Published March 20, 2019 Updated March 20, 2019 05:43AM EDT ©. ADRIAN WYLD,MIGUEL MEDINA,SEAN KILPATRICK/AFP/Getty Images/ Bill Morneau and Justin Trudeau in happier times Share Twitter Pinterest Email News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices Now if only he can keep his job in the fall election. Up in Canada, the Trudeau government's new budget includes C$ 300 million to provide a C$ 5,000 incentive toward the purchase or electric or hydrogen-powered cars that cost under C$ 45,000. According to the budget: Transportation accounts for about one quarter of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, mainly coming from gas- and diesel-powered cars and trucks. The future of transportation lies in the increased use of zero-emission vehicles—cars and trucks powered by rechargeable electric batteries or hydrogen fuel cells. While these vehicles are not yet common in communities across Canada, they can provide a cleaner, more efficient way to transport people and goods and, over the long run, help Canadians reduce the everyday cost of transportation. That is why Canada has set a target to sell 100 per cent zero-emission vehicles by 2040, with sales goals of 10 per cent by 2025 and 30 per cent by 2030 along the way. By becoming an early adopter of this new technology, Canada will help the Canadian zero-emission vehicle market advance, making zero-emission vehicle options more readily available and affordable for more and more Canadians. Now I could argue about the hydrogen, but they will never cost less than $C45k so they are a moot point. The recognition that there are other forms of low-carbon transport, like subsidies for electric bikes and transit fares, would also be nice, but let's not look a gift horse in the mouth. The budget also lets businesses write off the investment in zero-emission vehicles more quickly, and pledges C$130 million to build charging stations in workplaces, parking lots, office and residential buildings and "remote locations" of which there are plenty in Canada. Ashton Paul/ Gardiner expressway at Keating channel/CC BY 2.0 The Federal Government is also releasing a big pot of money from the Gas Tax Fund, C$ 2.2 billion, for "serious municipal infrastructure deficits." Unfortunately, they are not directing this at anything in particular, and one can imagine Toronto's portion being used to fix elevated highways. There are actually piles of green goodies, from wind power in the Northwest Territories to new subway cars in Montreal and tidal power in Nova Scotia. There is a Public Transit Infrastructure Fund designed to "alleviate traffic congestion, reduce air pollution and cut long commutes that make it harder for people to get to work and for families to spend time together to strengthen communities." There is a "connect to innovate" fund that will "extend high-speed Internet to rural and remote communities in Canada, with a focus on building new backbone infrastructure in communities to provide connections to institutions like schools, hospitals and libraries." And there is the big one, the carbon tax, dealing with what they call carbon pollution. It is the most efficient way to send a price signal to companies, investors, and consumers to make more environmentally sustainable choices. This is the least costly way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and foster clean innovation. Starting this year, it is no longer free to pollute in Canada. The Government is making sure that there is a price on carbon pollution across the country, while also taking steps to maintain affordability for households and ensuring that Canadian companies can compete and succeed in a competitive global marketplace. Unfortunately, the opposition Conservatives are possibly going to be elected later this year by playing up what they call a corruption scandal into something much bigger than it is, so we will have yet another climate-denying fake populist cancelling carbon taxes and pushing pipelines and dumping Paris targets. Scheer blames carbon taxes for killing jobs. If the government of Canada imposes huge new taxes on companies, on employers, people who are giving people jobs, so if a factory closes down here and pops up in China or another country where they don’t have access to clean technology clean energy, then the world isn’t better off. So he will just keep polluting right here. Environmentalists might have many complaints about Justin Trudeau, starting with his support of the Trans-Mountain Pipeline, but seriously, just look at the alternatives.