Trudeau Liberals embroiled in another billion-dollar slush fund: report

The Net Zero Accelerator Initiative, a 2021 program that subsidized manufacturers to lower emissions, never tracked outcomes. The Trudeau Liberals delivered ‘limited results’ after quietly subsidizing businesses $8 billion.

Trudeau Liberals embroiled in another billion-dollar slush fund: report
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
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By unanimous vote, the Commons environment committee has ordered disclosure of subsidy contracts under a federal program claiming to lower industrial greenhouse emissions. 

The Net Zero Accelerator Initiative, a 2021 program that subsidized manufacturers to lower emissions, never tracked outcomes, reported Blacklock’s Reporter.

“The plan was to give away billions in tax dollars to large companies in exchange for a specific reduction of emissions,” said Conservative MP Dan Mazier, sponsor of the motion. 

“Usually when a government announces $8 billion in spending they brag about it for years and talk about the results,” he added. “Now we know why they have been so quiet.”

Bloc Québécois MP Denis Trudel called secretiveness surrounding the program an embarrassment. “This is embarrassing,” he said.

“We are talking about $8 billion here,” said Trudel. “We represent taxpayers. There are taxpayers who want us to do our job and figure out how the government is spending their money.”

Environment Commissioner Jerry DeMarco said subsidy costs were upwards of $523 per tonne of emission reduction, calling it an abject failure.

Successful applicants provided no emission targets whatsoever, said an April 30 report Net Zero Accelerator Initiative. “This is concerning as the funds are almost all committed,” it reads.

The motion seeks completed contribution agreements signed to date.

“If the government is spending $8 billion of taxpayers’ money Canadians should be able to see the results,” said Mazier. He called it “nothing more than another slush fund.”

Liberal MP Adam van Koeverden, parliamentary secretary for environment, defended the program. “It’s been a real success story,” he said. “I want to see success stories.”

On Wednesday, Van Koeverden accused the committee of becoming “a place to protest various things by the Conservatives.”

According to Commissioner DeMarco, the $8 billion subsidy delivered “limited results.” He also said the government should create value when investing “a very large outlay of taxpayer dollars … because ultimately it is taxpayers who are paying.”

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