Trudeau's over budget, behind schedule promise to plant two billion trees is getting an audit

The prime minister's lofty campaign goal of planting two billion trees in Canada by the year 2031 hasn't exactly worked out as planned thus far.

Trudeau's over budget, off-schedule promise to plant two billion trees is getting an audit
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The 'two billion trees program,' initially estimated at $3.16 Billion and first announced in 2019 as a campaign promise, was then re-announced a year later. It was then announced for a third time in 2021, as a means  according to the Trudeau government  of stemming the looming ravages of climate change. The trees were to be in the ground by 2031, but by November 2021, only 8.5 million trees had been planted, just under half a percent.

The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) January 2021, bumped the cost up by $2.78 billion, bringing the overall cost closer to $5.94 billion.

The program pays contractors to plant seedlings on behalf of the federal government and now, an audit is on the horizon for the overbudget and off schedule tree planting program, according to BuySell.GC.Ca, the federal government's procurement website:

"NRCan requires Recipient/Contribution Agreement auditing services for the 2 Billion Trees program on an as-and-when requested basis, based on program requirements. The primary objective is to obtain reasonable assurance that the Recipients under the program have met the financial terms of their respective Contribution Agreements and that the financial information provided by Recipients is free of material misstatement."

Canada is the third most forested country in the world, behind Russia and Brazil as decades of predictions of an untimely end to the Amazon rainforest never quite materialized. Despite failed government programs, or perhaps because of them, estimates suggest that nearly 700 million trees are planted by the forestry industry in Canada annually at no cost to the Canadian taxpayer.

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