Ukraine conflict, climate action play major role in Canada's 2022 budget

(Xinhua) 08:20, April 08, 2022

OTTAWA, April 7 (Xinhua) -- In her second annual federal budget tabled as Canada's finance minister, Chrystia Freeland has shifted her focus from helping Canadians and the economy weather the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to allocating funds to address what she characterized as two of the major challenges facing Canada and the world.

The budget she tabled on Thursday includes more than 6.4 billion U.S. dollars in new funding over five years to better equip the Canadian Armed Forces; increase Canada's contributions to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD); and reinforce Canada's cyber-security strategy to prevent and defend against attacks, including those against government agencies and critical infrastructure.

The budget also allocates further and significant assistance to Ukraine. Canada, which was the first Western country to recognize Ukraine's independence in 1991, has committed about 953 million U.S. dollars to support Ukraine and its people, and 1.3 billion U.S. dollars in loan support for the Ukrainian government.

The Canadian government will also add to the 71.5 million U.S. dollars in lethal and non-lethal aid provided to Ukraine with a further contribution of 391 million U.S. dollars in military aid.

Freeland's budget also provides money for what she described as the "existential challenge" surrounding climate action.

To reduce transportation-related emissions, the Canadian government has set aside nearly 1.4 billion U.S. dollars over five years to encourage drivers to get behind the wheel of electric vehicles.

Canada's Finance Department will "engage with experts" to create an investment tax credit of up to 30 percent, focused on net-zero technologies, battery storage solutions and clean hydrogen.

The 2022 budget also includes up to 3 billion U.S. dollars over eight years to implement Canada's first Critical Minerals Strategy to "capitalize on the growing need for the minerals used in everything from phones to electric cars," according to the budget document.

This initiative features a new 30 percent exploration tax credit targeted at several minerals, such as nickel, lithium, cobalt and copper. 

(Web editor: Xia Peiyao, Liang Jun)


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