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

OTTAWA – In her second annual federal budget as Canada's finance minister, Chrystia Freeland has moved her focus from assisting Canadians and the economy in coping with the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak to allocating funding to solve two of the country's and the world's main concerns.

She proposed a budget on Thursday that includes more than USD6.4 billion in new funding over five years to better equip the Canadian Armed Forces, increase Canada's contributions to NATO and NORAD, and strengthen 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 considerable support to Ukraine.

Canada, the first Western country to recognise Ukraine's independence in 1991, has pledged USD953 million in aid to Ukraine and its people, as well as USD1.3 billion in loan assistance to the Ukrainian government.

The Canadian government will also contribute USD391 million in military aid to Ukraine, in addition to the USD71.5 million in deadly and non-lethal help already delivered.

Freeland's budget also includes funds to address the "existential issue" of climate change, as she characterised it.

The Canadian government has set aside approximately USD1.4 billion over five years to encourage drivers to switch to electric vehicles in order to cut transportation-related emissions. The Finance Department of Canada will "consult with experts" to develop a 30% investment tax credit for net-zero technology, battery storage systems, and clean hydrogen.

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