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Martin Laplante

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Thu, 28 Sep 2006

Auditor General: Climate Change Programs Worked

The report is now out, and the Auditor General of Canada is, contrary to what the National Post has been reporting as fact for a month, giving the thumbs up to most climate change programs reviewed, including the ones that were cancelled this year, based on the claim that the AG found them inefficient.

Quite the contrary. Energuide for Houses, for instance, was found to be 35% more effective, and therefore 35% more efficient for the federal dollars, than predicted. It was cancelled. What is more tragic, is that with it went a couple of dozen more provincial and utility programs that relied on it.

In terms of effectiveness, most passed, but some of the programs reviewed got an unsatisfactory score. But by and large these were programs where money was committed but not spent. So in terms or efficiency, getting no results by spending no money is still efficient.

I haven't yet found a table showing the programs that were cancelled versus the AG findings, but from looking a a few examples, I suspect that there is little correlation between a program's effectiveness and its odds of survival.

That excuse is gone. We've got to make up for a lost year. Let's get back to work and get some targets and stick to them. That means restoring the housing programs, strong measures on vehicles and on oil production, emission trading, and incentives for consumers in collaboration with their provinces and utilities, to put money in their pockets in lieu of tax cuts. To quote the report, a massive scale up of our efforts is needed.



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