Cabinet was never in a position to plant two billion trees without provincial help, Environment Commissioner Jerry DeMarco said yesterday. The Liberal Party announced the tree planting blitz as a 2019 election promise and has not met targets to date.
“They need to concentrate much more on results,” Commissioner DeMarco testified at the Commons natural resources committee. “This is a theme of a lot of our reports. They have to be realistic with their programs.”
The Liberal Party in its 2019 election platform Forward: A Real Plan For The Middle Class proposed to plant two billion trees within a decade. “We will plant two billion trees to clean our air and protect our communities,” said the document. “This will help create 3,500 seasonal jobs in tree planting each year.”
Commissioner DeMarco yesterday said the Department of Natural Resources was far from meeting the target. “It fell well short,” he said, adding: “We found that given the number of trees planted so far this program is unlikely to succeed unless significant changes are made.”