MONTREAL, May 10, 2023 /CNW/ – Forests and trees clean the air that we breathe, improve water quality, enhance biodiversity and help cool our urban centres. They also capture and store carbon, making them an effective natural way to fight climate change.
Today, as part of the Montreal Climate Summit, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced over $40 million in federal funding under the 2 Billion Trees program for three tree-planting initiatives across Montreal and Vaudreuil-Dorion, which will collectively support the planting of over 275,000 trees.
The first project, led by Société de verdissement du Montréal métropolitain (Soverdi) and Alliance forêt urbaine, aims to plant 200,000 trees by 2030 on private and institutional lands through thousands of projects in schoolyards, hospitals, parking lots and company grounds where citizens live and work. The Government of Canada is investing $19.9 million in this project, which is also receiving $40 million in funding from municipalities, including the City of Montreal, and $20 million in private funding.
The second project, with the City of Montreal, will result in the planting of over 64,000 trees over two years in areas of the city prone to heat waves. Trees will be planted across 19 neighbourhoods, using trees to naturally cool neighbourhoods and protect the city’s most vulnerable residents. The Government of Canada is contributing $19.8 million, the Government of Quebec is contributing $10.9 million, and the City of Montreal is contributing $10.3 million to this project.
The third project, with the City of Vaudreuil-Dorion, resulted in the planting of over 11,000 trees in 2022 throughout the community of Vaudreuil-Dorion. The project, originally highlighted by Minister Guilbeault on Earth Day this year, will also provide employment activities related to tree planting as well as internship opportunities for students. The Government of Canada is contributing $485,070, and the City of Vaudreuil-Dorion is contributing $485,070 to this project.
The Government of Canada’s 2 Billion Trees program is helping keep our air clean, keep neighbourhoods cool in the summer, create thousands of jobs and fight climate change while protecting nature.
By working together with provinces, territories, local communities and Indigenous Peoples, Canada continues to build a strong, healthy future for generations to come.
“We know that one of the best tools we have to fight climate change is nature. It’s also one of our best tools to build thriving, livable cities. Planting over a quarter of a million new trees in Montreal will in every way make for a happier city and a healthier planet.”
The Honourable Steven Guilbeault
Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“Trees are essential to our lives — they capture carbon, improve air quality and support wildlife — and they are important allies in our fight against climate change. That’s why Canada has committed to planting two billion trees. Through this investment to plant over 275,000 trees in and around Montreal, we are collaborating with municipal, provincial and local partners to help deliver more climate-resilient communities while delivering clean air for the next generation.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Natural Resources
“The urban forest is an invaluable collective asset that must be taken care of because, in addition to contributing greatly to our collective quality of life, it is essential for the city to be more resilient to the impacts of climate change. In urban areas, trees are a jewel that contribute to the quality of life of the population. They act as a filter that helps ensure air quality. They reduce the presence of heat islands and prevent flooding by slowing water runoff during heavy rains. This investment will multiply the concrete actions taken by the City of Montreal and its partners, such as Soverdi, to green neighbourhoods and leave future generations a greener environment better adapted to climate change.”
Mayor, City of Montreal
“We are pleased to receive this funding, which demonstrates both the confidence placed in us by the federal government and the importance of the urban forest in climate change adaptation. With this funding, which extends to 2030, Soverdi and its partners of the Alliance forêt urbaine can make long-term greening projects that promote biodiversity and connectivity on private and institutional lands accessible across time and territory. This concrete and concerted approach makes it possible to mobilize the entire community and develop structuring projects while keeping the human element at the heart of the process.”
President, Soverdi, and representative of the Alliance forêt urbaine
“I would like to thank the Government of Canada for this grant, which has allowed us to increase by 10,000 trees our annual planting, which normally varies between 400 and 600 trees annually over the past 10 years. Since the urban perimeter of our city was built on land without trees, it became a priority for us to create an urban forest. This priority is in fact part of our Strategic Planning 2020-2025.”
Mayor, City of Vaudreuil-Dorion
- Today, Canada’s Natural Resources Minister, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, is meeting with provincial and territorial counterparts at the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, to advance collaboration on priorities including climate action and reforestation.
- Growing Canada’s forests and improving their health are a critical part of the Government of Canada’s strategy to address and mitigate the effects of climate change.
- Forests are a nature-based climate solution: trees conserve biodiversity, protect and conserve water resources, and lower emissions by capturing and storing excess carbon.
- As of March 2023, the program has received over 400 applications and provided over $120 million in grants and contributions funding to support organizations planting trees across the country and in all types of environments — remote, rural and urban, benefiting not only Canadians but also supporting biodiversity and restoration efforts from coast to coast.
- Overall, agreements are signed and under negotiation to support organizations and governments in planting over 260 million trees under all five 2 Billion Trees program streams.
- Environment and Climate Change Canada, through the Canada Nature Fund and the Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund, is engaging and partnering with provincial, territorial and Indigenous partners toward restoring Canada’s vast and diverse landscapes in order to recover and protect biodiversity and species at risk.
- The Government of Canada has committed to invest $1.4 billion over 10 years (2021–2031) in the Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund. This program will help Canada meet its target to reduce five to seven megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually by 2030, using nature-based solutions.
- 2 Billion Trees program
- Our action: How we will get there together
- Planting the right tree in the right place for a better tomorrow
- 2 Billion Trees working with provinces and territories
- 2 Billion Trees Program ongoing call for proposals
- 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Clean Air, Strong Economy
- Natural Climate Solutions Fund
- Montréal Climate Summit
- La Société de verdissement du Montréal métropolitain (Soverdi)
- City of Vaudreuil-Dorion
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SOURCE Natural Resources Canada