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Canada funds carbon storage, public transit

Canada's Finance Minister Jim Flaherty (R) receives a standing ovation from Health Minister Tony Clement while speaking during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, February 14, 2008. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

OTTAWA, Feb 26 (Ottawa) - Canada promised on Tuesday that it would support environmental projects that would develop technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as committing money towards improving public transit infrastructure.

The federal government said in its annual budget it would spend C$250 million on carbon capture and storage technology as well as up to C$500 million towards public transit capital infrastructure amid several environmental measures.

The C$500 million infrastructure commitment will go towards specific projects in Canada’s major cities. It is earmarked for the Evergreen Light Rapid Transit System in Vancouver, the re-establishment of a rail link between Toronto and Peterborough, as well as new equipment and upgrades to rapid transit routes in Montreal.

“Investing in modern public transit is about preserving our environment,” Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said in the prepared remarks of his budget speech.

The bulk of the money earmarked for carbon capture and storage technology will go towards a project in Saskatchewan. The technology is a process of capturing carbon dioxide from certain large industrial and power generation facilities and storing it long term.

Flaherty unveiled the environmental measures during the 2008 budget that also included measures to help Canadians save money, support research and development in the auto sector for fuel-efficient cars, while also predicting the country’s 12th surplus.