Canada aims to plant up to 320 million trees a year to meet two billion target

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Published December 16, 2021 at 4:10 pm

OTTAWA — The government says it plans to plant up to 320 million trees a year to meet the prime minister’s target to put an extra two billion trees in the ground by 2030.

Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson has today launched a call for proposals — including from Indigenous communities and municipalities — to plant millions of extra trees a year.

The available funding includes a “mass planting stream” for proposals that would put at least 500,000 trees in the ground and an “urban and suburban planting stream” for those that would plant at least 10,000 trees.

During the 2019 election, Justin Trudeau promised to plant two billion trees within 10 years.

But an access-to-information request by The Canadian Press found that, up until mid-November, only 8.5 million trees had been planted — less than half a per cent of the trees it pledged to put in the ground.

Natural Resources blames the slow start on a lack of seedlings, which can take between two to three years to grow. 

It says it plans to plant 60 million seedlings next year, rising to 320 million trees a year in 2027, 2028 and 2029, creating thousands of extra jobs. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 16, 2021. 

The Canadian Press

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