Welcome To
Acadia Broadcasting NewsThe Latest and Greatest ContentYour Trusted Local Source


Paul Martin is the auditor general for New Brunswick. Image: Submitted/Auditor General of New Brunswick

Environmental Trust Fund Needs More Oversight: AG

By Brad Perry Dec 5, 2022 | 8:00 AM

New Brunswick’s environment department is not effectively overseeing the Environmental Trust Fund to ensure it is delivering on its mandate.

Paul Martin, the province’s auditor general, delivered that finding last week after his office conducted a review of the fund.

Martin pointed to several issues, such as no strategic or annual plans for the fund, and a lack of clarity around funding evaluation and project selection criteria.

The fund provides grants for small projects focused on the environment and natural resources, with revenue coming from the proceeds of environmental fees from the beverage container program.

Martin said the fund’s surplus has continued to grow while eligible projects are denied or given reduced funding.

In 2021-21, 91 per cent of the approved projects were only partially funded, while more than one-in-five applications were not selected for funding at all.

“By March 31st, 2022, the fund’s accumulated surplus had grown to almost $41 million with no documented plans for how this money should be spent,” Martin told a legislative committee on Tuesday.

Without a transparent and well-planned approach, he said, the money may remain idle and not contribute to the achievement of the fund’s mandate.

Martin said the audit also found that the department has not evaluated the fund’s performance or outcomes since it was established in 1990.

“The department was unable to demonstrate how 30 years of funding has positively impacted the environment in New Brunswick,” said Martin.

The auditor general made nine recommendations to the Department of Environment and Local Government to address the issues with oversight authority and responsibility, planning, performance measurement and reporting.


Leave a Reply