Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson stated the need for a federal program to plant two billion trees to be "nimble."According to Blacklock’s Reporter, the plan that was introduced during the 2019 election managed to plant 110 million trees up to this point, but the exact cost has not been disclosed.“Looking ahead, the program will continue its efforts to remain nimble,” the department wrote the Senate National Finance committee. “To respond to recommendations from the Environment Commissioner, a further operational plan will be developed in the coming months to ensure the program meets its goals.”Environment Commissioner Jerry DeMarco, in an April 20 report Financial Support for Planting Two Billion Trees, said the program was far off target. “It fell well short,” he said.In his testimony on October 18 before the Commons Environment committee, DeMarco went a step further by stating the program was "unlikely to succeed." He also mentioned managers were resorting to misrepresenting tree counts in order to meet their planting targets.“It has become a tree counting program, not a tree planting program,” said DeMarco. “They count the same trees twice with different programs.”Wilkinson’s department wrote senators the program was now “focused on actions that would ramp up tree planting efforts.” The department would “focus on planting the right trees in the right place for the right reasons,” it wrote.“Stable and predictable demand is key to ensuring seed collectors and nurseries are collecting and growing the right species and number of seedlings in their greenhouses to align with needs of planting,” wrote the department.Initially budgeted at $3.16 billion over ten years, the Budget Office estimates the program to cost $5.94 billion. Canada currently has around 300 billion trees, as reported by the Yale School of Forestry and the country continues to plant billions more each year as part of timber harvesting requirements on Crown land.“There is a lot of reforestation that goes on just in the normal course of forestry,” DeMarco told MPs on June 13. “This is supposed to be two billion incremental trees, not just double counting the ones that have been done for forest management generally.”In its 2019 election platform Forward: A Real Plan for the Middle Class, the Liberal Party pledged to plant two billion trees over ten years.“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.”Monique Frisson, director of the tree planting program, testified on October 18 at the Environment committee that two billion trees will not be planted. “I mean, 1.85 billion, 1.9 billion,” she said.“So why is it called the two billion trees program?” asked Conservative MP Michael Kram (Regina-Wascana, SK). “Good question,” replied Frisson.