In the lead up to the federal budget announcement next week and an increasingly likely federal election, the Council of Canadians has sent letters to Environment Minister Peter Kent and Environment Critics Gerard Kennedy and Linda Duncan.
The letters highlight the results of an Environics poll of 1,000 Canadians from every part of the country which found that the vast majority of Canadians understand that the climate crisis requires a significant change in economic, social, and environmental priorities. The Council of Canadians commissioned the opinion poll along with KAIROS, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, the Indigenous Environmental Network, Common Frontiers, the Public Service Alliance of Canada and the Toronto Bolivia Solidarity Committee.
We feel these results indicate clear areas for government action, including:
- Encouraging Canadians to live within their environmental means and fostering an economy that exists in harmony with nature.
- Repaying climate debt to the Global South in a transparent and accountable manner. This means funds should be public, additional to other funding commitments, and not reliant on volatile carbon markets.
- Prioritizing significant investments in areas of green job creation including energy efficiency measures, public and community-owned renewable energy expansion and public transit.
- Establishing measures that penalize corporations where their actions have contributed to climate change and damaged the environment.
- Scaling back funding to defence while increasing funding to efforts that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the impacts of climate change.
Complimentary policy actions include examples such as supporting a Financial Transaction Tax, or “Robin Hood Tax,” ending subsidies to fossil fuel industries, direct regulation of industry greenhouse gas emissions and policy that limits new emissions by ending new fossil fuel developments – leaving fossil fuels in the ground.
You can read the letters here.