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UPDATED ACTION ALERT: Harper budget cuts are out of line with priorities of Canadians

On March 11 Mike De Souza of Postmedia News reported

that an internal government review found that climate change policies slated to end in this budget are delivering emission reductions and generating green jobs.

The Harper government has had this review for several weeks and has yet to make it public.

“The internal review by the Natural Resources Department concluded that the programs were expected to deliver about 20 million tonnes in ongoing reductions of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere by 2012 while sparking $25 billion in new investments from other stakeholders outside of the federal government, according to a summary obtained by Postmedia News.”

“The summary of the report also indicated that the government programs had directly created more than 5,000 jobs since 2007 along with more than twice as many indirect jobs in such areas as construction, and more spinoffs in the future.”

You can read the article here:

This builds on the news that the Harper government is planning a $222-million or 20% reduction in spending at Environment Canada. This includes a $141 million cut to climate change and clean air initiatives, as well as a $19.5-million cut to a federal action plan dealing with contaminated federal sites, and about $3-million in reductions for compliance promotion and enforcement for wildlife and pollution.


We need to increase pressure on the Harper government in the lead up to the budget (March 22nd) and an increasingly likely Spring election, to stop cutting funding to essential programmes advancing energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy in Canada.

  1. Use our updated email action alert to send a message to Prime Minister Harper, Environment Minister Peter Kent, Natural Resources Minister Christian Paradis and Opposition Leaders. You can find our action alert here.
  2. Send a letter to the editor (see some suggested points to raise below).
  3. Twitter the message to Harper! (see some suggested ‘tweets’ below).

Here are some points to consider for your letter to the editor:

  • Important climate change policies like incentives for retrofitting homes and subsidies for renewable energy are slated to end in the upcoming federal budget. This is out of tune with Canadians priorities.
  • A recent Environics poll found that more than 70 per cent of Canadians think money is better spent on efforts to address climate change than on the military and wars. Over 80 per cent agree that the Canadian government should invest in green jobs.
  • Environment Canada’s program activities amount to just over 1 billion dollars while National Defence is over 20 billion.
  • The U.S. outspends Canada per capita 8 to 1 on renewable energy, energy efficiency and public transit.
‘Tweet’ your message to Harper!
  • @pmHarper climate action requires more spending not less! #cdnpoli
  • @pmHarper Environment: $1 billion, Defence: $20 billion #cdnpoli
  • @pmHarper I’ll remember cuts to Environment Canada at the polling booth #cdnpoli
  • @pmHarper why cut programmes that generate green jobs? #cdnpoli