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New poll reveals Canadians want Trudeau to deliver on climate promises in his first 100 days in office

Joint Media Release
Thursday, October 14, 2021 - 09:00

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New poll reveals Canadians are frustrated with delays in climate action and want Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to quickly deliver on climate promises in his first 100 days in office: Majority want concrete actions towards capping oil and gas emissions, phasing out fossil fuel subsidies, and delivering a Just Transition plan; 

Ottawa/Vancouver/Toronto/Montreal - A new Abacus Data poll released today confirms that a majority (66%) of Canadians want the Liberal government to implement climate policies in their platform or enact stronger ones. With a new cabinet expected to be sworn in by the end of the month, the poll shows that a majority of Canadians want Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to follow U.S. President Biden‘s example and swiftly fulfil climate commitments in his first 100 days in office.

The poll found a majority of Canadians want the Liberal government to work across party lines in the first 100 days on these key climate issues: 

  • 64% want the Liberals to work to establish a cap on oil and gas emissions - the fastest growing source of Canada’s emissions.
    • Support is high among Liberal voters (77%), NDP voters (75%) and Bloc Québécois voters (74%) 
    • More Conservatives supported this (47%) than opposed it (37%)
  • 62% want the government to establish a plan to stop taxpayer subsidies going to the oil and gas industry 
    • Support is nearly tied between Liberal voters (72%), NDP voters (73%) and Bloc Québécois voters (73%)
    • More Conservative voters supported this (44%) than opposed it (36%) 
  • 65% want a swift delivery on the promise of a Just Transition plan to help workers thrive in the net-zero economy. 
    • Support is high among Liberal voters (78%), NDP voters (71%), and Bloc Québécois voters (73%), and nearly (50%) of Conservative voters supported this view.

“Canadians voted for more climate ambition and action - now it’s time for Prime Minister Trudeau to listen to them and there is no time to waste. Mandate letters, soon to be issued from the Prime Minister, and the Throne Speech must reflect climate as a key priority,” says Caroline Brouillette, domestic policy manager at Climate Action Network - Réseau action climat Canada. “The science is clear: if we want to protect lives, livelihoods and ecosystems by limiting warming to 1.5 degrees, Canada must accelerate efforts to cut emissions. Our communities and our climate can’t afford any more delays.”

“The new government has a clear opportunity and mandate to deliver on its climate promises, with the vast majority of progressive voters supporting a post-pandemic recovery based on renewable energy companies, jobs, training and infrastructure and scaled down support in fossil fuels,” said Seth Klein, Team Lead with the Climate Emergency Unit. “The poll reveals a public ahead of our politics, not only responding to promised climate actions with a resounding ‘Do it!’ but a large share saying, ‘Do it faster and higher.’ Notably, even in Alberta, 52% of respondents supported placing a cap on oil and gas emissions, and the same percent support ending fossil fuel subsidies.”

In recent years, the pace of climate action hasn’t kept up with the rate at which climate change is affecting people and communities across Canada.The poll finds many Canadians are frustrated that the Prime Minister has not kept several climate promises. 

  • 61% are frustrated Prime Minister Trudeau has not yet taken adequate action to keep a 2015 campaign promise to phase out oil and gas subsidies. 
    • Frustration among Liberal voters (59%), NDP voters (74%), Bloc Québécois (75%), and Conservative voters (56%)
  • 60% per cent are frustrated Prime Minister Trudeau has not yet implemented a Just Transition plan first promised in 2019. 
    • Frustration among Liberal voters (54%), NDP voters (72%), Bloc Québécois voters (71%), and Conservative voters (61%).

In Canada, communities from coast to coast to coast are bearing the costs of global warming. This summer’s deadly heat wave saw Western Canada break more than 100 all-time temperature records. Hundreds of people lost their lives, forests burnt to a crisp and thousands were evacuated due to wildfires. The Arctic is warming at three times the global average, and climate change is depleting First Nations’ food sources. The latest IPCC report is a red alert for our planet, highlighting that governments around the world need to do more to tackle the climate crisis head on.

“Canada is the only G7 country whose emissions have increased since the Paris Agreement was signed. To turn that around, we need ambitious climate action now. It’s time for Prime Minister Trudeau to keep his climate promises, without delays, to protect our communities and our planet,” said Liz McDowell, Director of Digital and Campaign Strategies at Stand.earth. “Otherwise, any bold speeches Canadian officials make at the G20 or COP26 will just be empty words.”

“Canadians have sent roughly the same MPs back to Ottawa to get the job done on climate. All parties in the House can and should contribute to moving the climate legislative agenda forward. Hopefully MPs got the message, and they will now put partisan politics aside and work together in the 44th Parliament,” said Marc-André Viau, Director of Government Relations at Équiterre.

"There is clearly broad-based support for rapid and far-reaching action on climate. Just this week, grassroots communities across Canada launched more than 50 local actions in support of just transition legislation that ends fossil fuel subsidies and extraction and supports affected workers," said Dylan Penner, Climate and Social Justice Campaigner at the Council of Canadians. "The government has received a loud and clear mandate from the public. Now it's time for it to act."

Looking forward, when it comes to Canada’s post-pandemic recovery plans, 65% of those polled want Canada to invest more in renewable energy companies, jobs, training and infrastructure and scale down support in fossil fuels. 

    • Support is 76% among Liberal voters, 75% among NDP voters, 66% among Bloc Québécois voters and 51% among Conservative voters.
    • 55% of Albertans support this view.
  • 59% of those surveyed feel the government should not spend more than $12.6 billion - the current estimate to complete the TransMountain Expansion pipeline. 

The survey was conducted with 1,500 Canadians from October 1st to October 4th, 2021. 

No More Delays is supported by SumofUs, Stand.earth, Climate Emergency Unit,Équiterre, Greenpeace Canada,Council of Canadians,Citizens Climate Lobby Canada,Climate Reality Project Canada, Leadnowand Climate Action Network Canada – Réseau action climat Canada (CAN-Rac Canada) 

For media requests, contact: 

Ziona Eyob, Media Director - Canada, Stand.earth, canmedia@stand.earth, c: +1 604 757 7279