Full Report

Recommendations for Budget 2018

Canada’s environment is central to Canadian prosperity.

The Green Budget Coalition (GBC), active since 1999, brings together nineteen of Canada’s leading environmental and conservation organizations, representing over 600,000 Canadians, to present an analysis of the most pressing issues regarding environmental sustainability in Canada and to make recommendations to the federal government regarding strategic fiscal and budgetary opportunities.

The GBC appreciated the many funding and tax measures in Budget 2017 advancing the GBC’s concerns, including reductions in fossil fuels subsidies, and funding for public transit, renewable energy and reduced diesel dependence in Indigenous, northern and rural communities, freshwater, the Indigenous Guardians Initiative, cleantech, and further openness to funding nature-based infrastructure. However many more actions and investments are still needed to put Canada on an effective path towards protecting its air, water, unique biodiversity, and natural heritage and playing a responsible role in addressing climate change.

In Budget 2018 and fiscal announcements in the preceding months, the GBC recommends that the Government of Canada prioritize strategic investments to advance the following four objectives:

  1. Delivering on Canada’s commitment to protect land, inland waters and oceans (at least 17% of our land and inland waters and at least 10% of our coastal and marine areas by 2020) , and to plan for the larger scale protection needed to sustain healthy ecosystems in the long term.
  2. Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture – Ensuring the next agricultural policy framework (NPF) includes significant investments in agri-environmental programs, policies, and scientific research, to provide long-term ecological, social, and economic benefits for all Canadians.
  3. Sustainable Fisheries – Investments in fish habitat protection and restoration, and in rebuilding, recovering and sustainably managing fisheries, to ensure sustainable fisheries management across Canada.

and Climate Change and Energy Sustainability, featuring…

  1. International Climate Financing – To support climate mitigation and adaptation efforts in developing countries, the GBC recommends Canada scale up its efforts on international climate finance, provide certainty on funding beyond 2020, and indicate how it intends to mobilize its fair share of international climate financing.

This document also outlines a select number of complementary recommendations, particularly related to climate change and energy sustainability, as well as for environmental laws, water monitoring, infrastructure, and renewing sunsetting funding for conservation and species at risk.

Protecting Canada’s Land, Inland Waters and Oceans

Protecting Canada’s Land, Inland Waters and Oceans

Environment and Climate Change Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Parks Canada

The time has come to prioritize the health of Canada’s ecological systems. As many public opinion polls have demonstrated, Canadians support much larger-scale protection of our land, freshwater and ocean environments as a cornerstone of our efforts to safeguard nature.

Canada has committed to protect at least 17% of our landscape and 10% of our ocean by 2020, and to substantially exceed these targets in the long term.

Investment Required:

To deliver on these commitments, a federal investment of $1.4 billion is needed over the next three years (2018-2021), followed by about $470 million per year on-going.

Investing in Sustainable Agriculture

Investing in Sustainable Agriculture

Agriculture and Agri-food Environment and Climate Change Health Canada

The Green Budget Coalition recommends that Budget 2018 contributes to the environmental and socio-economic priorities of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership and A Food Policy for Canada with a significant investment in programs, scientific research and policy development that support environmentally sustainable agriculture.

Agri-Environmental Programs to Protect the Ecological Function of Agricultural Landscapes & Improve Sector Competitiveness

Investment Required: For 2018 to 2023: $108 million

Science Capacity, Research & Monitoring to Reduce Environmental Risks and Increase Public Trust in Canada’s Agriculture

Investment Required: For 2018 to 2023: $108 million (total)

Towards Sustainable Fisheries

Towards Sustainable Fisheries

Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

The Green Budget Coalition (GBC) commends the Government of Canada’s commitment to amend the Fisheries Act and recommends that it complements this commitment with adequate funding for policies, programs and partnerships that will help protect, restore and sustain Canada’s fisheries.

Fish Habitat Protection and Restoration

Investment Required: For 2018 to 2023: $200 million (total)

Rebuilding, Recovering and Sustainably Managing Fisheries

Investment Required: For 2018 to 2023: $60 million (total)

 

International Climate Financing

International Climate Financing

Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation Environment and Climate Change Finance Canada Global Affairs Canada Indigenous and Northern Affairs Natural Resources Canada

Through the Paris Agreement, Canada and other developed countries committed to continue efforts on climate finance mobilization and set a collective goal of at least USD 100 billion per year to assist developing countries address climate change impacts and undertake low-carbon development.

To support climate mitigation and adaptation efforts in developing countries, the Green Budget Coalition recommends that Canada scale up its efforts on international climate finance, provide certainty on funding beyond 2020, and indicate how it intends to mobilize its fair share of international climate finance.

Investment Required : At least CAN$2 billion over the next two years

Cross-cutting Recommendations

Environmental Data and Science System

Agriculture and Agri-food Environment and Climate Change Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Health Canada Innovation, Science and Economic Development Natural Resources Canada Statistics Canada

Federal leadership is urgently needed to move Canada towards a more integrated and complete data and science system in order to address Canada’s growing environmental challenges and support the transition to a clean and low-carbon economy.

Expert Panel on Sharing Environmental Data and Science

Investment Required: 2018/2019: $5 million

National Ecosystem Mapping & Monitoring Tool

Investment Required: For 2018/19: $30 million, plus $120 million over 4 years starting in 2019/2020

Cross-cutting Recommendations

Natural Infrastructure

Environment and Climate Change Infrastructure and Communities Canada

The GBC recommends that the Government of Canada create conditions that encourage all jurisdictions to put forward the best possible natural infrastructure projects, for the new Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund and other infrastructure investments.

Cross-cutting Recommendations

Public Transit

Infrastructure and Communities Canada

The Green Budget Coalition recommends that the federal government invest $2 billion per year over 10 years in public transit. The government should deploy a climate lens, favouring initiatives that promise the greatest emissions reductions.

Cross-cutting Recommendations

Arctic Energy Fund

Infrastructure and Communities Canada

The recently announced Arctic Energy Fund of $400-million ($40-million per year over ten years beginning in 2018-19) should be designed on a “Renewable Energy First” principle to help address energy security in the territories.

Cross-cutting Recommendations

Canada’s Blue Action Plan

Environment and Climate Change Health Canada

Canada should invest in world class science and innovation to ensure we can monitor, assess and act on the full suite of environmental stressors to Canada’s fresh water including legacy, present and emerging chemicals and mixtures posing risks.

Recommended investment: 2018/19 – 2028/9: $62 million/year

Cross-cutting Recommendations

Implementing a New Sustainability Assessment Law

Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

The GBC recommends that the federal government allocate new funding of $15 million in 2018-19, and $30 million annually thereafter on an ongoing basis to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to implement the next-generation assessment law.

Cross-cutting Recommendations

Renewing Sunsetting Conservation Programs

Environment and Climate Change Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Parks Canada

In order to ensure that the government meets its commitments to catch up on species listing and achieve species protection, the GBC recommends that the Government of Canada renew and enhance funding for Species at Risk Act implementation by committing to $150 million over three years of B-base funding for the proper implementation of the Species at Risk Act and other consideration programs.

Cross-cutting Recommendations

Lung Cancer Prevention: Supporting Radon Mitigation

Finance Canada Health Canada

To complement the federal government’s programs for radon research, education and outreach, and certification of radon mitigation firms, the GBC recommends consideration of two options for incenting radon mitigation for homes with radon above federal guidelines.