Full Report

Recommendations for Budget 2019

In Budget 2019 and fiscal announcements in the preceding months, the Green Budget Coalition recommends that the Government of Canada prioritize actions to advance the following five objectives. Adopting these recommendations would create notable economic, health and environmental benefits for Canadians.

Our recommendations are inter-related and synergistic. There are particularly strong linkages between the toxics and pesticides, agriculture and freshwater recommendations.

Tackling Toxics and Pesticides

Tackling Toxics and Pesticides

Environment and Climate Change Health Canada

Environment and Climate Change Canada and Health Canada lack adequate resources to meet federal legislative requirements for assessing and managing toxic substances, including pesticides, on an ongoing basis. To protect the health of Canadians and our environment from toxic exposures, the Green Budget Coalition recommends the following investments:

1. Next generation chemicals management:

a. Preparing to implement legislative changes to modernize the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA): $25 million over two years for ECCC and HC;

b. Ongoing chemical assessment, research and monitoring, and risk manage- ment activities beyond Phase 3 of the Chemicals Management Plan:
$100 million annually, starting in 2021-22 and ongoing for ECCC and HC;

c. Enforcement of CEPA and pollution prevention provisions in the Fisheries Act: $50 million in 2019, and then $100 million annually ongoing for ECCC.

2. Improving pesticide regulation:

a.) Fulfilling obligations under the Pest Control Products Act (PCPA) to assess risks from pesticides, and upgrading compliance and enforcement: $50 million in 2019, and then $100 million annually ongoing for Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA).

b.) Reviving and expanding the National Pesticides Monitoring and Surveillance Network: $10 million over five years for ECCC.

Phasing out Fossil Fuel Subsidies and Non-tax Support

Phasing Out Fossil Fuel Subsidies and Non-tax Support

Environment and Climate Change Finance Canada Global Affairs Canada Natural Resources Canada

The federal government has committed a number of times to stop subsidizing fossil fuels in Canada, recognizing that inefficient subsidies for fossil fuels undermine efforts to deal with climate change, encourage wasteful energy consumption, reduce energy security, and impede investment in clean energy. However, in 2017 Canada’s Auditor General found that certain tax provisions in support of the fossil fuel industry have not been reformed by the Finance Department and that the Finance Department had not developed an implementation plan with timelines to support the phase-out by 2025.

Changes announced in Budget 2017 on fossil fuel subsidy reform were a positive step forward. In June 2018, the federal government also announced it would enter into a peer review of its fossil fuel subsidies with Argentina, a welcome commitment that should help achieve the transparency needed to fulfil Canada’s 2025 phase-out commitment.

Cost: Very low. Annual savings of several hundred million dollars.

Delivering on Canada’s Commitments to Sustainable Agriculture

Delivering on Canada’s Commitments to Sustainable Agriculture

Agriculture and Agri-food Environment and Climate Change Health Canada

Agricultural pollution, land conversion and climate change are increasingly jeopardizing the competitiveness and resilience of our agricultural sector — a sector that is key to our thriving economy. Canada is already committed to minimizing the environmental impacts of our working agricultural landscapes, through various international and domestic targets on sustainable agriculture and on-farm biodiversity conservation, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Canada’s 2020 Biodiversity Targets. However, as noted by the federal Commissioner of Environment and Sustainable Development Spring 2018 reports, Canada will fail to meet both these targets unless it takes decisive action through strategic and targeted investments beyond announcements already made under the new Canadian Agricultural Partnership and a Food Policy for Canada.

The Green Budget Coalition recommends that the Government of Canada invest$117 million per year for the next five years (2019-2024) to improve the sustainability, resilience and competitiveness of the agricultural sector via the following programs:

1. Agri-Environmental Programs: $109 million per year
2. R&D in Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture: $4.4 million per year
3. Food Waste Prevention Program: $3.6 million per year

These programs and their rationale are outlined in the following pages and detailed online at www.greenbudget.ca/2019Agriculture.

Delivering 21st Century Management for Freshwater Protection

Delivering 21st Century Management for Freshwater Protection

Agriculture and Agri-food Environment and Climate Change Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Natural Resources Canada

Water stewardship is a great challenge of our time. Growing populations. Increasing demand for food and energy. Urbanization. Climate change. These 21st century pressures are mounting and compounding. Effective water stewardship and management is critical to the health of our environment, our economy and to the people of Canada.

While the mandate to manage freshwater is a shared jurisdiction between all levels of government, the federal government is uniquely positioned to take a leadership and convening role in freshwater science, data sharing technology and communication to Canadians about freshwater health.

The Green Budget Coalition recommends scaling up the Freshwater Action Plan, building on work already underway in the Great Lakes and Lake Winnipeg watersheds, with the following new and expanded investments in Budget 2019:

1. Improving Canada’s ability to address water challenges due to climate change and changing land-use through significant investment in enhanced data-sharing, information and communication of results. $20 million per year for 5 years

2. Creating an aquatic habitat “restoration economy”. $110 Million (total)over 5 years; plus estimated revenues of $5 million per year ongoing

3. Reducing land-based run-off of nutrients and pollution in Canada’s watersheds. $100 million per year for 5 years

4. Balancing hydroelectric development with improved river connectivity and flow. $5 million (total) over 3 years

Conserving the Biodiversity and Health of our Oceans

Conserving the Biodiversity and Health of our Oceans

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

Long-term, stable funding is necessary to support fulfillment of Canada’s domestic and international commitments to ocean governance, co-management and conservation, to support Indigenous Reconciliation and a Blue Economy. The Green Budget Coalition recommends the following major investment to ensure Canada meets its international ocean conservation target commitments up to and beyond 2020, and to restore federal leadership and capacity for ecosystem-based ocean management:

1. Ocean co-management and governance, marine spatial planning, marine protected area (MPA) networks, and Inuit Impact Benefit Agreements

  • $247.5 million in 2019-2020
  • $236 million per year over 2020-2024
  • Ongoing funding of $94 million per year thereafter

Additional funding is recommended for:

  1. Rebuilding and enhancing fisheries stock assessment capacity —
  2. Aquaculture related environmental research, monitoring, enforcement, and alternative production methods — $20 million per year over five years
  3. Reducing marine debris including plastic pollution – see complementary recommendation, later in document, on Plastics – Enhancing Canada’s role in the stewardship and reduction of plastic waste in a Circular Economy

Climate Change and Energy Sustainability

Carbon Pricing

Environment and Climate Change

A pan-Canadian price on carbon will be a key policy to enable Canada to reach its 2030 carbon reduction commitment under the Paris climate agreement.

Climate Change and Energy Sustainability

Attributing the Costs of Climate Change

Environment and Climate Change

The Green Budget Coalition recommends that the federal government identify and quantify the portion of costs incurred by Canada as a result of, and in order to prepare for, climate change that are attributable to global fossil fuel interests (and not otherwise explicitly paid), and investigate options to recover those costs from those interests.

Climate Change and Energy Sustainability

International Climate Financing

Environment and Climate Change Finance Canada Global Affairs Canada

Canada and other industrialized countries committed in the Paris Agreement to mobilizing USD 100 billion every year to assist developing countries to adapt to climate change impacts and undertake low-carbon development.

Climate Change and Energy Sustainability

Zero Emission Vehicles

Environment and Climate Change Infrastructure and Communities Canada Innovation, Science and Economic Development Natural Resources Canada Transport Canada

The Green Budget Coalition recommends that Transport Canada implement a ZEV mandate combined with a two- year, Canada-wide ZEV incentive of $6,000 per vehicle (restricted to vehicles with a sticker price under $75,000).

Climate Change and Energy Sustainability

Supporting the Transition to Cleaner Ship Fuels in the Canadian Arctic

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada Environment and Climate Change Natural Resources Canada Transport Canada

To eliminate HFO use and carriage in Canadian Arctic shipping, a fuel transition fund is needed to support the phase out of polluting HFO to lighter less polluting fuels in the shipping industry.

Climate Change and Energy Sustainability

Labelling Home and Building Energy Efficiency

Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation Natural Resources Canada

The Green Budget Coalition recommends the federal government allocate
$2 million in 2019 to support provinces to implement mandatory labelling (for homes and buildings), including for convening stakeholders to increase awareness of the value of mandatory labelling, to develop and implement labeling pilot programs, and for capacity building for real estate agents, realtors, building inspectors, and building tradespeople.

Climate Change and Energy Sustainability

Community Ownership of Clean Energy

Finance Canada Innovation, Science and Economic Development Natural Resources Canada

The federal government can play a key role in leveraging and unlocking community capital by providing loan guarantees, debt financing, tax credits, and other support for community ownership of clean energy through existing small business and economic development programs such as the Community Futures Development Corporations.

Cross-cutting Recommendations

A National Environmental Science Data and Management Strategy for Canada

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 an updated, integrated and complete data collection and management strategy to effectively address Canada’s growing environmental challenges and manage economic growth in an environmentally sustainable
manner. A coordinated national scientific and data management strategy would have profound and long-lasting impacts.

Cross-cutting Recommendations

Renewed Commitment to Canada’s Birds

Environment and Climate Change

As a leading member of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative, the Government clearly recognizes the seriousness of the problem. Still, increased funding and immediate action are needed to address the many factors threatening Canada’s birds.

Cross-cutting Recommendations

Plastics – Enhancing Canada’s Role in the Stewardship and Reduction of Plastic Waste in a Circular Economy

Environment and Climate Change

Now is the time for a national waste reduction strategy that harmonizes performance standards, measurement protocols, and definitions from coast-to-coast-to-coast.

Cross-cutting Recommendations

First Nations Drinking Water & Wastewater Infrastructure

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada Indigenous Services Canada Infrastructure and Communities Canada

While investments have been announced in previous budgets for First Nations water
and wastewater, the Green Budget Coalition recommends that a permanent sustained funding envelope be established to provide predictability to First Nations and allow for ongoing and long term planning, construction, upgrading, retro-fitting, and maintenance of those systems, along with training and operational upgrades, in the amount of $415 million per year.