Full Report

Complete Recommendations

In Budget 2017 and fiscal announcements in the preceding months, the GBC recommends that the Government of Canada emphasize a suite of fiscal measures to achieve its climate change mitigation and adaptation goals and related nature conservation objectives, and renew important freshwater programs.

Climate Change and Energy Sustainability

Carbon Pricing

Environment and Climate Change

The federal government has committed to working with the provinces, First Nations, and stakeholders to introduce a climate change framework for Canada, including a pan-Canadian carbon price. Successfully pricing carbon across Canada would involve policy that adheres to certain principles — most notably that it be broad-based and effective at reducing emissions — and a price that reflects the social cost of carbon. Revenue from pricing carbon should be used, at least in part, for protecting low-income households, further reducing GHG emissions, and investing in the natural and built environment to adapt to climatic impacts.

Climate Change and Energy Sustainability

Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform

Finance Canada Natural Resources Canada

The Green Budget Coalition (GBC) recommends that the Government of Canada phase-out, through a legislated schedule in Budget 2017, all tax provisions that provide preferential treatment to the fossil fuel sector.

Financial Savings: Approximately $1.5 billion in annual savings.

Climate Change and Energy Sustainability

International Climate Financing

Environment and Climate Change Global Affairs Canada

Canada and other industrialized countries have committed themselves in the Paris Agreement to mobilize US$100 billion per year to developing countries to assist them in addressing climate change. Canada’s 2020 public contribution remains at least CAN$2 billion short of Canada’s fair share.

Investment Required:

At least CAN$2 billion over the next three years, to be added to the $800 million already committed by the federal government for 2020, all of which will leverage additional investment by the private sector. Between 2021 and 2025, Canada’s annual public contribution should total CAN$2.8 billion to CAN$3.7 billion (using an appropriate leverage ratio for private sector financing, and depending on the US-Canada exchange rate).

Climate Change and Energy Sustainability

Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

Environment and Climate Change Natural Resources Canada

The Green Budget Coalition recommends that the Government of Canada renew funding of $1 billion annually to Natural Resources Canada for the Clean Energy Fund to finance renewable energy demonstration projects, and to fund renewable energy research, deployment and transmission across the country.

Investment required:

  • For 2017/18: $1 billion
  • Ongoing: $1 billion/year for 4 years

To support energy efficiency, the Green Budget Coalition recommends that the Government of Canada provide $400 million per year for the next five years to re-establish an energy efficiency home retrofit program, similar to the ecoENERGY Retrofit program, starting with the north and low income housing.

Investment required:

  • For 2017/18: $400 million
  • Ongoing: $400 million/year for 5 years


Climate Change and Energy Sustainability

Clean Energy Deployment in Indigenous Communities

Environment and Climate Change Indigenous and Northern Affairs Natural Resources Canada

It is imperative that Canada’s Indigenous Peoples share the economic and social benefits of the nation’s transition to a low-carbon future. The Green Budget Coalition encourages Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, with the support of other Ministries including Natural Resources Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada, to prioritize the deployment of renewable energy in northern and remote Indigenous communities that currently depend on expensive and polluting diesel electricity generation.

Investment Required

  • For 2017/18: $60 million
  • For ongoing: $60 million/year over 13 years

Infrastructure, Ecosystems and Climate Change Adaption

Natural Infrastructure and Ecosystem Adaptation

Environment and Climate Change Health Canada Infrastructure and Communities Canada Natural Resources Canada Public Safety Canada

The Green Budget Coalition recommends that in Budget 2017 the Government of Canada allocate 30% of planned phase-2 Green Infrastructure funding for investments to protect and enhance Canada’s vital natural infrastructure, which provides services such as clean water, flood mitigation, coastal sea surge protection, and many other important services. Much of this natural infrastructure has been lost or degraded. Existing natural infrastructure assets urgently need to be protected and/or restored for the health and safety of Canadians. In addition, we recommend that a specific fund should be developed to help Canada’s ecosystems adapt to climate change.

Investment Required

  • For 2016/2017 : 30% of Green Infrastructure funding for natural infrastructure investments
  • For 2016/2017 : 10% to the budget allocated from supporting the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change for helping Canada’s ecosystems adapt to climate change
  • Ongoing : 30% of Green Infrastructure funding per year over 10 years
  • Ongoing : 10% to the budget allocated to support the Pan-Canadian Framework for helping ecosystems adapt to climate change

Infrastructure, Ecosystems and Climate Change Adaption

Public Transit Funding

Infrastructure and Communities Canada

The Green Budget Coalition recommends that the Government of Canada invest $2 billion per year for the next 10 years in public transit. Because each dollar invested by Ottawa in transit generates, on average, at least two dollars in additional funding from other levels of government39, the proposed $20 billion investment could leverage an additional $40 billion over the next decade.

Recommended investment:

  • 2017/2018: $2 billion
  • Ongoing: $2 billion/year for 10 years

Nature Conservation

Meeting Canada’s Commitments on Terrestrial Protected Areas

Environment and Climate Change Parks Canada

The GBC recommends that the federal government invest $10 million per year for five years for Parks Canada to lead the development, and coordinate implementation, of a pan-Canadian action plan to protect at least 17% of land and inland waters by 2020, and to identify long-term priorities for protection beyond 2020. This initiative should be conducted in collaboration with Canadian Wildlife Service, provincial, territorial and Indigenous governments, and non-governmental organizations.

The GBC also recommends a further investment of $85 million per year, on-going, plus a one-time $50 million investment to Parks Canada and Environment Canada to Create at least six new national parks and three new national wildlife areas by 2020; and identify additional new areas for protection through science and traditional knowledge-based plans; and strengthen management of all national parks, national wildlife areas and migratory bird sanctuaries to better protect their ecological integrity.

Investment Required:

  • For 2017/18: $145 million/year
  • From 2018/19 to 2021/22: $95 million/year
  • Ongoing, from 2022/23: $85 million/year

Nature Conservation

National Indigenous Guardians Network

The GBC supports the Indigenous-led proposal to the federal government to invest in a national Indigenous Guardians Network.

Required Investment

  • For 2017/2018: $26 million
  • Ongoing: $500 million over five years (including 2017/2018 expenditures) to support a National Indigenous Guardians Network and create an associated funding program for community-based Indigenous guardians.

Nature Conservation

Conservation Investments on Working Landscapes

Agriculture and Argi-food Environment and Climate Change Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Parks Canada

Some of Canada’s most unique and ecologically valuable wildlife habitat exists on working landscapes, which are comprised of wetlands and associated uplands, grasslands, southern forest ecosystems and other threatened habitats, particularly on privately owned lands.

The Green Budget Coalition is recommending that the federal government continue to invest in conservation on working landscapes, including allocating funds for new programs in land management & stewardship and biodiversity conservation, while enhancing existing highly successful programs.

Nature Conservation

Conserving our Oceans

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

Long-term, stable funding is necessary to support fulfillment of Canada’s domestic and international commitments to ocean conservation, and to restore federal leadership for integrated, ecosystem-based ocean management. Achieving successful co-management of Canada’s oceans requires investment in governance structures and marine planning, while the completion of Canada’s national network of marine protected areas is in need of funding across relevant departments and agencies. Recently restored science funding must be upheld, and additional funding is recommended to fully implement Canada’s suite of fisheries management policies and legislation.

Investment Required:

  • For 2017/18: $146 million
  • Ongoing: $146 million per year for five years

Healthy Communities

Freshwater Resources

Agriculture and Argi-food Environment and Climate Change Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Global Affairs Canada

Canada’s fresh waters contribute extensively to the social, ecological and economic well-being of our country and are a tremendous resource on a global scale. Canadians recognize freshwater is Canada’s most important natural resource, as shown in a recent 2016 RBC Canadian Water Attitudes study. In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, the Green Budget Coalition recommends that the Government of Canada strengthen its commitment to improving and protecting the nation’s freshwater resources by investing in a national Canada Water Fund. Such a commitment will strengthen the national framework to achieve long-term watershed health, support and lead in the area of world class science, strengthen capacity and partnerships, and address significant watershed-scale challenges.

Total Recommended Investment:

  • Canada Water Fund: $225 million per year for five years

Healthy Communities

Lung Cancer Prevention: A Tax Credit for Radon Mitigation

Finance Canada Health Canada

The GBC recommends providing a federal income tax credit to individuals and small-scale landlords of 15 percent of the cost of radon mitigation work performed by experts certified by the Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program where a three-month test indicates an indoor radon level above the Canadian radon guideline (currently 200 Bq/m3).

Investment Required:

  • None. This tax measure would result in net tax benefits to federal and provincial governments.

Supporting Evidence-Based Decision Making

Supporting Evidence-Based Decision Making

Environment and Climate Change Innovation, Science and Economic Development Natural Resources Canada Statistics Canada

Peer reviewed science, data and information, including geographic information and mapping (GIS), form the foundation for public policy and environmental leadership. The government has recognized this in its commitment to “evidence-based decision making”, and in its understanding of the role that science plays in informing effective government policy.

The Green Budget Coalition recommends that the federal government continue to rebuild and enhance Canada’s ecosystem science capacity and specifically fund 3 important initiatives:

  • National Ecosystem Monitoring
  • Measuring Ecological Goods and Services
  • Wetlands Inventory and Monitoring