In Budget 2019 and fiscal announcements in the preceding months, the Green Budget Coalition recommended that the Government of Canada prioritize measures to advance the following four objectives – each of which would create notable environmental, economic and social benefits for Canadians from coast to coast:
1) Tackling Toxics – Provide regulatory departments and agencies (ECCC, HC, PMRA) with sufficient resources to meet current and anticipated federal legislative requirements (CEPA, 1999, PCPA) for managing toxic substances, including pesticides, to protect the health of Canadians and our environment.
2) Phasing out fossil fuel subsidies – Continue progress on aligning fossil fuel tax policy with the Government’s climate change objectives through increased transparency and reporting, a volunteer peer review, and defining “efficient” fossil fuel subsidies.
3) Delivering on Canada’s Commitments to Sustainable Agriculture – Invest in agri-environmental programs, research & development, and food waste prevention programs to make Canada a trusted global leader in sustainable food production that improves the environment, resilience and competitiveness of the agricultural sector.
4) Delivering 21st Century Management for Freshwater Protection – To address aquatic habitat, land-based run-off of nutrients and pollution, balancing hydroelectric development with river connectivity and flows, water quality and quantity challenges, caused by climate change and changing land use.
This document also outlines a number of complementary recommendations, including for oceans, migratory birds, carbon pricing, international climate financing, cleaner Arctic ship fuels, zero emission vehicles, First Nations drinking water and wastewater, zero emission vehicles, community-owned clean energy, healthy homes, environmental data and science, and allocating Budget 2018 funding for protected areas, species at risk and environmental laws.
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:
- Delivering on Canada’s commitment to protect land, inland waters and oceans, and to plan for the larger scale protection needed to sustain healthy ecosystems in the long term.
- 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.
- Sustainable Fisheries – Investments in fish habitat protection and restoration, and in rebuilding, recovering and sustainably managing fisheries, to ensure sustainable fisheries management across Canada.
- 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.
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. In particular, the GBC recommends Budget 2017 ensure action to:
- Implement a well-designed, pan-Canadian carbon price,
- Direct 30% of green infrastructure funding to natural infrastructure options
- Phase-out exploration and development subsidies to the fossil fuel industry,
- Take strategic, nation-wide, multi-year conservation action in three areas:
- Terrestrial protected areas
- Working landscapes
- Oceans and fisheries
- Renew important freshwater programs sunsetting in March 2017.
Budget 2016 and those that follow are core policy tools through which the federal government must help restore the health of Canadian ecosystems, protect Canadian communities from environmental risks and ensure that our country is competitive in the emerging low carbon economy. The Green Budget Coalition’s Recommendations for Budget 2016 were designed to provide respective Ministers with the resources to deliver on the commitments announced in the Ministerial Mandate Letters throughout the next four years. For Budget 2016, the Green Budget Coalition recommended that the Government of Canada implement strategic budgetary measures in the following seven key areas:
- Clean Energy and Climate Change Leadership
- Infrastructure and Climate Change Adaptation
- Protecting our Changing Arctic
- Delivering on Canada’s Conservation Commitments
- Engaging Canadians in Conservation
- Protecting Canada’s Fresh Water
- Healthy Environments, Healthy Canadians
- Energy innovation and climate change Leadership – an integrated agenda to capitalize on the blossoming global clean technology industry and take leadership on climate change;
- Achieving canada’s conservation commitments – making progress on protecting our life support system, starting by meeting our international Aichi biodiversity targets; and
- Ensuring Healthy Communities for all Canadians – featuring a new environmental health equity agenda to ensure all Canadians – including vulnerable and disadvantaged populations – can enjoy the same level of protection from preventable environmental health hazards.
- Subsidy Reform in the Extractive Industries: Supporting Responsible Resource Development,
- National Conservation Plan: Securing Canada’s Natural Advantage, and
- Protecting Canada’s Fresh Water.
- Subsidy Reform in the Extractive Industries,
- National Conservation Plan: Securing Canada’s Natural Advantage for Future Generations,
- Strengthening Canada’s Environmental Law and Science Capacity, and
- Green Infrastructure in First Nations Communities.