OTTAWA – The federal government’s Budget 2022 makes some promising commitments for legislation that aims to help Canadians with affordability but ignores the reality of the climate crisis, impacting people from coast to coast to coast.
“It’s socially progressive in many parts, but we’re missing the mark for climate because these investments are based on the wrong targets,” said Green Party of Canada parliamentary Leader Elizabeth May (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands). “We have no hope of holding onto a 1.5 degree increase in global temperatures.”
The budget comes just days after the latest report from the International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) delivered a stark warning that the world must rapidly abandon fossil fuels or face climate catastrophe. The budget includes billions in a new subsidy for oil and gas, overshadowing other climate initiatives.
“We’re on a trajectory for an unlivable world, and we’ve somehow decided that we know better than the IPCC,” said Ms. May.
The government is also investing in or committing to introducing legislation for childcare, pharmacare, and dental care for lower income Canadians, programs Greens have been advocating for years.
“One huge disappointment is for the disability community, who have been calling on the government to fast-track a Canada Disability Benefit. There isn’t even a mention of it,” said Mike Morrice (MP, Kitchener Centre). “Instead, the sole focus is a small amount of money for an employment strategy, as if the only value Canadians with disabilities offer our society is their readiness to work.”
The Green Party is pleased to see an investment in building 6,000 new co-op housing units, a scale not seen since the 1980s.
“There’s no silver bullet to fix the housing crisis, but a mix of investments and policies in this budget offer some hope,” said Mr. Morrice. “It’s promising to see a commitment to end blind bidding and tax home flippers more fairly. We need to ensure that housing is for people to live in, not a commodity for investors to trade.”
Another missed opportunity was the lack of investment in public transit service.
“We’re losing bus service across the country,” said Green of Party Canada interim Leader Amita Kuttner. “Increasing transportation between communities would help our aging population, create jobs, and play an important role in tackling climate change. By choosing to not invest, especially in rural areas, we are not only forcing people into cars, but we are failing to meet one of the key recommendations of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Two-Spirit Peoples.”
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