“As the polls show, a majority of Canadians know there is no time to waste. Our communities can’t afford any more delays. The federal parties must now put aside their differences and work together to do what is needed to tackle the environmental crisis we face.”
A Statement on the Canadian Federal Election Results from Tim Gray, Executive Director of Environmental Defence Canada
Posted September 22nd, 2021 on Niagara At Large
Toronto, Ontario – While no party won a majority mandate yesterday, the environment did, thanks to the millions of Canadians who cast ballots for parties that put forward strong policies to confront the climate emergency and advance environmental protection.
At a time where multiple crises are converging globally, this was a crucial election for Canadians. As the polls show, a majority of Canadians know there is no time to waste. Our communities can’t afford any more delays. The federal parties must now put aside their differences and work together to do what is needed to tackle the environmental crisis we face.
If all of the ambitious climate proposals from all of the parties were implemented, Canada would be well on its way to doing its fair share to avoid catastrophic levels of global warming.
There are now environmental champions in every party – it should be easier to take bold action on climate change and environmental protection. Canada has a history of achievements under minority governments, including the adoption of healthcare and universal pension plans. Tackling the climate and ecological crises should become part of that list.
We call on the new government to work quickly to implement the important promises that were made during the election campaign, including:
- Bringing a swift end to fossil fuel subsidies and supports, including public finance provided through crown corporations such as Export Development Canada
- Ending the export of Canadian and American thermal coal through our ports
- Establishing a cap on carbon emissions from the oil and gas sector that ensures no expansions to the sector, and aligns with a plan to wind down production of oil and gas over the next two decades
- Ensuring Canada’s transition to a decarbonized economy includes/is based upon a just transition for workers and communities, starting with immediately resuming the consultation process on just transition launched in August 2021
- Immediately implementing the promised bans on single-use plastics, establish a requirement that new plastic products contain a significant amount of recycled material, and invest in reuse of packaging
- Enforcing the right of Canadians to repair devices and appliances instead of throwing them away
- Prioritizing freshwater by working with all stakeholders to modernize the 50-year-old Canada Water Act to reflect the challenging realities that freshwater faces across Canada including issues such as climate change, upholding Indigenous water rights, and reducing nutrients, toxics, and plastic pollution
- Bringing forward a strong bill to modernize the Canadian Environmental Protection Act to better protect Canadians from toxic chemicals and move forward with regulations that require transparent labelling of consumer products.
- Upholding the promise to invest $1 billion over 10 years into Canada’s big freshwater lakes and river systems and deliberate with experts on if this amount should be increased.
- Developing a strategy to address environmental justice by examining the link between race, socio-economic status, and exposure to environmental risk.
We further urge the government and parliament to refuse false solutions to climate and pollution crises, such as carbon capture and storage, and “advanced” or “chemical” recycling.
About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy
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