Cupids Health

2021 Federal budget analysis: how just and green will the COVID recovery be?

Strategy to decarbonize the economy by 2040.  $17.6 billion over 5 years dedicated to “a green recovery to create jobs, build a clean economy, and fight and protect against climate change.” This is in addition to the $15 billion announced as part of the December 2020 climate plan. There’s a lot of money (over $6 billion) to subsidize clean technology – we need to make sure this supports good jobs building zero-carbon infrastructure and services, not prop up oil company profits and practices. Plans to protect 30% of lands, oceans and freshwaters by 2030. The federal government has finally recognized that protecting biodiversity also protects our climate. Over $3.3 billion to expand protection of Canada’s natural environment – including our forests, prairies, oceans and rivers. 200 million for natural infrastructure, including green spaces in urban areas. Work with Indigenous Peoples and their knowledge holders to advance reconciliations and de-colonisation through conservation, including a focus on Indigenous Protected and conserved Areas (IPCAs). Ensure that local communities benefit from nature jobs in growing, maintaining and monitoring Canada’s new protected areas over the long term. 
Clear and detailed plan for achieving new nature and biodiversity targets, including transparent annual progress reporting. 
More details here. Expand electric transit, cycling and walking infrastructure. $15 billion (previously announced) for transit, including electric buses. 
$200 million for urban green spaces that could provide access to nature and corridors for biking and walking. The federal government must work directly with cities to make sure green infrastructure supports walking and cycling. Help transition automakers to electric vehicles by 2030. Not much new money for electrification of transportation, but $94 million for development of new regulations should support tougher vehicle standards.
$56 million for standardization of charging stations. Implement an aggressive Zero Emissions Vehicle standard that phases out the production and sale of new internal combustion engines by 2035. Jobs in energy efficiency and low-carbon housing for vulnerable communities. The $4.4 billion energy retrofit program will have a dedicated stream of funding to support low-income homeowners and rental properties serving low-income renters including cooperatives and not-for-profit owned housing, but it isn’t clear how large that program will be. We need a more comprehensive approach to energy efficiency retrofits, but it is good to see the specific needs of low-income households are to be incorporated in the current program. Jobs in community-based farming and ecological agriculture. $200 million over 2 years for on-farm climate solutions. $140 million to top up the Emergency Food Security Fund and Local Food Infrastructure Fund. $163.4 million over 3 years to expand the Nutrition North Canada program. No mention of a national school food programme. Ensure the funding supports small and medium farmers , rather than industrial agriculture. Supporting Indigenous food sovereignty and BIPOC-led food initiatives as a priority focus. Take steps to build a circular economy by supporting zero-waste innovation and implementing the ban on single-use plastics. No significant progress on building a circular economy. 
$10 million new program to address plastic waste in oceans from abandoned fishing gear. Continue to advocate and organize.

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