On Wednesday September 8th, TO350 and People’s Climate Movement Toronto led an on-the-ground "Canada's Still on Fire" action at Queen’s Park. The event was one of 60 held across the country in a nationwide effort initiated by 350Canada to make it clear that climate must be front and centre this election.
Decarbonizing Canada is a critical step to ensure a climate-safe and resilient future. An effective National Decarbonization Strategy can help us build back better, creating inclusive, green communities and quality green jobs (e.g. jobs in renewable energy). This strategy must include equitable partnerships with Indigenous communities, investing in renewable energy projects on Indigenous homelands and continuing to expand Indigenous ownership.
Here is a version of our budget submission part 3 of 7, with some simple calls to action that you can take added in.
Both the provincial and federal levels of government are failing to truly address the emergencies we face. While we have heard relatively progressive words at the federal level, in the Throne Speech and the recent Fall Economic Statement, actions do not support these words. They do not go far enough fast enough. They leave a gaping, industry-sized hole apparent across different legislation and in all current plans.
In fact, Canada is still supporting fossil fuel in a major way. The country ranks worst of the OECD countries in the G20 Scorecard for ending funding for fossil fuels, and the Production Gap Report cites Canada as one of the leading providers of fossil fuel producer subsidies. A loan guarantee was even given to Keystone XL as part of the COVID recovery package!
People all across the world have been waking up to alarms, health warnings and evacuation alerts because of wildfires, storms, flooding and dangerous air quality. They couldn't ignore the climate crisis and neither should our politicians.
Well, that was fast.
On September 23rd, we heard the speech from the throne in which the Liberal government promised many things with many nice words. A lot of those promises centred on environmentalism and upholding Indigenous rights. Yet here we are, only a week later, and already it feels like we’ve been fed a bunch of lies yet again.
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When the current Ontario government came into power with a majority, the first thing they did was reverse the climate initiatives that were well underway. They cut funds to energy efficiency programs, rolled back renewables and clean industry projects and put out a climate plan with significantly less ambition. The new plan reduced greenhouse gas emission cuts by about a third, allowing for 30MT more pollution!
Now, the Ontario government wants to ramp up Ontario’s gas-powered plants, undoing a third of the gains made from coal plant closures and increasing Greenhouse gas emissions 300% by 2025 and 400% by 2040. In fact, they just spent $2.8 billion on 3 gas plants to do so! To supply the plants, Enbridge wants to build a new pipeline through Hamilton to import fracked gas from the U.S.