Today, on National Indigenous Peoples’ day, it is a good time to mention that Bill C-15 has passed and royal assent is coming soon. To quote the bill’s summary, it will require that the government of Canada “take all measures necessary to ensure that the laws of Canada are consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP),” a human rights instrument focused on Indigenous rights.
When Toronto350 graded the federal Speech from the Throne in September 2020, we considered whether it represented an appropriate response to the interlocking health, economic and climate crises. The 2021 Budget puts funding behind the Throne Speech’s promises, and so we ask again, does this Budget support Canadians in a just recovery and a transition to a low-carbon economy?
In 2020, two different bills were tabled in the House of Commons to support climate change accountability. The first, the Climate Change Accountability Act (Bill C-215), was introduced by MP Kristina Michaud of the Bloc Québécois in February 2020. The second, the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act (Bill C-12), was introduced by the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change in November 2020.
So who wrote the better bill?Read more
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.
Three simple steps can make all the difference.
While the federal government’s Climate Accountability Act, Bill C-12, is a step forward, it leaves much to be desired. There are critical gaps in this proposed legislation(1) that must be addressed if Canada has any hope of fulfilling its climate commitments and doing its part to avoid climate catastrophe.
Dear Premier Ford,
Hoping to avoid any misunderstanding between us, I will use your vernacular and COVID terminology to discuss the climate crisis with you. I am hoping that by using a communication style you have created, my message will be clear to you.
WE ARE IN THE RED ZONE!!!!
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!
As COVID-19 chases us inside and shuts the door behind us, it also shines a bright light on the cracks in our society. People struggle to meet their families’ needs and care for loved ones who are ill, immunocompromised or disabled. They face isolation and uncertainty. Groups of people, including migrant workers and precarious workers, the homeless and low-income renters are especially vulnerable. Health care workers raise the alarm about inadequate supplies and resources.Read more
As the IPPC report, the recent Lancet report on health and climate change and others show, we are in a climate emergency and have very few years left to act, to keep global temperatures from warming over 1.5°C. Every incremental temperature increase matters, bringing with it more disastrous effects, such as life-threatening heat waves and extreme weather. As the environmental commissioner writes in her 2018 report, Climate Action in Ontario: What’s Next (ER Report), ”if we continue at current global emission rates, the toddlers of today will see severe, widespread and irreversible impacts, far beyond what they may be able to adapt to….Every tonne counts, and every action matters.”1