Toward a Just and Green Recovery - Energy, Retrofits, Transportation

To make the shift to a low-carbon future, we need an energy transformation! The second installment from TO350's budget submission deals with a shift to clean energy, active and Zero Emission Vehicle transportation and retrofits. We've added in some quick action call-outs for each section. Stay tuned for part 3!

See [1] [2] and [3]


A transition to a zero-carbon electricity grid and clean energy is imperative for a healthy, resilient future. We must encourage innovations that will get us there. This will require a blend of regulation, a good dose of public money and other methods of furthering the transition. Canada must shift away from increased natural gas use, from liquified natural gas (LNG), and other methods of delivering energy that increase greenhouse gases (GHGs). Renewables are becoming attractive and financially prudent options, as the costs of wind and solar fall.

Some Recommendations below! See more in our full budget submission.

Expand or create:

  • Electric Vehicle and Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Deployment Program. [GBC]
  • Clean fuel storage and distribution with low-carbon fuels innovation program. [GBC]
  • Publicly owned renewable and decentralized energy projects, federal purchasing and community finance. e.g. rooftop solar in remote communities. [CPPA AFB]


Action alert: Greenpeace Options, No More Polluting Gas Plants and Ontario Clean Air Alliance



In order to meet Canada’s Paris Climate Agreement target, retrofits of all existing buildings, net-zero new builds as well as fuel-switching are essential. A range of tactics (i.e. public funds, incentives for commercial and institutional property owners, Property Assessed Clean Energy and Feed In Tariff programs) are needed to speed the shift to non-fossil fuel sources. Returns from more efficient systems could be significant over the long-term, while creating jobs and reducing emissions in the short-term. A shift to zero-emission buildings must also ensure that housing and energy are accessible and affordable for all. 

See [4] [5] and [6]


Excessively high energy costs exacerbate the social distress and impact of poverty on people, while inadequate heating systems lead to negative health impacts due to lower air quality and mold. [6]


  • provide ample funds for rapid retrofits of buildings and homes.
  • Support deep retrofits to make them affordable and fill service gaps.
  • Implement regulations tied to science-based goals. i.e. Passive House standards for net-zero new builds by 2022, end to natural gas use in buildings by 2040. 
  • Support retrofit programs targeted to Indigenous communities.


Action alert: sign on for Renters Rights and to Stop Environmental Racism. Support Idle No More.



More than ever, municipalities require support to make public transit accessible and safe. Crucially, Canada will need to increase the federal share of infrastructure project funding, expand public ownership with national priorities in mind for decarbonization, ensure communities can expand initiatives like cycling infrastructure, car-free zones, high-speed rail expansion, compact communities and rapid transit priority lanes, and employ community benefit clauses to help ensure benefits are fair for all. 

Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit public transportation systems especially hard. The federal government must take the necessary measures to stabilize transit systems and to work with provincial and municipal partners to accelerate the timelines for approved and pending transit projects. [7] This will help create employment in communities across Canada while better positioning them for a net zero carbon transportation system.



  • emergency relief funding for transit systems facing liquidity challenges. [GBC]
  • permanent transit fund, start date 2021. [GBC]
  • zero-emission bus incentive program. [GBC]
  • national strategy on walking and cycling along with increased funding to municipalities. [Guy Dauncey]


Action Alert: see ttcriders and Also, Stop Highway 413 and Holland Marsh Highway.


The competitiveness of our auto industry could be strengthened by doing more to build our zero-emission vehicle industry. This initiative starts with boosting local demand. Canada must begin to capture the economic benefits and job creation potential of the shift to electric vehicles. 

See [8] and [9]


Expand or create:

  • Incentive for Zero-Emission Vehicles (iZEV) rebate program. [GBC]
  • scale and scope of Zero-Emission Vehicle Incentive Program (ZEVIP) and the Electric Vehicle and Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Deployment (EVAFID) program.[GBC]
  • sales mandates. 2025 for the last conventional vehicle sales.
  • programs to reduce heavy-duty vehicle emissions. [CCPA AFB]


Action Alert: Shift to Cleaner Vehicles


[1] “Global Energy Transformation: A Roadmap to 2050” International Renewable Energy Alliance (2018) 

[2] Ibid, and Guy Dauncey, “Climate Emergency: 26 Week Transition Program for Canada” The Practical Utopian (January 5, 2020) 

[3]  “Hydrogen Economy Offers Promising Path to Decarbonization” BloombergNFP (March 30,2020) 

[4]   HRAI, “Economic Recovery through Efficient Investments in the Built Environment” (2020)

[5] Toronto’s 2018 Greenhouse Gas Inventory, 

[6] Graham Anderson, “Tackling Energy Poverty in Indigenous Communities on Reserve”, Ecotrust Canada

[7] Green Budget Coalition, “Preliminary Recovery Budget Actions for 2020-2021” (2020).

[8] Clean Energy Canada Submission for the Pre-Budget Consultations in Advance of the 2021 Federal Budget” (2020).

[9] Ben Sharp, Nic Lutsey, “Power Play: Canada’s Role in the Electric Vehicle Transition” (April 2020) 


Other Sources Referenced: 

Alternative Federal Budget Recovery Plan,” Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, (July 21, 2020)