“This Budget has nothing for climate – nothing at all. It’s as if we’re not in a climate emergency.”
– Elizabeth May, MP
The Liberal government released its budget this week, outlining the government’s priorities for 2018. Where it’s putting your money – and where it’s not.
Green Party members and supporters will recognize some of the government’s new budget initiatives such as increased funding for protected areas, pharmacare, and international development. These issues have been part of the Green Party platform for years and we are encouraged to see the Liberals are catching up. However, overall this budget fails to deliver in the best interests of Canadians on the country’s most pressing problems: Growing Inequality, Green Economy and most importantly: Climate Change.
See our analysis below for more information on where the Liberals got it right and where they fell short.
Green Party members have affirmed our commitment to healthy communities, bold action on climate change, and fair fiscal policy. With that framework in mind we’ve provided a short analysis of the budget from a Green perspective. After reviewing our analysis we’d love to hear what you think. Send us your thoughts on Budget 2018.
While the Liberal government talks a good game on climate change, its lack of action (and critical funding) speaks louder than those empty words.
The Liberals campaigned on a promise to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, but over two years into their mandate, they are still giving the industry hundreds of millions a year in taxpayer-funded handouts. Budget 2018 should have signalled the beginning of the end for these harmful subsidies.
Green Party members have been championing a universal pharmacare program for more than a decade. So we are thrilled to see the Liberal government’s commitment to implementing national pharmacare. We fully expect the results of their commission to conclude what we have been saying for years. Pharmacare for all is great policy that will make Canadians healthier and save billions of dollars. We will continue to push for early implementation.
We are deeply disappointed that Budget 2018 fails to provide any funding to restore the EcoENERGY retrofit program, nor to expand our east-west electricity grid.
EcoENERGY was a hugely successful program cut short. It allowed Canadians to invest in their most important asset — their home —while helping to reduce emissions across the country. We need to make sure that every Canadian home is retrofitted for energy efficiency to meet our emissions targets.
Despite commitments from successive Canadian governments to increase Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) to 0.7% of GDP, we have come nowhere near this target.
Canada must meet its modest responsibilities to help eliminate hunger and suffering among the world’s most impoverished. We applaud Budget 2018 for providing the first ODA increase since 2015, and encourage the Liberals to work towards the goal of 0.7% of GDP in the next decade.
Fighting Growing Inequality
Canada’s top earners are not paying their fair share of taxes. Canada is losing out on billions of dollars in revenue from offshore tax havens. The Liberal government did not commit to taking adequate action to recover this untaxed money hidden abroad.
We must close loopholes on offshore tax havens and immediately introduce a tax on estates worth more than $5 million.
Budget 2018 finally commits the necessary funds to put an end to the dark legacy of discrimination carried out by 150 years of Liberal and Conservative governments against Indigenous peoples. It took four compliance orders from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, which ruled that Canada was racially discriminating against First Nations children by refusing to provide equal funding for First Nations social services, but the government is finally moving on this important issue. This is an important step on the path to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
We welcome the promise of funding to protect biodiversity and complete Canada’s network of protected areas. Elizabeth May, Green Party staff, members and supporters will be watching closely to hold the government to its commitment.
The Liberal government should be commended for promising legislation guaranteeing women equal pay for work of equal value. However, we must point out that the gender impacts of climate change threaten to undermine other progress on gender equity. If climate change is not checked, women in Canada and around the world will bear the brunt of the ensuing economic and environmental upheaval.
Green Party members and supporters can be proud of their impact on national policy. Without your voices calling for healthier communities and stronger environmental protections, Budget 2018 may have reflected a much less Green outlook. Your support for our Green vision is what gives us hope in bringing forward bold, progressive policies to benefit all Canadians. Thanks for all that you do.
With Hope and Gratitude,
Green Party of Canada