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What could Budget 2018 mean for Canada’s environment?

Canada is consulting on Budget 2018. So too, is the Canadian Environmental Law Association and 18 other leading Canadian environmental organizations who have headed to Ottawa, as the Green Budget Coalition, to tell our Ministers, Members of Parliament and Privy Council what we recommend for people and the planet in 2018.

As the Green Budget Coalition, we mobilize our collective capacity to present a unified voice – whose combined memberships represent hundreds of thousands of Canadians – to let Canada’s elected officials know what investments are needed to act on existing promises and to move forward with human and ecosystem health priorities.

CELA’s Executive Director Theresa McClenaghan and members of the GBC meet with Finance Minister Morneau

Last week, the Green Budget Coalition met with Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau and presented the GBC’s full suite of Budget 2018 recommendations. Earlier this fall, we spoke with Ministers including Minster of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, and Fisheries and Oceans Minister, Dominic Leblanc.

CELA Counsel Kerrie Blaise and members of the GBC, in discussion Minister McKenna.

In our meetings, we repeated four key areas needing investment from Canada’s Budget 2018, and quantified the ecosystem services Canada would receive, in return. We asked the Federal government to:

1. Deliver a federal investment of $1.4 billion over three years, to allow Canada to honour its commitment under the United Nation’s Convention on Biological Diversity to protect at least 17% of our land and 10% of our ocean by 2020;

2. Invest $558 million over five years in programs, scientific research and policy development that supports environmentally sustainable agriculture;

3. Provide $260 million over five years to restore and protect fish habitat, and sustainably manage fisheries; and

4. Support the climate mitigation and adaption efforts of developing countries, and scale up efforts on international climate financing.

In addition, we flagged several complimentary and cross-cutting measures Canada could pursue in Budget 2018. For example, we again asked the feds to complement existing programs for radon research, education and outreach, and certification of radon mitigation firms, to consider two options for incenting radon mitigation for homes with radon above federal guidelines.

Among the additional cross-cutting recommendations sought by the GBC were:

As we await the announcement of Budget 2018, we encourage you to continue this consultation by letting our Prime Minister, Ministries and Members of Parliament know what the health of the environment and our communities mean for you, in Budget 2018. You can send a letter, tweet #YourBudget2018 ideas on social media or share this year’s GBC full suite of Recommendations for Budget 2018.