Federal budget falls short on ‘green’ expectations

Published March 24, 2011

The new budget fails to invest in renewable energy technologies such as solar panels, say environment and social justice groups. Photo: Shutterstock

Environmental and social justice groups in Canada have criticized the new federal Conservative budget saying it does not reflect the opinion of Canadians who want greater action on climate change.

An Environics Research poll has found that more than 80 per cent of Canadians believe the government should invest in “green jobs” and address the impacts of climate change. The poll was commissioned by a number of interested groups, including the ecumenical justice group, Kairos, the Council of Canadians, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, Indigenous Environmental Network, Common FrontiersPublic Service Alliance of Canada and Toronto Bolivia Solidarity.

“Canadians understand that the interests of the economy and environment are interlinked, why doesn’t the Canadian government?” said Dorothy McDougall from Kairos, which represents 11 Canadian churches and church-based groups, including the Anglican Church of Canada.

“This budget brings little change to the 20 to 1 ratio of National Defence spending versus spending on the environment,” said Rick Arnold, co-ordinator for Common Frontiers, an organization that advocates for change in international relations in the Americas.

“The failure in the budget to prioritize investments in green job expansion and to continue an important renewable energy program just doesn’t make sense,” added Donald Lafleur, national vice president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.


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