For Our Kids Vancouver and For Our Kids Sunshine Coast have jointly submitted a brief to the federal governments 2022 pre-budget consultations and have made a series of recommendations. We encourage you to download a copy and email it to your MP with your own personal message stating why you feel it is important that the federal budget puts the climate crisis as a top priority. Furthermore, we encourage our members to initiate meetings with MP's to discuss the budget recommendations below. If you're interested or if this is your first time reaching out to an MP and you would like assistance, we are here to support you. Please get in touch and we can help you with planning as well as connect you with other members in your riding who could attend the meeting, [email protected].
SUBMISSION FOR 2022 PRE-BUDGET CONSULTATIONS
Submitted by For Our Kids Vancouver & For Our Kids Sunshine Coast
February 25, 2022
OUR RECOMMENDATIONS - WHAT WE WANT IN THE 2022 BUDGET
1. Prioritize the urgency of the climate crisis by dedicating Canada’s share of the additional 2% of annual global GDP to climate mitigation actions.
2. Eliminate all forms of subsidies for and investments into fossil fuels and fossil fuel infrastructure.
3. Stop reliance on fossil fuel revenues as part of the transition to the low carbon economy and instead increase taxes of corporations and the wealthy.
4. Wind-down Canada’s oil and gas industry and invest in the retraining and transition of workers into the economy of the future in a manner that fosters human and labour rights.
5. Invest in clean energy projects and related infrastructure.
6. Invest in public and social services for people.
7. Develop Canada’s domestic manufacturing capacity.
8. Provide adequate protection and restoration of intact forests, old growth forests, marine ecosystems and the coast.
9. Fund the full implementation of UNDRIP and FPIC on all laws.
10. Build social resiliency by ensuring the well-being and basic needs of all Canadians are met, including food security and affordable housing.
11. Fund the establishment of just and green transition agencies for each province with joint governance from all levels of governments, indigenous people, youth, scientists, academics, business, labour and environmental organizations, non-profit service providers and leaders of racialized and marginalized all at the table.
12. Invest in mass public electric transit systems across Canada and displace preference for domestic jet plane travel.
13. Invest in widespread retrofit programs to retrofit all existing buildings and homes in Canada for energy efficiency and to transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.
14. Empower municipalities with the financial capacity to build sustainable communities and invest in regional and land use planning processes.
Who We Are - For Our Kids Vancouver and For Our Kids Sunshine Coast
We are two local chapters of the national For Our Kids network located in Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast, British Columbia.
We are parents united by our fears of the severity of the climate crisis and the effects it will have on the quality of life for our children. We are committed to take action to find solutions for a sustainable future for all young people.
Why Our Recommendations Matter
i. Parents’ Call for Post Pandemic Green and Just Recovery
In advance of the 2021 post-pandemic budget, parents, grandparents and caregivers across the country joined forces with other organizations and civil society for a widespread call for a Green and Just Recovery. In the face of the Covid-19 crisis, which shutdown the global economy, the international community and Canadians saw the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fundamentally shift the economy to flatten the GHG curve now and quickly. In an effort to support this critical call to address the climate crisis that threatens the health, safety, security of our children and all younger generations, we joined others in our network to host virtual town hall meetings in the spring of 2020 with federal, provincial, local and Indigenous governments. The Honourable Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, Jonathan Wilkinson in one such Town Hall stated:
"If we don't change the current course of climate change and the global loss of biodiversity, the effects are going to be far more devastating than what we have seen from COVID-19." - Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson (North Van Town Hall)
Our recommendations here are based on the number of policy options solicited through direct engagement with town hall government representatives as described in our August 7, 2020 Pre-2021 Budget Submissions.
ii. UN Warns Countries Could Miss Opportunity for Green and Just Recovery
In March 2021, a report published by the United Nations Environment Program and Oxford's Economic Recovery Project, warned that policymakers were missing out on the "greatest chance we have had so far" to redirect the upward trajectory of global greenhouse gas emissions to meet Paris 2030 commitments.
According to the International Energy Agency, achieving a net-zero carbon economy would require us to spend just 2% of annual global GDP over what we already do on our energy system. In a recent poll of climate economists conducted by Reuters, most agreed that getting to net zero would cost only 2% to 3% of annual global GDP. These numbers echo the assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which in its landmark 2018 report stated that in order to limit climate change to 1.5°C, annual investments in clean energy needed to increase to around 3% of global GDP.
iii. Canada’s April 2021 Budget Falls Short of Necessary Transformative Change
In April 2021, the Canadian government finally released its post-pandemic Budget, Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience. While positive in providing some funding for a green economy, experts concluded the budget fell “short of transformative change needed to meet climate targets”.
Accordingly, we became concerned about a firm commitment by the government to a green and just recovery from the pandemic.
iv. IPCC 2021 Report - A Code Red for Humanity
Our concerns were further deepened when the liberal government called a federal election a few short months after the IPCC’s 2021 Report that according to UN Secretary General, António Guterres, was a Code Red for Humanity that sounded the Death Knell for Fossil Fuels.
v. COP26 Falls Short in Delivering on Paris Agreement
We were deeply concerned whether a government elected just weeks before COP26 would be prepared to meet the last opportunity to ensure the global community is on the right path to its 2030 targets. We called on the new government to change course on the climate crisis at COP26 with a special message:
Artwork by For Our Kids Vancouver member Jana Rayne MacDonald.
While some positive steps were made at COP26, the world failed to agree to commitments that would keep us at 1.5-2 degrees of warming committed in the Paris Agreement. This outcome is terrifying for us as parents.
vi. Climate Crisis Arrives in BC with Lethal Blow
In 2021, our children here in BC suffered the most lethal series of climate catastrophes: heat domes that killed over 600 people; devastating floods that killed over 700,000 livestock, and relentless wildfires that burned over 8,600 square kilometers and torched the whole town of Lytton. We cannot allow this to continue.
vii. 2021 Throne Speech Calls for Budget Committed to Climate Action For Our Kids
In its November 2021 Throne Speech, the newly elected liberal government committed to: Building a resilient economy: a cleaner & healthier future for our kids. While a laudable goal, the 2021 Throne Speech continues to cause us concern that not enough investment will be made in climate action. This is because the focus of the Throne Speech appears to be on greening our economy, when it is the very notion of prioritizing the economy that is causing climate collapse. The government must put our children first today and prioritize the health, safety and security of people just like we learned was necessary during the pandemic.
viii. Our Wish is For Our Children to Inherit a World Without Crisis
Our children now face yet another crisis: the global insecurity caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. A swift conclusion to the war is necessary not only for global security and humanitarian reasons but also for reasons of climate. Research has concluded climate change will only increase global armed conflicts. Further, Canada must resist any temptation to profit from the violence through increased oil and gas production encouraged by provinces driven by their own fossil fuel ambitions. Rather, Canada should be a world leader in transforming the global energy supply to renewables to bring about long-term peace. Canadians have been through so much over the last few years of the Covid crisis. We as parents and grandparents have learned so much about coming together, acting collectively, and putting human health before economic values. Only by putting the climate first, can we truly “build a cleaner and healthier future for our kids”.
1 https://cape.ca/healthy-recovery/; https://davidsuzuki.org/action/green-recovery/; https://www.nationalobserver.com/2020/05/07/news/use-pandemic-future-proof-against-climate-crisis-academic-group-urges; https://www.recoverytaskforce.ca/; https://www.pembina.org/pub/green-stimulus-principles-and-recommendations-2020-economic-stimulus-package; https://cleanenergycanada.org/a-resilient-recovery-an-open-letter-from-canadas-clean-energy-sector-2/