Greening the Federal Budget (Once Again in 2019!)

Stephen Hazell, Director of Conservation and Legal Counsel.

The Green Budget Coalition (GBC) had a huge win this past February when the 2018 federal budget included $1.3 billion over five years for protected areas establishment and species at risk conservation. Congratulations to Finance Minister Morneau and Prime Minister Trudeau, who made this major investment in nature possible.

GBC is back again this year with recommendations for the 2019 federal budget. The GBC team of advocates representing environment and nature groups as diverse as Greenpeace and Ducks Unlimited fanned out across Ottawa in late September to meet with Cabinet Ministers including Minister Morneau and Environment and Climate Change Minister McKenna, parliamentarians including opposition members of Parliament, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Privy Council Office, and senior civil servants from various departments and agencies.

The GBC’s priority recommendations for Budget 2019 include measures to support sustainable agriculture, tackle toxics and pesticides (such as NeoNics!), phase out fossil fuel subsidies, improve management of fresh water, and conserve the biodiversity and health of Canada’s oceans.  For example, GBC recommends $117 million per year for five years to Agriculture and Agri-food Canada (AAFC) to:

  • conserve on-farm biodiversity, protect soils and water degradation, loss and pollution, and increase climate resilience;
  • accelerate development and adoption of best environmentally sustainable practices through research and development; and
  • prevent food losses and waste.

GBC recommends a further $114.5 million in 2019 (ramping up in subsequent years) to improve pesticides regulations and manage next-generation chemicals.  An important complementary GBC recommendation for Nature Canada is for $25 million per year over five years to support conservation of birds and their habitats within and beyond our borders.

Details of the recommendations can be found here.

You can support a greener federal budget by contacting the Prime  Minister’s Office, Finance Minister Morneau or your Member of Parliament.

Representing one million Canadians through 20 member groups, the Green Budget Coalition has been greening federal budgets for 20 years working out of Nature Canada’s Ottawa offices.


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