For immediate release
November 21, 2023
Greens concerned Fall Economic Statement falls short for Canadians
With intersecting climate, housing, and affordability crises impacting Canadians from coast to coast to coast, Greens are concerned today’s Fall Economic Statement (FES) doesn’t prioritize people and small businesses struggling with increasing costs of living over large corporations making record-breaking profits.
“Surprisingly there is nothing to replenish the soon to be exhausted Greener Homes Initiative,” said Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May, (MP Saanich-Gulf Islands). “The opportunity to use green scissors to cut government expenditures for ongoing promotion and expansion of fossil fuels has also been missed, with over $30 billion being wasted in construction of the TMX pipeline, and billions more to Carbon Capture and Storage – another subsidy to big oil.”
Similarly, the FES missed the chance to apply an excess profits tax on Big Oil, which Greens have been calling for to fund climate solutions for Canadians. It would also improve overall affordability.
“The governing party has already applied a one-time tax on the excess profits of banks and insurance companies through the Canada Recovery Dividend,” said Mike Morrice, (MP Kitchener Centre). “In the midst of a climate crisis it’s deeply disappointing they wouldn’t simply apply this same measure to oil and gas in today’s economic statement.”
Morrice’s recent private member’s motion 92 calls on the governing party to extend this 15% windfall tax to oil and gas companies and to direct the resulting funds toward critical investments for affordability and proven climate solutions. The non-partisan Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) released a report on Morrice’s motion showing a one-time application of the tax on Big Oil’s 2022 profits could generate $4.2 billion for other initiatives, including funding heat pumps for those living in energy poverty or investments in public transit to make it affordable for all.
After skipping investments in housing in Budget 2023, Greens applaud the move to remove income tax breaks for short-term rental investors in an effort to put the brakes on the loss of needed housing units from the long-term rental market.
While the FES acknowledges food prices remain stubbornly high, it misses the opportunity to ensure Canadian children are not trying to learn on an empty stomach.
“Despite years of lobbying for school breakfast and lunch programmes, there is nothing in FES 2023 to provide healthy food to children in school,” said Ms. May.
Three years after Ms. May fought to make mental health services more affordable through the removal of tax on counselling and therapy through amendments for the Budget Implementation Act, the long overdue measure included in the FES is one that is welcomed by Greens.
As the world prepares for COP 28, Canada will arrive in Dubai with the worst climate record in the G-7. Despite this, the Liberals continue to fund flawed climate solutions like carbon capture and storage, while missing the last chance to save local businesses impacted by the pandemic and a looming deadline for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loans.
“How can we look our neighbours in the eyes as we give billions in subsidies to profitable oil and gas giants, while their small businesses are forced to shutter their doors after doing the right thing to protect us all during the worst of the pandemic?” said Morrice.
Greens also continue to push for the Canada Disability Benefit to be funded in Budget 2024 and in the meantime, for a Disability Emergency Response Benefit (DERB) to end legislated poverty for people with disabilities.
For more information or to arrange an interview:
MP Elizabeth May, Saanich-Gulf Islands
MP Mike Morrice, Kitchener Centre