Budget 2017: Fossil fuel subsidies, stock option loophole continue; climate action inches forward

Innovation and Environment Canada are the big winners, but the continuation of fossil fuel subsidies and lucrative stock option loopholes are unaffected by Budget 2017.

“For the first time, we’re seeing a focus on adaptation to climate change in this year’s budget,” said Elizabeth May. “I’m pleased to see signficant investment in clean tech and climate initiatives, and limited funding for improvements to our east-west electricity grid.

“Taking into account losses to revenue this year due to the free admission to National Parks, Parks Canada is also seeing a significant investment for capital acquisitions, although more money is needed on a budgetary basis for increasing scientific capacity.”

“However, we cannot measure Prime Minister Trudeau against years of inaction under the Harper administration. Rather, the benchmark was set by the progressive conservative agenda of Brian Mulroney. By this measure, commitments to funding toward protection of the Great Lakes Area and Lake Winnipeg are welcome, but still fall far short.”

“As MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands, I’m delighted to see $80 million in funding for the the Sidney Centre for Plant Health, a research facility that I fought hard to keep open during budget cuts under the previous administration.”

“Yet this budget misses other low-hanging fruit, like the renewal of the eco-energy retrofit grant, and rebates for electric and hybrid vehicles. These programs would empower Canadians to take individual action in the collective fight against climate change. We’re also seeing little movement on the administration’s plan to ‘phase-out’ fossil fuels, and we will maintain subsidies to the LNG industry through 2024.”

“This budget needed to more aggressively target the elimination of the deficit by implementing simple revenue generating policies, such as a tax on sugary beverages. This tax would also go a long way toward improving the health of the Canadian population, and in particular children.”