Call on candidates to treat the climate crisis like a crisis

Call on candidates to treat the climate crisis like a crisis r1 ... Election 2021 Dear Friend,

The federal election is only 27 days away, and candidates may soon be knocking on your door looking for your vote – if they haven’t started already!

As in other recent elections, the climate crisis is the top issue for most voters in Canada this year.1 The Conservatives2 and NDP3 have released their platforms, and we’re still waiting for the Liberals and Greens to release their full plans. Here’s a quick snapshot of what they’ve promised so far.

The Greens, Liberals, and NDP say they will increase the price on carbon over time, while the Conservatives say they would scrap the federal carbon pricing backstop altogether.

The Liberals have characteristically tried to appear proactive by announcing they’ll fund 1,000 more firefighters for next year’s fire season, though in their time in office they continued to subsidize fossil fuel corporations and bought a pipeline. The Liberal party is also committed to their Net-Zero Carbon Accountability Act,4 which introduced weak accountability measures.

The NDP is promising to create a “Climate Accountability Office” to ensure that targets are set and met, as well as an “Office of Environmental Justice” to address the disproportionate impact of the crisis on low-income, Black, racialized, Indigenous, and other marginalized communities.

The Green Party has committed to cancelling all new pipeline projects and oil exploration, and a total ban on fracking, as well as ending fossil fuel subsidies and creating a Just Transition for fossil fuel workers. However, the details of this plan have not yet been released.

The Conservatives’ platform would increase subsidies to parts of the fossil fuel industry. The plan also relies on false solutions like carbon capture and storage, natural gas, and small modular nuclear reactors. In addition, they promise to pass a new law to prevent protestors from blocking “critical infrastructure.”

There have been different proposals from each party in support of electric passenger vehicles, but so far none have clearly committed to federal capital and operational funding for electrified, affordable, accessible public transit systems.

Even when election promises sound good, we know that they can be easily broken and forgotten. That’s why we need to elect MPs who can turn these promises into reality. As you choose who to vote for, we encourage you to ask these questions to your local candidates to determine who is most likely to act for climate justice:
  • Will you stand up to the oil and gas lobby, and champion legislation to end fossil fuel subsidies and all new fossil fuel development permits?
  • Will you support Just Transition legislation that winds down the fossil fuel industry, supports affected workers, and leaves no one behind?
  • How will you ensure that Indigenous peoples, lands, and knowledges are meaningfully included in climate action plans and planning processes?
  • Do you support a Green New Deal that transforms high emissions sectors like energy, transportation, food, and housing into zero-carbon public services?
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