Montreal, March 22, 2022 - According to Équiterre, the Quebec government has not seized the opportunity to raise its climate ambition, choosing instead to focus on continuity. As we face a multifaceted crisis whose effects constantly grow, it is necessary to heighten our environmental and climate policies.
Équiterre acknowledges the $1 billion increase in the green economy plan and the one-time investment of $196 million into public transit, but there is no indication as to how these new funds will enable the government to reach its greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets.
"Increasing the budgets in the Green Economy Plan will bring no change as long as we keep spending the money in the same way and in the same programs. So one can only expect the same results. It won't bring along significant behavioral change h with consequential impact on our GHG emissions," says Marc-André Viau, Director of Government Relations.
Cost of living and GHGs
To reduce the cost of living and have an impact on GHG emissions, Équiterre believes that more must be invested in public and active transportation infrastructures. However, the 2022-2023 budget excludes new investments for major public transit projects and does not prioritize active transportation.
"The absence of new public transit projects financed under the Quebec Infrastructure Plan and the persisting lack of balance between road and public transit (70%/30%) is a good indicator of the government's climate ambitions. It's a shame because the gap remains between these low-carbon transportation options and household spending on transportation," explains Marc-André Viau.
"Not only do we have nothing new, but we are deliberately delaying the existing projects, like the Quebec City tramway. It all speaks to the government’s regards to climate ambition," he adds.
While Équiterre is glad to learn of the additional sums provided for in the Plan for Sustainable Agriculture and the investments announced for the bio-food policy, we remain concerned about the lack of emergency assistance for institutions, who must also deal with rising supply costs. With inflation, grocery, hospital and school bills continue to rise.
"The objectives of healthy food autonomy should be reflected in the budgetary envelopes allocated to Quebec’s institutions, particularly because of their co-benefit on the health and development of young people. Unfortunately, this priority is not reflected in today's budget," concludes Marc-André Viau.
For more information:
Anthony Côté Leduc, media relations
514 605-2000; firstname.lastname@example.org
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