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Press release  •  2 min

Équiterre's reaction to the federal budget

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Montreal, April 16, 2024 - Équiterre believes that the federal budget is too timid on the climate front, missing another opportunity to fight the environmental and cost-of-living crises in an integrated way.

"Everything costs more partly because of the climate crisis. In this budget, the government highlights the immense impact of climate change on affordability issues, but the overall measures put in place to tackle it lack vigor."

-Andréanne Brazeau, Équiterre’s Climate Policy Analyst

"When drought destroys our crops, it affects the cost of our groceries. When a forest fire impacts air quality, it costs us dearly in terms of our health. There's no shortage of examples," adds the expert.

"The government intends to tax the richest households more, which is a necessary measure. However, it fails to make the fossil fuel industry foot the bill (while it posts record profits) and continues to subsidize it with our money," she concludes, pointing out that the government deliberately ruled out a potential surtax on this industry - initially planned in the budget - because of pressure from the oil and gas lobby.

Some significant disappointments

  • Despite the country's current agricultural crisis, agriculture is a major omission in this budget. Équiterre would have liked to have seen more measures to support the adoption of agri-environmental practices, to encourage the next generation of farmers, to improve access to land and to improve resilience in the face of climate change.

  • Public transit: Though it would have been a good way to tackle the cost of living and help people get around more efficiently and environmentally responsibly, the government did not bring forward the implementation of the Permanent Fund for Public Transit to 2024.

Some positive measures

  • In addition to the envelope dedicated to the creation of a school food program, whose funds will be used by the provinces, the government is seeking to curb shrinkflation and skimpflation.

  • Équiterre is delighted with the new funds allocated to subsidy and loan programs for energy retrofits, a measure that will promote energy sobriety and efficiency in our buildings.

  • The government is committed to unveiling its roadmap for ending public financing of the fossil fuel sector by fall 2024, a long-standing demand of Équiterre’s.

  • For the first time, Ottawa mentioned its interest in facilitating purchasing decisions for durable and repairable goods by evaluating the benefits of a durability index. Équiterre has been recommending this since 2022.

  • In terms of sustainable mobility, the new Canadian Housing Plan encourages density around public transit stations - one of the policy recommendations made by Équiterre in a recent report - and investments are planned in the rail sector for passenger transportation.

In addition to submitting our own recommendations to the federal government for this budget, Équiterre also collaborated as a member of the Green Budget Coalition.

Équiterre's offices are located on Indigenous lands that have not been ceded by treaty, which we now call Montreal and Quebec City. We recognize that Indigenous peoples have protected their territories since immemorial times and have used their traditional knowledge to guard the lands and waters. We are grateful to live on these lands and are committed to continuing our efforts to protect them. Read more

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Communications Officer, Media Relations (514) 605-2000
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