OTTAWA/TRADITIONAL, UNCEDED TERRITORY OF THE ALGONQUIN ANISHNAABEG PEOPLE – Canadians have again chosen not to give any one party a majority of seats in Parliament. But they have made it clear — again — that their preference is for parties with a clear plan for addressing the climate crisis and environmental issues.
After a fractious election season, all federal parties must now put partisanship aside, move quickly to find common ground, and get back to working together to build a safer, healthier future for all people in Canada.
Tony Maas, Ecojustice director of legislative affairs issued the following statement in response to the results of the 2021 federal election:
“There are three things our new government can do over the next six months to show leadership on environmental issues and earn back the trust of Canadians.
“The new federal government must immediately reintroduce legislation to strengthen the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), including recognition of Canadians’ right to a healthy environment. Bill C-28, which died on the order paper when the election was called, proposed many long-overdue updates to CEPA; this new mandate is an opportunity to go further to put in place a world-class law that truly protects people from harmful pollution and toxic chemicals.
“To tackle the climate crisis, the federal government must follow through on its promise to ban thermal coal, including American coal, from being exported from Canadian ports and they must move quickly, aiming to make good on this commitment well before their planned 2030 deadline.
“But we know that the vast majority of Canada’s fossil fuels must remain in the ground so the ban on thermal coal must be the starting point for a just transition away from all fossil fuels, including oil and gas.
“The federal government must also introduce Canada’s first climate plan mandated by the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act. This plan must be ambitious and robust enough to ensure Canada achieves at least a 45 per cent reduction of emissions by 2030, and set out ambitious targets to cap and then cut pollution from the oil and gas sector.”
“These are the promises that got this government elected. Now they must work with other parties in Parliament to deliver the action that Canadians voted for — without delay.
“The next six months will be a critical test of this government’s true commitment to prioritizing fighting the climate crisis, reducing pollution, and better protecting the air, land, and water we depend on for our survival and wellbeing.”
Ecojustice uses the power of the law to defend nature, combat climate change, and fight for a healthy environment. Its strategic, public interest lawsuits and advocacy lead to precedent-setting court decisions and law and policy that deliver lasting solutions to Canada’s most urgent environmental problems. As Canada’s largest environmental law charity, Ecojustice operates offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, and Halifax.