Programs

2022 budget could see new climate programs: Guilbeault

With the federal budget due to be unveiled next Thursday, Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault says we could see more climate-related elements in the budget.

Speaking to Evan Solomon during CTV’s Question Period, he said it was “fair” to say that new climate change programs could be in the budget.

“I’m not finance minister. I don’t know what will be in the budget, but there may be new items announced in the budget,” Guilbeault said.

Earlier this week, the federal government announced a new emissions reduction plan that includes $9.1 billion in new spending on climate programs. Guilbeault said allocating more money to climate initiatives is “certainly something we are talking about” with the finance minister.

“$9 billion is a big number, but it’s not all we have on the table. I mean, since 2015, and we’re somewhere around $110 billion for the transition,” he said.

Ottawa has committed to reducing emissions by 40% below 2005 levels by 2030 while striving to reach net zero by 2050. However, emissions from the oil and gas sector have increased by 20 % since 2005 and Canada was the only G7 country to see its emissions disappear. at the top.

Last November, at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to impose a hard cap on oil and gas emissions. That’s something that could be in place by the end of this year, says Guilbeault.

“We are in the process of consulting with provinces, territories, Indigenous leaders, obviously businesses and other stakeholders,” he said.

CARBON TAX INCREASE WITHOUT DELAY: GUILBEAULT

When the federal carbon tax was created in 2018, the federal government said the program would be revenue-neutral because the financial burden of the tax would be offset by the tax incentive for most Canadians.

But last week, a report by the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) indicates that in the four provinces with a federal carbon tax, the program would represent a net cost between $1,145 and $2,282 for the average household here. 2030.

Canada’s carbon tax increased to $50 a tonne on Friday. With record prices at the gas pump, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe called on Ottawa to end the carbon tax. Ontario MP Pierre Poillievre, one of the frontrunners in the Conservative Party leadership race, also campaigned for the elimination of the carbon tax.

But Guilbeault says the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s report doesn’t paint the full picture.

“The Parliamentary Budget Officer is right that the price will go up. But the Parliamentary Budget Officer has not looked at everything we do. On electric vehicles for example, it is much cheaper to run an electric vehicle than the internal combustion engine,” he said.

“In most provinces in Canada, electricity is regulated, so the price can go up and down like oil. The Parliamentary Budget Officer has not looked at everything we do to help people reduce their energy costs at home,” Guilbeault added.

Despite inflationary pressures affecting Canadians, Guilbeault also ruled out implementing any postponement of further carbon tax increases, citing floods and wildfires in British Columbia that underscore the severity of the climate crisis. .

“(British Columbians) were evacuated because of the wildfires. They were evacuated because of the floods. And the Parliamentary Budget Officer did not take this into account in his analysis. And I don’t blame him. But that’s a specific thing,” he said.

“Climate change is not going anywhere.”

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