Published On: April 20, 2021

[le français suit]

Unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe Territories [OTTAWA], 20 April 2021 :

Yesterday’s announcement of the 2021 Federal Budget by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland outlines $100+ billion dollars in new and welcome spending for measures intended to ferry Canada through the remainder of the COVID 19 pandemic, and inject the economy with funding to stimulate and support the national effort to build back better.

Notable measures from this budget include:

  • $2 billion allocated towards childcare, with the intention that the strings attached will encourage replication of Quebec’s often lauded system.
  • Luxury tax on so-called “big ticket items”, luxury vehicles, boats, and personal passenger planes, coinciding with a tax on large web and tech companies, providing a new source of revenue.
  • $4.4 billion towards deep retrofits in residential homes
  • $1.4 billion over 12 years allocated toward the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund, to support wildfire mitigation, rehabilitation of storm water systems, restoration of wetlands and shorelines, in addition to $11.7 million over five years, to continue updating standards and guidance in priority areas, such as flood mapping and building in the North.

This release comes days before the Biden Earth Day Climate Summit, taking place on the 22nd and 23rd of April. The close proximity of the event to this release throws into relief any comparisons between Canada’s new federal budget, and Biden’s $1.5 trillion spending plan, with it’s progressive emphasis on jobs, infrastructure, and large-scale transformation. More complete statements will be issued in the coming days, as we expect the release of a new carbon emissions reduction target later this week, and a climate finance package in the near future.

[Quotes below]


L’annonce d’aujourd’hui du budget fédéral de2021 par la vice-première ministre et ministre des Finances Chrystia Freeland détaille l’allocation de plus de 100 milliards de dollars de nouvelles dépenses pour des mesures destinées à aider le Canada à traverser le reste de la pandémie COVID-19 et d’injecter des fonds dans l’économie pour soutenir l’effort national pour  reconstruire en mieux.

Notamment, le budget comprend :

  • Deux milliards de dollars alloués à la garde d’enfants, avec des conditions qui encourageront la réplication du système souvent salué du Québec.
  • Une taxe de luxe sur les articles dits « de luxe » comme les véhicules de luxe, les bateaux et les avions de passagers personnels, coïncidant avec une taxe sur les grandes entreprises du Web et de la technologie, fournissant une nouvelle source de revenus.
  • Le développement du nouveau Fonds stratégique pour l’innovation, ouvert à tous les secteurs, mais destiné à encourager l’innovation verte et sécuritaire pour le climat.

Ce budget est déposé quelques jours avant le Sommet sur le climat organisé par l’administration Biden, qui aura lieu les 22 et 23 avril. La proximité de l’événement avec ce communiqué met en relief toute comparaison entre le nouveau budget fédéral du Canada et le plan de dépenses de 1,5 milliards de dollars de Biden, qui met l’accent sur les emplois, les infrastructures et une transformation à grande échelle.


“We are in an exceptional moment where smart investment could fundamentally redirect the whole of our economy and society toward a healthier, more resilient and climate-safe future. Some investments made by budget 2021 are extremely helpful – particularly investments in clean transportation, energy efficient homes, resilient agriculture, and Canada’s first green bonds. Some investments made by budget 2021 are extremely worrisome – investments in carbon capture and storage risk perpetuating our dangerous addiction to fossil fuels, and some of the forestry investments perpetuate a transactional relationship with nature that treats it like a commodity we can trade. Yet the big take away is this: we are in a time of changing norms, and Budget 2021 does not present a vision for climate-safe transformational change” Teika Newton, Membership and Domestic Policy Manager, Climate Action Network Canada 

«Nous sommes à un moment exceptionnel où des investissements intelligents pourraient fondamentalement rediriger l’économie et la société entières vers un avenir plus en santé, plus résilient, et plus sécuritaire pour le climat. Certains investissements du budget 2021 sont très utiles – particulièrement les investissements dans les transports propres, des maisons efficaces énergétiquement, une agriculture résiliente et les premières obligations vertes du Canada. Certains investissements du budget 2021 sont extrêmement inquiétants – des investissements dans la capture et le stockage du carbone risquent de perpétuer notre dangereuse dépendance aux énergies fossiles, et certains investissements dans le secteur de la foresterie perpétuent une relation transactionnelle avec la nature qui la traite comme une commodité que nous pouvons échanger. Ce qu’il faut retenir : nous sommes à une époque où les normes changent, et le budget 2021 ne présente pas une vision d’un changement transformationnel et sécuritaire pour le climat. » Teika Newton, Directrice, membership et politiques domestiques , Réseau action climat

“Carbon pricing is a key policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is heartening to know that our Climate Action Incentive payments will be made quarterly and efficiently through the benefit system starting in 2022. It is reassuring to know that consultations on border carbon adjustments will begin soon. This will help keep jobs in Canada and encourage other countries to price pollution. Although there is an aspiration to increase the carbon price $15 tonne/year past 2022 out to 2030 stated in the Healthy Environment Health Economy Plan, we don’t see it in the budget and this is concerning. We look forward to reading about Canada’s new climate target on Earth Day. The clock is ticking and the youth are watching. ” Cathy Orlando, National Director, Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada 

“The newly-announced federal budget is missing aspects that are crucial to a just transition and a just recovery. In the face of the third wave of the pandemic, in the midst of a climate crisis, additional measures are needed to protect those who are most affected, namely BIPOC and low-income Canadians, whose input needs to be considered. Paid sick leave and a wealth tax would have covered some of those measures, along with investments towards a 60% emissions reduction target and a Just Transition Act. As Canada continues to fund the devastation of our planet and those at the frontlines of the climate crisis, this budget is another indicator that decisions are continuing to be made in the interest of prioritizing profit over people.” Muska Sadat, Youth Organizer, Climate Strike Canada

“Today’s budget contains unprecedented investments to tackle climate change and environmental priorities. However, hiding in the details of this budget are some concerning elements, including a new commitment of more than $6 billion in financial support and new tax breaks for high-emitting sectors, including oil and gas. Without robust conditions, this money may go to support technologies, including carbon capture and fossil fuel-derived hydrogen, that will delay a transition away from fossil fuels and lock us into decades of increased carbon pollution.  These unproven and expensive technologies also obfuscate the reality that the energy transition is happening, and if we fail to prepare, it will be workers and communities to pay the price. We need to be starting the wind-down of the oil and gas sector in order to ensure that we have a liveable planet — these supports do the exact opposite.” Julia Levin, Climate and Energy Program Manager, Environmental Defence Canada 

“Today’s budget is yet another half measure on the climate crisis. Investing in programs to cut emissions in one breath, and announcing new financial support and tax breaks for some of the worst climate polluters in the next. While we are glad to see an increase in the ambition of Canada’s emissions reduction target – it is still far too low. Canada needs to match the commitments of other leading industrialized countries to reduce emissions globally, and that means increasing Canada’s emissions reduction goal to 60% below 2005 levels by 2030.” Sven Biggs, Canadian Oil and Gas Program Director,

“We are pleased to see early learning and childcare recognized in Budget 2021 as critical to a stronger, more equitable economy. The commitment to expanding and extending EI and other emergency benefits will also be critical for our recovery. The nod that these measures give to the Principles for a Just Recovery offers hope that we might yet address marginalization and inequality in Canada. Carbon pricing, adaptation and mitigation funding, and training programs are also welcome. Still, Budget 2021 makes it clear that the federal government has yet to grasp the severity and urgency of the global climate crisis or the devastating ramifications of inadequate action.” Karri Munn-Venn, Senior Policy Analyst, Citizens for Public Justice

“This budget does not reflect that we are in a climate emergency.  This is a lost opportunity to rebuild from COVID for a green recovery, with jobs in retrofits as one example. This represents 10% of the investment needed in retrofits to achieve our GHG reduction goals by 2030. We need a massive improvement in this plan.  Right now climate is a side-show not central as it needs to be for civilization to continue.  We are abandoning our children and grandchildren with inadequate action.” Lyn Adamson, Co-Chair, ClimateFast 

“Canadians demanded a green and just recovery. Trudeau has responded with funds for Indigenous communities, child care and climate action, but fails to tackle our fossil fuel addiction and deepening inequality. To build a better normal, we must build back fossil free” Keith Stewart, Senior Energy Strategist at Greenpeace Canada

« C’est un budget qui amorce de manière générale la transition tant attendue et qui se veut conséquent à plusieurs égards. Nous attendons toutefois l’annonce imminente des nouvelles cibles lors du Sommet climatique du président américain Joe Biden. Il nous faudra donc un plan d’action pour le secteur pétrolier et gazier afin d’accroître l’ambition et faire en sorte que le Canada fasse sa juste part », affirme Marc-André Viau, directeur des relations gouvernementales chez Équiterre.

« La population canadienne a exigé que la relance soit juste et verte. Justin Trudeau a annoncé d’importantes sommes pour les communautés autochtones, les services de garde et l’action climatique, mais manque encore d’ambition pour nous libérer des hydrocarbures et lutter contre les inégalités. Pour reconstruire en mieux et ne pas retourner à “l’anormal”, nous devons reconstruire sans combustibles fossiles », a déclaré Patrick Bonin, responsable de la campagne Climat-Énergie à Greenpeace Canada

“ This budget makes an unprecedented investment in Canadian farmers to support us in reducing emissions. Climate change poses the single largest threat to our sector and ultimately, with only 9 growing seasons left to Paris, we need to start curbing our sector’s emissions down. This investment not only enables farmers to do our part in reducing emissions this season but is an imperative for our sector’s ongoing success”, Karen Ross, Director of Farmers for Climate Solutions