Response to COVID-related stimulus spending from environmental groups

Joint statements and recommendations from environmental groups across Canada

Over the past month, Canada’s civil society, particularly environment-focused organizations, has been advocating for Covid-19-era federal financial support and investments to be channelled to provide benefits for workers, ecosystems and the climate.

Here are three examples of ENGOs and other concerned Canadians in health, labour, social justice and academia aligning to ensure the Canadian government positions our economy for resilience and a low-carbon future, underlining the imperative for training, education and employment in specific sectors and income support for oil and gas workers.  


Give money to workers – say large collection of groups

Press release (March 24, 2020)

A large number of groups - 100 civil society organizations - from across Canada that advocate for diverse issues related to health, environment, labour and social justice, representing more than a million Canadians signed a letter for Prime Minister Trudeau and his cabinet asking that federal support be given to workers rather than oil and gas companies. They made further stipulations about how to manage orphan well cleanups, the federal government’s commitment to the Just Transition Act and training, education and employment in low carbon sectors.

“The fossil fuel industry is counting on Canadians being too occupied coping with an ongoing health crisis to register that our country is considering a massive transfer of public funds to support the very industry most likely to cause the next health crisis,” says Dr. Courtney Howard, Board President of Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE).

“This is a crucial tipping point, and climate change must factor into all of our decision making,” she added. “The policies we pass now must benefit all Canadians and set us up for a post-COVID future we can step into with confidence.”  


No bail out for oil and gas – say 265 academics to Trudeau

Open letter (March 25, 2020) – Published in the National Observer

Published in the National Observer on March 25, lead authors Professors Laurie Adkin and Debra Davidson of the University of Alberta addressed this letter to Prime Minister Trudeau. The letter was jointly supported by 265 academic signatories from 33 universities and 12 associations across Canada.


Green stimulus recommendations from the Pembina Institute

Principles and recommendations for a 2020 economic stimulus package (March 30, 2020) – The Pembina Institute 

Pembina Institute has crafted Green Stimulus principles and key recommendations for a “path to (a) healthy, post-pandemic economy.”

The guiding principles speak to funding specific types of employment opportunities, investment in low- and zero-carbon goods and services, incentives for decarbonization efforts and making decisions that are in keeping with Canada’s climate commitments. Pembina details key recommendations for carbon pricing, workers, buildings, electricity, transportation and oil and gas.