On Tuesday afternoon Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland donned the traditional new pair of shoes for Budget Day and delivered a budget which invested billions to address climate change.
The federal budget was probably already at the printers when an Abacus poll was released on Monday which said that a majority of Canadians should ramp up investments to deal with climate change.
Those Canadians may think they were being listened to when they read the headlines and dig into details of Budget 2023.
- There are tax credits for investments in non-emitting electricity generation systems, electricity storage or transmission, clean technology manufacturing, and clean hydrogen investment.
- The Canada Infrastructure Bank will make $20 billion to support building major clean electricity and clean growth infrastructure projects.
- There is a promise of "new investments in science-based activities to help capitalize on Canada’s offshore wind potential, particularly off the coasts of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador".
- And in keeping with the promise of sustainable jobs in the greener economy there is "$250 million over three years for the Upskilling for Industry Initiative to support more than 15,000 workers, and $125 million over five years to launch the Sustainable Jobs Training Centre".
- And to drive home that change is well underway, the 270 page document had several charts to illustrate how we are powering our lives today.
In short, the Liberals are betting big on a major shift in the global economy which Minister Freeland said in her speech is "the most significant economic transformation since the Industrial Revolution". While Canada cannot match the US dollar for dollar, the budget does make strategic investments to keep up with the US Inflation Reduction Act to ensure the country benefits from being part of that transformation.
Mitchell Beer is the founding publisher and managing editor of The Energy Mix, an Ottawa-based news site focused on climate change, energy, and the shift away from carbon. He talked with freelance broadcaster Don Hill about some of the greener budget highlights and what more could have been included.