Post-pandemic recovery planning must start now, says Green Party Leader Annamie Paul
OTTAWA – In anticipation of tomorrow’s fiscal update from the federal government, the Green Party of Canada underscores the importance of seizing this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to complete Canada’s social safety net and accelerate our shift to a carbon-neutral economy.
“Now is the time to build an ambitious post-pandemic recovery plan that will make Canada a more just and resilient society by strengthening our social programs, and investing in a green economy that respects our climate obligations,” said Green Party Leader Annamie Paul.
“It’s not enough to present a laundry list of spending. It is possible for the government to do what so many other governments have done: respond to the pandemic while delivering a positive vision for a green recovery that includes generous economic and social investments.
“We’re far behind other major economies that have already established their green recovery plans, including the European Union and the United Kingdom. They, and others have managed to roll out a robust COVID-19 response, while at the same time putting those plans in place. I refuse to believe that Canada is any less capable of fulfilling these two tasks at once.”
A robust Green Recovery Plan will include, among other priorities:
- A Guaranteed Livable Income
- Placing long-term care under the Canada Health Act
- A guarantee that bailouts of carbon-intensive sectors are both responsible and conditional
- New universal programs, including childcare and pharmacare
- Enhanced investments in sectors, infrastructure and projects which will accelerate our progress toward a net-zero economy by contributing to a reduction in GHG emissions
- Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples at the heart of post-COVID recovery (UNDRIP, MMIWG, TRC)
- Massive cuts in waste of energy through building eco-energy retrofits – employing millions of skilled tradespeople in all parts of Canada
- Major investments in 100% renewable electricity delivered through coast to coast to coast grid – to both move and store electricity
- Expanded and enhanced mental health supports.
“We are optimistic that a vaccine for COVID-19 will be widely available next year and so we must be prepared for what comes next,” said Ms. Paul. “Earlier this month I called on the government to set up an intergovernmental COVID-19 task force to help ensure a smooth and coordinated vaccine rollout. Now, with a glimmer of hope on the horizon, it is vital that we seize this moment to prepare a green recovery plan that will engage every possible innovation, technology and resource at Canada’s disposal to enhance our ability to face challenges. With the right leadership, I have every confidence that Canada will be up to the challenge.”
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