OTTAWA | TRADITIONAL, UNCEDED TERRITORY OF THE ALGONQUIN ANISHNAABEG PEOPLE — Today in Ottawa, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland tabled a federal budget promising “fairness for every generation,” yet missed a chance to make polluters pay by taxing the oil and gas industry’s excessive profits. Climate change and nature loss pose fundamental threats to future generations and require stronger action, the David Suzuki Foundation says.

The David Suzuki Foundation and others had called for a windfall profit tax on the fossil fuel industry in this federal budget to address the excessive financial gains made by oil and gas companies that are profiting from high energy prices.

Revenue generated from a windfall profit tax could help finance essential investments in climate and nature solutions recommended by the Green Budget Coalition. Analysis by the Parliamentary Budget Officer estimated that a windfall profit tax could generate $4.2 billion in revenue over five years.

Thomas Green, Senior Climate Policy Adviser, David Suzuki Foundation, said:

“Today’s budget, focused on fairness, missed a major opportunity to hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for the intergenerational costs of climate change. Canada should tax the excess profits of oil and gas companies, like many other countries do. Revenues could help finance essential investments in climate and nature solutions, such as public transit and building retrofits, that reduce the cost of living and help the environment.

“It’s great to see federal funding on housing come with climate requirements, but much more funding is needed for energy retrofits. Building communities to reduce emissions and prepare for the climate crisis will make life more affordable and reduce energy bills. We need to see this across the board.

“Every budget needs to be a climate and nature budget. Climate change and nature loss pose fundamental threats to future generations and require stronger action. The fossil fuel industry is driving the climate crisis and also contributing to current affordability challenges.”

The David Suzuki Foundation notes the following measures funded in Budget 2024:

  • DSF welcomes the launch of a new Canada Greener Homes Affordability Program that will support the direct installation of energy-efficiency retrofits for Canadian households with low to median incomes, but more funding and timely implementation is needed.
  • DSF looks forward to the federal government’s Canada Green Buildings Strategy in the coming weeks.
  • DSF welcomes climate requirements attached to the new Canada Housing Infrastructure Fund.
  • DSF welcomes funding for Parks Canada to establish new protected areas, including the Central Coast National Marine Conservation Area in B.C.
  • DSF is concerned that funding for the Chemicals Management Plan has been extended for only two years.
  • DSF welcomes the commitment to additional funding for fish stock assessment and rebuilding to meet requirements under the Fisheries Act.
  • DSF welcomes new details on major clean electricity funding from Budget 2023, including a condition for key entities to commit to net-zero electricity by 2035 in order to access key investment tax credits. More funding is needed to support affordable, reliable clean electricity in Canada, and DSF urges government to finalize these tax credits as soon as possible. As with last year’s budget, it’s disappointing to see outsized support for experimental new nuclear and carbon capture technologies on the grid.
  • DSF welcomes the commitment to phase out public financing of the fossil fuel sector, including by federal Crown corporations by fall 2024.
  • Noting renewal of funding for pesticide regulation, DSF urges government to prioritize reducing pesticide risks, including strengthening protections for species at risk.

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  • Recent polling shows the majority of Canadians support a windfall profit tax on the oil and gas industry.
  • The David Suzuki Foundation is a member of the Green Budget Coalition. The coalition recommends federal funding to advance environmental priorities, including:
    1. Nature protection and recovery to implement Canada’s commitments under the Global Biodiversity Framework
    2. Climate-resilient homes and affordable home energy
    3. A zero-emissions electricity grid based on renewables
    4. Sustainable jobs for workers and communities
    5. Sustainable agriculture, including reducing the risk from pesticides by 50 per cent
    6. Municipal climate action
    7. Implementation of the National Adaptation Strategy
    8. A new Office of Environmental Justice