Government must waste no time in turning words into action

OTTAWA | TRADITIONAL, UNCEDED TERRITORY OF THE ALGONQUIN ANISHNAABEG PEOPLE — Today’s speech from the throne opening the 44th session of Parliament declared, “This is the moment for bolder climate action.” The David Suzuki Foundation welcomes this acknowledgment.

“Now is the time to turn words into action,” David Suzuki Foundation deputy executive director Ian Bruce said. “Government must now announce swift timelines and milestones for implementing key measures. Seeing the recent devastating climate impacts threatening our communities and towns across the country — extreme wildfires, heat domes, flooding and more — it’s clear we urgently need a government-wide emergency response to reduce harmful the carbon emissions fueling the crisis. We must ensure our communities are safe and resilient to the impacts we are facing now.”

The speech reiterated commitments from the government’s election platform to:

  • Cap and cut oil and gas sector emissions
  • Accelerate our path to 100 per cent net-zero electricity
  • Invest in public transit
  • Mandate the sale of zero-emission vehicles
  • Increase the price on carbon pollution
  • Protect our land and oceans, and address biodiversity loss
  • Create the Canada Water Agency
  • Create a National Adaptation Strategy
  • Help communities cope with current climate impacts and be prepared, including building resilience, for future extreme weather events

Gov. Gen. Mary Simon, reading the throne speech this afternoon, said, “Our Earth is in danger. From a warming Arctic to the increasing devastation of natural disasters, our land and our people need help. We must move talk into action and adapt where we must. We cannot afford to wait.”

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In addition to measures announced in today’s speech, the David Suzuki Foundation calls on the 44th Parliament to:

  • Update and implement Canada’s climate plan to rapidly reduce emissions and exceed Canada’s 2030 target
  • End public financing to big oil and gas companies in 2022
  • Enact “just transition” legislation to support workers and communities affected by the clean energy economy transition
  • Recognize and respond in the next federal budget to the enormous burden the climate crisis places on communities
  • Develop a comprehensive strategy, with timelines and targets, to stop nature loss by 2030 and achieve full nature recovery by 2050, including immediate action to protect endangered species
  • Take an integrated approach to the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change, working to protect and restore nature and respecting Indigenous rights and title
  • Centre the federal budget and long-term economic policy on quality-of-life metrics, not GDP growth alone
  • Modernize the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, including meaningful recognition of the right to a healthy environment, and new environmental justice legislation
  • Implement the ban on harmful single-use plastics and comprehensive measures to end plastic pollution

For more information or a media interview, please contact:

Brendan Glauser, | 604-356-8829