The federal government will soon begin paying out billions in tax breaks for businesses and workers who are at least partly responsible for the climate change that is ravaging the planet.
The government has agreed to pay out at least $9.8 billion over the next three years in benefits for workers who lost their job due to the impacts of climate change, including $3.1 billion for those whose companies are located in Canada.
The federal Liberal government also agreed to provide $4 billion over three years to help companies hire more climate-conscious employees, while the NDP says the Liberals will be making “no guarantees” about the amount.
The Conservatives have also agreed in principle to pay $3 billion over two years for job creation, while promising to provide another $2 billion in funding in the second half of the year to help create jobs.
The Liberals are committed to providing $1.2 billion for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Climate Leadership Network, which promote climate action.
The NDP said that money will be needed to create a new Canada Climate Leadership Plan, which will advise the government on what actions it would take to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
The Liberal government is also promising $1 billion to help provinces and territories manage their own climate change impacts, which would include a commitment to support measures to slow the growth of greenhouse gas emission.
The Conservative government has yet to announce the amount of the promised $1-billion to help deal with the effects of climate disruption.
On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked by reporters whether he had made a decision on what measures to implement.
“The federal government has said that there are going to be billions of Canadian dollars coming in to help businesses and people, and we have already said that we are going back to that very strong position,” he said.
“There is nothing more important than making sure that we can get Canadians back to work and moving forward on this issue.”
He added that he believes the federal budget will provide more than enough money to ensure that the economy can be strong and grow as expected.
“We’re doing it because we believe that our economy is strong and that we’re going to get the economy growing,” he told reporters.
“So I think that’s the most important thing that we’ve got to do right now, and it’s the plan that we want to get back to.”
Justin Trudeau also said he wants to focus on the needs of the middle class and people who work for minimum wage, while stressing the importance of ensuring that Canadians can access affordable health care.
“You can’t do this without the middle classes and people in the middle working at minimum wage and you cannot do this if you don’t have good public transit, and you can’t really get the things that you need to be able to move around and do this work,” he explained.
“It’s about creating a world that’s equitable for everyone.”
Justin Harper, the leader of the Conservative Party, has promised to build on the government’s $2-billion commitment to create jobs and the $4-billion promised for job-creation, and he also said the federal NDP is “playing politics” by calling for “a massive increase in the minimum wage” in order to “create more jobs.”
“The NDP’s got nothing to say,” he added.
“This is a partisan issue.”
More to come.