Canadians rank climate change as their third top priority in this federal election campaign, and the parties have spent much of the past week unveiling various policy proposals for how they plan to tackle it.
Those plans range from a variety of tax credits to more money for building more resilient communities, cleaner public transit, and an ambitious proposal to get Canada to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 — but with no details for how it would actually work.
This doesn’t include an assessment of each party’s carbon tax policies. For a detailed breakdown of what each party wants to do on that front, check out this examination of all the different proposals.
Here are the main highlights of what else the parties are proposing — so far.
The Conservatives haven’t released their full platform yet, but did release a climate-specific platform back in June.
They bill their approach as one focused on “green technology, not taxes” that offers a tax credit to companies using green technology patented in Canada, as well as roughly $250 million for a privately-managed green technology fund that would require the private sector to contribute $4 for every $1 from the government.
It includes a vow to repeal C-69, the Liberal bill that created a new authority for assessing the environmental impact of potential energy projects during the approvals process, and set new emissions standards for major polluters.
Another vow promises to get rid of C-48, the offshore tanker ban for B.C’s coast.
His plan also includes a two-year tax credit of 20 per cent on retrofits up to $20,000 that make homes more energy efficient, and promises to establish a voluntary standard for a net-zero home building code.
He also wants to work with the provinces and territories to “increase the availability and use of renewable fuels,” but it’s not clear what measures that would include to incentivize or encourage further development of those cleaner resources.
Last week, Scheer also pledged to re-introduce a 15 per cent public transit tax credit.
The total cost of the Conservative plan, estimated by the party, is roughly $2.5 billion.
The Liberals haven’t yet released a full platform so their announcements on climate change so far likely aren’t a full picture of what they propose to do.
But what we know so far is that a big part of their plan will revolve around a pledge for Canada to become carbon neutral by 2050.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau announced that promise on Tuesday and described the plan as creating “legally-binding” milestones for the country to hit as it reduces carbon emissions and moves to net-zero emissions, which would also include emissions that remain but are offset.
However, there’s no detail on what measures the Liberals would use to get there.
Trudeau also said a re-elected Liberal government would cut corporate taxes from 15 per cent to 7.5 per cent for large clean technology companies, and from nine per cent to 4.5 per cent for small clean technology businesses.
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They would also ensure that all federal buildings are powered by clean energy by 2022 and put new rules in place to require the federal government to procure more of its goods and services from green suppliers, although the details of that pledge aren’t yet clear.
On Wednesday, the party also vowed to introduce a Net Zero Homes Grant of up to $5,000 to help people buy newly-built zero-emission homes, as well as a retrofit programs for homeowners and landlords to offer interest-free loans of up to $40,000.
The Liberals also want to create what the party calls a “low-cost national flood insurance program,” design a disaster assistance stream through Employment Insurance, provide funding for better flood mapping for communities, and create a national relocation plan for homeowners in areas at the greatest risk of repeated flooding.
They also announced prior to the start of the campaign a pledge to ban some single-use plastics by 2022.
New Democratic Party
The NDP released their climate action plan in May, which centres around how the government can best support workers in the transition to a cleaner economy, as well as a plan to power Canada by net-zero electricity by 2030.
They have pledged to set up a new investment bank to help Canadian clean technology companies grow and to assist provinces in linking their power grids.
They also want the federal government to convert the fleet of federal and Crown corporation vehicles to electric-powered ones by 2025.
The NDP also pledged to keep the $5,000 tax credit for zero-emission vehicles that the Liberals created in Budget 2019.
Their plan also included a promise to retrofit all Canadian homes by 2050 and provide low-interest loans to homeowners looking to do energy-efficient renovations, and also assist more municipalities with converting their transit and other fleets of vehicles to electric by 2030.
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The party also wants to set up a Climate Accountability Office to measure how the government does at meeting its pledges.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh also proposed on Tuesday to create a clean-energy corridor — basically an east-west power grid that would allow provinces that produce more electricity than they use to ship it to other provinces that need more.
But Singh has not provided a plan for how much that specific pledge would cost, or how it would get built.
The total cost of the NDP plan is estimated by the party at around $15 billion and the party argues it will create 300,000 new green jobs.
The Green Party unveiled an extensive climate action plan in May as well.
It was dubbed “Mission: Possible” and put its focus on ending imports of foreign oil and adapting Canadian industries to deal with climate change, along with banning fracking.
Last month, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May also announced a transition plan for how to move fossil fuel workers into jobs in the renewable energy sector.
That included creating a federal task force to retrain and assist those workers, and also create pensions for them.
The Greens also want to see Canada reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2050, and by 60 per cent as of 2030, and put in place zero-emission public transit by 2040.
They also promise to cancel the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline and ban the purchase of internal combustion vehicles by 2030.
May has said the party would also force the Canada Pension Plan to be divested of shares in coal, oil and gas.
Retrofits for all homes would also be mandated by 2030.