‘Green’ the federal budget, says coalition of environmental groups

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OTTAWA – A large coalition of leading Canadian environmental groups, the Green Budget Coalition (GBC),today unveiled their final recommendations for the federal government’s 2014 budget.  The GBC’s feature recommendations offer a way for Canada to ‘green’ its budget without adding a nickel to the federal debt.

The GBC represents fourteen of Canada’s leading environmental and conservation organizations. The GBC’s three feature recommendations for Budget 2014 — reducing subsidies to the oil and gas and mining sectors, implementing the national conservation plan, and protecting Canada’s fresh water — would create important environmental, economic and human health benefits, and also provide direct and ongoing net financial savings for the federal government.

“These recommendations are prime opportunities for the Government to realize its Throne Speech goal that ‘We must seize this moment to secure prosperity, for Canadians now, and the generations to follow’,” said GBC Chair George Finney, the President of Bird Studies Canada.

The GBC’s final recommendations also highlight ten complementary opportunities for the federal government. These include sustainable energy for northern and remote communities, energy storage, infrastructure resilience and infrastructure for First Nations communities, achieving Canada’s climate target, global climate action, electric vehicles, liability regimes for the Arctic offshore and nuclear power, science capacity, and principles and strategies for a green economy and sustainable Canada.

With Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Minister of State (Finance) Kevin Sorenson hosting pre-budget consultations across Canada this month, GBC representatives will be meeting this week with key policymakers, leading MPs and senior government officials, to discuss these Budget 2014 recommendations.

“These recommendations provide the chance to honour Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017 by creating transformative progress towards an environmentally sustainable, prosperous Canada,” explained GBC Manager Andrew Van Iterson.

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About the Green Budget Coalition 

The Green Budget Coalition, active since 1999, brings together the collective expertise of fourteen of Canada’s leading environmental and conservation organizations, representing over 600,000 Canadians, to present an analysis of the most pressing issues regarding environmental sustainability in Canada and to make a consolidated annual set of recommendations to the federal government regarding strategic fiscal and budgetary opportunities.

The GBC’s members include Bird Studies Canada, Canadian Environmental Law Association, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, David Suzuki Foundation, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Ecojustice Canada, Ecology Action Centre, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace Canada, International Institute for Sustainable Development, Nature Canada, Nature Conservancy of Canada, Pembina Institute, and WWF-Canada.

For more information on the Green Budget Coalition and its recommendations for the 2014 Budget, please see the detailed Recommendations document at www.greenbudget.ca/2014/main.html, or contact:

Andrew Van Iterson, Manager, Green Budget Coalition;
613-562-8208, ext. 243avaniterson@naturecanada.ca; or

George Finney, Chair, Green Budget Coalition; and President, Bird Studies Canada;
1-888-448-2473, ext. 116gfinney@bsc-eoc.org

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