It is a great piece of news to learn that even in the middle of a pandemic, the Federal Government recognized the priority of fighting against climate change by allocating billions of dollars and developing practical strategies. This is the right thing to do to make Canada a vivid, affordable, and resilient place to live for future generations. Understanding the measures taken/to take by the government helps citizens to better plan for the future. Here, a brief explanation of the government action, A Healthy Environment and A Healthy Economy, is reviewed.

One of the main focus areas of the government is energy saving. The government is looking at a variety of solutions to declining energy consumption generated by fossil fuels. Not only this results in a more affordable life for us and our kids and grandkids, but it also reduces air pollution. Air pollution, despite being a regional problem, can affect a large area. Using new technologies to generate clean power creates new job opportunities too. For these key benefits, the government is investing in free energy assessments to encourage homeowners to conduct energy audits. This confirms that homeowners know possible opportunities to save energy. Green community centers are also a target of governmental investments. The benefit of a green community building is twofold. Not only they can reduce unnecessary travel, but a green building also saves on its energy usage and can be an inspiration to the community. The government is planning to invest $2 billion to help large-scale commercial buildings retrofits on energy. Canada Infrastructure Bank is investing $2.5 billion in clean power and $1.5 billion in Zero-Emission Buses. In addition to that, the government is working with the building material sector to ensure Canadians have access to low-carbon cement and high-efficient windows and insulations. Using these incentives is a great opportunity to ensure the energy efficiency of our homes and to take necessary actions. In close collaboration with provincial governments, the federal government is looking for strategies to specifically focus on the energy retrofit programs for low-income families.

A second key topic is the transportation sector that counts for more than 20% of emissions. The concern of the government in this sector is to make communities connected together through clean public transportation or at least using electric vehicles (EVs) or low-emission cars. As residents of Bonfield with no public transport, this challenge can be better understood by us. To overcome this challenge, the government continues to incentivize low-emission cars (the Province of Quebec offers the highest provincial incentive). Along with this incentive to encourage purchasing EVs, the government is investing in installing charging stations to further promote using low-emission cars. To ensure that the pollution costs, the government is continuing charging more and more for emitting harmful greenhouse gases. The carbon tax is an example of this approach. This increasing gas price along with incentives for EVs and emerging new charging stations makes purchasing a low emission car a reasonable decision even for a rural environment like Bonfield.

There are various other promising investments by the Canadian government toward a country with sustainable clean water and air e.g. investment in a cleaner agriculture sector, in a more efficient power distribution sector, and so on. All these incentives and measures by the governments at all levels can lead to a successful fight against climate change only when the citizens engage in the programs and actively participate in a global fight against climate change. Both the government efforts and the commitment of people in Canada are becoming more serious since the pandemic. This is an excellent way to start a new chapter after the pandemic which is hopefully approaching its end. The Township of Bonfield on the other hand is looking for possible solutions to improve/create green infrastructures such as installing charging stations, increasing energy efficiencies at buildings, and offering local services as much as possible to reduce travels to neighboring municipalities.

Sources:

https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/news/2020/12/a-healthy-environment-and-a-healthy-economy.html

https://cib-bic.ca/en/canada-infrastructure-banks-growth-plan-backgrounder/