Green Budget Coalition Celebrates Budget 2018
For the Green Budget Coalition, the 2018 federal budget is cause for celebration. The Liberal government has committed $1.3B over five years to expand protected ecosystems, broaden species protection, and support Indigenous-led conservation and stewardship.
“This is a game-changer for conservation in Canada,” stated John Lounds, President and CEO of GBC member organization Nature Conservancy of Canada. “We look forward to working with the Government of Canada and all our partners to achieve conservation results of global significance.”
The Green Budget Coalition (GBC) is comprised of twenty leading environmental and conservation organizations and is co-funded by Metcalf. Each year the coalition undertakes an analysis of the most pressing issues on environmental sustainability in Canada and publishes a report with recommendations regarding strategic fiscal and budgetary opportunities, which it submits to the federal government. GBC members include groups such as the David Suzuki Foundation, World Wildlife Fund Canada, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Nature Canada, and the Canadian Environmental Law Association.
With the federal government’s massive investment, the GBC is optimistic that Canada could meet its Aichi Targets, which would see protection of 17% of lands and inland waters, and 10% of oceans by 2020. The Aichi Targets were developed as part of the 2010 Strategic Plan for Biodiversity adopted at the Conference of the Parties for the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.
“This budget recognizes that nature is an important part of the Canadian identity,” stated Steve Cornish, CEO of the David Suzuki Foundation. “It’s great to see money for protected areas and species at risk.”
Megan Leslie, President and CEO of World Wildlife Fund Canada, is also delighted with Budget 2018. “The Canadian government is clearly concerned about wildlife and habitat loss in Canada and this budget shows good intentions to protect new habitats and help species in decline to recover.”
The Chair of the House of Commons Environment Committee, The Honorable Deborah Schulte, meanwhile, expressed her gratitude to the coalition, acknowledging the significant role the group had played in advancing environmental concerns. In an email to Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society National Director, Conservation Alison Woodley, the Member of Parliament wrote “yesterday was a fantastic day for biodiversity in Canada” and thanked the coalition for its hard work.
In a public display of support for the government’s actions, on behalf of the GBC, Nature Canada coordinated the placement of a “Thank You” advertisement in The Hill Times, Canada’s politics and government newsweekly.
“We congratulate Finance Minister Morneau, Prime Minister Trudeau, and Environment Minister McKenna on making these critical investments,” stated Nature Canada’s Executive Director Graham Saul. “We think that Canada’s wildlife would also applaud.”
The GBC placed an ad in The Hill-Times thanking the Liberal government.