Federal budget gets mixed reaction from faith, social justice groups

Published in The BC Catholic on April 20, 2021

Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland unveiled in her first budget as finance minister a plethora of spending initiatives, many of which focused on environmental concerns that have been at the forefront of demands by groups such as For the Love of Creation, an initiative that brings together environmental and religious organizations including Catholic groups to lobby on behalf of action to address climate change.

In the budget, $101 billion in new spending was earmarked for the next three years to help transition to a green economy, which religious groups and social justice organizations have been calling for in what they have labelled a “just transition.”

While the many “green” aspects of the budget are being applauded by organizations such as the faith-based Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ), an Ottawa-based spokesperson for CPJ said the government could and should have gone further down that road.

“Investments in clean transportation, energy efficiency, adaptation and mitigation and resilient agriculture are all key,” said CPJ senior policy analyst Karri Munn-Venn.

“Unfortunately, by coupling these measures with extensive supports to the oil and gas sector it becomes clear that the federal government has yet to grasp the severity and urgency of the global climate crisis or the devastating ramifications of inadequate action.”

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