Bold Investments

Canada needs a greener, more sustainable future – and good, lasting jobs to create it. Our government isn’t going far enough to create green jobs.
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Tackling climate change and delivering a just transition for workers and communities depends on the Canadian government making bold investments in three key areas.

  1. Transportation and transit:

Transportation accounts for a quarter of Canada’s carbon emissions. With more than 80 percent of Canadians now living in urban areas, fast reliable public transit, zero emissions vehicles and active and shared transportation options just makes sense. Some research suggests that investment in sustainable transportation, including mass transit, active transportation and the electrification of most vehicles would stimulate up to 1.2 million jobs over the next decade in Canada.

These jobs include manufacturing (Canada is a major producer and exporter of transit equipment), construction, transit operators, fleet managers transitioning to electrified transit and many other sectors. Transit investment also stimulates job growth in our neighbourhoods, allowing more people to reach local merchants, restaurants and entertainment venues.

  1. Green homes and buildings:

Canada has over 15 million residential buildings and over 480,000 commercial and institutional buildings, including offices, retail and warehouses. Canada’s homes and buildings account for 18 percent of national GHG emissions including space and water heating, cooling, lighting and appliances.

Greater investment in green buildings and a faster pace on large-scale retrofits has the potential to create over a million good, community supporting jobs in Canada over the next decade, while reducing energy costs for residents and municipalities.

  1. Green construction materials and infrastructure investments:

Construction materials, including aluminum, cement, steel and wood, are in nearly everything we build. Canada has a unique advantage when it comes to the emissions profile of these construction materials. Thanks in large part to our clean electricity grid (which is now 82 percent emissions-free), goods produced here often have a smaller carbon footprint than those produced elsewhere.

Changing how we look at public infrastructure can unlock GHG reduction opportunities and support Canadian manufacturers. Canada should also follow the lead of Europe and other trading partners and explore carbon border adjustment mechanisms to level the playing field and reward climate leaders.