October 20, 2022


Even in the middle of a pandemic, the Federal Government recognized the importance of combating climate change by allocating billions of dollars and developing practical strategies. This is the right thing to do, of course, in order to make Canada a vivid, affordable, and resilient place to live for future generations. 

Understanding the measures taken/planned by the government can help citizens to better prepare for the future. To that end, let’s take a look at A Healthy Environment and A Healthy Economy, the federal government’s plan to build a better tomorrow.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

One of the main focus areas is energy consumption. As we consume less energy generated by fossil fuels, the government is looking at a variety of renewable solutions to bridge that gap, while encouraging us to use less. 

This not only results in a more affordable life for us, our children, and our grandchildren,

but it also reduces air pollution. 

Air pollution, despite being a regional problem, can affect a large area, so anything we can do to reduce it is a wise investment. Using new technologies to generate clean power creates new job opportunities, too. Win-win. 

For these benefits and more, the government is investing in free energy assessments to encourage homeowners to conduct energy audits. Doing so may reveal opportunities to save energy (and money!) that they hadn’t considered before. 

The government is planning to invest $2 billion to help large-scale commercial buildings retrofit on energy. The 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-efficiency windows and insulation. 

In close collaboration with provincial governments, the federal government is looking for strategies to specifically focus on energy retrofit programs for low-income families.

The Transportation Sector

The transportation sector in Canada accounts for more than 20% of emissions. The government is committed to connecting communities via clean public transportation, electric vehicles (EVs), or low-emission cars.

As residents of Gravenhurst with no public transport, our options are perhaps more limited, but the government continues to incentivize low-emission cars — none more so than the Province of Quebec — EV rebates, and subsidised charging stations. 

To further combat pollution, the government will charge increasingly more for emitting harmful greenhouse gases via the carbon tax. 

The rising cost of gas — combined with EV incentives and the development of a robust network of charging stations — makes purchasing or leasing a low-emission car a reasonable decision for even a rural environment like Gravenhurst. 

But that’s not all. The Canadian government is actively working toward a country with sustainable, clean water and air for today and tomorrow by investing in a cleaner agriculture sector, a more efficient power distribution sector, and much more. 

Incentives and government measures at all levels can lead to a successful fight against climate change only when citizens engage in the programs and actively participate. 

Thankfully, both the government effort and commitment of Canadians are gaining strength and momentum since the beginning of the pandemic. And that’s an excellent place to start a new chapter.

The Town of Gravenhurst — and Muskoka as a whole — should be exploring every avenue to improve or create green infrastructure within our boundaries and beyond. 

As we continue to address the impacts of COVID-19 and ensure our strong economic recovery, we must also continue to fight climate change for the good of Canadians, our economy, and our planet. Canadians don’t have to choose between clean air and good jobs. This strengthened climate plan will help us build a healthier, fairer, and more resilient future that we can be proud to pass on to our children and grandchildren.” ~The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

I encourage everyone to review A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy in its entirety. Together, we can all make a difference. 

Image Source

About the Author

Peter Johnston

Peter Johnston is a born and raised Muskokan with 30+ years of experience in municipal government. He has worked in both the public and private sectors in Gravenhurst, Sudbury, Bonfield, and Beijing, China. Gravenhurst is home.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}