Anne McLellan appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance on September 25, 2023 as a witness in the pre-budget consultations in advance of the 2024 federal budget. She spoke in her role as co-chair of the Coalition for a Better Future. In her introductory remarks, she spoke about why the federal government urgently needs to provide clarity on its legislative framework for the energy transition—and why Canada needs a long-term economic vision to succeed.
"Investing in the climate transition
For Canada to succeed, the conversation about business investment must include transitioning to a net zero economy. Achieving net zero by 2050 is one of the core beliefs of the Coalition, even though members will choose different tools to reach this goal.
We welcomed the series of tax measures in this year’s budget to incentivize green investment, but the tough part is still to come.
For one, the Canadian government has yet to release its legislative framework for carbon capture or its plan to provide certainty for industry around carbon pricing. Both are still in progress and are due this year.
The government’s pledge to streamline its regulatory approval procedures —a necessary condition to hit the climate targets – is still being developed.
And we’re watching closely how the government navigates the transition of our energy sector.
These measures are necessary and urgently needed for businesses to have certainty, to prioritize and to plan.
Long-term economic vision needed
As we look at ways to enhance the economy, we have to keep in mind the impacts on the living standards of Canadians. Nik Nanos conducted a survey of young Canadians for the Coalition and found that overall, young people say Canada is moving in the wrong direction in ensuring all Canadians have a high standard of living, and 41 per cent think Canada is not moving quickly enough when it comes to the fight against climate change. As part of our Campus Tour program, Lisa and I have toured universities across the country, speaking to future leaders. The questions raised have echoed these findings, with students wanting to see policies that help mitigate climate change and distribute economic growth more equitably.
We need a long-term economic vision to get to where we need to go. We need economic growth, but it has to be the right growth to benefit all Canadians."