Open Letter to The Honourable Chrystia Freeland,
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
December 8, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Red Deer – Mountain View, AB
The Fall Economic Statement 2020 references “Building Back Better” on numerous pages of the 237 page text. Upon reviewing Foreword pages iii and iv, the following are referred to as the “down payment on the investments to come”:
· Announcement to plant 2 billion trees over 10 years
· Provide grants to help up to 700,000 homeowners with retrofits
· Continue investments in building zero-emission vehicle charging stations
According to your government’s 2019 election platform “Forward, A Real Plan for the Middle Class”, your original announcement to plant 2 billion trees would create 3,500 seasonal jobs each year.
Per the same platform document, the government was to provide Net-Zero Home Grants of $5,000 to help people purchase newly built, certified zero-emissions homes. According to Smarter Growth Initiative (2018), a zero-emissions home costs about $35/sq. ft. more than a standard home.
Lastly, the government committed to build 5,000 charging stations across Canada, although no timeline or cost was provided. According to Natural Resources Canada (2020), there are 5,386 Level 2 & DC Fast EV charging stations in Canada. As of December 31, 2019 there were 11,937 gasoline stations.
Instead of using taxpayer dollars to prop up the above initiatives, I would suggest the following:
Fast track all projects currently waiting for approval with the Canada Energy Regulator, with a condition of approval that private sector companies plant 2 billion trees.
Reduce red tape and promote trade deals that allow foreign firms to bring goods and technology to Canada to drive down construction costs associated with energy efficient homes.
Expand the Scientific Research & Experimental Development Tax Incentive Program focused on wages paid to research staff who are engaged in improving vehicle fuel efficiency.
Candidate for Red Deer – Mountain View, AB