VANCOUVER — The David Suzuki Foundation applauds the federal government's doubling down on what the International Monetary Fund calls a winning economic strategy by increasing already historic infrastructure investments across the country. The plan to spend $25.3 billion over the next 11 years to improve and expand public transit infrastructure will cut traffic congestion, reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainable development in major Canadian cities. This investment goes beyond the $2 billion in annual transit investments we've called for in the past.
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"These funds will lead to realistic, low-carbon transportation options across the country," said David Suzuki Foundation director of science and policy Ian Bruce. "Not only will this commitment help stimulate the national economy and put people to work, it marks a major step in transitioning Canada to a carbon-free economy by mid-century."
Transportation sector emissions currently make up about a quarter of Canada's total annual carbon pollution. Research shows that access to fast, reliable public transportation networks gives people the option to drive less or forego personal vehicle ownership altogether. Public transportation investments also reduce traffic congestion, benefiting drivers, emergency services and businesses that transport goods.
"In allocating these funds, the federal government should focus on projects that reduce carbon emissions and promote smart growth," added Bruce. "By encouraging dense development along transit lines, the government can further address climate change and housing issues by providing access to large numbers of energy-efficient homes."
The government announcement also included a commitment of $21.9 billion over 11 years to expand green infrastructure. This investment demonstrates an understanding of the importance of reducing emissions and ensuring reliable access to clean, safe drinking water.
"While it's encouraging to see government investing in infrastructure that will reduce carbon emissions, it's important to also move away from expanding fossil fuel infrastructure," said Bruce. "Approving long-lived carbon infrastructure like pipelines and new oilsands projects cancels out the benefits of this plan."
We look forward to seeing more details about the proposed investments in the months to come.
For more information:
David Suzuki Foundation — Steve Kux 604-374-4102