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Policy Matters: Tim Gray

Later this year, Canadians will vote in the 43rd federal election. Many non-profit organizations, networks, and coalitions see elections as a critical opportunity to raise relevant public policy issues. Recently, the rules for charities engaging in public policy have become a prominent source of debate and discussion in government and the sector. As we countdown to the next election, The Philanthropist is asking non-profit leaders what public policy issues are top of mind for them.

Name and organization: Tim Gray, Environmental Defence

What current election issues might impact your work?  

The Canadian public is confused and discouraged by the incessant arguing between the federal and some provincial governments over carbon pricing, and all indications are that this will continue through the writ period. These arguments are baseless. All expert economic information available indicates that putting a price on carbon will reduce emissions and do so cost effectively. 

The arguing and name-calling is a distraction from the more urgent, interesting, and hopeful conversation we should be having, about whether we are doing enough to actually move our society toward one that produces less pollution and uses cleaner energy.

What issues would you like to bring more attention to in the election? 

It is critical that there be deeper understanding in the public about how Canada can move to a cleaner energy system, how we can pay for it and what the economic and social benefits would be. This knowledge would set the stage for a more thoughtful conversation about meaningful climate action among politicians. The election will likely be almost a year exactly after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change started the 12-year countdown clock – our political conversation should be about the best approaches to drastically reduce emissions. We’d like to see conversations about climate solutions, so we can build a fair transition for workers and communities. 

Where can we learn more about these issues?

Environmental Defence: environmentaldefence.ca/

Tim Gray is Executive Director of Environmental Defence.

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