8. Care at the Core
Globally, governments provide nearly USD $300 billion in pre-tax subsidies for fossil fuels, yet fossil fuels impose more than USD $2.7 trillion in health costs.
This is not the strategy of a species that is acting in its own best interests. We need to put care for ourselves, and for each other, at the core of what we do.
Fossil fuels have funded much human progress and put food on the table for many families, but we now understand the catastrophic health risks of both climate change and pollution. The World Health Organization says climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st Century. Continuing to subsidize fossil fuel companies is like giving public funds to tobacco companies and making children sit in smoke-filled rooms.
Since the beginning of the pandemic Canada has spent an additional $16 billion ($12 billion USD) to support fossil fuels, only $2.1 billion on clean energy and $625 million to support childcare,despite leading childcare advocates indicating that $2.5 billion is required. Enough.
- Eliminate fossil fuel subsidies Not just “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies. All of them. Redistribute funds to supporting a healthy future by caring for people now and building the low-carbon world we need to thrive.
- Establish a task force to design a National Seniors Strategy.
- Legislate a Community Care Act (universal childcare, pharmacare, psychological care, and dental care for low-income Canadians).
- Given the role of childcare as a catalyst to the economy, immediately:
- Allocate $2 billion in additional funding to assist in the reopening of daycares.
- Create a Federal Childcare Secretariat to steer policy development.
- Commit to boosting annual childcare spending by a minimum of $2 billion each year, beginning with $2 billion in 2021-2022, moving to $4 billion in 2022-2023, $6 billion in 2023-2024, $8 billion in 2024-2025, and $10 billion in 2025-2016, at which point a national public childcare system should begin to be within reach.
- Establish compassionate crisis-response teams for all Royal Canadian Mounted Police Units to ensure trauma-informed psychiatric nursing support is available 24/7 for dispatch with officers to respond to crisis calls.