Following similar legislation in other countries Canada has finally introduced a beneficial ownership requirement on Canadian companies. Federally registered companies will have to disclose who owns them, which means it’ll be harder to commit tax fraud. Plus, by having companies reveal who benefits from their existence it will be easier for authorities to track criminal behaviour and efforts around snow washing.
In 2017, an investigation by the Toronto Star and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, based on ICIJ’s Panama Papers dataset, revealed how Canada had emerged as a popular tax haven, touted by corporate service providers as a “reputable” destination to hide wealth.
Transparency advocates welcomed the landmark reforms, which passed into law on Nov. 2 under an amendment to the Canada Business Corporations Act, following a years-long push for a legislative means to tackle money laundering and tax evasion.
Scientists used to think that sharing the facts and evidence of an issue was enough to sway policy makers and the general public. Unfortunately, with many issues facing us today there are vested interests looking to derail civil discourse around topics like climate change and vaccines. Today Evidence for Democracy launched a toolkit for scientists to better advocate for evidence based policy decisions. The idea now is to provide scientists with guides on how to share facts and evidence so that the general public can benefit from their research and not be manipulated by lobbying campaigns and the like.
Whether you want to dip your toes into advocacy for the first time, or are looking to fine-tune your skills, this guide will help you expand your toolbox of advocacy strategies, and build and nurture relationships with decision-makers.
Fostering a better relationship between scientists and policy-makers is not just about enabling ground-breaking discoveries or strengthening the economy. It’s also about how science can serve the collective good — for a healthier, more prosperous, and just society.
Within the guide, you will also find firsthand experiences from parliamentarians reflecting on their experiences interacting with the science community. Personally, I’m still thinking about this quote:
“Conversations around science are frequently centered around funding. They are less often about how [the] government can make better evidence informed decisions using the research that is being produced by the stakeholders I meet with.” — Member of Parliament
A country that loves extracting fossil fuels has begun to clean up its tax rebates for the destructive oil and gas industry. Canada spent over $15 BILLION on subsidies for the oil and gas sector in 2021 alone, which isn’t just bad it’s literally funding the destruction of the planet. Thankfully the government has figured out that destroying the land for short term profit isn’t a good idea when the industry profiting kills everything it touches.
Starting this year the Canadian government will begin the long process of cutting tax loopholes and subsidies for oil and gas, which generate billions in profits. Why fund an industry that is insanely profitable that harms people and the planet?
Burning fossil fuels is one of the main drivers of climate change, so ending public spending that supports the industry is crucial. Ending fossil fuel subsidies frees up those funds to support thingslike renewable energy and electrification. Clean energy is of paramount importance as the world is under pressure to slash greenhouse gas emissions more than 40 per cent by the end of the decade.
“Moving forward, every subsidy that the government would want to grant to the oil and gas sector would have to go through this filter — any department of the federal government, whether it’s finance, international trade, natural resources — to ensure that we do not give federal dollars to support the production of oil and gas or coal,” said Guilbeault. “This is a fundamental shift from what we’ve done in this country for decades.”
The people who make decisions to continue us on a path of climate catastrophe have names and addresses. We need to shame people who are actively engage in profiteering off of killing every living thing on the planet, and that’s exactly what Environmental Defence has started to do. They have created a list of the Canada’s climate villains – those in positions of power that delay climate action and/or encouraging more environmental destruction. The good news about this is that Canadians who care about the climate are upping their game to call out those that are profiting from our demise. The more climate action we take the better – we only have one planet so let’s not burn it down!
Canada’s climate villains:
Canada’s Oil and Gas industry has long been the biggest barrier to climate action. Despite the harmful impacts that people in Canada and around the world are suffering daily from the warming climate and lack of action, the oil and gas industry continues to spew pollution and rake in record profits and receive billions in government subsidies. We are done taking the blame as individuals. The time to expose the true climate villains is now!
Efficient of solar panels continues to increase and the costs of installing them keep going down, meaning that there’s never been a better time than now to install solar panels. One of the great things about solar is how scalable it is, you can install a small system on a townhouse to a massive system on fields of land. It all comes down to budget. If you’re in Canada you can make use of the Canada Greener Homes program to get up to $5,000 towards the cost of your solar panels. The faster people move to renewable energy sources the better the chance we have at averting climate catastrophe.
What solar capacity do you need, or can you afford?
The average home in Ontario uses 8,250 kWh of electricity annually (this average will increase over time as buildings are electrified); roughly 10 kW of solar energy capacity would be required to meet that demand. Most homes will be able to fit somewhere between 5 kW and 10 kW so you’ll need to assess your own roof. SolarShare’s Operations & Maintenance Coordinator, Bob Ross, estimates that when accounting for building permits, fees and solar panels, a 5 kW system will cost approximately $18,000, and 10 kW around $28,000. Check outthis calculatorto estimate your potential savings from installing solar panels.