Compounding crises are worsened by ill-advised austerity

TREATY 1, WINNIPEG: Failing to invest in Manitoba’s climate future will leave us with a dangerous deficit in the years to come. In Manitoba’s 2021 budget, this government shows no signs of straying from their disastrous ideology of ignoring the climate crisis, refusing to act on the scale that is necessary, and undermining the public sector when we need it the most.

“A true recovery budget would change direction, restarting Manitoba’s economy by investing in good jobs, public services and programs, and the transition to renewable energy,” said Hannah Muhajarine, organizer with the Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition. “This government continues to engage in regressive tax cuts while slashing public services and spending, an approach that will only slow our economic recovery while intensifying the pain of the climate crisis.”

We need a government that is willing to lead us towards economic recovery and tackle the climate crisis by engaging in large-scale public spending focused on climate solutions. This government continues to talk about balancing the budget, even though deficit spending is exactly what the International Monetary Fund is recommending to avoid a further recession.

“We’ve spent over a year engaging with subject matter experts and community stakeholders to create the Road to Resilience, a community climate strategy,” said Curt Hull of Climate Change Connection. “Public investment in the ideas outlined there, which include building new green transportation and energy infrastructure and retrofitting of existing buildings and homes could create thousands of jobs, and have a much greater economic and social payoff down the road compared to a short-sighted focus on reducing the deficit. But the government doesn’t seem willing to accept this.”

It’s become clear that this austerity approach exacerbates the effects of global crises on Manitobans. This austerity budget will only hamper our recovery and leave us unprepared as the global climate crisis deepens.

For more information, please contact:

Curtis Hull, P. Eng
Lead Author, Manitoba’s Road to Resilience: A Community Climate Action Pathway to a Fossil Free Future
Program Manager, Climate Change Connection
curt@climatemb.ca, Phone: 204-233-0545

Hannah Muhajarine
Organizer, Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition
h.muhajarine@gmail.com; Phone: 639-317-5317

Eric Reder,
Wilderness and Water Campaigner, Wilderness Committee
eric@wildernesscommittee.org, Phone: 204-997-8584