The prime minister and his new finance minister sent the same message on Tuesday: Canada’s path out of the COVID-19 pandemic is going to be green.

“To [the] question about decarbonization as part of our economic plan going forward: Of course, it has to be part of it,” Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Parliament Hill shortly after she was sworn in as Bill Morneau’s replacement. “I think all Canadians understand that the restart of our economy needs to be green. It also needs to be equitable. It needs to be inclusive. And we need to focus very much on jobs and growth.”

Freeland was given the finance portfolio by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday after Morneau announced his resignation from the post, and from parliament itself, on Monday. The move furthers Freeland’s steady rise since the Liberals formed government in 2015, having previously led the ministries of international trade, foreign affairs, and most recently intergovernmental affairs. Freeland will continue her duties as deputy prime minister.

Trudeau also said Canada needs to seize the rebuilding opportunity afforded by the pandemic to become “greener.”

“This is our chance to build a more resilient Canada, a Canada that is healthier and safer, greener and more competitive, a Canada that is more welcoming and more fair,” Trudeau said at the same media availability.

“This is our moment to change our future for the better. We can't afford to miss it, because this window of opportunity won't be open for long.”


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