Bill C-12 Briefs

Seventy-five briefs on Bill C-12 were submitted to the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development (ENVI Committee). View all 75 briefs. However, 65 of the briefs were not distributed to the Environment Committee until after the May 21 deadline for the committee members to submit amendment proposals. That means the excellent information in the 65 briefs were not read or taken into account. To learn more, watch this video.

Below are the briefs written by Climate Messengers Canada, Kenneth Andrew Love (a member of Climate Messengers Canada), Leadnow, and two groups with which we are associated — Concerned Citizens from Mississauga-Lakeshore and the Northeast Climate Action Committee. None of these briefs were received or read by the ENVI Committee before the amendment process began. 

Climate Messengers Canada

Climate Messengers Canada put forward eight recommendations:

  1. Canada needs a 2025 milestone target, plan and report.
  2. The independence of the Advisory Body should be supported by dedicated funding sufficient to support an effective secretariat. 
  3. The Advisory Body should include Indigenous peoples, funded as outlined by UNDRIP.
  4. Define federal GHG emissions target as legislated requirements that establish legal consequences in the event of noncompliance.
  5. Establish an independent, expertise-centred, scientific advisory body with a mandate to advise on long-term and milestone GHG targets and budgets. Alternatively, include this expertise and mandate in the stakeholder body.
  6. Explicitly define the role of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development (CESD).
  7. Structure emissions targets, plans, advice and progress reporting in terms of national carbon budgets.
  8. Work with provinces and territories to co-ordinate and integrate regional, local and national emissions targets, carbon budgets and reporting.

Full brief (PDF) 

Kenneth Andrew Love

Kenneth Andrew Love made seven recommendations on fixing the flaws in Bill C-12 with respect to the advisory body:

  1. Set out the collective qualifications that the advisory body must have.
  2. Have Bill C-12 create a nominating committee to select members for the advisory body.
  3. Require the nominating committee or the Minister to consult all parties sitting in the House of Commons and all provincial and territorial premiers before making the appointments.
  4. Make the advisory body wholly independent of the government.
  5. Give the advisory body a large independent secretariat.
  6. Make it clear that the advisory body is the primary entity in Canada to set targets and create plans. Add to s. 7 that the Minister must obtain and consider the advice of the advisory body before setting targets. Add to s. 9 that the Minister must obtain and consider the advice of the advisory body before enacting legislation on a plan.
  7. Ensure in both sections that, if the government enacts policies that differ from the advisory body’s advice, the Minister must table a report in Parliament explaining in detail the reasons for that decision. Remove reference to the advisory body in s. 13 to avoid any confusion about the pre-eminence of the advisory body’s national role.

Full brief (PDF)


Leadnow put forward three recommendations. Much of the brief consists of members’ comments on the importance of a strong climate accountability law. 

  1. Take bold action now, based on science and independent expertise. Set the first emissions target for 2025, instead of delaying climate action until it’s too late. 
  2. Put workers and communities first, no exceptions. Bill C-12 should align with Canada’s commitment to the United Nations Declaration n the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), and set targets for job creation to ensure no worker gets left behind as we transition to a sustainable economy. 
  3. Create true legal accountability for government. Set clear, unconditional obligations on the Minister of Environment to meet Canada’s climate targets. 

Full brief (PDF)

Concerned Citizens from Mississauga-Lakeshore

Concerned Citizens from Mississauga-Lakeshore put forward six recommendations:

  1. A stronger emissions-reduction target of at least 50% by 2030, to align with IPCC recommendations.
  2. An additional milestone of 2025 for emissions reduction.
  3. Adoption of five-year carbon budgets instead of emissions targets to make sure we meet long-term goals.
  4. A clear legal duty to reach the targets set out in the act. 
  5. An independent advisory body must include climate scientists to advise the government on reaching its targets, and have a clear and strong mandate in shaping Canada’s climate change solution.
  6. Strengthen the role of the Environment Commissioner.

Full brief (PDF)

Northeast Climate Action Committee

The Northeast Climate Action Committee / Comité Action Climatique du Nord put forward seven recommendations:

  1. Amend section 2 to set 2025 as the first “milestone year.”
  2. Amend section 7: Set a stronger emissions target of 60% below 2005 levels by 2030, which is aligned with IPCC recommendations.
  3. Amend section 20: Create a panel comprised of experts whose members are independent of industry, rather than a stakeholder group. Additionally, provide a budget for the advisory body so that it may conduct independent research. To this end, we suggest that the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development model Canada’s advisory committee on the UK Climate Change Committee.
  4. Amend sections 16 and 21: Ensure that the panel has more than an advisory role by mandating that the Minister do more than “publicly respond” to the advice of the advisory body. Bill C-12 must impose a legal obligation to reach targets.
  5. Amend section 14: Ensure greater accountability with more robust reporting and oversight. Canada’s Climate Advisory Committee should publish yearly reports on Canada’s progress toward reaching targets and any additional measures required.
  6. Add a clause to ensure that the short-term methods used to reduce carbon emissions for the first milestone years are in line with net zero by 2050. 
  7. Add a clause to ensure that all measures implemented consider the protection of biodiversity, the preservation of natural habitats, including what remains of old growth forests, and the impact on indigenous and vulnerable communities, both inside Canada and internationally.

Full brief (PDF)