Many Canadian policy-makers, politicians, and economists are intensely focused on developing credible, effective, and appropriate ways to protect and revitalize the Canadian economy. And environmentalists are encouraging policy-makers to recognize the current crisis as an opportunity to shift the economy on to more sustainable footing. Given the abundance of different positions, measures, and arguments in the debates surrounding potential economic stimulus instruments, there is a clear need for a consistent, logical framework to analyze and evaluate different approaches.

This report outlines such a framework. It identifies nine criteria that should be used to develop and evaluate any Canadian economic stimulus package, and particularly those intended to meet environmental as well as economic goals.

Those nine criteria are structured around three tests:

  1. Economic Test: How much economic stimulus will the measure provide to the economy?
  2. Environment Test: How much improvement will the measure provide to the environment?
  3. Policy Implementation Test: How easily can the measure be implemented through out the country and how equitable are its impacts?

The Report then groups specific stimulus proposals put forward over the last few months into 23 categories under the following headings:

Direct Government Spending Measures:

  • Public infrastructure, asset and land investment
  • Personal/households
  • Direct support for industry and non-profits

Tax Measures:

  • Personal/households
  • Corporate/non-profits

Regulatory measures:

  • Energy efficiency regulation
  • Pollution abatement regulation
  • Conservation protection regulation

Implementing an economic stimulus package for Canada is about more than fixing a problem. It is about seizing the opportunity to shape our collective future as a country. This report provides a framework that allows government to select those projects that increase economic activity in the short-term and set the stage for our longer-term environmental and economic progress.