Survey finds Canadian women want more balanced energy policy

A new survey has found a growing number of Canadian women are concerned about the effect energy policies, such as the federal carbon tax, have on the affordability of their day-to-day lives. 

The Leger survey, commissioned by Calgary-based advocacy group Canada Powered by Women, also discovered a growing number of Canadian women want more information and a voice in energy policies. 

Affordability is a huge challenge and engaged women — those who read the news, are interested in politics and want a say in government policy — want more details about energy policies specifically, including the carbon tax,” says Tracey Bodnarchuk, CEO and one of the founders of Canada Powered by Women, a non-profit, non-partisan group with 2,400 members across the country.  

This group of women knows they are paying more money because of the carbon tax and 88 per cent of them want more details on where that money is being spent.” 

The 2024 survey was conducted from March 22-24 among 1,605 Canadians randomly recruited from a Leger online panel. 

Within that group, 32 per cent of engaged women disagree that current energy policies are right for them and their families and 38 per cent disagree that government decisions on energy policy are made with the consideration of their impact on individuals and the wider community,” Bodnarchuk says.  

“More women want to have their voices heard and reflected in energy policies. They care about the environment but not at the expense of their standard of living.” 

Providing more information to women on these issues was why Bodnarchuk and 39 other women who work in or around” the energy sector decided to start Canada Powered by Women in 2019. 

Back then, we wanted to encourage women to approach the federal election being held that year by increasing their knowledge around the issues of the environment, the economy and energy rather than on a partisan basis,” she says.  

We know that energy policy and personal prosperity are tied together with the carbon tax being a great example of that. Our mandate is to provide information, share women’s perspectives and enable people to make their own decisions about policies.” 

While Bodnarchuk sees the carbon tax as a highly visible policy in terms of its costs, the group is also looking at providing more insight to its audience of engaged women on the effect of the proposed emissions cap on Canadian oil and gas producers. 

There’s more of a disconnect between energy production and how that affects prosperity so we’re going to be providing more information about the emissions cap and its implications and then asking engaged women what they think about that,” she says.  

We want to shed a light on the potential impact of that policy on Canada’s competitiveness, the support for transfer payments and the impact on the social safety net.” 

The group will conduct a larger scale national survey in May as part of what it sees as a continuing conversation with engaged women throughout the country, but Bodnarchuk already sees some trends emerging. 

As their knowledge increases, engaged women are more predisposed to support energy development and production in Canada, knowing that liquefied natural gas is a cleaner form of energy than burning coal as an example,” she says.  

“Supporting emissions reduction technology and developing LNG for export to reduce emissions from coal-fired power generation in China and India are ways to address the priorities of engaged women. They want energy policy that reflects a balanced approach.” 

The unaltered reproduction of this content is free of charge with attribution to Canadian Energy Centre Ltd. 

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