New research shows engaged women know that embracing Canadian energy can tackle affordability and make life easier. Will our government follow suit?

  • National Newswatch

Whether it’s turning on the lights, filling up your tank, or adjusting the thermostat, Canadian energy is at the centre of our daily lives and at the core of the ongoing affordability crisis. 

A new Leger survey, in collaboration with Canada Powered by Women, a non-partisan organization representing the voice of 5.6 million engaged women, shows that 59 per cent of this subset of Canadian women currently perceive energy to be too expensive, up 13 per cent since 2023.

These sentiments only grow stronger the more this group learns about energy policy and its impacts – with Canadian women as a key voting demographic, this information is critical for political decision-makers of all stripes. 

So why exactly are women embracing the need for sound energy policy in Canada?

Let’s start with the daily impact on our pocketbooks, a reoccurring theme in the data – 89 per cent of engaged women in Ontario are worried about the impact future energy policies will have on their personal finances. Engaged women perceive energy to be too expensive, and with the carbon tax increasing it’s hard to imagine costs will lower anytime soon. 

The perception that energy is unaffordable has increased significantly from data collected last fall and is experienced even more significantly in certain areas of our country. In Alberta, 3-in-5 engaged women say that their standard of living has been hit especially hard by current and proposed policies.

With 56 per cent of engaged women supporting responsible resource development for Canada’s economy and Canadian families, the bottom line is that engaged women want to see the government fully embrace Canadian energy. 

Engaged women are concerned by the affordability crisis and the connection between it and sound energy policy – 87 per cent of those surveyed feel that future policies will further hurt their finances, with half anticipating higher energy bills, increased fuel costs and increased taxes. This is an important consideration for any elected official to evaluate, whether the current approach to energy policy is inclusive of Canadian women.

Women know that incentives and innovations can be embraced to ensure our energy sector can thrive while reducing emissions. 75 per cent of engaged women support innovation and new technologies to enhance energy production and 55 per cent support a cleaner energy mix that includes fossil fuels, particularly natural gas. It’s our government’s responsibility to ensure its policies bolster innovation in Canada’s energy sector to both meaningfully embrace our capabilities and reduce emissions.

The time is now. The federal government can strike a balance that engaged women will support. Canada must embrace sound energy policy and incentivize the adoption of new technologies to encourage energy production and our opportunity to be a leader on the world stage. 

The question remains with governments of all levels – will you embrace the needs of women across Canada who have increasing voting and purchasing power or will engaged women’s priorities be ignored?

Tracey Bodnarchuk is one of the founders & CEO of Canada Powered by Women, an organization with a goal to engage women during energy transformation to influence sound energy policy and economic prosperity.