Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version



Sarah E. Light


Inequality and climate change are some of the most pressing issues facing society today. This paper begins by providing brief documentation on the current state of environmental justice (EJ) and racism research as well as detailing cases of environmental racism in Canada. This paper then aims to contribute to EJ literature by arguing that even in the absence of malicious intent, disproportionate access to non-essential environmental benefits is an EJ issue. This paper applies this understanding of EJ and environmental racism to electric vehicle (EV) point-of-purchase rebates in Canada to showcase the ways in which such policies are inefficient from an economic standpoint, and counterproductive from an anti-racism perspective. This paper then offers alternatives to incentivizing EV purchases among lower-income and black, indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) communities. We conclude by calling on policymakers to better undertake due diligence to understand how policies can unintentionally perpetuate systemic racial and socioeconomic inequality.


Environmental Justice, Environmental Racism, Electric Vehicle, Subsidies, Rebates, Inequality, Canada, Africville, Chemical Valley



Date Posted: 29 January 2021


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