MAY 6 WAS A GREEN LETTER DAY IN CANADA. It saw the launch of the Pact for a Green New Deal—a campaign to bring immediate action on climate change, created by a coalition of more than 60 organizations, unions and associations, including, Indigenous Climate Action, Migrants Workers Alliance for Change, Union of BC Indian Chiefs, Canadian Union of postal workers and Climate Strike Canada.
What is their message? The climate crisis is here, and we need to come together to find solutions.
The Pact for a Green New deal action plan will focus on engaging in a year-long “conversation” with as many everyday Canadians as possible to set out exactly what a green new deal must be.
The promoters of the pact declare: “The conversation about a Green New Deal for Canada must be led from the ground up.
“We call on all politicians and political parties to respond to the demands of the people with a Green New Deal that rests on two fundamental principles:
- It must meet the demands of Indigenous knowledge and science and cut Canada’s emissions in half in 11 years while protecting cultural and biological diversity
- It must leave no one behind and build a better present and future for all of us."
The Green New Deal coalition will host town halls across Canada so everyone can get in the national conversation to define what will the GND will look like. The goal is to shift the power to the people and give everyone who wants it an opportunity to raise concerns on behalf of their community, to create a made-in Canada plan that looks out for everyone.
Students strike for a Green New Deal
In addition to unions, anti-poverty activists and indigenous groups, student strikers inspired but Greta Thunbergs Fridays for Future movement are pushing for a Green New Deal. Climate Strike Canada (CSC), a national network of student strikers, on May 3rd they organized and reached over 90 towns across Canada demanding to our government systematic, widespread change to protect their futures.
Young people have contributed the least to the climate crisis but will be forced to fic it, whether adults not do it or not.
What we are currently facing is nothing compared to what youth will have to enduredif we do not deliver any solutions.
Canadians ages 18 to 35 are now the majority voters in Canada. Young people have the potential to change the narrative and to make climate change into the one of the most important voting issues in this election. While you’re voting this year, think about the students you saw on strike for climate. Their voices represent the future and it is crucial that they are involved in this process of finding sustainable solutions.
Students say they need a promise that their future is worth fighting for. Right now, a Green New Deal is the only hope they have. As austerity grows in Alberta, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario, we need policies made by the people for the people.
Poll finds strong public support
A recent poll suggests most Canadians support the idea of a huge public spending blitz to address climate change.
A majority of respondents (61%) to an April online poll by Abacus Data said they either support or somewhat support “a massive government jobs program and investment in clean energy, green technology, and electrification.”
The poll question said this Green New Deal “would aim to move Canada to 100 per cent clean energy by 2030 and make it so Canada produces and consumes the same amount of carbon emissions by 2050,” meaning the country would be carbon neutral by mid-century.
We’re in more than a climate crisis
Income inequality in Canada is at its highest since the Dirty Thirties, there has been a rise of inexcusable racism and white nationalism and the growing housing crisis is making it next-to-impossible for young people to become homeowners.
The impacts of climate change continue to bear down on us. Floods, heat, waves and wildfires are only a few examples of the consequences that a few among us are already facing. A crisis that is only affecting “a few” will soon affect us all.
Kids are troubled enough to skip school to join efforts to secure a future for themselves.
Scientists tell us we have just 11 years to act to help ourselves avoid climate change catastrophe.
There is no time to waste.
Visit a Green New Deal town-hall near you this summer, or plan your own.
We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.
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