About four dozen communities across Canada are planning events tomorrow to get action on the Trudeau government’s long-standing promise to introduce a Just Transition Act, aimed at priming fossil fuel communities and workers for the transition off fossil fuels.
“It’s been nearly three years since Justin Trudeau promised the Just Transition Act and we haven’t seen any serious progress,” organizers with 350 Canada said in a release. “Meanwhile, our communities are experiencing extreme climate impacts and a multi-year global pandemic with the economic crisis it has fuelled. Inequality between the wealthy and those struggling to make ends meet has soared.”
The events on 350’s list are as varied as the communities themselves, many of them taking place outside the offices of local Members of Parliament.
Organizers in Halifax, Montreal, Waterloo Region, Toronto, Brockville, Ontario, Winnipeg, Edmonton, and the Ottawa suburb of Orléans will hold mock grand openings and ribbon-cuttings for a new Ministry for Just Transition. The Montreal participants will make their way to Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault’s constituency office, while the Waterloo group has invited a dozen provincial and federal legislators to attend the event. The Toronto events will bring the concept to the constituency offices of Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and local MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith.
The gathering at the Newfoundland and Labrador legislature in St. John’s is inviting locals to “bring a poster! Bring a sign! Bring a friend!” to show what a just transition can mean—from climate action and reduced emissions, to green jobs, to protecting fishing grounds from oil and gas projects.
An event at Grande Prairie City hall in Alberta will demand upskilling initiatives for green energy jobs for oilfield workers.
In Truro, Nova Scotia, organizers are planning a sidewalk chalk mural outside the office of Conservative MP Stephen Ellis to back their petition for a Just Transition Act. A second event at Ellis’ Amherst, NS office is promising creative visuals and art.
In Memphrémagog, Quebec, participants will mark the second anniversary of what was said to be a “temporary” cutback to interurban transit.
The Penticton, B.C. event is promising a chance to connect with people “who want action and not just talk about creating positive change in a world with rapidly rising temperatures, tempers, and trauma.”
Port Dover, Ontario participants will focus on the huge work force that will be needed to “build renewable energy facilities as well as reinsulate almost every home and building across Canada.”
Participants at MP Terry Beech’s constituency office in Burnaby, B.C. will note that the three years since Trudeau first promised just transition legislation have seen “heat domes, floods, and fires, but no plan for transitioning workers and communities to a decarbonized future.”
An event at the Vancouver Public Library will receive a “message from the future”, consisting of an update from 2025 on the first three years of the Ministry for Just Transition.
With the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change declaring a “code red for humanity,” 350 Canada says, “citizens across Canada are demanding that the government pass a Just Transition Act that would give all workers the opportunity to be trained in well-paid green jobs and move Canada away from its dependence on fossil fuel production.”