The road did not end in Paris, but goes through it
The Toronto & York Region Labour Council unanimously voted to ratify its Climate Action Statement at its all delegates meeting on January 7th , 2016. The Statement highlighted the following initiatives that the Labour Council has prioritized to meet the goal of reducing the carbon footprint in Canada’s largest urban centre:
- Expansion of the Better Buildings Program to retrofit private and public buildings.
- Carbon neutral design, architecture and development in all new and infill communities.
- Expand Green Energy generation while keeping hydro and municipal utilities in public ownership.
- Massive investment in public transit that connects Toronto to its suburbs and regional neighbours.
- Unprecedented economic development for green industries creating local jobs.
“By taking real climate action that includes Just Transition we can create an economy that is more fair and equal offering hundreds of thousands of good new green jobs.” Said John Cartwright, President of Toronto & York Region Labour Council. “We need an economy where workers win, communities have more democratic control and those most impacted are the first in line to benefit.”
The Statement defined Just Transition as policies that support workers in carbon-intensive industries when their jobs are being changed or eliminated. It includes having a voice in decision-making, re-training, income bridging, unemployment benefits, and community investment for good green jobs.
“Canadian unions have to be at the front of this movement for Climate Action with Just Transition shoulder to shoulder with our Indigenous sisters and brothers and our environmental allies.” said Carolyn Egan, President of Steelworker Toronto Area Council (Local8300). The Labour Council is a central labour body that combines the strength of hundreds of local unions representing 205,000 working men, women and their families. Its mandate is to create a common voice, organize and advocate on issues that are vital to working families throughout the region.
In Spring 2016, the Labour Council will release a “Greenprint for Greater Toronto” as part of Labour’s contribution in the fight against climate change.