Dear PM Trudeau, Cabinet Ministers, and federal party leaders, take action now for a better, more affordable future:
We call on you to act urgently in response to the overlapping crises that people across Canada are currently facing.
We shouldn't be struggling to pay our bills while facing worsening climate impacts year after year. It's time for you to take decisive action to make it easier for people and communities everywhere to thrive.
Fossil fuel dependence is making life more expensive for everyday people while helping billionaires profit off fuelling climate chaos. The good news is that as everything else gets more expensive, renewable energy is cheaper than ever -- in fact, it's the cheapest source of electricity that has ever existed. We need action now to ensure affordable energy, breathable air, and a liveable climate.
It's time to prioritize a transition that tackles the climate crisis while supporting our communities.
We call on you to deliver the following critical pieces of legislative action:
1. Affordable, reliable, renewable energy infrastructure
A legislated roadmap to achieve 100% affordable, reliable, renewable power for all by 2035 by strengthening clean energy regulations.
Binding emissions reduction targets, an ambitious emissions cap, and a robust plan to rapidly transition us off fossil fuels that are poisoning our planet and our health.
Federal funding for large-scale publicly-owned renewable and community-led energy projects, grid efficiency upgrades, and energy storage.
Maximum resourcing and direct support for Indigenous-owned and Indigenous-led renewable energy projects.
Indigenous leadership in utilities regulation, infrastructure ownership, partnerships, and policy development processes around energy and electricity.
All developments to move forward in partnership and with the full consent of Indigenous communities that directly benefit from new projects on their territories.
2. Affordable, safe, green housing
Mass government investment in zero-carbon, safe public housing that prioritizes access for low-income and unhoused communities.
A universal heat pump program accompanied by needs-based support for retrofits, and rental protections that ensure no tenants are displaced.
Federal regulations to ensure all new builds are energy efficient, fully electric with no gas connections, and equipped with heat pumps.
Dedicated support and funding for Indigenous communities to build zero-carbon homes along with electricity infrastructure, as part of a broader effort to increase housing stock.
Funding to municipalities and provinces who transition to all zero-carbon buildings ahead of federal timelines.
A national public transit strategy and a permanent federal funding mechanism to enable long term transit expansion that meets the needs of diverse communities and geographies, including high-speed, electric public rail to connect population centres and electrified public bus fleets to serve rural and remote communities.
Resources for communities to kickstart locally relevant shared mobility and active transportation initiatives and implement infrastructure updates to promote zero carbon transportation.
Ensure all development moves forward in partnership with and with the full consent of Indigenous communities that directly benefit from new projects on their territories.
4. Good, unionized green jobs
Mass investment in public programs that employ people doing the essential work of retrofitting our homes, operating rapid transit, restoring natural ecosystems, building a 100% renewable powered grid, and other critical work.
A Youth Climate Corps that provides training and living wages to young people doing important climate action work in their communities.
Resources for public post-secondary institutions to run training programs for a diverse range of jobs in the green economy, including retraining existing workers.
Direct support for skill-building and education programs for Indigenous learners and students, including on-reserve programs developed by Indigenous communities to build their own project development capacity.
5. Immediate relief and direct support for climate impacted communities
Immediate and direct federal support for people directly affected by climate-driven flooding, wildfires, extreme heat, and other disasters.
A commitment to fulfill our international responsibility by paying our fair share to limit emissions abroad, contributing generously to the global Loss and Damage Fund, and granting full status to refugees and migrants displaced by climate change.
Investment in Indigenous-led climate resilience initiatives rooted in Traditional Ecological Knowledge.
The mass government investments we are demanding represent approximately 2% of GDP, for an average of $57 billion in public spending annually over five years. In their “Spend What it Takes” report, Climate Action Network Canada (CAN-Rac) and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) have outlined out how Canada can afford this plan. Read it here.
In just two weeks, the federal government will announce its 2023 budget. It comes on the heels of a sobering new IPCC report that reminds us just how urgently Canada needs to take bolder climate action.