The federal government has finally released its plan for green jobs and a just transition away from fossil fuels.
The Sustainable Jobs Plan is still just that – a plan – but it’s also a major win for our movement. Let’s take a moment to celebrate, and look back at how regular people across Canada, worried about the climate crisis and frustrated with political stalling, came together to make this happen.
In the 3 years since Trudeau first promised a just transition, our movement has kept constant pressure on the Prime Minister to deliver. That has only been possible thanks to people like you across Canada who took action with 350.org and our allies over and over again. Together, online and in the streets, we made sure the Trudeau government knew this was a promise they couldn’t break.
We’ll need to push hard over the coming months for Parliament to back up this plan with bold legislation and historic green investments. If you’re not involved with 350 Canada, now is the time to join. Sign our just transition petition to get started.
We accomplished a lot together, and we have so much to be proud of. Here are some highlights from the past two years.
Holding politicians’ feet to the fire
We launched this campaign in early 2021 and soon thousands of people across Canada joined us in calling on Trudeau to make the Just Transition Act his top priority. When the Prime Minister failed to respond, we organized a just transition town hall and invited then Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson to answer the public’s questions about the missing just transition plan. He turned us down, but Green Party Parliamentary Leader Elizabeth May and NDP Environment Critic Laurel Collins were there to answer the public’s questions and put some heat on the missing-in-action Minister.
Since then, we’ve kept the just transition front and centre in decisionmakers’ minds with emails, phone calls, submissions to public consultations, marches, rallies and creative actions like flooding the PM’s office with green job applications.
Responding in moments of climate disaster
In the summer of 2021, unprecedented wildfires and a deadly heat dome set the stage for a snap federal election. Thousands of people across the country were able to seize this moment, mobilizing communities across Canada for the #CanadaOnFire day of action, which connected the dots between Liberal climate delay and the climate disasters harming our communities.
During that first day of action we got dozens of politicians, including several Liberal MPs, to pledge their support for strong just transition legislation and a moratorium on fossil fuel expansion. Then we followed it up with a second #CanadaOnFire day of action in September 2021 where 60 communities across Canada marched and rallied for climate action on the eve of the federal leaders’ debate.
Last summer we marked the one-year anniversary of that deadly heat dome and renewed our calls for a just transition with the End Climate Delay Day of Action and an online storytelling project called Our Stories: Living Through Climate Disaster.
Popularizing our vision for a truly just transition
Last spring, when there was still no word from the Trudeau government about delivering a just transition, we decided to go ahead and do it for them. As part of the Day of Action for a Just Transition, thousands of people in 50 communities from Victoria to Winnipeg to Lunenburg used art and theatre to bring our collective vision to life.
Inspired by your creativity, we launched a satirical Ministry of Just Transition, reaching tens of thousands of new people with a spoof government PSA video that showed just how good our future can be if our politicians have the courage to meet this moment head on.
This government promised bold climate action and good, green jobs. The Ministry of Just Transition is here to deliver. Learn more about 🇨🇦's newest federal ministry at https://t.co/7m4nWCIyQY#cdnpoli #Canada pic.twitter.com/iN1FzzLchG
— Ministry of Just Transition (@TransitionCAN) April 19, 2022
We’ll need your help to win the next fight
We’re proud that all this people-powered pressure has finally paid off, but Big Oil is pulling out all the stops to protect their profits and make sure the transition never happens. The day after the government put out their Sustainable Jobs Plan, the Pathways Alliance — a greenwashing organization consisting of Canada’s six largest oil sands producers — wrapped the front page of the Toronto Star in a massive ad boasting about their “climate leadership.”
Make no mistake: it’s lies and deceit.
Big Oil only wants a seat at the just transition table so they can block real climate action and pull even more money from the public purse for false solutions like carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS).
The truth is that it will take all of us doing what we can to stand up against the might — and money — of Big Oil. But we’re ready and we know that no amount of money will ever stand a chance against the power of the people.
Thank you for being by our side in this fight.