It's Time for A Green New Deal for All!

I am of the belief that expanding our dependence on fossil fuels, while we know the potential impact, is a crime against humanity. We know that if we let temperatures rise by 1.5 degrees C, hundreds of millions more people will be at risk for famine, water shortages, disease and death. We can no longer let corporate greed and our collective low expectations of government facilitate further environmental degradation. The current Liberal government appears to be attempting the impossible, inhaling and exhaling at the same time. They’re playing a political game of buying pipelines and advocating for our continued dependence on fossil fuels, while also claiming to be acting on climate change. We can’t solve a problem by making it worse at the same time.

A major part of what inspires me to run for federal office is the fear of what will happen if the Liberals or Conservatives secure a mandate and continue to govern with the same or greater levels of public deceit on climate change. The Liberals talk a lot about climate change, but the fact is that they are still using Harper’s carbon targets and not even meeting those.  As a country, business as usual won’t cut it! We need to challenge each and every one of our elected officials to acknowledge the climate emergency and have them commit to bold action to combat it. We cannot afford to expect anything less anymore, we just can’t—we simply don’t have the time. I’m inspired to run to be a Member of Parliament because I believe that Canada can do meaningful things to challenge climate change, but we can’t wait another four years to do so.

We are beyond the point of worrying about being on the right side of history, it’s about protecting the possibility of a future. We are in dire need of a bold, brave and ambitious plan to address the global climate crisis now!

Not one single prospective Member of Parliament in the federal government should be permitted to stand for election in any riding if they do not acknowledge that we face a global climate emergency and aren’t able to articulate a clear plan to confront it at the scale and speed demanded by science and Indigenous knowledge.

My Commitment to a Climate Emergency Plan for Canada

I commit that If elected as Member of Parliament for Parkdale–High Park, I will demand that whoever forms government, including the NDP, introduce legislation that commits the government to introducing a Green New Deal for Canada.

I will advocate for a Green New Deal for Canada that recognizes that the market has failed and cannot be relied upon to address the emergency before us. I will demand a Canadian Green New Deal that works to address the climate crisis, the housing crisis, racial inequity, economic inequity and the ongoing genocide against Indigenous communities through a program of unprecedented public investment. As the most important transition in modern history, it will inspire a fundamental transition, including the development of significant new universal programs, public institutions and a green jobs strategy that will affect everything from how we heat our homes, to how we get around and how we grow our food.

A Green New Deal for Canada must:

  • Prioritize partnership and consultation with Indigenous groups, racialized communities, migrant justice groups, labour unions and civil society groups;
  • Include legislating the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including the right to Free Prior and Informed Consent and the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Indigenous leadership is non-negotiable in the development of a Green New Deal for Canada. The Canadian Government must fully resource Indigenous communities to allow for their full participation and leadership;
  • Declare a state of climate emergency;
  • Set a legally binding climate target for Canada in line with the science of keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees C (which includes reducing Canada’s GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2030);
  • Reject any new fossil fuel infrastructure development;
  • Provide a guarantee of decent work for workers currently relying on fossil fuel production, as well as free training/retraining, childcare as required and income supports for the duration of the training;
  • Include massive federal investment in the development of carbon-zero non-market social and non-profit housing;
  • Introduce an annual Canadian Carbon Budget that parallels the federal financial budgeting process, including report outs;
  • Ban the sale of fossil fuel powered vehicles by 2030;
  • End the generation of electricity from fossil fuels by 2030;
  • Require that new buildings, of any type, no longer use any form of fossil fuels for heating or energy, and instead use electric heat pumps, geothermal, electric, solar panels and/or passive building techniques by 2022;
  • Require all existing buildings, of any type, to transition fuel sources from fossil fuels by 2040;
  • Include significant investment in climate adaptation and resilience infrastructure to protect from the impact of climate disasters, with primary focus given to protecting vulnerable communities and people;
  • Ban the use of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in refrigeration, air conditioners and other produces by 2020;
  • Introduce clear timelines for industrial producers, manufacturers, farms and farmers to transition to new green technologies in place of GHG-emitting activities;
  • Commit Canada to paying our fair share of our climate debt by transferring wealth and technology to countries in the Global South that are disproportionately negatively affected by the effects of climate-related disasters;
  • Commit Canada to making reparations for the devastating projects of Canadian mining and other extractive industries in other countries;
  • Rapidly build out free universal mass public transit powered entirely by renewables;
  • Raise the federal minimum wage to $15/hour, while implementing workplace protections and benefits laid out by campaigns like the Fight for $15 & Fairness;
  • Grant full democratic participation and labour rights, access to services and full immigration status to migrants;
  • Introduce a universal child-care program;
  • Include the planting of 500,000,000 trees by 2030.

The calls for a Green New Deal from across the country reflect an exciting opportunity to do something bold, but we can only do it together. The discussion around the carbon tax is so incredibly limiting and a reflection of our low expectations of government. We have the ability, power and need to do something ambitious together. We can respond to this emergency by being inspired by what’s possible for us all.

Bringing about a great transition that prioritizes the needs of those historically and currently excluded is not only more just, but it’s the only way that it’s going to be possible. A Green New Deal for Canada has the potential to be an antidote to the isolation, alienation and helplessness that our current system creates.

To change everything, we truly need everyone!

Let's be bold and ambitious together!

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