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What is a 'made in Canada' Green New Deal?

Last December, 350 Canada, the Canadian chapter of the international environmental organization 350.org, launched something we called the "Good Work Guarantee."

The Good Work Guarantee laid out what, at the time, our team saw as key pieces of a Green New Deal of Canada. Since then, the conversation around what a Green New Deal for Canada might look like has evolved, with more movements and groups bringing their visions, hopes, and energy to the conversation.

With that, our own vision of a Green New Deal for Canada has evolved and grown. So, what do we mean when we talk about a "made in Canada" Green New Deal?

First, we think that a Green New Deal for Canada needs to achieve four goals:

  1. It meets the scale and urgency of the climate crisis by listening to and basing its prescriptions for climate action on the best available science.
  2. It creates millions of good jobs through a historic economic mobilization -- one that works for everyone -- to get Canada to 100 per cent renewable energy. 
  3. It enshrines dignity, justice, and equity for all, which means that ensuring climate solutions are solutions that lift up all communities and reflect that reality that frontline, marginalized, and Indigenous communities are bearing the brunt of fossil fuel and climate impacts.
  4. It works in service of real reconciliation  -- respecting the rights, title, and sovereignty of Indigenous peoples.

To meet these goals, we have four specific policy ideas that we think should be in a Green New Deal for Canada.

  1. A freeze on fossil fuel expansion. We can't solve the climate crisis and keep making it worse at the same time.
  2. Massive government infrastructure investments. We need to rapidly expand public investment in renewable energy, public transit, and other projects that serve both climate action and the public good.
  3. Provide a federal job guarantee to ensure that the labour force necessary for rapid change is available, and that all people are guaranteed meaningful and dignified employment or income  --  with no worker left behind.
  4. A commitment that a Green New Deal for Canada works in service of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and upholds principles of justice, equity, and dignity for all. For example, by implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), in particular the right to free, prior, and informed consent and self-determination for Indigenous peoples.

We also know that these goals and policies do not make up the entirety of a Green New Deal for Canada. That's why we're working with allies from across different communities, causes and movements to fight for a broad, transformative vision for a massive economic and social mobilization to tackle the climate crisis. As the movement for this grows, we look forward to building this visions together. 

This blog was originally published by Canada's 350.org team here.

Image: 350.org

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