Ottawa, Ontario — In response the federal government’s releasing of its interim Sustainable Jobs Plan, Clay Duncalfe, GEN National Convener, has prepared a statement on behalf of the Green Economy Network.
“The federal government’s preliminary Sustainable Jobs Plan is a positive step forward towards creating a net-zero future that puts workers and communities first.
Much of the government’s plan reiterates its previous climate commitments. Nonetheless, its commitment to continue working in social dialogue with the labour movement and other key groups should be celebrated. The plan’s acknowledgement of the ILO’s definition of worker’s rights and just transition is also commendable.
Additionally, we are pleased that the plan indicates a desire to ensure jobs created by green investments are “high-quality” and “well paying.”
However, there is room for improvement: To fully realize the potential of a just transition, the government must put its money where its mouth is.
Without concrete proposals to spend more than is already on the table, the plan risks being ill-equipped to adequately deal with the climate crisis.
The government has also signalled it will be relying heavily on the private sector to implement the proposal.
Historically, the private sector has been limited in its ability to provide climate leadership and improve working conditions when those goals conflict with companies’ bottom-lines. Additionally, public-private-partnerships have become notorious for project delays and high price tags.
A public-led approach to green investment is more likely to achieve the government’s climate ambitious while improving the lives of workers.
Lastly, the impacts the government’s decarbonization efforts will have on workers and communities remains an unresolved issue of pressing importance. GEN will be keeping a close eye on the further development of long-promised just transition legislation to ensure it meets the stated goals of protecting workers and communities.”
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