We have come together as members of unions, environmental, and social justice organizations to form a common front of civil society groups for the building of a green economy in Canada.
In so doing, we realize we are living in one of those critical moments of history wherein urgent decisions and actions must be taken that will ultimately affect our destiny as a people, a nation, and the planet itself.
Like most of the world, Canadians continue to experience the turbulence of an ongoing global economic crisis. It is increasingly evident that the current economic model is broken. Any economic recovery based on a simple return to the old status quo would risk being a feeble and jobless one. At the same time, this economic crisis both augments and is compounded by an environmental crisis highlighted by the alarming advance of climate change and global warming. This event now threatens civilization and global ecosystems. In turn, this environmental crisis is further reinforced by an emerging energy crisis in which our societal addiction to fossil fuels is now threatened by diminishing conventional and cheap oil supplies. What’s more, our economy and society are seriously plagued by an equity crisis of increasing poverty marked by growing gender, race and class disparities.
We believe the time has come to chart a new model and direction for Canada’s economy. This country can no longer afford an economic model that treats the natural environment and human beings as disposable goods. Instead, Canadians need to rethink our manufacturing processes, the way we use and generate energy, and the ways we construct our buildings. We need to rethink the way we transport ourselves, move goods, use water, fuel industries, and heat our homes and businesses. In doing so, we also need to break our addiction to fossil fuels and overcome the poverty and inequalities that plague our society. In short, we need to build a green economy that transforms the mode of production and consumption in our society, makes existing jobs more environmentally sustainable, and simultaneously creates new decent paying, full time, safe and healthy green jobs in all sectors of society, to address the pressing economic and social inequalities of our time.