Toronto | Traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and the Huron-Wendat – The plan is a real improvement to Canada’s approach to managing the transition to a low-carbon economy, and we welcome the government’s commitment to bringing affected parties to the table. However for this plan to have an impact, it needs to be backed by new budget commitments and robust legislation.
We are pleased the government is proposing a dedicated institution and an independent advisory body. Both were key elements to successful fair transitions in other jurisdictions. It is also encouraging for the plan to explicitly mention unions, workers’ rights, Indigenous rights, equity, and social dialogue.
For this plan to be credible, it must be backed by new commitments in Budget 2023, at a much larger scale than what is currently offered. The government needs to allocate $15 billion a year for economic diversification for communities currently reliant on high-carbon industries, and for transition support such as training, income bridging, and early retirement programs.
This plan must also be followed by legislation that includes regional and sector planning mechanisms so workers, employers and communities have certainty about how Canada will manage the energy transition and ensure that it is a fair transition that recognizes regional needs and differences.
We are also concerned by the plan’s focus on false solutions to the climate crisis – such as carbon capture for fossil fuel production and fossil hydrogen – as a source of future jobs and income. A ‘sustainable jobs’ plan based on these unproven technologies could leave workers stranded in a high-carbon past while the rest of the world has moved on.
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Alex Ross, Environmental Defence, email@example.com