OTTAWA — At the time of Canada’s first Labour Day event in 1872, machines were starting to replace or automate many work operations and many workers found that their skills and labour were no longer needed. It was a time of transition. Dissent was forbidden and workers had to endure dreadful working conditions and low wages.
“Nearly 150 years on from that first Labour Day, many Canadian workers face a similar situation,” said Green Party Leader Elizabeth May (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands). “Transitioning off fossil fuels is imperative if we are going to hold the global average temperature increase to no more than 1.5 degrees C — the target required to avoid runaway global warming.
“Understandably, this is extremely concerning for thousands of fossil fuel industry workers, their families and communities. But while Canada has not done well in transitioning workers in the past, the recommendations from the landmark report of the Task Force on Just Transition for Canadian Coal Power Workers and Communities, are encouraging. Multiple skills held by fossil fuel industry workers are transferable to the renewable energy sector. This will create thousands of jobs in the sustainable economy of the 21st century.”
Mission: Possible - The Green Climate Action Plan incorporates all the requirements for
economic justice, just transition and the guarantee of meaningful work. It recognizes that we cannot achieve climate security in the absence of equity.
Ms. May said that the wages and working conditions of Canadians need to be protected, no matter where they live or work. “We must close the gender wage gap and eliminate wage disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians. Sending more Green MPs to parliament this fall will ensure a federal minimum wage of $15 per hour and the introduction of Guaranteed Livable Income,” she concluded.
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