This past spring, we reached out to our members with a survey. Among other questions, we asked: How can Sierra Club BC best support a socially just transition to a sustainable economy that includes all people?
It’s a huge question, as many of you noted. And there is no easy answer.
There is, however, a vision that is quickly gaining steam across North America. It’s called the Green New Deal, and in our survey many of you called on Sierra Club BC to endorse it.
And many of you responded with suggestions that align closely with some of the foundational ideas being put forth in envisioning a Green New Deal for Canada. Ideas like supporting and listening to young people. Respecting Indigenous rights and title. Guarantees of good work with livable wages. Inclusion of those who have been marginalized. No resource workers left behind.
We heard you, and that’s why Sierra Club BC has joined a coalition of more than 85 organizations and 75 prominent Canadians including unions, faith groups, artists, scientists and Indigenous leaders in endorsing the Pact for a Green New Deal.
The Pact for a Green New Deal rests on two fundamental principles:
- It must meet the demands of Indigenous knowledge and science and cut Canada’s emissions in half in 11 years while protecting cultural and biological diversity.
- It must leave no one behind and build a better present and future for all of us.
A Green New Deal for Canada is a plan for massive public investment to meet the demands of justice and climate science, invest in affordable housing and clean transit, and ensure access to good work and clean water for everyone.
It would see the full implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent, and the Truth and Reconciliation Recommendations, and it would create more than a million jobs in the process.
Here in BC, we appear to be headed toward another record breaking wildfire season. Extreme weather as a result of climate change is happening all around us, and getting worse. We need politicians to act more quickly and boldly than ever before to tackle this escalating climate crisis.
And we need a vision for doing it in a way that also addresses other crises we face. Climate change, the continued denial of justice for Indigenous peoples, job losses, rising racism, inequality, global housing instability and exploitation of migrant workers – are inextricably interlinked. To address them all, we need a transformative policy platform that stretches across industries, walks of life, beliefs, and geography.
We’re asking you to stand with us to bring this ambitious vision forward. If you haven’t yet, please read and sign the pledge of support for a Green New Deal for Canada.
Together, we can make this happen. To do this, we need to show that thousands of people across the country stand behind this vision. And to succeed, we need YOU to help shape it.
Beginning May 18, people across the country will hold town halls in their communities to discuss what we want to see in a Green New Deal. It’s a conversation that must be led from the ground up. We will discuss how a Green New Deal can help our families and communities thrive. We will invite our MPs and local candidates for October’s federal election to sit and listen in.
There are 12 (and counting) town halls scheduled in communities across BC. Sierra Club BC is supporting a town hall in Victoria on Lekwungen territory on May 23 at 6:30pm at the Fernwood Community Centre gym (1240 Gladstone Ave). RSVP on Facebook
And if there isn’t a town hall yet in your community, why not organize one? Sign up to organize a town hall.
Now is our chance to gather with people from all walks of life and articulate together a positive vision for our future. This transformative vision will call for a rapid transition to cut our national emissions in half within a decade – and to do it in a way that puts justice first. Are you with us?
Featured Image: Rise and Resist