For years we have been listening to climate activists tell us that if we do not begin to make changes towards a green future, then we will not have a healthy planet to pass on to future generations. With the sudden arrival of COVID-19, much of this climate conversation has been pushed to the back burner while our communities have been tasked with taking care of one another and weathering the storm. The economy is now beginning to re-open and show signs of life, but what does that mean for our workers and our marginalized members of the community? Unless we take collective action, they will be left behind and forced to continue to attempt to make ends meet. To counter any negative impacts throughout our recovery, a ‘Just Recovery’ is being tabled in hopes of creating equal opportunities for every citizen on our way to a greener future.
A Just Recovery will help us respond, recover, and rebuild which will hopefully put us on the path to implementing a Green New Deal here in Canada. We cannot address the climate issue unless we also address the health crisis and the various racial movements around the world. The Just Recovery principles are to ensure that our elected officials put people and justice at the centre of their response plans. There are three phases to a Just Recovery. First, the ‘respond’ phase, which is already in the works. We are helping those within our communities weather this storm and making sure that everyone is taken care of and not in danger. Second, the ‘recover’ phase means that we must take action while the decisions about our future are being made and show our government that we need to put people and justice first instead of multi billion dollar companies. Third, the ‘rebuild’ phase is when we will start to work on implementing Canada’s own Green New Deal. Without justice for all, there will be no recovery.
There are 6 main principles that accompany a Just Recovery:
- Put people’s health and wellbeing first, no exceptions.
- Strengthen the social safety net and provide relief directly to people.
- Prioritize the needs of workers and communities.
- Build resilience to prevent future crises.
- Build solidarity and equity across communities, generations, and borders.
- Uphold Indigenous rights and work in partnership with Indigenous peoples.
All of these principles are important and will help us structure a recovery that will bring about good jobs, higher wages, job security, justice, and equality for everyone. Simply returning to normal after this pandemic will only set us back. We are facing the powerful elite who will do anything to earn higher profits, even if it is at the expense of their workers. This is our chance to fight back and create a better future for all.
Trudeau has created a “Green Recovery Task Force” that will be taking public submissions until June 19th to help shape our Country’s recovery plan. Many big businesses, fossil fuel companies, and banks have submitted what they hope to see in the plan which means that many of the submissions are putting profit over people. We must make our voices heard by entering our own submissions to show that people should be put before profit as we try to recover from this unprecedented crisis. This is our chance to show the government that we are serious about a Just Recovery and that we want to see a real change in the way our society is governed. 350 Canada is an organization that advocates for a Just Recovery and they have made it easy for you to make a submission to the government. On their website, you can sign up to flood this Green Recovery Task Force and make your voice heard! Let’s not leave anyone behind, a Just Recovery means justice for all; from our retail workers, to office workers, to marginalized communities.
For more information, visit https://350.org/jr-consult/?akid=123566.3810688.UIRvPZ&rd=1&t=6&utm_medium=email&utm_source=actionkit