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Press release  •  1 min

Just transition: Équiterre welcomes a long-awaited bill

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Montreal, June 15, 2023 - Équiterre welcomes the tabling of bill C-50 that aims to prepare the transition of workers in the midst of the climate crisis, but hopes to see it enhanced so that the legislation is truly effective and inclusive.

"Équiterre, alongside other environmental groups and unions, has long been calling for an inclusive legislation designed to support and prepare all workers and communities in adapting to the realities and challenges of the transition. While this bill happens to be an important social step forward, this first version must be improved."
-Andréanne Brazeau, climate policy analyst

The bill in its current form misses the mark in part because it fails to mention what should be its cornerstone: a rapid, planned and orderly exit from fossil fuels in Canada.

"A sustainable jobs’ bill that doesn't directly address fossil fuels is incoherent. But that shouldn't stop the Sustainable Jobs Partnership Council from tackling this issue head-on. We'll be putting all the necessary pressure on the government to ensure that the phase-out of fossil fuels is incorporated into upcoming parliamentary proceedings," adds Andréanne Brazeau.

According to Équiterre, one of the important objectives of this law should be to break the taboo of stepping away from fossil fuels–an objective that is not yet met by what is presented in today’s bill.

A toolbox lacking in tools

During the upcoming consultations, Équiterre will seek to ensure that the following elements are integrated into the law:

  • The compatibility of all sections with achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and Canada's international commitments;

  • The terms and conditions of the future sustainable jobs action plan, and accountability mechanisms along the lines of those found in the Canadian Carbon Neutrality Accountability Act;

  • A clearer and more structured framework for the Sustainable Jobs Partnership Council and its Secretariat, so that they can play their roles independently and effectively.

"While we welcome provisions on government accountability and transparency, the bill doesn’t offer an adequate toolbox to truly prepare the country for the socio-economic transformation that lies ahead. It must do more to foster social dialogue around the inevitable changes in our economy, and to ensure that all Canadians will benefit from them," concludes Andréanne Brazeau.

Équiterre's offices are located on Indigenous lands that have not been ceded by treaty, which we now call Montreal and Quebec City. We recognize that Indigenous peoples have protected their territories since immemorial times and have used their traditional knowledge to guard the lands and waters. We are grateful to live on these lands and are committed to continuing our efforts to protect them. Read more »

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