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Policy recommendation

Proposals for the Canadian Just Transition Act

Published on 

With the climate crisis in full swing, Canada must rapidly transform its economy away from the unpredictable and problematic socio-environmental impacts caused by high-emitting industries. Getting to a net-zero economy must be achieved through a just transition.

This transition must focus on those most affected by this phase-out of high-emitting industries, including workers, communities and those disproportionately impacted by the negative impacts of industrial development. These people need to be involved in decision-making and supported in accessing decent work, to benefit equitably from the benefits of climate action, and be equally protected from the negative effects of robust climate action in a changing economic context. In short, the low-carbon economy, and the pathway to it, must benefit everyone.

The federal government has announced its intention to introduce a Canadian Just Transition Act in 2023. It is within this context that Équiterre, Ecojustice and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) - in collaboration with other environmental and labour organizations - prepared this brief bringing together concrete proposals to make the upcoming legislation as strong as possible.

The federal legislation should establish a “top-down” and “bottom-up” scheme to be carried out by a newly-created federal just transition institution as well as regional and sectoral partners. This scheme would be:

  • guided by an independent advisory body;

  • grounded in social dialogue with tripartite social partners about affected work;

  • advancing nation-to-nation relationships;

  • inclusive of a broad range of affected stakeholders; and

  • informed by the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) guidelines on the just transition.

Main Author

Matt Hulse (Ecojustice)


Émile Boisseau-Bouvier (Équiterre), Laura Cameron (IISD), Vanessa Corkal (IISD) and Julia Croome (Ecojustice)


Ken Bondy (Unifor), Caroline Brouillette (Climate Action Network Canada), Melissa Gorrie (Ecojustice), Christine Jones (Blue Green Canada), Jamie Kirkpatrick (Blue Green Canada) and Aliénor Rougeot (Environmental Defence)