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441-00643 (Environment)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Prime Minister and the Government of Canada

WHEREAS Canada must address the climate emergency.

We, the undersigned citizens and residents of Canada, call on the Prime Minister and the Government of Canada to enact just transition legislation that:

  • Reduces emissions by at least 60% below 2005 levels by 2030, and makes significant contributions to emissions reductions in countries in the Global South;
  • Winds down the fossil fuel industry and related infrastructure, ends fossil fuel subsidies, and transitions to a decarbonized economy;
  • Creates new public economic institutions and expands public ownership of services and utilities across the economy to implement the transition;
  • Creates good green jobs and drives inclusive workforce development, led by and including affected workers and communities, and ensures decent, low-carbon work for all workers;
  • Protects and strengthens human rights and worker rights, respects Indigenous rights, sovereignty, and knowledge by including them in creating and implementing this legislation, ensures migrant justice, and emphasizes support for historically marginalized communities;
  • Expands the social safety net through new income supports, decarbonized public housing, and operational funding for affordable and accessible public transit countrywide; and
  • Pays for the transition by increasing taxes on the wealthiest and corporations and financing through a public national bank.

Response by the Minister of Natural Resources

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, P.C., M.P.

The Government of Canada acknowledges the importance of, and the need for, a global energy transition. A more secure and prosperous future depends on a sustainable energy sector, one that provides affordable, reliable, and clean energy to Canadian families, businesses, and industries, and exports products and technologies around the world.  We also recognize that this transition is of paramount importance for individuals, families, and businesses in every part of our country. A real and effective transition to a more sustainable energy future must be one where we ensure a cleaner environment as well as provide significant opportunities to Canadian workers.

This is why the Government of Canada is taking a whole-of-government approach to take advantage of this transition, decarbonize our energy sector and make thoughtful and historic investments in critical sectors like clean technology and renewable energy. The Emissions Reduction Plan, released March 29, 2022, lays out an ambitious and achievable roadmap outlining a sector-by-sector path for Canada to reach our emissions reduction targets, including net zero emissions by 2050.

As a part of this effort, Canada joined other countries at COP26 and committed to end new direct public support for the international unabated fossil fuel energy sector by the end of 2022. In addition, we have committed to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, and recently accelerated our timeline to do so to 2023. Canada has already phased out or rationalized nine tax preferences supporting the fossil fuel sector and has committed to take part in a peer review of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies under the G20 process.

Canada’s oil and gas sector has also made its own net-zero commitments. At COP26, our government took the industry up on its offer to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, in announcing that we will cap and cut emissions from the sector in line with our climate targets. This commitment was reiterated in the Emissions Reduction Plan. Companies are actively investing in the development and deployment of emissions reduction technologies, leading to increased electrification and greater use of hydrogen. These efforts will help lead to a cleaner energy future.

Moreover, the Government of Canada is committed to moving forward with comprehensive action – including legislation – to support workers and communities as we transition to a low-carbon economy. Natural Resources Canada is supporting job growth through ambitious projects and programs in energy, forestry and mining, in every region of Canada. Natural Resources Canada is also working with Employment and Social Development Canada to look at growth areas in natural resources sectors, and how to retrain workers in high-emissions industries to address labour market shortages in emerging areas.

Public consultations were launched in July 2021 on proposed just transition legislation and the Government of Canada has consulted with a broad range of stakeholders and is seeking the views of Indigenous groups and provinces and territories. The proposed legislation will be guided by the feedback received from the consultations, and a “What we Heard” report will be published once they are complete.

Natural Resources Canada also launched the Regional Energy and Resource Tables—to partner with provinces and territories to accelerate Canada’s growth opportunities by taking into account each region’s unique advantages and ability to meet the demands of new and emerging markets.

Working in partnership with provincial and territorial governments, and engaging with Indigenous Peoples, experts and stakeholders, will form the basis for comprehensive and actionable place-based economic strategies for every region of Canada to realize a comparative advantage in a net-zero economy.

Canada has what it takes to thrive in a low-carbon world. While transforming Canada’s energy systems will take time, the Government remains committed to taking bold action to decarbonize its energy and natural resources sectors and build up a cleaner, more prosperous economy that works for everyone.

Response by the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): IREK KUSMIERCZYK

Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program (SWSP): 

While climate change will result in a number of employment challenges, the shift to a green economy will also provide exceptional opportunities to build an inclusive and skilled workforce to drive economic growth.

The impact of the transition to a low carbon economy will vary by sector, region and occupation. Employers and workers across all sectors and industries will require varying levels of support to develop the skills needed to seize current and emerging opportunities. Targeted initiatives can help minimize the negative impacts on workers, vulnerable people, and their communities, and help ensure that the transition to a low carbon economy is just and leaves no one behind.

For example, Budget 2021 announced a new Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program(SWSP), to support key sectors of the economy, including those linked to the clean economy, to implement solutions to address current and emerging workforce needs. The program will help employers and connect Canadians with the training they need to access good jobs in sectors where employers are looking for skilled workers, such as the renewable energy sector. It will also place priority on supporting equity-deserving groups and promoting a diverse and inclusive workforce. 

Additionally, the Government of Canada has committed to launching a Clean Jobs Training Centre, which will help workers across sectors to upskill or reskill in order to be on the leading edge of the low carbon industry.

The Government of Canada has also announced in Budget 2021 a new Community Workforce Development Program that will fund projects at a national and regional level to:

  • Support community workforce planning by bringing together organizations from across public, private, labour and not-for-profit sectors to match local sources of labour with employer demand;
  • Train displaced workers to acquire the skills, knowledge and experience that would enable them to meet employers’ on-the-job expectations; and,
  • Employ workers in new jobs contributing to stimulating economic growth.

Budget 2022 proposed to provide $2.5 million in 2022-23 for Employment and Social Development Canada to launch a new union-led advisory table that brings together unions and trade associations to advise the Government on priority investments that help skilled, mid-career workers affected by industry transition.

 

Response by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable STEVEN GUILBEAULT

Over the past six years, the Government of Canada has demonstrated its leadership on climate change and clean growth, at home and abroad. We understand that accelerated efforts are crucial to reduce emissions rapidly by 2030, and to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Canada has invested more than $100 billion to address climate change since 2015 and has recently announced $9.1 billion in new investments that builds on the foundation set by Canada’s existing climate actions.

In 2021, Canada adopted an enhanced 2030 emissions reduction target of 40-45% below 2005 levels, and passed legislation to enshrine its commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 in law. The Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act provides a durable framework of accountability and transparency to deliver on this commitment. On March 29, 2022, Canada tabled the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Canada’s Next Steps for Clean Air and a Strong Economy (ERP)in Parliament and released the plan. The 2030 Plan is the Government’s next major step in taking action to Canada’s climate objectives and create good, sustainable jobs in Canada.

Achieving Canada's climate goals requires all sectors of the economy to pursue decarbonization in ways that make cleaner initiatives more affordable and create new, sustainable job opportunities for workers. In addition, the 2030 ERP reflects input received from thousands of Canadians, businesses and communities, as well as submissions from Indigenous partners, provinces and territories and the Carbon Neutrality Advisory Group.

The 2030 ERP builds on significant progress Canada has already made to address climate change, including the actions outlined in the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, and Canada’s Strengthened Climate Plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, released in 2020. With the 2030 ERP, the Government of Canada is taking action by:

  • working with industry, stakeholders, provinces and territories, Indigenous peoples and others to develop the cap on emissions from the oil and gas sector. Following consultations, the cap will be designed to lower emissions at a pace and scale needed to achieve net-zero by 2050, reduce oil and gas methane by at least 75% below 2012 levels by 2030, support clean technologies to further decarbonize the sector, and work to create sustainable jobs;
  • developing a national net-zero by 2050 buildings strategy, the Canada Green Buildings Strategy;
  • investing in nature and natural climate solutions through the Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund to deliver additional emission reductions from nature-based climate solutions;
  • working with provinces, territories, industry, and other stakeholders on the design of a Clean Electricity Standard to achieve a net-zero electricity grid by 2035;
  • helping industries decarbonize by adopting clean technology in their journey to net-zero emissions by committing to develop a carbon capture, utilization and storage strategy; and
  • ensuring that workers and communities are able to benefit from the opportunities that the transition to a low-carbon economy presents, including by making significant investments in skills training and continuing consultations on the development of Sustainable Jobs and Skills legislation.

The 2030 ERP is designed to be evergreen—a comprehensive roadmap that reflects levels of ambition to guide emissions reduction efforts in each sector. As governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities across the country work together to reach these targets, Canada will identify and respond to new opportunities.

Canada has also committed to phase out or rationalize inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by 2023. It has already taken actions to phase out or rationalize eight tax preferences supporting the fossil fuel sector. Addressing inefficient fossil fuel subsidies supports Canada’s efforts to take action on climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy.

 

Presented to the House of Commons
Wilson Miao (Richmond Centre)
June 23, 2022 (Petition No. 441-00643)
Government response tabled
September 20, 2022
Photo - Wilson Miao
Richmond Centre
Liberal Caucus
British Columbia

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.