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.
Government response tabled
Response by the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion
Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Irek Kusmierczyk
On February 17, 2023 the Government of Canada released the interim Sustainable Jobs Plan 2023-2025, which included 10 concrete actions being taken to support the creation of sustainable jobs and help workers in every part of Canada.
This interim plan is informed by over two years of consultations and conversations with provinces and territories, Indigenous Peoples, workers and unions, industry, environmental and civil society organizations and interested Canadians. This interim plan defines the federal government’s commitment to make progress on implementing the 10 key action areas, including a high-level summary of the approach to sustainable jobs legislation.
The Government is preparing to introduce this legislation in 2023. It will lay out a framework for federal governance, accountability, and engagement that will help ensure a coherent and coordinated federal approach for implementing measures that support sustainable job creation.
The Government of Canada has also been working to move forward on a path to a net-zero emissions economy for several years. Since 2015, the Government has earmarked $120 billion to help achieve climate and environment objectives, accelerate economic growth, and support the creation of sustainable jobs.
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.
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 to advise the Government on priorities for helping workers navigate the changing labour market.
The 2022 Fall Economic Statement (FES) further proposes to provide $250 million over five years, starting in 2023-24, to help ensure Canadian workers can thrive in a changing global economy. Specific measures include: a Sustainable Jobs Training Centre, a new sustainable jobs stream under the Union Training and Innovation Program and a new Sustainable Jobs Secretariat.
The Sustainable Jobs Training Centre will bring together workers, unions, employers, and training institutions across the country to examine the skills of the labour force today, forecast future skills requirements, and develop curriculum, micro-credentials, and on-site learning to help 15,000 workers upgrade or gain new skills for jobs in a low-carbon economy. The Centre would focus on specific areas in high demand, starting with the sustainable battery industry and low-carbon building and retrofits.
The FES also proposes to put in place a new sustainable jobs stream under the Union Training and Innovation Program to support unions in leading the development of green skills training for works in the trades. It is expected that 20,000 apprentices and journeypersons would benefit from this investment.
To effectively support workers on the road to sustainable, good-paying jobs, the FES also proposes to launch the Sustainable Jobs Secretariat to offer a one-stop shop for workers and employers. It will provide the most up to date information on federal programs, funding, and services across government departments as Canada works to build a low-carbon economy with opportunities for everyone.
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 is investing to build a prosperous low-carbon economy in line with Canada’s ambitious emissions reductions targets. This includes taking a whole-of-government approach to seizing the generational economic opportunities that a net zero emissions future represents – by making investments in renewable energy and clean technology as well as decarbonisation technology in the conventional energy sector.
Budget 2023 makes transformative investments to build Canada’s clean economy, fight climate change, and create new opportunities for Canadian businesses and Canadian workers. This includes significant measures that will deliver cleaner and more affordable energy, support investment in our communities and the creation of good-paying, high-quality jobs, and ensure Canadian workers are able to produce and provide the goods and resources that Canadians and our allies need. These investments are underpinned by a set of clear and predictable investment tax credits, low-cost strategic financing, and targeted investments and programming, where necessary, to respond to the unique needs of sectors or projects of national economic significance. Since 2016, the federal government has committed over $120 billion to clean growth and emissions reduction measures, including over $80 billion in recently announced investment tax credits.
Canada also joined other countries at COP26 in committing to end new direct public support for the international unabated fossil fuel energy sector by the end of 2022. On December 8, 2022, the Government announced the implementation of this commitment with the release of the policy guidelines that lay the foundation for federal departments and agencies to put in place the measures set out in this commitment. By ending new direct public support for the international unabated fossil fuel energy sector, Canada will ensure its investments abroad are aligned with its domestic and international climate goals, which means investing in clean energy and renewables.
In addition, Canada committed to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, and recently accelerated the timeline to do so this year. To date, Canada has 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.
The Government also announced that it will cap and cut emissions from the oil and gas sector in line with Canada’s climate targets. This commitment was reiterated in Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan and reaffirmed at COP27. As a result, companies are actively investing in the development and deployment of emissions-reduction technologies, such as carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS), hydrogen and electrification. These efforts will help lead to a cleaner energy future.
With a highly skilled and educated workforce, and with the abundant natural resources and energy sources critical for a net-zero future, Canada is uniquely positioned to benefit from a low-carbon economy. The Government is committed to moving forward with comprehensive action required to support Canadian workers and communities as they meet the challenges and realize the opportunities of a net-zero emissions future. The interim Sustainable Jobs Plan, released in February 2023, lays out a comprehensive approach as part of Canada’s broader economic plan for clean growth.
This plan, drafted in consultation with provinces, territories, union and labour organizations, Indigenous partners, industry, and civil society, describes the Government’s current and planned action to support the creation of good, well-paying jobs for Canadians. These opportunities exist in every region of the country and every sector of the economy. From critical minerals to hydrogen, electric cars and buses, batteries, renewable energy, low-carbon building products, carbon capture, utilization and storage, and small modular reactors, Canada has a major opportunity to build a net-zero future that works for everyone. There are also significant opportunities for sustainable jobs in conventional energy industries that are working to lower their emissions in line with Canada’s climate policy, enabling producers to be low-emissions suppliers of products to a world in transition.
Furthermore, as committed to in the interim Sustainable Jobs Plan released in early 2023, the Government introduced Bill C-50, the Canadian Sustainable Jobs Act, in June 2023, which will establish a federal governance, engagement, and accountability framework to advance economic prosperity and ensure workers benefit from the opportunities presented by a low-carbon economy. The bill will require the Government to establish a Sustainable Jobs Partnership Council to provide independent advice to Government on sustainable jobs measures; to create a Secretariat to lead the Government’s sustainable jobs approach; and to release a Sustainable Jobs Action Plan every five years beginning in 2025. These mechanisms will guide and organize efforts to support workers and communities as Canada shifts to a net-zero economy, ensuring equitable, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth across the country.
The Regional Energy and Resource Tables are a key initiative to drive this work. The Regional Tables were created to accelerate Canada’s economic growth opportunities by taking into account each region’s unique advantages and ability to meet the demands of new and emerging markets. These regional processes are being undertaken in partnership with individual provincial and territorial governments, and through engagement with Indigenous partners, as well as experts, labour organizations, industry, and other stakeholders. The Regional Tables will form the basis for comprehensive and transformative place-based economic strategies for every region of Canada so that each can realize its comparative advantages in a net-zero emissions economy. The federal government has jointly launched nine such Regional Tables already, with British Columbia, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Manitoba, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.
Recognizing the importance of helping Canadians access job training for the net-zero future, the Government has also made historic investments in skills programming, including for sustainable jobs. This includes $1.5 billion in new investments that will deliver almost 500,000 new training and work opportunities for Canadians, which will help workers transition to and take advantage of new opportunities, including in clean energy. Furthermore, the Fall Economic Statement announced funding to create a Sustainable Jobs Secretariat, establish a new sustainable jobs stream under the Union Training and Innovation Program, and launch a new Sustainable Jobs Training Centre.
Canada has what it takes to be a clean energy and technology supplier of choice in a low-carbon world; the Government remains committed to realizing that potential.
Response by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable STEVEN GUILBEAULT
Since 2015, the Government of Canada has demonstrated its leadership on climate change and clean growth, at home and abroad. It understands that accelerated efforts are crucial to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions rapidly by 2030, achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
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 (2030 ERP) in Parliament. The 2030 ERP is the Government’s most recent, major step to take action to meet 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 Net Zero Advisory Body.
Investments in Indigenous-led climate action are critical to enabling Indigenous peoples to advance their self-determined priorities. Since the release of Canada’s strengthened climate plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, in December 2020, the federal government has committed more than $2 billion in targeted investments to support Indigenous communities, including initiatives to facilitate the transition to clean energy, advance nature-based solutions, build new or retrofit green community buildings, promote resilience and adaptation, and undertake major disaster mitigation projects, among others. These investments supplement more than $425 million over 12 years committed under the 2016 Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change (PCF), as well as funding provided to Indigenous proponents through general climate programs for which they are eligible recipients.
In the 2030 ERP and Budget 2022, the Government of Canada committed $29.6 million to co-develop and implement a model of climate partnership that empowers self-determined climate action; leverages the transition to a net-zero economy to support efforts toward self-determination and the alleviation of socio-economic inequalities; and supports the expression of Indigenous science and knowledge systems in national climate policy.
The 2030 ERP builds on significant progress Canada has already made to address climate change, including the actions outlined in the PCF and Canada’s strengthened climate plan. 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.
Canada also contributes to emissions reduction in developing countries through its climate finance. Initiatives under Canada’s previous $2.65 billion climate finance commitment led to significant emissions reduced or avoided. In addition, its current $5.3 billion commitment (2021-2026) features Clean Energy Transition and Coal Phase-Out as a focus area.
Under this focus area, Canada supports efforts to reduce GHG emissions in developing countries by investing in initiatives that phase out coal-powered emissions, foster equitable access to clean energy solutions, promote energy-efficient technologies, and support the clean energy sector enabling environment in key coal-dependent regions. In line with this, Canada has recently dedicated $43 million to energy transition programming, including a $5 million contribution to the South East Asia Energy Transition Partnership, and an $8 million contribution to the International Energy Agency’s Clean Energy Transitions Programme. With G7 partners, Canada is also providing support to new Just Energy Transition Partnerships (JETP) with countries such as South Africa, Indonesia, and Vietnam, including through its $1 billion commitment to the Climate Investment Funds Accelerating Coal Transitions Program among other sources of support. JETPs are a new model of international energy, climate, and economic assistance for emerging and developing countries to accelerate their transitions to cleaner, more climate resilient economies, while also including the perspectives and needs of workers and communities.
This priority complements Canada’s leadership through the Powering Past Coal Alliance. This initiative, which Canada co-leads with the United Kingdom, works to increase global ambition on coal phase-out and supports developing countries by sharing expertise and best practices. Canada’s public climate finance also helps mobilize private capital, which is a key component of climate action, including for clean energy transition.
- Presented to the House of Commons
June 1, 2023 (Petition No. 441-01500)
- Government response tabled
- July 19, 2023
Member of Parliament
Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.
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