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View Laurel Collins Profile
View Laurel Collins Profile
2020-02-25 19:45
Instead of empty promises, pipelines and bad projects, let us invest in long-term sustainable jobs in Alberta and across Canada. Investing in transit, retrofit, green infrastructure and clean energy will not only help us meet our climate targets but can also provide good family-sustaining jobs in a low-carbon economy.
New Democrats proposed a plan that would have created at least 300,000 good jobs in the clean energy future for the next four years, but we have not seen that kind of leadership from the Liberal government. We need to build zero-emission vehicles here at home and we need to make it easier to buy and charge zero-emission vehicles no matter where we go. We need to be not only producing electric vehicles in Canada but also providing incentives targeted to made-in-Canada vehicles only, giving manufacturers a powerful incentive to build. This safeguards good jobs and strengthens our auto sector.
We need to electrify our fleets, making public transit cleaner, more convenient and more affordable. We need to provide training for workers to transition into the low-carbon economy. We need to provide support for workers, for families and for communities so that the changing economy actually works for them. We need to boost clean-tech research and manufacturing with “buy Canadian” procurement. We need to create good family-sustaining jobs by building infrastructure in every region of our country.
We could save families $900 or more a year in home energy costs with energy-efficient upgrades. Making bold investments in energy efficiency not only pays off in terms of reducing emissions but also brings savings on energy bills. It also means good jobs in communities from coast to coast to coast.
We need a government that is committed to supporting workers today, not with imaginary jobs and projects with no business case, but supporting workers while equipping them with the skills and opportunities of the future. It means making sure that Canadian workers have access to meaningful training funds to use when they need them.
I also want to take a moment to mention an incredible organization, Iron & Earth, which is a worker-led initiative. These are oil and gas workers who want to work building renewable energy projects, who organized to support each other and who advocate on their own behalf. They are not only supporting their fellow workers, demonstrating how their skills are transferable and connecting these workers with training, resources and a network they require to position themselves in the new renewable energy industry, but they are also calling on the government to implement a national upskilling initiative, investing in training that would empower oil and gas, coal and indigenous workers to get into the renewable energy economy. These oil and gas workers see the opportunities that could be possible if the government truly took its commitment to workers and the climate seriously, but successive Liberal and Conservative governments have left workers to navigate these shifts on their own.
Workers in Alberta are feeling the impact of job losses, and 19,000 workers lost their jobs just in the last month. The answer to this problem is not projects that are economic and environmental nightmares. The answer is not empty promises of jobs from projects that have no business case. The answer is investing in good family-sustaining jobs all across the country.
We need to fulfill Canada's G20 commitment to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies and we need to redirect these funds to low-carbon initiatives. We also need to reform Export Development Canada's mandate to focus on providing support for Canadian sustainable energy projects rather than the petroleum industry.
We need to truly support workers, industry, research and innovation. These are the kinds of investments that would drive real results, creating hundreds of thousands of good jobs and helping to boost the economy across the country. It would also put Canada on the path to meeting ambitious science-based greenhouse gas reduction targets that we need if we are going to prevent catastrophic climate change from dangerous global warming beyond 1.5° Celsius.
The answer is a plan that creates good jobs to support hard-working families and upholds indigenous rights. The answer is a made-in-Canada green new deal.
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