Flood Parliament graphic

Climate Code Red And Flood Parliament FAQ

The Council of Canadians
1 month ago

What is a just transition? 

  • A just transition is a process of supporting oil and gas workers, other affected workers, and their communities -- while we decarbonize the economy and wind down the fossil fuel sector.
  • This process should be guided by affected workers and their communities, particularly Indigenous peoples in those communities, as well as the larger Indigenous community as a whole. 
  • This process needs to be supported by federal legislation that requires and funds society-wide action to decarbonize our economy and ensure that no one is left behind in the process. 
  • The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives laid out basic principles for just recovery legislation in Canada. It must: 
    • Recognize and enshrine basic rights, including labour rights and human rights 
    • Include the participation of affected workers and communities 
    • Expand the social safety net 
    • Create new economic opportunities 
    • Drive inclusive workforce development 
    • Read the CCPA’s report “Roadmap for a Canadian Just Transition Act” for an in-depth look at what just transition legislation needs to accomplish, what is happening in other countries, and why the transition must be driven by public institutions and the public service. 

How can I stay COVID-safe while collecting petition signatures on paper?  

  • Please follow all public health guidelines for your region 
  • Get vaccinated
  • Wear a mask, and bring extra pens and hand sanitizer or wipes so you can sanitize your hands and pens 

How and where can I collect petition signatures? 

  • COVID is of course making in person gatherings rarer and more challenging, but you can still collect signatures in a responsible way. 
  • Start where you are – ask the people you live with, your neighbours, and your friends to sign the petition. 
  • You can bring it to work with you and ask your colleagues to sign, or discuss the issue in your organization’s online spaces. 
  • Keep a copy in your bag, purse, or car so you have it handy as you see friends, family, coworkers, and neighbours. 
  • If you are part of a community group or faith group, bring the petition to your next meeting or gathering.
  • If you are in school, bring it to school with you and ask your classmates and teachers to sign. Anyone of any age can sign the petition. 
  • Bring a mask, a few pens, and hand sanitizer so you can protect yourself and others while collecting signatures. 

I have collected 25 petition signatures – now what? 

  • Consult this toolkit for step-by-step instructions to guide you in collecting signatures, delivering them to your MP, and following up. 
  • Remember to follow up with the people who sign the petition to invite them to deliver it with you and continue organizing together. This is part of how we build the people power we need to win. 
  • Keep a list of the contact information of the petition signers so you can continue organizing together. The petition is designed so you can cut the contact information off and keep that piece of the paper.

My MP refused to table the petition and/or is a climate laggard. Is it worth bringing the petition to them, or bringing it back again with more signatures? 

  • It is worth bringing this petition back to a resistant MP to try to change their mind.
  • Remember that this tactic is as much about ensuring that MPs support the petition as it is about organizing people in your community to support the demands.
  • If you live in a riding with a climate-denialist MP and you want to change their mind, or organize the electorate to elect a climate champion in the next election, using this petition as a tool can be a step towards those goals.
  • Organizing that power and turning the tide in your riding starts with talking to people, and the petition is a great way to start that work or contribute to ongoing climate organizing.
  • One way to respond to a climate-denialist MP is to publicly demonstrate that they are out of touch with the public.
  • If you deliver petition signatures and the MP refuses to table the petition, you could organize a demonstration outside their office to make their inaction public. This kind of pressure can push your MP to change their mind and can push other reluctant MPs in the region to take heed. 
  • You can also choose to approach a different, more climate-friendly MP. Any MP in Canada to introduce petitions in parliament- it doesn’t need to be your own representative. 
  • To find another representative to approach, look at this organizing toolkit which includes a list of MPs who have publicly pledged or supported bold climate action in the past, as well as a list of MPs and ministers who have clear decision-making power within the government. Consider choosing an MP from this list. 

My group delivered 25 petition signatures to an MP, and they agreed to table it and speak about it in the House of Commons. What should we do now? 

  • First, celebrate! Your work has been successful in bringing our collective demands for just transition legislation into Parliament! Congratulations! 
  • Next, keep on collecting signatures. You can ask the same MP multiple times to table the same petition. This will give them multiple opportunities to discuss this issue in the House of Commons. 
  • Remember to invite the people who sign the petition to attend the delivery of that petition. This will give you an immediate opportunity to take action together, which can help build a relationship that leads to further action and organizing.

My group collected more than 25 signatures at one event. Should we deliver them to an MP in batches of 25, or should we bring them all at once?  

  • Deliver them 25 at a time. The thinking here is that if your MP says yes to tabling the petition, you can give them multiple opportunities to do so by delivering the petitions at different times in batches of 25. 
  • If your MP says no the first time you ask, continue collecting signatures and continue asking your MP to table the petition, reminding them with each request of how many signatures you have collected. The higher the number, the more pressure they will feel to respond to your request. 

Why is the petition in this format? What are the rules for parliamentary petitions? 

  • According to the House of Commons, “A petition is used to draw attention to an issue of public interest or concern and to request that the House of Commons, the Government of Canada, a Minister of the Crown, or a Member of the House of Commons take or refrain from some action.” 
  • There are specific requirements for parliamentary petitions to qualify for introduction in parliament. There’s an overview here on petition guidelines; format; language, wording and style. 

Do people need to be a certain age to sign the petition? 

  • There are no age requirements! Anyone can sign.
  • According to the House of Commons, “Each signatory must sign (not print) their name directly on the petition and must not sign for anyone else. If a person cannot sign their own name because of illness or a disability, this must be noted on the petition and the note signed by a witness.” 

Do people need to be citizens in order to sign the petition? 

  • No! The House of Commons rules for petitions say that a petition must have signatures with valid addresses of 25 “Canadian citizens or residents.” 

Can someone sign if they don’t have a fixed address? 

  • Yes! The House of Commons rules for petitions say that “someone who does not have a fixed address must state it on the petition.” 

Who wrote this petition? Where do these demands come from? 

  • The demands included in this just transition petition are the result of grassroots organizing and just transition policy research. 
  • Some demands grow out of the Council of Canadians’ Green New Deal Communities network, which consists of locally-rooted campaigns for climate justice in communities across the country. These campaigns are calling for different local transformations towards climate and economic justice rooted in local experiences and conditions. We drew out common demands across these community campaigns to inform the just transition petition. 

These locally-rooted demands were then paired with the just transition framework laid out by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). Read more about the CCPA’s Roadmap to a Canadian Just Transition Act.