"Flood Parliament" with many paper boats sailing on flooding waters outside Parliament

Ottawa MPs need to hear from you about a just transition

Sara Washburn
3 weeks ago

Sara Washburn is a volunteer organizer with the Council of Canadians’ Flood Parliament campaign in Ottawa.

As part of the Council of Canadians’ Flood Parliament campaign, people from across the country are asking their MPs to bring our demand for just transition legislation to the House of Commons. I’ve been one of them.

In mid-October, I nervously volunteered to collect signatures, present the petition to my local MP, and ask her to table it in the House of Commons.

I had to step WAY outside of my comfort zone, but in the end, I was able to collect all the signatures I needed and I was even able to help collect signatures for other ridings as well. It felt so good to be doing something, even just a small thing.

But we need to keep up the pressure.

There are four Ottawa area MPs who promised to table the petition several months ago but have yet to act. Parliament could wrap up for the summer as early as the end of this week, so time is running out for these MPs to table the petition before the House of Commons breaks until September. Will you contact your Ottawa MP and ask that they table the just transition petition?

So far:

  • Thousands of Canadians have signed our letter to Prime Minister Trudeau demanding just transition legislation now
  • Thousands more have asked their MP to table our just transition petition in the House of Commons and 41 MPs have committed to doing so. 22 of those MPs have tabled it already.

Four Ottawa MPs have agreed to table and speak about the just transition petition in the House of Commons: Orleans MP Marie-France Lalonde, Ottawa South MP David McGuinty, Ottawa West-Nepean MP Anita Vandenbeld, and Ottawa-Vanier MP Mona Fortier.

These four MPs committed to tabling the petition over two months ago, but unfortunately they still have not done so. If one of them is your MP, write to them to say thank you for supporting a just transition and ask when they’ll be tabling the petition and speaking about it in the House of Commons.

After months of effort, volunteers have finally arranged a meeting with Ottawa Centre MP Yasir Naqvi on June 14 so they can ask him to table the petition in the House of Commons. If he’s your MP, let him know that you want him to agree to table our petition before Parliament rises for the summer.

Take a moment to call on these five Ottawa-area MPs to take action for a just transition.

Just a little refresher on the Council of Canadians campaign to flood parliament with petitions for a just transition...

As you know, nearly three years ago the government promised to pass a just transition act that would support our transition away from fossil fuels, and towards new decarbonized industries. 

The government hasn’t tabled any legislation yet, so we’ve been using a parliamentary petition to push MPs across the country to speak up about it and voice their support. A just transition would guide Canada’s shift away from fossil fuels in a way that benefits people and protects our livelihoods, while also addressing the climate crisis. 

We know that in order to address the climate emergency, we need to wind down the fossil fuel industry – and when we do that, we’ll need to provide support for workers in that industry, as well as change the way we get energy, heat our homes, and move around. 

All of those changes are going to require a lot of work, and with some forward thinking that can mean good green unionized jobs for people across the country.

While we make this transition, we have to protect people’s human rights and labour rights, so we can have safe and dignified jobs and communities.

In short, our petition calls for a just transition act that:

  • Recognizes and enshrines basic rights, including labour rights and human rights 
  • Includes the participation of affected workers and communities, and Indigenous peoples
  • Expands the social safety net 
  • Creates new economic opportunities 
  • Drives inclusive workforce development 

Thank you so much for taking the time to contribute to climate action!

P.S. You can read more about why I started organizing with the Council of Canadians to win a just transition here.