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Sustainable Jobs Act Passed! What's next?

The Sustainable Jobs Act has become law. Now what? 

The Sustainable Jobs Act, a key piece of legislation for workers and the climate, finally received royal assent last week. 

You can read our analysis about the substance of the bill here. The Council of Canadians is celebrating the Act as a framework to support workers and communities in the urgent energy transition. We’re hopeful that this piece of legislation is just the start of an equitable transition that ensures better lives and a safer climate for everyone as we transition towards a sustainable future. 

However, the passing of the Sustainable Jobs Act during an unprecedented heat dome in Eastern Canada puts this moment into stark relief. Just Transition legislation was promised nearly five years ago – and we’re already feeling the impacts of a worsening climate crisis as Canada drags its feet on our climate commitments. That the Act is only passing now also means that the nuts and bolts of the Sustainable Jobs Plan have been pushed very close to the next federal election. 

We don’t know what the election will bring, but no matter the outcome, we are still up against the same barrier to climate action and an equitable transition – corporate power. We know that corporations have the ears of our decision-makers, and it required incredible advocacy by labour, communities, and people just like you across this country to push politicians to pass this limited bill. 

No matter who is elected in 2025, corporations from oil and gas and many other sectors will continue to leverage their power to protect their profits, while people and the planet suffer. Over the last months, we’ve seen elected officials across parties push for changes that only benefit corporations. The current Liberal government has weakened their own Impact Assessment Act, initially brought in to strengthen environmental and climate protections. The Conservative opposition is even less interested in representing communities and the climate, evident in their shameful stalling of the implementation of the Sustainable Jobs Act. Between now and the election, our movements must work hard to expose politicians who are representing corporate Canada, rather than their own constituents and neighbours.  

The Sustainable Jobs Act and Bill C-59, which will penalize oil and gas greenwashing, are two new tools we have to push back against corporate power. We need to make sure our politicians protect those tools and are accountable to us instead of CEOs and corporations. 

It is an honour to work with people like you across the country – from labour, environmental organizations, community leaders, to our Flood Parliament organizers. You made the Sustainable Jobs Act a reality. Congratulations on winning this new tool in our toolbox! We’re glad to continue fighting for people, planet, and democracy alongside you. 

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Chris Kruszewski

Chris Kruszewski

Chris is a Climate and Social Justice Campaigner with the Council of Canadians.