We’re at a major turning point in the fight for a just recovery and a Green New Deal that supports people and the planet, not corporate bailouts.
You’ve likely seen for yourself. The pandemic has exposed and sharpened the deep inequities and injustices that have always existed in our society, including wealth inequality, unfair working conditions, systemic racism and colonialism. But it has also opened a pathway to finally end them.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he has a recovery plan for the country. But who is being consulted and listened to in shaping that plan? Not you and me – billionaires and corporations are.
Corporate forces are pushing for bailouts and privatization. Oil and gas prices have plummeted, and fossil fuel companies have already received bailouts and are asking for more. It’s clear that these bailouts are not in the public interest as major investors like Deutsche Bank and the UK pension fund, and even oil giants like Total and BP, are walking away from oil and gas expansion.
It’s a sunsetting industry and it’s time to move on. And it doesn’t end with the fossil fuel lobby. Corporate interests are shaping government policies, including the Throne Speech, behind closed doors. The CEO of the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) is a central recovery advisor to Prime Minister Trudeau. The CIB was created with a $35 billion budget to create public-private partnerships (P3s) for infrastructure projects across the country, and our public water, transit, and electricity systems are in the crosshairs. P3s often cost more, deliver less, and are always less accountable to local communities. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
We can’t go back to normal; we must find a better way. It’s not just you and me who think this – this perspective has majority support. Seventy-three per cent of Canadians expect a “broad transformation of society.” But how do we make it happen?
We need economic stimulus that focuses on producing and buying locally. We need job creation that’s not going to come from an industry that is winding down. We need to support people, not billionaires and corporations.
WE NEED A JUST RECOVERY AND A GREEN NEW DEAL
We have a once in a generation opportunity to take a different path, to address the intertwined crises we face. The pandemic, inequality, racism and the climate emergency have a common solution. And the first step is a just recovery, which lays the groundwork for a Green New Deal.
We need a just recovery now that supports frontline workers, producing, growing and buying locally, the rapid expansion of green public housing and affordable public transit. We need a just recovery that centres Indigenous rights, begins a just transition to a carbon neutral economy that leaves no workers behind, ensures migrant justice and status for all, and that puts an end to the systemic racism experienced by so many.
You and I have an opportunity in this moment to push for real, transformative change. We must make our collective voice – joined by tens of thousands of fellow Council of Canadians members across the country – to tell our MPs what you and I want and expect.
A real just recovery is in the balance. It’s our priorities versus the billionaires and corporations. We hold the balance of power and can make it happen.