Photo by Montreal chapter activist Abdul Pirani.
The Council of Canadians Montreal chapter attended a talk by Avi Lewis on the Leap Manifesto at Concordia University on April 9.
The Council of Canadians formally endorsed the 15 demands of the Leap Manifesto in September 2015.
Those demands are as follows:
1- The leap must begin by respecting the inherent rights and title of the original caretakers of this land, starting by fully implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
2- The latest research shows we could get 100% of our electricity from renewable resources within two decades; by 2050 we could have a 100% clean economy. We demand that this shift begin now.
3- No new infrastructure projects that lock us into increased extraction decades into the future. The new iron law of energy development must be: if you wouldn’t want it in your backyard, then it doesn’t belong in anyone’s backyard.
4- The time for energy democracy has come: wherever possible, communities should collectively control new clean energy systems. Indigenous Peoples and others on the frontlines of polluting industrial activity should be first to receive public support for their own clean energy projects.
5- We want a universal program to build and retrofit energy efficient housing, ensuring that the lowest income communities will benefit first.
6- We want high-speed rail powered by just renewables and affordable public transit to unite every community in this country – in place of more cars, pipelines and exploding trains that endanger and divide us.
7- We want training and resources for workers in carbon-intensive jobs, ensuring they are fully able to participate in the clean energy economy.
8- We need to invest in our decaying public infrastructure so that it can withstand increasingly frequent extreme weather events.
9- We must develop a more localized and ecologically-based agricultural system to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, absorb shocks in the global supply – and produce healthier and more affordable food for everyone.
10- We call for an end to all trade deals that interfere with our attempts to rebuild local economies, regulate corporations and stop damaging extractive projects.
11- We demand immigration status and full protection for all workers. Canadians can begin to rebalance the scales of climate justice by welcoming refugees and migrants seeking safety and a better life.
12- We must expand those sectors that are already low-carbon: caregiving, teaching, social work, the arts and public-interest media. A national childcare program is long past due.
13- Since so much of the labour of caretaking – whether of people or the planet – is currently unpaid and often performed by women, we call for a vigorous debate about the introduction of a universal basic annual income.
14- We declare that “austerity” is a fossilized form of thinking that has become a threat to life on earth. The money we need to pay for this great transformation is available — we just need the right policies to release it. An end to fossil fuel subsidies. Financial transaction taxes. Increased resource royalties. Higher income taxes on corporations and wealthy people. A progressive carbon tax. Cuts to military spending.
15- We must work swiftly towards a system in which every vote counts and corporate money is removed from political campaigns.
To read more about the Leap Manifesto, please click here.