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Environmental and Labour Groups Join Forces to Demand the Federal Government Expedite Sustainable Jobs Bill

Blue Green Canada, Canadian Centre For Policy Alternatives, Canadian Labour Congress, Climate Action Network Canada, The Council Of Canadians, David Suzuki Foundation, Ecojustice, Environmental Defence, Équiterre, Iron + Earth, Pembina Institute, 350.Org

In a letter sent earlier today, twelve major climate and labour organizations called on Prime Minister Trudeau, Natural Resources Minister Wilkinson, and all parties’ House Leaders to expedite the passage of Bill C-50, the Sustainable Jobs Act, following months of delays. 

Despite assurances that the legislation is a government priority, it has not yet been scheduled for a third reading. With only a limited number of sitting weeks left in Parliament before the Summer break, supporters of the Bill are worried that this delay will prevent it from receiving Royal Assent in time to begin the work mandated by the Bill before the next election.

“It’s time for the government to fulfill its 2019 promise. The impacts of the energy transition are already being felt across the country. Waiting any longer could be too late for some workers and their families. Members of Parliament must put politics aside and pass this important legislation.” Aliénor Rougeot, Program Manager, Climate and Energy, Environmental Defence 

“This Bill is important because it empowers workers to shape their future, ensuring that as Canada transitions to a low-carbon economy and creates new jobs, these jobs are high-quality and sustainable.” Christine Jones, Industrial Decarbonization Program Manager, Blue Green Canada

“Passing the Sustainable Jobs Act and getting the new Sustainable Jobs Partnership Council working will deliver the message, loud and clear: Canada is a great place to invest, with workers who are second to none and ready to get the job done.” Chris Severson-Baker, Executive Director, Pembina Institute 

 “The world is quickly moving towards renewable energy sources and clean technologies while decreasing demand for oil and gas. We need to ensure workers, families and communities in Canada aren’t left behind. The Sustainable Jobs Act will help make sure communities are supported through this transition. We’re calling on all parties to get Bill C-50 across the finish line, with improvements, when MPs return to Ottawa next week.” Tom Green, Senior Climate Policy Adviser, David Suzuki Foundation

“The transition to renewable energy, which is moving quickly all over the world, must benefit workers and communities in Canada as well, leaving no one behind. Bill C-50 is a litmus test of Canada’s willingness to plan and organize the necessary transformation of our economy. It is an essential step toward more cohesive climate action and there’s absolutely no reason to delay the adoption of this bill. Building a sustainable workforce starts now – not in 2050.” Andréanne Brazeau, Analyst, Climate Policy, Équiterre

Background:

  • Bill C-50, the Canadian Sustainable Jobs Act, was tabled in Parliament in June 2023. The Bill was amended in Committee but has not yet passed through the House, despite being initially scheduled to do so in December. 
  • The process is being hampered by the addition of over two hundred additional amendments for Report Stage, the overwhelming majority of which were frivolous amendments proposed by Members of the Conservative Party. Voting on all amendments could take up two days of Parliamentary time. 
  • Bill C-50 provides a structure to align Canada’s approach to skills development, job creation and regional economic development with its climate goals. 
  • The legislation was amended in Committee late last year to better integrate Canada’s legislated climate targets, enhance transparency and accountability mechanisms, and ensure labour, environmental and Indigenous participation in the Council. 
  • The letter is addressed to Prime Minister Trudeau, Natural Resources Minister Wilkinson, and all parties’ House leaders, who play an important role in setting the agenda for Parliament.
  • The letter was endorsed by a coalition of leading climate and labour organizations, including the Canadian Labour Congress, Environmental Defence, Climate Action Network – Réseau Action Climat, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 350 Canada, Équiterre, Blue Green Canada, Pembina Institute, Ecojustice, Iron and Earth, the Council of Canadians and the David Suzuki Foundation.
  • 2,800 individual Canadians also sent letters to their Member of Parliament, Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Wilkinson this month requesting a swift passage of Bill C-50.