Hundreds urge Trudeau to prioritize Just Transition Act in new Parliament

Joint Media Release
Monday, November 22, 2021 - 11:00

For immediate release

Organizers deliver ticking “climate clock” to the Prime Minister's Office 

350.ORG, COUNCIL OF CANADIANS, GREEN ECONOMY NETWORK, CLIMATE STRIKE CANADA, MIGRANT RIGHTS NETWORK - ONTARIO, DAVID SUZUKI FOUNDATION, STAND.EARTH, CLIMATE JUSTICE OTTAWA

Ottawa, ON – Just hours before Parliament resumed, hundreds of people gathered in front of Justin Trudeau’s office to call on the Prime Minister to urgently pass his promised Just Transition Act. (You can find photos from the rally here.)

“We’re running out of time to tackle the climate emergency. The recent massive flooding in BC, following this summer’s deadly heat dome and wildfires, is just the latest warning that there’s no time to delay,” Bryanna Rose Brown, an Inuk and Mi’kmaq land protector from Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador said. “That’s why we need to pass this Just Transition Act, to make sure that we can meet the scale of this crisis by getting off of fossil fuels while supporting workers, Indigenous Peoples and communities.” 

The rally featured speakers from labour unions, environmental organizations, migrant justice groups and Indigenous rights organizing, all speaking beside a ticking “climate clock.” The clock, similar models of which have been used by climate advocates around the world, shows the remaining time given to the world by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2018 to be on the right track to tackle the climate crisis. 

“This clock should be a reminder to Trudeau, his cabinet and every Member of Parliament that we don’t have time to wait when it comes to tackling the climate crisis,” Amara Possian, Canada Campaign Director with 350.org said. “We need to be fast and be bold. That can start with passing a Just Transition Act that guarantees good, union jobs, puts people first and meets the scale of this crisis.” 

Justin Trudeau first promised a Just Transition Act in 2019, and only started consultation on the legislation weeks before the 2021 election. Thousands of people weighed in on that process, along with unions, community groups and others, all calling for the government to prioritize a Just Transition in the next parliament. 

“The world is already transitioning off of fossil fuels, and Canada is falling behind,” Angella MacEwen, labour economist with the Green Economy Network said. “A transition is inevitable, but without urgent action it won't be a just one that matches the kind of climate action we need and supports people and communities. That’s why we need Justin Trudeau to step up.”

-30-