How Canada recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic can be a new beginning.
Normal is people without enough to eat.
Normal is underpaid essential workers.
Normal is Indigenous rights being trampled.
Normal is mass biodiversity loss.
🔥Normal is a planet on fire.🔥
Can we really say we want to go back to normal?
A green and just recovery is the opportunity for the federal government to kickstart a new economy that helps solve the climate emergency and biodiversity crises, while ensuring fair wages, employment protections and social safety nets for all people living in Canada.
Right now, we’re facing a triple whammy: a pandemic, an economic and a planetary crisis. The best way to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger and more resilient than before, is to pick policies and investment choices that phase out dirty, dying industries (like oil and plastic) and transition to emerging sectors (like renewable energy), sustainable food and the care sector (health, childcare and senior care).
Join the movement for a green and just recovery, by taking part in the following actions — they don’t take much time, and can be safely done while respecting physical distancing guidelines!
1. Ask your friends and family to join the movement for a recovery that profits people not billionaires
The loosening of lockdown measures are at our doorstep, but most of us are still doing what we can to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe and healthy. The only way to get out of this crisis is to come together, unite our communities and our efforts. While work, concerts, schools are happening online, and so is climate action!
If you have emailed your MP (if you have not, do it now!), share the call for a green and just recovery:
2. Talk to your MP on Social Media
Once you have found your MP’s social media handles, you can follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.
When they post something related to the recovery, the climate emergency or the post COVID-19 world, you can ask your questions in the comment section or as a reply. Introduce yourself and be concise, just as you would in an in-person event. Remember to be polite yet firm.
Or you could address them these sample messages:
I want a #JustRecovery that put people and the planet first NOW.
I am not waiting for another #pandemic or climate catastrophe to act.
Join me, tell your Member of Parliament your vision for the #recovery!https://act.gp/35fxYYs @GreenpeaceCA #cdnpoli #covid19
On Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin:
I want a just and green recovery that puts people and the planet first. I am not waiting for another pandemic or climate catastrophe to act. I think we can come out of this crisis stronger and more resilient than before. For that, we should transition away the dying and polluting oil and plastic industries, and invest in industries, infrastructure and government programs that encourage the well-being of people, communities and nature: https://act.gp/35fxYYs. #JustRecovery #GreenRecovery
Here are Greenpeace Canada handles: on Facebook: @greenpeace.canada; on Twitter: @GreenpeaceCA; on Linkedin: @greenpeace-canada.
Remember to tag Greenpeace Canada and add #JustRecovery on your publications.
Check out this guide to virtual bird-dogging to step up your online pressure!
3. Call your MP and tell them your priorities
Whether you are struggling without sick pay or without an income because of the economic depression, it is your MP’s duty to help their constituents. Politicians of all parties determine their policy positions, in part by listening to what people back home are doggedly asking them to do.
In these times of COVID-19, when governments are spending billions in response to the crisis that could jumpstart a greener and more resilient society, and companies are trying to exploit the crisis for nefarious ends, it is more important than ever to make your voice heard.
Don’t be reluctant to also request a video meeting. It’s a big step, but it’s effective and can have great impacts.
You can find your MP’s name and phone number here : https://www.ourcommons.ca/Members/en
Here is a sample script:
My name is Lydie, I live in Montreal and I’m the mother to a toddler. Last year, you declared a climate emergency. You have also promised to look into a green stimulus package. I think we can come out of this crisis stronger and more resilient than before. For that, we should transition away the dying and polluting oil and plastic industries, and invest in industries, infrastructure and government programs that encourage the well-being of people, communities and nature. With time ticking away and our window to stop the devastating impacts of climate change closing, how are you going to use the economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, to ensure Canada meets its climate commitments? Thank you for listening, you can get in touch with me by email at (spell your email) or over the phone (spell your number). Have a great day!
Need help talking to you MP? Write to [email protected] for support.
4. Write a letter to your local newspaper
A letter to the editor is a short comment for publication in your local newspaper. Write one when you feel strongly about an issue and you want to inspire others to take action. The best way to get your letter published is to keep it to about 200 words and email it to the newspaper’s editor. You can find the email address on the newspaper’s website (often on their Contact Us page under “Letters”). Don’t forget to read and follow any other requirements listed there! Published examples of letters to the editor by Greenpeace can be found here and here.
Here are quick talking points and facts you can use to write your letter to the editor. Pick an angle that matters to you, and personalize it to state your opinion in your own words:
A green and just recovery from the COVID-19 crisis would rebuild society on foundations of strong communities and a fair economic system that keeps us living within nature’s limits. This means transforming our economy to address the root problem: a system that enriches a wealthy few at the expense of everyone else and the environment that sustains us. To fix this, we need to:
- Put economic benefits directly into the hands of the people, not polluters. With about 50% of Canadians living paycheck-to-paycheck, turning emergency relief into permanent support like a universal basic income or living wage can help reduce inequality. Fair corporate taxation can also help fund environmental initiatives.
- Kickstart a low-carbon, circular economy, such as by expanding electric public transit and banning single-use plastics in favour of reusable retail models. Canada’s clean energy sector already employs nearly 300,000 people and a global circular economy is worth $4.5 trillion. Let’s build back our system to be resilient and fair.
- Making health for all a priority, by ensuring health care and sick leave for all people in Canada (including migrant workers) and mitigating health risks caused by fossil fuels, which already claim too many lives and cost too much money.
- Invest in jobs that advance climate action and restore biodiversity, such as turning abandoned oil wells into geothermal energy plants, restoring forests, and retrofitting buildings to be energy efficient. According to the UN, restoring degraded land could generate USD$9 trillion in the next decade alone, while reducing greenhouse gases.
- Respect Indigenous rights, by legislating UNDRIP without delay and stopping new resources projects that don’t have Indigenous consent (including the Coastal GasLink, Trans Mountain Expansion and Keystone XL pipelines).
Need help with your letter? Want to write a long opinion piece? Write to Jesse at [email protected].
5. Take a creative photo with your message and share it
Adding a creative and personal element will help to spread the message far and wide. A photo can speak truth to power by inspiring others and by confronting our MPs. Showing the people-power behind this movement, the real-live people who are demanding a just and green recovery is powerful and necessary.
Below we’ve listed 3 creative photo ideas! We need all hands on deck! Take a moment out of your day to do one of these actions whenever you can. Email your photos to [email protected].
1. Make a personal protest sign with the message, “I Want a Just and Green Recovery!” and take a photo with it to share with us. Afterwards, place your sign on your balcony, front door, or in your yard or garden plot to share the message with your community.
2. Cover our sidewalks and public spaces with temporary street art using street chalk, or clean graffiti. Add the message “Just and Green Recovery for All!” and take a photo with it to share with us.
3. Make your own covid-19 activist mask and add the hashtag #JustRecovery. Take a photo of yourself while wearing it and share with us! Make this your ‘go-to’ masks for all outings.
Please send all creative photos to [email protected] so we can amalgamate them into one powerful message to share with decision makers!
Also, we encourage you to share your images online and direct them to your MPs. Remember to tag Greenpeace Canada and add #JustRecovery on your publications.
Thank you for all you do!
Need more info? Dig deeper!
Greenpeace Canada has joined hundreds of environmental, labour and social justice organizations to support 6 Principles for a Just Recovery, and we have presented some ideas on how these principles could be turned into policy!