Large, Diverse, Non-partisan Coalition of Youth, Artists, Scientists, Indigenous Leaders and Groups Calls for Green New Deal for Canada

Urgent climate action must cut emissions in half within 11 years

May 6, 2019 (MONTREAL) — On the same day the UN released its dire report on the state of the planet’s biodiversity, a growing movement of youth, artists, workers, Indigenous peoples, scientists and faith leaders launched a Pact for a Green New Deal in three cities across the country.

Inspired by Le Pacte in Quebec, a climate action pledge which has already garnered more than 270,000 signatures, The Pact for a Green New Deal calls on workers, Indigenous communities, students, trade unions, migrants, community organizations and people across the country to define a plan for a safe future and more prosperous present that meets the demands of science and justice.

The Pact for a Green New Deal demands we cut emissions in half by 2030, protect critical cultural and biological diversity, create a million jobs, and address the multiple crises we face through a holistic and far reaching plan that respects the constitutionally enshrined and internationally recognized rights of Indigenous peoples. This large, non-partisan coalition calls on all federal political parties, in the lead up to the election, to put versions of the Green New Deal that meet those goals in their platforms. A new poll by Abacus Data shows a clear majority of Canadians (61 per cent) support the idea of a Green New Deal.

The coalition includes CUPE Ontario, the Canadian Health Coalition, the Canadian Unitarian Council, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, Indigenous Climate Action, Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN) and the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, as well as 50 prominent Canadians, including K.D. Lang, Rufus Wainwright, Dr. David Suzuki and Cobie Smulders.

The new coalition is also engaging communities to further refine and develop the plan and will be holding town halls across the country to develop concrete policy suggestions to help us meet what the calls of science and justice are demanding.

Quotes:

Carole Brazeau, Anishinabe (Algonquin), Human rights protector and former Environment and Sustainable Development Coordinator at Quebec Native Women Inc.

“ On the international stage, Canada admits to the deplorable living conditions of Indigenous peoples in Canada; Canada`s contradiction is that many Indigenous peoples still do not have access to clean drinking water. It is so urgent that we unify and demand the governments act, as our communities` face states of emergencies.”

Damon Matthews, Professor and Concordia University Research Chair in Climate Science and Sustainability, Department of Geography, Planning and Environment, Concordia University

“The world has already warmed by more than 1 degree, and we are seeing increasingly costly and frequent climate disasters. Remaining below 1.5 degrees would likely avoid the worst potential impacts of global warming — this is still possible, but current emissions pledges are not enough to avoid even 3 degrees of warming. We need to change course dramatically, and integrate climate change considerations at every level of decision making.  That is why I support the The Pact for a Green New Deal, and I urge politicians across Canada to act upon it.”

Will Prosper,  Documentary filmmaker, journalist and civil rights activist

“Climate justice is basically social justice. 10% of the rich are responsible for over half  of the green house emissions worldwide, when 50% of the world’s poorest are only responsible for 10% of the same. Acting on climate, means acting on social justice first and foremost. The earth did not invent economy, it should not succumb at the expense of profits.”

Dr Eric Notebaert, Emergency Physician, Head of the Regroupement Québécois des professionnels en santé pour l’environnement

“Climate change is actually the largest threat to public health. We have the moral obligation to act, and fast, in order to drastically reduce our GHG emissions. Enough talk. Start walking the talk. We need actions, not words form all politicians.”

​Jamie Latvaitis, Co-spokesperson of La planète s’invite à l’Université and Climate Strike Canada

“Now that canadian youth are involved, we can truly say this is the beginning of a powerful united front, one that could change the course of history. I want all youth in Canada to know that things are changing, but we nee every single one of them.”

Ashley Torres, also co-spokesperson of La planète s’invite à l’Université and Climate Strike Canada

“We need to learn from past mistakes and be very careful going forward. We must recognize the importance of including everyone on this conversation. Especially our most marginalized communities since they are usually the ones that are impacted the most by this climate crisis.”

Dominic Champagne, Instigator and spokesperson of the Pact for Transition

“It’s been six months since we launched The Pact for Transition (Le pacte pour la Transition) in Quebec. We are happy to see that its success inspired diverse groups to mobilize across Canada and it is, with pride, that we call today upon good willing people, of any age, from all backgrounds, to endorse The Pact for a Green New Deal. There are more and more people joining the movement to act on climate change. And the more we are, the stronger we become at demanding political and economic solutions that meet the urgency of the climate crisis.”

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Please visit greennewdealcanada.ca.

The national english press release can be viewed here.

For more information and to arrange interviews,  please contact:

media@greennewdealcanada.ca,

Montreal

Loujain Kurdi, (514) 577-6657

Toronto and Vancouver

Heather Badenoch, Village PR, (613) 859-8232