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Wednesday
May222019

A New Green Deal for Canada

By Eric Rempel

Last week I quoted extensively from the Green New Deal. I did not give my own perspective on this. Here it is.

In 1933, in the midst of the great depression, US President Roosevelt came up with a series of bold steps intended to turn things around. This program of bold steps was dubbed the New Deal. Inspired by this, some US politicians have now come up with some bold programming to deal with the climate crisis we are facing, and have dubbed this the Green New Deal. Now others have come up with a Green New Deal for Canada.

I am encouraged by this development. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in it’s most recent report issued seven months ago, warned again of massive climate changes if carbon pollution is not reduced. The Bank of Canada, for the first time ever, has released a report saying climate change continues to pose risks to both the economy and the financial system . Although we here in southeastern Manitoba have not experienced weather effects that we can attribute to climate change, we do watch the news. There we have witnessed unprecedented flooding in Quebec this spring, and forest fires have already begun in Alberta and BC.

We are beyond considering the possibility of future climate change. Climate change is here now. The Union of Concerned Scientists point to eighteen ways in which we are already experiencing climate change. They point to such things as increased coastal flooding because of increased water levels, to melting glacial ice and an increase in extreme weather events.

It seems likely many other parts of the world will experience greater changes as a result of human induced climate change than we here in rural Manitoba, nevertheless we too need to live responsibly as global citizens. This is why I am encouraged by what this coalition of over 60 organizations, grassroots groups, movement leaders, launched have launched called the Pact for a Canada Green New Deal. Since the launching tens of thousands of people have signed up.

What this coalition wants to do is unite a diverse movement, develop a shared vision, and then push political leaders to act. I know that many of the readers of this column have made and are making significant changes to their lifestyle because they believe they need to live responsibly on a planet with limited resources and a limited capacity to absorb pollution. But we all know that that alone is not going to impact anything other than our conscience significantly. We need serious policy changes, and these can only be affected by our political leaders.

Because the situation is serious, the proponents of this Green New Deal for Canada acknowledge that we will all need to find different ways of living, so they are also stipulating that

  1. It must meet the demands of Indigenous knowledge and science and cut Canada’s emissions in half in 11 years while protecting cultural and biological diversity.

  2. It must leave no one behind and build a better present and future for all of us

Of course this will be a challenge, which is why we all must begin talking about this. As ordinary citizens sign up Town Halls are planned. 200 are already planned, with one in Winnipeg. If enough people from southeastern Manitoba sign up, we may have one in here.

I encourage you to check this out at https://greennewdealcanada.ca/







 

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