Why Canada Needs a Green New Deal

Society’s approach of infinite growth on a finite planet has led to a morass of intersecting problems. The largely unregulated global economy has led to massive wealth inequality. The fossil fuels that drove economic expansion have filled our atmosphere with enough CO2 to create the climate crisis that society is finally waking up to.

To have a chance of turning it around in time to leave a livable planet for our ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren we need to take many steps on many fronts all at once. The Green New Deal for Canada provides ideas for how to do just that.

What is it?

A Green New Deal for Canada calls for political action with a deal that rests on two fundamental principles. 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.

How details are being defined

In May about 130 people attended a town hall in Peterborough to collect ideas in the form of Green lines and Red lines, what we want more of and what we want less of. The local ideas were consolidated at the national level with input from more than 150 similar meetings.

Green Line ideas were found in the categories of Indigenous Sovereignty, Economy,  Government, Green Infrastructure, and Social Justice. Red Line ideas included ending fossil fuel subsidies, phasing out fossil fuel use, protecting biodiversity, and banning single use plastics. Here is the report on what was found.

Taken together these do not add up to specific policies; they suggest an umbrella under which various policies will power a massive system upgrade for our economy and society.

What could Canada look like?

Here are a few examples of what 2030 could look like if we start implementing Green New Deal ideas tomorrow.

  • The projects to retrofit every building in Canada and create the renewable energy infrastructure to eliminate our emissions are half completed. These projects provide local employment that allows tar sands workers to move from Alberta.
  • Children riding school buses no longer breathe poisonous diesel fumes since we transformed the fleet to electric.
  • Everyone lives in dignity knowing that a Basic Income Guarantee provides us all with the means to survive.
  • Corporations and wealthy citizens have bowed to moral pressure and have agreed to pay their fair share – they have stopped hiding their profits in off-shore tax havens and have started to pay the taxes they owe.
  • Students no longer graduate from university with crippling debts.
  • It’s our job to insist that politicians incorporate these ideas into their policies.

Find out more at the Green New Deal Canada web site.

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