Over 850,000 Canadians Call For Focus on Green Jobs, Green Stimulus
January 20, 2009, – In an echo of Barack Obama’s dramatic green jobs surge, leading Canadians civil society groups with a combined membership of over 850,000 people are calling for a massive Green Economy Action Fund to be part of January’s federal budget.
The proposal calls for federal investments and low-interest loans to stimulate the green economy and catalyze provincial action. Dollars would flow to retrofit buildings, ramp up renewable energy, expand public transit and support clean-tech manufacturing.
“The Green Economy Action Fund can help Canada meet its environmental responsibilities, position Canada as a leader in an emerging area of the economy, and create good quality jobs,” said Ken Neumann, National Director for Canada of the United Steelworkers. “This could be an important part of an overall strategy to help Canadians cope with today’s financial and economic crisis.”
“There is no reason for Canadians to lag behind our American neighbours” said Tzeporah Berman, Executive Director of PowerUP Canada. “Barack Obama is planning millions of green jobs. Why should Canadians be left behind?”
The unprecedented list of signatories supporting the Green Economy Action Fund and calling for government to address global warming and the green stimulus in the upcoming budget include: Canadian Association of 45Plus (CARP) United Steelworkers, the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), the Pembina Institute, Environmental Defence, ForestEthics and the Forest Products Association of Canada. The proposal is also supported by well known Canadian authors Dr Andrew Weaver and Dr Thomas Homer-Dixon.
“PowerUp Canada has advanced a clean economy stimulus package that is intelligent, economically prudent and aligns Canada with leading countries internationally that are engaging in meaningful economic stimulus through innovative ‘green’ initiatives,” said Ross Mayot , Vice President of Community Development for CARP, Canada’s Association for the 45+.
The group pointed to Barack Obama’s stimulus package that includes plans to double the production of renewable energy in the next 3 years, modernize 75% of federal buildings, upgrade 2 million homes and create manufacturing jobs in clean-tech manufacturing. In addition to Barack Obama, the group pointed to appeals by the United Nations for a global “Green New Deal” and examples like Germany where the renewable energy sector has created a quarter million jobs and is poised to become the country’s largest employer. Two other countries on the list are the United Kingdom where Gordon Brown has unleashed an “army” of workers to insulate and retrofit the country’s buildings and Japan which has plans to create one million additional green manufacturing jobs.
“This should be a no-brainer,” said Rick Smith of Environmental Defence. “There are jobs just waiting to be created and businesses poised to grow. Green stimulus will fight recession and global warming at the same time.”
Advocates for the Fund are calling on Canadians to contact their MP in support of green stimulus.
The detailed recommendations for the Green Economy Action Fund
For More Information contact:
Tzeporah Berman, Executive Director PowerUP Canada, 604-313-4713
Ken Delaney, United Steelworkers 416-544-5952
Rick Smith, Environmental Defense, 416-670-9521