Leader Elizabeth May says workers should not fear for their future as she ramps up pre-election campaign
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May held a press conference Wednesday to unveil the party’s plan to support workers in the fossil fuel industry as they transition to a renewable energy economy. (Ben Nelms/CBC)
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has unveiled a multi-pronged plan to help workers in the gas and oil sector transition to a renewable energy economy, working to allay fears that her climate action plan would bleed jobs as she ramps up pre-election campaign efforts.
The Green worker transition plan, which includes skills retraining programs and massive retrofit and cleanup projects designed to create employment, fleshes out details from the Green Party’s climate action plan called Mission: Possible, that was released in May.
Making the announcement in Vancouver on Wednesday, May said she understands the anxiety among workers in the fossil fuel industry and wants to take an “all-hands-on-deck” approach to transform Canada’s economy.
“It’s critical that workers in fossil fuel industries and fossil fuel-dependent communities not fear for their future. We are not at war with fossil fuel workers. We are not at all willing to leave any part of Canada or any community behind.”
Along with climate action, she said the key platform priorities will be democratic reform, pharmacare and real conciliation with Indigenous people.
The Green Party plan to transition fossil fuel workers includes:
- Investing in retraining and apprenticeship programs to refocus the skills of industrial trade workers for jobs in the renewable energy sector.
- Start a massive cleanup of “orphaned” oil wells; some of which can be transformed to produce geothermal energy.
- Create a national program to retrofit all buildings to optimum energy efficiency.
- Establish a transition framework to factor in the unique resources and circumstances of each province.
- Form partnerships with Indigenous people to ramp up renewable energy development in First Nations communities and on Indigenous lands.