Unifor members representing a diverse array of economic sectors gathered in Port Elgin June 23–25 for the National Environment Conference.
Discussions focused on just transitions for workers displaced by the economy’s shift away from carbon. A panel of speakers reviewed local, national, and international examples of transition strategies and examined how the labour movement can advocate for the best programs.
On Saturday afternoon, Ontario Minister for the Environment and Climate Change Glen Murray addressed delegates about the province’s cap and trade program. Murray encouraged members everywhere to keep the pressure on governments to make climate change a top priority.
Alberta’s Minister of Environment and Parks and former Unifor member Shannon Phillips addressed the conference by pre-recorded video. Phillips reviewed her government’s Climate Leadership Plan, which caps GHG emissions from the Oilsands, ends industrial coal pollution, puts a price on carbon, and makes ambitious investments in renewable energy.
On the final day, Unifor Health, Safety and the Environment Director Sari Sairanen emphasized Unifor’s upcoming Canadian Council and the Canadian Labour Congress’ task force as opportunities to broaden the discussion and influence national priorities.
“Our union is committed to leading the struggle to stop climate change while protecting workers and communities in transition,” said Sairanen.