As governments prepare recovery plans amidst the COVID-19 crisis, an informal alliance of over 150 civil society groups including Climate Justice Victoria, representing collective memberships of millions in Canada, are demanding these plans move us toward a more equitable and sustainable future, with the release, today, of six Principles for a Just Recovery.
United in support of the Principles, endorsing organizations span sectors and communities across the country, including the Canadian Labour Congress, Indigenous Climate Action, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec and the Canadian Health Coalition.
Their message for governments: recovery efforts must support the transition to a more equitable, sustainable and diversified economy, and not worsen the climate crisis, entrench outdated economic and social systems that jeopardize the health and wellbeing of people, or perpetuate the exploitation or oppression of people.
The COVID crisis has revealed the primary importance of the health and safety of all people, as a human rights and collective wellbeing issue. Relief efforts so far have shown that things we’ve been told aren’t possible, actually are once we prioritize them.
“Indigenous rights and sovereignty must be the foundation upon which every aspect of Just Recovery is built. Throughout the recovery process, Indigenous Peoples must be at the table, as should voices from all structurally oppressed communities,” said Lindsey Bacigal of Indigenous Climate Action.
The Principles, in brief, demand that recovery plans:
1. Put people’s health and wellbeing first, no exceptions.
2. Strengthen the social safety net and provide relief directly to people.
3. Prioritize the needs of workers and communities.
4. Build resilience to prevent future crises.
5. Build solidarity and equity across communities, generations, and borders
6. Uphold Indigenous Rights and Work in Partnership with Indigenous Peoples.
Endorsing groups will pursue specific policy recommendations, aligned with the Principles.
“It’s going to take a massive and diverse community of voices to encourage governments to be bold in the face of corporate lobbies, and to put people and communities first,” explained Catherine Abreu of Climate Action Network Canada.
Nearly three-quarters (73%) of Canadians asked by EKOS Research earlier this month supported a “broad transformation of our society” resulting from COVID-inspired reformations.
Today’s launch marks the beginning of collaborative efforts by participating organizations to urge all levels of government to deliver a transformational Just Recovery for all people. Find out more at justrecoveryforall.ca.
Please use the hashtags #JustRecoveryForAll and #BuildBackBetter when spreading the word on social media.