Let’s re-imagine our communities and build back better
After more than a year of disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic, many people still feel they want to get back to “normal.” But “normal” means continued climate disruption and species extinction, growing inequalities, increased pollution and health risks and the possibility of further new disease outbreaks.
“Normal” wasn’t working for most people or the planet.
We can do better.
The funds that the government is investing to spur economic recovery are some of the largest of our lifetime. Let’s use this as an opportunity to reimagine our communities, economy and ourselves to create a sustainable, resilient, equitable future.
Investments in a green and just recovery
Over the past year, the federal government has made historic investments in addressing the climate and nature crises, alongside pandemic response.
This includes $15 billion announced with the government’s climate plan and $14.9 billion for transit infrastructure and active transportation.
According to the federal budget document, of $101.4 billion in new spending for 2021, $17.6 billion is to support a green pandemic recovery.
Follow-through will be key to ensuring these investments in climate solutions and nature deliver on their potential to set Canada on a path toward a green and just recovery. This is an opportunity we cannot miss.Ian Bruce, Acting Executive Director
Six principles for a just recovery
Along with hundreds of other organizations throughout Canada, we believe that as we rebuild from the pandemic, we have the opportunity to address the pre-existing crises of ecological degradation, climate change, colonialism, social inequity and human rights abuses by ensuring that all investments and initiatives for a COVID-19 recovery uphold the following principles for a just recovery for all:
- Put people’s health and well-being first. No exceptions
Health is a human right and is interdependent with the health and well-being of ecological systems.
- Strengthen the social safety net and provide relief directly to people
Focus relief efforts on people – particularly those who are structurally oppressed by existing systems.
- Prioritize the needs of workers and communities
Support must be distributed in a manner consistent with Indigenous sovereignty, a climate resilient economy and worker rights, including safe and fair labour standards and a right to unionize. Improved conditions for essential service workers must be maintained beyond this crisis.
- Build resilience to prevent future crises
We cannot recover from the current crisis by entrenching systems that will cause the next crisis.
- Build solidarity and equity across communities, generations, and borders
In a globalized world, what happens to one of us affects all of us.
- Uphold Indigenous Rights and work in partnership with Indigenous Peoples
A just recovery must uphold Indigenous rights and include full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples, in line with the standard of free, prior and informed consent.
Read David Suzuki's latest reflections on the recovery
Protecting the planet can prevent pandemics
To prevent pandemics, we must recognize our interconnectedness with nature and protect natural systems that make the planet habitable for humans.
Where are we with a green and just COVID recovery?
Last spring, when Canadians came together to call for a green and just recovery from COVID-19, few of us imagined we’d still be living under pandemic restrictions nearly a year later.
Senior Researcher and Analyst
Recommendations to government
Nature conservation should be central to Canada’s recovery from Covid-19
More than 230 organizations signed an appeal to the prime minister outlining why nature must be central to Canada’s COVID-19 recovery. Nature-positive measures can boost the economy, increase biodiversity, help address climate change and improve well-being.
Talking Transition: Shaping Canada’s Clean Power Pathways
The report captures opinions from 150 energy experts, and references recent summaries of attitudes from Canadians, on reaching zero carbon emissions by 2050. The results offer valuable insight into the perspectives of those stakeholders who are likely to play important roles in realizing a clean power future in Canada.
Green Strings: Principles and conditions for a green recovery from COVID-19 in Canada
We are at a historic turning point. The global COVID-19 health crisis has forced us to pursue recovery on a scale that will transform our economy and society, with lasting impacts on our ability to confront another urgent crisis—climate change.
From the media centre
Read our latest statements released to the media related to a green and just recovery.