For Immediate Release
Statement On The Passing Of The NDP Leap Resolution
We are heartened by the news that the New Democratic Party of Canada has passed a resolution to “recognize and support” The Leap Manifesto as a “statement of principles that is in line with the aspirations, history, and values of the party.” The party did not adopt The Leap Manifesto: it has started a process of debating it in electoral districts across the country.
The Leap Manifesto: A Call for a Canada Based on Caring for the Earth and One Another is a plan for how Canada can transition off fossil fuels in ways that change our country for the better. It was crafted in partnership with leaders from Canada’s labour, Indigenous rights, social and food justice, environmental, and faith-based movements and endorsed by over 200 organizations and 35,000 signatories across the country.
The NDP resolution was passed at a convention in Alberta. It was the result of a difficult debate underscored by very real fears and anxieties after 75,000 workers have been laid off by the oil and gas industry since the oil price crash. The Leap Manifesto is a roadmap to create a massive number of jobs in low-carbon sectors and the next renewable economy:
We want a universal program to build energy efficient homes, and retrofit existing housing, ensuring that the lowest income communities and neighbourhoods will benefit first and receive job training and opportunities that reduce poverty over the long term. We want training and other resources for workers in carbon-intensive jobs, ensuring they are fully able to take part in the clean energy economy. This transition should involve the democratic participation of workers themselves.
– The Leap Manifesto
We released The Leap Manifesto during the last federal election in the hope that it would encourage all parties to take bolder positions on the social and economic benefits of Canada’s transition to clean energy.
We have been encouraged by the results, from endorsements by the federal and Quebec Green Party and Quebec Solidaire at the launch in September, to the Liberals’ recent moves to advance several of the key demands, including:
- budget investments in transit and other green infrastructure, and more funding for low-carbon sectors like the arts;
- a pledge to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
- the commitment that 2015 would be the last first-past-the-post election in Canada;
- the upcoming pilot project to test the implementation of a universal basic annual income.
These are first steps, but all of these measures fall far short of the leap the country needs. We do not yet have emission reduction plans that are in line with the temperature targets the Trudeau government championed in the Paris Accord. We continue to allow our country to be divided over ugly pipeline battles — the infrastructure of the past — rather than moving as rapidly as possible to a fully renewable economy, with all the good jobs that would go along with it. First Nations communities continue to be confronted with high-risk and polluting infrastructure projects on their land, without their consent.
With the new budget the government has reneged on its campaign promise to phase out fossil fuel subsidies. And they recently signed the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, the first step towards implementing a trade deal that would open Canada’s government to legal challenges from corporations threatened by climate action.
Despite making strides in welcoming refugees fleeing war in Syria, we are alarmed by the federal government’s continued practice of draconian detentions and deportation of migrants. And though there is much political talk of “reconciliation” with First Nations, Indigenous nations still face scandalous inequities and lack of recognition of their rights.
The Leap Manifesto is and will always be a non-partisan project, with supporters from every political party, and some who support none. We will continue to build a coalition broad and strong enough to see the document’s bold vision become a political reality in Canada.
– Avi Lewis, Naomi Klein, Bianca Mugyenyi, Katie McKenna & Martin Lukacs
The Leap Manifesto Organizing Team
From fossil fuel divestment to the proliferation of renewable energy co-operatives, the global climate justice movement is growing fast. Moreover, a great many people struggling for changes that can help drive down global emissions—whether for free public transit in Brazil, or an end to public sector cuts in Greece, or a basic income in Spain or clean air in China—do not necessarily identify themselves as “climate activists.”
The fierce commitment behind many of these movements is thrilling to behold. And it’s happening just in time. Climate scientists have told us that this is the crucial decade: our last, best chance to get our emissions under control, and to decisively change course as a planetary civilization.
At The Leap, our premise is that achieving such a change requires fundamentally changing our economic and political systems. And as Naomi argues in This Changes Everything, the realization that we are participants in a battle between capitalism and the climate is one that should ultimately inspire hope, since a great many people—fighting inequality, austerity, institutionalized racism, and exploitative labor conditions—already know that the dominant economic model needs changing. Climate change can be the catalyst for the deep system change so many of us know is needed—and the science puts us on a firm and unyielding deadline.