On Monday morning, the Just Recovery principles launched! People are ready for a #JustRecoveryforAll, a positive transformation of society that stems from COVID instigated reforms. According to EKOs research from earlier in May, 73% of Canadians are ready in fact! This bodes well for the change we need to see, to #BuildBackBetter, to address the inequalities that are currently embedded in our system and make choices that protect our long-term health and wellbeing.
Art by Corrina Keeling
Join Toronto350 for a teach-in to discuss the three phases “Respond, Recover, Rebuild,” the Just Recovery Principles and moving forward into a Green New Deal. Learn what we can do to support each other as we demand the changes we need to see! Sign up here: Winning a Just Recovery for Health, Community and Climate See the Facebook event here: Winning a Just Recovery
Hundreds of organizations across the country endorsed the principles, including...
- care-giving groups like Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment
- social justice groups like ACORN Canada and Disability Justice Network of Ontario
- communities of faith like Kairos: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Issues
- Indigenous groups like Indigenous Climate Action
- labour groups like CUPE 3903 and Toronto and York Region Labour Council
The endorsers spanned all ages, from youth movements such as Fridays for Future Toronto, Climate Justice Edmonton and OurTime Yellowknife to the older demographic such as For Our Grandchildren and included environmental groups big and small, from grassroots organizations like ClimateFast and Toronto350 to large national groups like David Suzuki Foundation and Environmental Defence Canada.
These diverse groups agree, as stated in Monday's press release, that "recovery efforts must support the transition to a more equitable, sustainable and diversified economy, and not entrench outdated economic and social systems that jeopardize the health and wellbeing of people, worsen the climate crisis, or perpetuate the exploitation or oppression of people." They are ready to use the principles both independently, to inform their efforts and collaboratively, to support each other. Some initiatives, like The Leap's From Pandemic to Prosperity and 350 Canada's Respond, Recover, Rebuild 3 phase plan, are already underway.
As Canadian Labour Congress President, Hassan Yussuff explained, “The choices we make now about how to recover from this pandemic will shape not only our health and economic future, but also the future of human life on this planet. We need public investments to help meet our commitment to limit global warming, by developing renewable energy, increasing energy efficiency, supporting struggling public transit systems and ensuring a just transition for workers and their communities. We must prioritize investing in things that create much needed good jobs.”
The Six Just Recovery Principles
- 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 labor 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 matters to all of us.
- Uphold Indigenous rights and work in partnership with Indigenous peoples. A Just Recovery must uphold Indigenous Rights and include the full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples, in line with the standard of free, prior, and informed consent.
Another good quote around the Just Recovery comes from Dylan Penner, Council of Canadians. He explains that “[t]he pandemic has exposed and entrenched the deep inequities of our existing system and left us with a pathway to leave these injustices behind. The 1% are looking to profit from this crisis, and a just recovery will protect the rest of us by addressing the interconnected crises we face, including the climate emergency. We need a just recovery for communities that ends these injustices by laying the foundations for a Green New Deal.”
We see, with the responses to COVID, that wide-scale change for the sake of health and wellbeing is possible! We can support each other through the COVID crisis while we build a better world for all.
This is our chance to raise our voices so that those who push for a return to the old ways through austerity and preservation of privilege for the few, do not drown us out. This is our chance to stand up for a future that is healthier, greener, just, and care-based. Together we are most definitely stronger.
Sign up for our teach-in here: Winning a Just Recovery for Health, Community and Climate