Canada’s use and export of fossil fuels contributes disproportionately to the costs and damages caused by GHG emissions. Extracting and exporting resources has made the country wealthy. At the same time, countries that have benefited the least from extractive economies are experiencing impacts, like food insecurity and forced migration, first and most. Canada needs to do its fair share to redress both social and ecological harms, contributing to an equitable and just transition globally.
Canada continues to lose more critical land, freshwater and oceanic habitats than it conserves every year. Habitat loss problematically increases ecosystem GHG emissions through the release of ecosystem carbon, reductions in the carbon storage capacity of our landscapes, and the loss of critical climate adaptation and resilience services. Canada’s response to the biodiversity crisis is being significantly limited by these feedback loops. These impacts are also limiting Canada's ability to leverage nature-based solutions to help meet our climate change adaptation and mitigation goals.
At the same time, ongoing colonialism continues to override Indigenous rights and land stewardship. We see this evidenced across the country as Indigenous land-defenders stand on the frontlines, confronting destructive projects that are backed by industry and government. Ongoing environmental racism also shows in high pollution rates, as seen in Grassy Narrows and Canada’s Chemical Valley.
Systems that perpetuate harm need to be called out and ended at the same time investments in programs like Indigenous Land Guardians, projects like those highlighted in Power to the People and support for non-market mechanisms that ensure biodiversity protection increase. As noted in the Indigenous Leadership Initiative blogpost, UN Biodiversity Report Calls for Greater Role for Indigenous Peoples, “If Canada places Indigenous-led conservation at the core of its biodiversity approach, we can sustain even more lands and waters.” 
The rate of COVID-19 on First Nations reserves is 40 per cent higher than in the general Canadian population. Indigenous people living in urban areas have been similarly hard-hit. The crisis represents another in a long series of failures of the Canadian state to achieve justice and reconciliation with first peoples. For an effective recovery, Canada must renew its commitment to upholding Indigenous sovereignty, laws, values, customs and traditions by investing in Indigenous communities. Collaboration and partnership will be required to develop and enact solutions that adequately address the needs of Indigenous communities.
Here is a version of our budget submission part 4 of 7, with some simple calls to action that you can take added in.
Art by Corrina Keeling for justrecoveryforall.caRead more
When the Truth and Reconciliation report was released in 2015, many saw it as a chance to finally acknowledge the past and move forward together in a harmonious relationship with the Indigenous peoples on whose land we live and work. Fast forward to five years later and while the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten peoples’ health and disrupt their lives, industry is pushing ahead with projects that disregard Indigenous rights, including the right to Free, Informed and Prior Consent. From east coast to west coast, we continue to see racist harassment and violence directed against Indigenous people, often in the name of land and resource theft. Government is complicit in these ongoing acts of colonial violence whether they support industry outright or stand aside and do nothing. Both stances are an abdication of duty. They are the continuation of a genocidal Canadian protocol that puts profits above the health and wellbeing of Indigenous communities, valuing industrial projects more than human rights.
Organizations all across the country, including Toronto350, want to prompt changes coming out of the pandemic that confront inequality and systemic racism, to ensure safety and health, and to seize the window of opportunity we have now, to turn the corner away from harmful practices that destroy our climate and the living world around us.
Toronto350’s Just Recovery teachin presents a way that we can win this safer, greener and healthier future. Here is a recording! Toronto350 Teach-in. There are also some things listed near the end of the blog, that we can do now.
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 KeelingRead more
News about our government’s actions during COVID-19, in relation to a potential oil and gas bail-out, is coming in fast! Toronto350 members support a just recovery where funds go directly to workers, people and communities, helping create a greener, healthier future. This post is the first in a series of responses. Also, see the end of the blog for a recap of what’s happened provincially and federally so far.
How do we halt fossil fuel projects and fight for Indigenous rights and a Just Transition?
Canada’s current and proposed fossil fuel projects will be catastrophic for Turtle Island and the global climate. They violate Indigenous rights and perpetuate ongoing colonial violence. They prevent the transition to a better, more equitable and caring world.
Learn, discuss and take action to stop the Teck Frontier mine (the largest ever tar sands project, if approved), the Coastal GasLink and Trans Mountain pipelines, the Vista Coal Project, and more. It is imperative that we speak out against these projects before they become a reality.
Date & Time: Monday, February 3, 7-9:30
Place: Friend’s House, 60 Lowther Avenue
Register Here: Tar Sands Expansion: The Ticking Carbon Bomb
On September 27th, Friday’s For Future Toronto (F4FTO) spearheaded the Global Climate strike which drew crowds of 50,000+ to Queen’s Park. Now, the F4FTO youth organizers for Climate Strikes Canada are planning their next global climate strike!
The strike will take place on Black Friday, November 29th, the Friday before the UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid, Spain. The rally will be at Queen’s Park at 11:30 with the March at 12 noon. Find the facebook event listing at Global Strike for Climate Justice.
written by Isabella, Climate Striker and member of Fridays for Future Toronto.
For the first time in history, people around the world are faced, with varying levels, the same threat regardless of gender, race, age, socio-economic status, religion or culture. From September 20-27, the climate crisis will be put front-stage internationally as millions of climate justice supporters rally, strike and support.