Communities To City & Toronto Hydro: "We Need Good Green Jobs Now"

TORONTO, June 4 /CNW/ - The Good Jobs for All Coalition is hosting a press conference at Toronto City Hall to launch the Green Jobs for All at Hydro campaign at 1.30pm on Monday, June 7, two days after World Environment Day.  The campaign calls on Toronto Hydro to expand its role to fill the new potential for green energy, including solar panels on public buildings across the city, while helping to create jobs for youth, new immigrants, and people of colour.

Press conference speakers include:

  • Nigel Barriffe, Rexdale resident, member of Communities Organizing for Responsible Development (CORD), and co-chair of the Green Economy for All committee of the Good Jobs for All Coalition.
  • Rosemarie Powell, member of the Jane Finch Green Jobs Coalition and lead representative for the Green Change Collaborative.
  • Chris Williamson, a pre-apprentice electrician who recently graduated from the Hammer Heads program.  A project of the Central Ontario Building Trades Council, the Hammer Heads program mentors, trains and places priority youth into trade apprenticeships , giving them a chance to move into decently-paid, meaningful careers.
  • Amanda Ehrke, a licensed electrician trained to install solar panels, a mother of two young children, and an International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 353 member.
  • John Camilleri, President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 1, which represents Toronto Hydro workers. 

The conference will be moderated by Carolyn Egan, president of the Steelworker Toronto Area Council.

The press conference will be in Committee Room 4, Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street W.

A demonstration solar panel will be on display at the press conference.  The launch will be attended by representatives from the 41 environmental, community groups, and unions affiliated with the Good Jobs for All Coalition, and high resolution photos of solar panel installations will be available.

"Rexdale has the highest jobless rate in Toronto," says Nigel Barriffe, Rexdale resident, member of Communities Organizing for Responsible Development (CORD), and co-chair of the Green Economy for All committee of the Good Jobs for All Coalition. "Creating good green jobs is the lynchpin that will turn our community around.  Toronto Hydro must work with us to create real green job-creation solutions now."

"Toronto Hydro can lead the way in greening our grid and providing hope and job opportunities to our youth." says Winnie Ng, co-chair of the Good Jobs for All Coalition.  "Our energy utility can tackle poverty by helping people secure jobs installing solar panels on our schools, hospitals, and community centres. It's win-win."

"The green energy boom is finally coming to Ontario, but the rewards must be reaped by all," says Carolyn Egan, from the Steelworker Toronto Area Council.  "We lost nearly 60,000 manufacturing jobs in Toronto over the past decade.  Toronto Hydro must work with us so we can together rebuild our manufacturing sector and revitalize our city."

Under the Green Energy and Green Economy Act 2009, renewable energy companies, utilities and homeowners can receive provincial subsidies - through the feed-in tariff program - provided they meet domestic content rules, which require 40 to 60% of the goods and services used originate from Ontario.

The Good Jobs for All Coalition is calling on Toronto Hydro to:

  • Plan for an aggressive expansion of Toronto Hydro's role in renewable energy generation in partnership with other public institutions, such as the city, school boards, colleges, universities and hospitals;
  • Make local procurement of green products a priority in all activities;
  • Use Toronto Hydro's buying power to attract green manufacturers to Toronto and/or assist existing manufacturers to retool; and
  • Work with local training organizations and Toronto's Social Development Office to ensure equitable access and inclusion of workers of colour and youth from marginalized communities in new job opportunities in the sector.

SOURCE Good Jobs For All Coalition

For further information: For further information:

Jessica Bell, communications

Good Jobs for All Coalition, 416 937 0076

Judy Vashti Persad, coordinator

Good Jobs for All Coalition

416 895 0754

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