VANCOUVER, Jan. 20 /CNW/ - In an echo of Barack Obama's dramatic green
jobs surge, leading Canadians civil society groups with a combined membership
of over 850,000 people are calling for a massive Green Economy Action Fund to
be part of January's federal budget.
The proposal calls for federal investments and low-interest loans to
stimulate the green economy and catalyze provincial action. Dollars would flow
to retrofit buildings, ramp up renewable energy, expand public transit and
support clean-tech manufacturing.
"The Green Economy Action Fund can help Canada meet its environmental
responsibilities, position Canada as a leader in an emerging area of the
economy, and create good quality jobs," said Ken Neumann, National Director
for Canada of the United Steelworkers. "This could be an important part of an
overall strategy to help Canadians cope with today's financial and economic
"There is no reason for Canadians to lag behind our American neighbours"
said Tzeporah Berman, Executive Director of PowerUP Canada. "Barack Obama is
planning millions of green jobs. Why should Canadians be left behind?"
The unprecedented list of signatories supporting the Green Economy Action
Fund and calling for government to address global warming and the green
stimulus in the upcoming budget include: Canadian Association of 45Plus (CARP)
United Steelworkers, the National Union of Public and General Employees
(NUPGE), the Pembina Institute, Environmental Defence, ForestEthics and the
Forest Products Association of Canada. The proposal is also supported by well
known Canadian authors Dr Andrew Weaver and Dr Thomas Homer-Dixon.
"PowerUp Canada has advanced a clean economy stimulus package that is
intelligent, economically prudent and aligns Canada with leading countries
internationally that are engaging in meaningful economic stimulus through
innovative 'green' initiatives," said Ross Mayot, Vice President of Community
Development for CARP, Canada's Association for the 45+.
The group pointed to Barack Obama's stimulus package that includes plans
to double the production of renewable energy in the next 3 years, modernize
75% of federal buildings, upgrade 2 million homes and create manufacturing
jobs in clean-tech manufacturing. In addition to Barack Obama, the group
pointed to appeals by the United Nations for a global "Green New Deal" and
examples like Germany where the renewable energy sector has created a quarter
million jobs and is poised to become the country's largest employer. Two other
countries on the list are the United Kingdom where Gordon Brown has unleashed
an "army" of workers to insulate and retrofit the country's buildings and
Japan which has plans to create one million additional green manufacturing
"This should be a no-brainer," said Rick Smith of Environmental Defence.
"There are jobs just waiting to be created and businesses poised to grow.
Green stimulus will fight recession and global warming at the same time."
Advocates for the Fund are calling on Canadians to contact their MP in
support of green stimulus.
The detailed recommendations for the Green Economy Action Fund
United Nations "Green New Deal"
Barack Obama speech, January 8, 2009. "Dramatic Action"
For further information:
For further information: Tzeporah Berman, Executive Director PowerUP
Canada, (604) 313-4713; Ken Delaney, United Steelworkers, (416) 544-5952; Rick
Smith, Environmental Defense, (416) 670-9521