With so many activities occurring on a sunny Saturday afternoon, the good crowd of people who participated in the recent Green Jobs BC forum in Gibsons reflected the general concern with climate change and employment.
Green Jobs BC is a joint effort of B.C.’s labour and environmental movements.
The intent is to develop a program that actually addresses the root causes of the climate change crisis while looking towards a full employment economy.
Our current federal government bets all on exporting dilbit through coastal waters, and the province prepares to sacrifice agriculture and clean water to wring out every last drop of natural gas, also for export. While these obsessions cause further damage and actually under-develop our economy, there is real work taking place that challenges the myth that you cannot have jobs and protect the planet.
The initial work presented at the Gibsons workshop identified four areas to be addressed — energy production, building retrofits, transportation alternatives and intelligent, value-added forestry practices. The local participants noted the agenda to date was somewhat urban-centred and discussed the need to include agriculture, fisheries and strengthened public services, particularly post-secondary education.
There is a brief post on the Sunshine Coast Labour Council Facebook page that looks at the event. To a great extent, the issue is not whether alternative directions exist and should be pursued, but rather that there is no political will in the governing parties.
For this reason it was gratifying that two B.C. MLAs, Nicholas Simons and George Heyman, both participated.
Paul Johnston, Roberts Creek
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