An unfulfilled climate change promise from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sparked a call for action from several community members in Penticton on Saturday (March 12).
The billing of a “Just Transition Act” was among the promises made by Trudeau ahead of the 2019 Canadian federal election.
The act has yet to come to fruition more than three years later, much to the chagrin of those concerned about climate change on Saturday in front of Penticton’s Service Canada building on 386 Ellis Street.
“We need a transition to a cleaner economy that needs jobs for those people that are losing it,” said South Okanagan — West Kootenay MP Richard Cannings.
“One of the first things I did when I got to Ottawa last fall was meet with the minister and ask, ‘Where is this act’?”
The act calls for a transition away from fossil fuels and towards a clean, green economy.
“There are so many things the government has to do in a big way,” Cannings stated during the rally.
“They have to act boldly.”
The MP was joined by the leaders of First Things First, an Okanagan-based organization dedicated to encouraging the public and all levels of government to take action on climate change.
Saturday afternoon’s rally was conducted outside of Penticton’s Service Canada building for the purpose of showcasing the place where people could one day be looking for green jobs.
“We’ve seen what the government can do when they’re forced to act,” Cannings added.
“When they’re forced to act around COVID and around the crisis that we’re seeing in Ukraine…this is what we have to be seized with here, that bold action.”
One of First Things First’s primary goals is to “inform Okanagan communities about the consequences of climate change.”
That, combined with Trudeau’s unfulfilled promise in 2019, inspired Saturday’s rally.
“We’re one of the only countries in the world that has everything we need to make a transition and yet, we’re not really acting on it,” Cannings said.