About 30 people gathered in Chilliwack Saturday pushing for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to fulfill his promise to help workers get the training they need to transition to a net-zero economy.
Organized by Chilliwack Global Climate Strike, the Just Transition Climate Rally featured not just a protest outside Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl’s office, but also a mock press conference with the grand opening of the imaginary ‘Ministry of Just Transitions Job Centre.’
The local rally was part of a nationwide event in response to the Just Transition Act, which was introduced in 2019 to help move Canada away from fossil fuels and towards green energies, said organizer Cody Chance.
“One of the major concerns that people have when you talk about switching over from fossil fuels is what will all those people do for work,” Chance said.
The Just Transition Act was brought in to help people move into green jobs by way of funding and programs.
“That was promised back in 2019 and it hasn’t yet come to pass,” he said.
Now, the 30 folks at the Just Transition Climate Rally in Chilliwack, and others participating in similar rallies across Canada, want to get the act passed.
Here in Chilliwack, they lined the sidewalk outside Strahl’s office on Saturday, March 12 holding signs and chanting as motorists honked in support.
The group also took part in a street theatre performance where they held a mock press conference which took place three years in the future. The 2025 press conference was for the grand opening of the imaginary ‘Ministry of Just Transitions Job Centre’ in Chilliwack.
“We have job clerks here on hand today to get right onto the task of matching skilled workers with a wide range of meaningful, reparative occupations in our new, green economy,” said Suzy Coulter as part of the theatre performance.
The opening of the imaginary centre was meant to show MPs and the public the kinds of programs needed to transition off fossil fuels.
“Our government doesn’t have a clear vision for a Just Transition so we’re bringing our vision to them,” reads the event description on the Council of Canadians website.
“Wouldn’t this be nice. It would be nice today if this was happening,” said DJ Pohl. “What we would actually be seeing is fully funded, appropriate investments into a green economy that leaves no one behind. We have a long way to go.”
People can find more info and sign a petition at canadians.org.
Strahl was aware of the event but was unable to attend.