Free Public Transit is Key to a Green New Deal

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1913 ... October 21, 2019

Free Public Transit is Key to a Green New Deal: Free Transit for Toronto

Herman Rosenfeld

One of the few identifiable issues raised in the Canadian election campaign so far is the need to address the climate crisis. The concept of a Green New Deal has been raised by the left and environmental movements across the continent, in Canada through Greenpeace’s Pact for a Green New Deal and obliquely through the NDP ("A New Deal for Climate Action and Good Jobs"), and the Greens ("Green Climate Action Plan"). Addressing the climate emergency has become a theme for all the main parties, even in the cynical and flawed manner of Justin Trudeau and Andrew Scheer.

The Green New Deal, of course, in all of its serious forms, is geared toward tying together a number of transformative elements -- some more radical than others, depending on the political framework of those who are raising it. Common elements include moving off of fossil fuels, reducing the wasteful production of useless and harmful commodities (sometimes identified by more... radical eco-socialists with the system of private capital ownership and competition and accumulation) and changing fundamental components of production, consumption, public services and daily life. A central element is transforming jobs across the economy and providing new jobs for workers -- the so-called "just transition" to carbon-free living and toward zero growth.

The comparison with the original New Deal (1933 -- 1936) of the US Democratic Party administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) in the 1930s is meant to be a kind of modern version of the moderately transformative effort to end the depression, led by forward-thinking capitalists and the intellectuals attached to them, and driven by pressure from social movements bubbling up from below (such as industrial union organizing), led by communists and social democrats.

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