The political ground is shifting

Call on Trudeau to pass the Just Transition Act he promised r1


Parliament is back in session today and it’s amazing to think about how much the political ground has shifted since MPs last gathered in Ottawa.

As you know, last week, immediately after taking office, President Biden cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline.1 He also suspended all new oil and gas drilling permits on federal land and returned the United States to the Paris Climate Accord.2 The Biden administration’s swift climate action highlighted the hypocrisy of Prime Minister Trudeau’s position. He’s still trying to call himself a climate leader while building pipelines and propping up a dying fossil fuel industry. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for Trudeau, who still hasn’t backed down on Keystone, to hold this ground and it’s critical that we keep pressing him to pick a side.3

In the coming weeks, we have a window of opportunity to make some real gains for people and the planet, so I’m sending a longer email than usual to sum up what’s in play right now.

Trudeau promised a Just Transition Act. We’re pushing him to deliver

It was disappointing to see Prime Minister Trudeau and his cabinet mourning the cancelation of the Keystone XL... pipeline. Instead of wasting their breath on a doomed pipeline, they should take action to support workers and communities. That’s why we’re taking action to call on Prime Minister Trudeau to deliver the Just Transition Act he promised in 2019. Sign the petition today.

During the 2019 election, Trudeau promised to introduce a Just Transition Act, “ensuring that workers have access to the training and support they need to succeed in the new clean economy.” But he’s barely mentioned it since.

Now that Keystone is cancelled, one thing is clear: the fossil fuel era is ending.4 Workers can’t keep waiting for help with the transition. They need action now. That’s why we launched the petition last week, calling on Trudeau to keep his promise to workers and legislate the Just Transition Act.

Bill C-12 goes to committee this week

In late November, the Liberals tabled Bill C-12, the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act. Naturally, it fell short of what science says we need. In its current form, C-12 doesn’t set an emissions target until 2030 and the targets it does set don’t have regulatory teeth. On top of that, the bill leaves the door open for Big Oil to delay action by participating in the government’s climate advisory body.

Thousands of people across the country signed our open letter to Environment Minister Wilkinson and other federal politicians, calling on them to make the proposed climate law as strong as possible.4 This week, C-12 heads to the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, where climate champions like MP Laurel Collins will try to make the kinds of amendments we’ve proposed. Of course, Conservative MPs will be there too, doing everything they can to water down the policy and secure a seat for Big Oil at the table.

We’ll keep you updated, throughout the process, on ways to take action by contacting committee members and keeping the pressure up.

Stopping the Trans Mountain pipeline

It’s unbelievable. We still don’t know how much money is going towards the Trans Mountain pipeline. The Trudeau government seems convinced that if they don’t talk about TMX, the public will just forget that our tax dollars were used to buy a pipeline in the midst of a climate emergency.

Things have never looked worse for Trans Mountain. At the end of 2020, two of Trudeau’s own federal agencies, the Parliamentary Budget Office and the Canada Energy Regulator, clearly stated that building the pipeline is out of line with meeting Canada’s climate commitments.5 Every opposition party, except for the Conservatives, opposes the project. Resistance at the pipeline construction sites in BC is ongoing. And, to top it off, the Trans Mountain crown corporation is now coming into conflict with municipal bylaws for tree removal in Burnaby.6

This year, we’ll keep up the pressure to call on our federal leaders to defund TMX once and for all.

As you can see, we’ve got our work cut out for us in the weeks ahead. If you’re ready to join us to fight for stronger climate policy and a just transition away from fossil fuels, you can take the first step now.

Sign the petition and call on Trudeau to deliver the Just Transition Act he promised back in 2019.



PS - You probably noticed last week that Canada’s mainstream media outlets took it as a given that everyone in the country was gutted by the cancellation of Keystone XL. That’s just not true. A majority of us know the climate emergency is an existential threat and we know countless Canadians shared our joy at the demise of a project that would have moved 830,000 barrels of tar sands oil per day. Help us make sure news outlets, and people across the country, hear our side of the story by submitting a letter to the editor of your local paper.


  1. The New Yorker: “Biden’s Cancellation of Keystone Pipeline Is a Landmark in the Climate Fight
  2. Reuters: “Biden administration pauses federal drilling program in climate push
  3. Globe and Mail: “Trudeau pledges to keep up fight for Keystone XL pipeline
  4. 350 Canada: “Tell federal leaders to be brave on climate / #StrengthenC12
  5. iPolitics: “Trans Mountain’s profitability depends on climate action, says budget watchdog”
  6. Burnaby Now “Trans Mountain seeks to bypass Burnaby bylaws for tree removal” is building a global climate movement. You can connect with us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and r38

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