TORONTO – At an “Earth to May Day” press conference, environmental activists, and union and Indigenous leaders joined to sound the ‘May Day’ alarm on Ford’s countless attacks on the environment.
“Doug Ford has deepened environmental racism, opened the doors to unfettered development, and ignored countless bids for a just transition”, said Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) President Patty Coates. She appealed to the public to vote Ford out on June 2 and join the province-wide day of action on May 1. Coates added, “until we eject Ford on election day, our province’s environmental survival hangs in the balance.”
Grassy Narrows Chief, Randy Fobister, highlighted the impact Ford’s government has had on their land, that is already heavily polluted without due compensation. “Since Ford came to power we have seen an explosion of mining claims on our Territory that have been staked against our will… These threaten to deepen our ongoing mercury crisis for which we have never been fairly compensated.”
Representing the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), Denise Hampden said that Doug Ford has exacerbated environmental racism towards BIPOC workers and communities, and that the CBTU will not let these betrayals go unchallenged. “[Ford’s] policies during a global pandemic and recent pork barrel announcements do nothing to help the working class and do everything to serve the predatory capitalist class.”
Seth Klein, Climate Emergency Unit Team Lead, said that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) gives us a very short window of time to reverse course. “We face a climate emergency… The path to victory in this task of our lives is narrow, and given that Ontario produces 22% of the GHGs in Canada (second only to Alberta), there is no path to success without Ontario and its government doing its part.”
Jan Simpson, National President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) spoke of the union’s “Delivering Community Power” initiative to create green, unionized jobs. “Protecting the environment and saving the planet can co-exist with a healthy economy and good jobs for everyone. It’s not one or the other… People are looking to public institutions for solutions that care for our planet, safeguard workers and their families, keep seniors, people with disabilities, and others safe, respect Indigenous people, and defend public services,” said Simpson.
“Ford is not our friend, and workers and the public will not be fooled by his bribes for votes. Our province deserves better; workers deserve more,” said Coates.
For more information, please contact:
Melissa Palermo, Director of Communications
Ontario Federation of Labour
firstname.lastname@example.org l 416-894-3456