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November 26, 2019

From flooding in the north to forest fires in the west, climate change is undeniable and became the focus of discussion this morning at the Ontario Federation of Labour 15th Biennial Convention.

John Cartwright, President of the Toronto York Region Labour Council

John Cartwright, President of the Toronto York Region Labour Council, moderated the session and provided valuable insight for delegates on how the climate change has risen to prominence as a top issue for labour.

The Labour Education Centre’s Karen Charnow Lior provided an overview of the largest global sources of greenhouse gases and a historical context of increasing temperatures in Canada. Steve Shallhorn, Executive Director of the Labour Education Centre detailed many of the tools and workshops they provide through their Working Green Program. 

“What can labour do to help? Speak up and speak out. Be part of the fight for change and ensure workers are not left behind,” said Shallhorn.

Sol Mamakwa, NDP MPP for Kiiwetinoong

NDP MPP Sol Mamakwa provided an update on how climate change affects his communities, and what they are doing to adapt. He also explained how Ontario’s Official Opposition is holding the Ford government to account by pushing back against Ford’s regressive agenda.

Mamakwa also detailed how government neglect is affecting his community. “There are 60 first nations in my riding with boil water advisories. No community in our province should go without safe drinking water,” said Mamakwa.  

Cartwright ended by speaking about the journey in store for labour to push the issue of climate change to the top of the agenda.

COPE 343


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