Petition: Broadbent Institute must back Green New Deal

The Broadbent Institute exercises a huge amount of influence over the NDP in particular and progressive forces in Canada in general.

The Broadbent Institute depends on many individual donors. If enough people ask, they’ll have to listen.

Unfortunately, the Institute is not using this influence to work for a planet that can sustain human life. At the Progress Summit, its marquee annual conference (March 27-29), there is only one mention of climate in three days of programming… in a speaker’s biography. The only mention of the word “green” is – we’re not making this up – their featured speaker Edward Greenspon, the right-wing former editor of the Globe and Mail.

This needs to change.

If the Broadbent Institute wants to be a progressive leader, it must back a comprehensive Green New Deal that will phase out fossil fuels and create rich lives and meaningful work for everyone! (Courage has outlined what a Green New Deal in Canada could look like.)

Unlike a political party like the NDP, the Broadbent Institute doesn’t make decisions democratically. But they do depend on many individual and institutional donors. If enough people ask, they’ll have to listen.

To: Rick Smith, Executive Director, Broadbent Institute 

Dear Rick,

The Broadbent Institute has done a lot of great work, but your voice is missing on the most crucial issue of our time.

We’re writing to insist that you back a Green New Deal – a comprehensive climate transition plan that can keep global temperature increases under 1.5˚ and create political will to get it done, including, among other things:

• A transition to 100% renewable energy 
• Phasing out fossil fuel use (and production) over the next twelve years 
• Redistribution of wealth from the billionaire class to the majority, prioritizing the groups that have suffered the most under the current exploitative system 
• The creation of a million new jobs administered by the public sector and cooperatives 
• Respect for Indigenous sovereignty and their right to protect their territories

Specifically, we’re asking that you use the Institute’s public platforms to promote a Green New Deal, and advocate for this policy within the NDP.

We look forward to working together for a liveable planet and a bright future for all.


Tell Singh: NDP must run on a Green New Deal in 2019

Dear Jagmeet Singh,

Humanity faces a historic, existential challenge. Scientists say we have less than 12 years to reduce emissions by half, globally. Living in a country that has benefitted from greater per capita emissions than most of the world, we in Canada have an obligation to exceed that target and play a leadership role.

This isn’t about ideology. The laws of physics do not make political compromises.

It’s non-negotiable: we need to transform everything about the way we provide housing, transportation, and food. We have to stop extracting fossil fuels and break the stranglehold that industry has on our political system. And then we have to share our knowledge with everyone else.

The laws of physics do not make political compromises.

The right-wing political establishment, aligned with oil and gas interests along with  other extractive industries, will try to derail any such effort with racism and fear. That’s why we need to make sure the massive investments benefit the people first. Our ideas include a federal jobs guarantee, an expansion of Canada Post, free public transportation and a massive increase in green, non-market housing. (Read more of our proposal here.) The important thing is that we hit the targets science says we have to hit.

In the US, this frame – the Green New Deal – has already overcome tremendous odds to become a winning issue. Even Republicans support it. If you are looking for a popular policy framework that no Liberal campaign could copy, this is it.

Not only can the New Democratic Party win with a real transition plan; it has to.

We expect:

  • That the NDP create a credible plan to reduce Canada’s emissions by more than 50% by 2030, and base its next election campaign on it
  • That the plan link climate transition with the priorities of as many progressive social movements as possible, to achieve the broadest possible resonance
  • That the NDP bring representatives from social movements into its campaign decision-making in order to ensure broad mobilization

In short, we demand that you adopt a winning strategy, one that that will also ensure our survival.

With love and courage,