Fitting the workforce for a green economy

Fitting the workforce for a green economy

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May is making her pitch to struggling oil, gas and coal workers who fear what an environmental-focused government could mean for them.

May unveiled her plan for the workers this week, promising jobs and stable futures for anyone in the natural resource sectors she plans to phase out if elected. 

“We want to make sure that the workers who are currently in the fossil fuel sector are able to see themselves and know they’ll have the supports for upskilling where necessary,” she told The House. 

“We’re not going to leave any part of Canada behind.”

May pointed to jobs in construction and engineering that would come about with her plan to retrofit every building in Canada in the coming decade.

“It’s a lot of jobs,” she said. 

But what happens to those jobs after the work concludes isn’t clear. 

Along with those questions, there are also jurisdictional issues, as the federal government would have to negotiate with provinces for the authority to renovate all buildings.

May said in a war-time situation — which is what she considers the climate crisis — the feds could step in. How much would that cost? It’s unclear, but May said the Parliamentary Budget Officer is costing her platform. 

She says she’s ready for the challenge and focused on the goal.

“We call it ‘mission possible’ not ‘mission easy.’ The fact that this is theoretically, physically possible for the planet and for governments around the world to hold [the earth’s temperature] to 1.5 degrees Celsius is very good news indeed.”

After a surging Green Party announces its plan to help oil and gas workers adapt to a renewable economy, we ask Green Party leader Elizabeth May how she’s preparing for what promises to be her toughest election fight. 10:14

Fake news preys on emotions, expert warns

(Shutterstock / LP2 Studio)

Beware of things you see online that make you emotional, one media expert warns ahead of the fall election. 

Taylor Owen, a professor at McGill University and the co-creator of the Digital Democracy Project, says fake news often preys on feelings like anger and fear.

“The most powerful tool that people trying to influence us during the election have is the ability to play on our emotional biases,” he told The House. 

In an era where disinformation is readily available and cleverly disguised, Owen cautions people to take a step back when they see inflammatory content.

“The primary thing we as voters need to do is whenever we see a piece of content that makes us particularly angry or frustrates us, or makes us happy and confirms something we think about the world, we need to question who wants to make us think like that.” 

After releasing the first of a series of reports on the manipulation of voters in this year’s election, McGill Professor Taylor Owen says Canada’s journalists and politicians have some work to if they want to address what truly concerns Canadians. 8:06

Foreign actors have attempted to influence several votes the last few years, including the U.S. presidential election and the Brexit vote in the U.K.

Owen’s big fear is that those lessons are being learned and implemented by groups on Canadian soil as well. 

“My concern is that domestic actors have learned the lessons that we’ve now documented that the Russian government has done in the U.S. election, in the midterms, and they are using the exact same tools and tactics that are provided by these platforms to try to seek to divide us.”

How to deal with handguns

Sporting goods store owner Wes Winkel shows parts of a handgun that can be replicated or modified to make a firearm untraceable. (Mia Sheldon/CBC)

The Liberals have been studying a handgun ban for a year, but with an election approaching what happens now? 

The two opposition parties fall on different sides of the issue, with the Conservatives saying a ban would punish law-abiding gun owners and the NDP saying cities should have had that power a long time ago. 

Minister Bill Blair, the Liberals’ point man on gun control, says more measures must be taken to choke the supply and demand for illegal firearms, but he won’t commit to a handgun ban despite renewed pressure to impose one.

Toronto-area MP Adam Vaughn hinted the issue might become part of the campaign, as his party seeks national approval before making a firm commitment.

“I think we’ll see it in the platform. I think we’ll prosecute the argument with Canadians through an election, we’ll get a mandate to act, and you’ll see that as part of a comprehensive approach,” he told The House.

But the NDP are concerned that the Liberals are taking so long to implement changes, says candidate Andrew Cash. 

And while the Conservatives agree gun violence must be stopped, they disagree on the methods.   

“There’s no evidence … to show that this is going to work,” MP Michelle Rempel said.

After Canada’s largest city sees 16 shootings in 6 days, in conversation with NDP candidate Andrew Cash and Conservative MP Michelle Rempel, Liberal MP Adam Vaughan says the mayor may get what he wants in the upcoming Liberal platform. 9:03

G7 still viable, despite some drama, former sherpa says

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the G7 Summit in Quebec on June 8, 2018. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

Canada’s former G7 sherpa says no one wants to abandon the work done at the summit, despite tensions with the Americans.

France is hosting the next meeting at the end of the month, after a testy ending to the last G7 meeting in Canada last year — where U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted insults at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from his plane after departing. 

After disagreements on the environment, the group almost disbanded without a formal joint communique. 

The summit in France will be focusing on many of the same issues discussed in Charlevoix, Que., last year, Senator — and former G7 sherpa — Peter Boehm says.

Gender equality, electoral interference, labour standards and artificial intelligence will all be on the agenda. 

With France preparing to host the G7 later this month, former Harper and Trudeau G7 “sherpa” Senator Peter Boehm says there are lessons to be learned from the U.S. President’s behaviour at last year’s summit in Quebec. 8:16

Canada and France have like-minded leaders and agendas, which makes the baton-passing relatively painless, Boehm said. But that hasn’t been the case every year.

Russia was kicked out of the group a few years ago and Trump has called for its status — and the G8 — to be reinstated. Several summits have concluded with disagreements leading to no communique as well.

Despite the drama, Boehm says the G7 is still in good shape. 

“If it was not to any one leaders’ liking they probably would have canned it by now.”

But his advice for the host country is not to raise high expectations for a broad consensus. 

“I think the the goal is never to expect too much, but always to ensure that you’ve got enough there that is tangible.” 

The work that has been accomplished at the summit is still enough to entice the more difficult leaders back each year.

“No one really wants to abandon that and neither do the Americans,” Boehm said.