Day Two

Friday, November 25

9:00am-10:00am Plenary Panel - Leadership for a Green Economy


  • Irene Lanzinger, President, BC Federation of Labour
  • Dave Isaac, Owner, WDusk
  • Merran Smith, Executive Director, Clean Energy Canada
  • Tom Syer, Director of Government Affairs, Tech Resources
  • Geoff Dembicki, Journalist

Readings: Trump Has Declared Climate War. But My Generation Will Win. By Geoff Dembicki | Nov 15, 2016 | New York Times

 10:30am-11:45am Concurrent Learning Sessions

 Session 6: The High Road to a Low Carbon Economy in California, Ontario and Alberta

A recent UC Berkeley study found that California’s central climate policy provided the impetus to create hundreds of thousands of good, green jobs. California’s renewable energy sector has been built primarily by the building trades unions, so the jobs have been good quality jobs—jobs that support skilled workers and compensate them with family-supporting wages and benefits.

In the coming years the province of Ontario intends to make highly-efficient and low-carbon heating, cooling, and water-heating systems, high-performance windows, rooftop solar panels, and similar low-carbon technologies the new normal across the province’s 5.3 million homes. It will also invest in worker training so that qualified, certified technicians and installers are able meet these new standards. The session will explore how provincial and state climate policy can create green jobs.

Ramping up investment in Alberta’s renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors will create more than enough job opportunities to absorb workers from the coal generation industry into Alberta’s economy.

If properly supported now, Alberta’s transition to a sustainable electricity grid will create net job growth even as coal-fired power plants shut down. With increasing anxiety in North America around job security, this report offers solid numbers to show new renewable energy jobs have the potential to contribute significantly to the economy.

Readings: Job Growth in Clean Energy: Employment in Alberta’s Renewables and Energy Efficiency Sector  Nov 15, 2016 | Blue Green Canada with support from the Alberta Federation of Labour

Session 7: Rural and Coastal BC

From unemployment to declining fish populations, to mountain pine beetles and wildfires, rural and coastal communities are already experiencing the economic and environmental effects of climate change. This session will address some of the opportunities to build resilient communities that provide employment and reduce GHG emissions at the same time.

Readings:  The State of BC Coastal Communities 2016 Allison Stocks | Sept, 2016 | T Buck Suzuki Foundation

Session 8: Community-owned Green Energy Use and Generation

Community-owned renewable energy generation is an important way to address economic equity for Indigenous/First Nations communities, rural communities, and low-income groups. Small scale renewable power presents an opportunity to lower power bills, and even generate profit by selling excess energy back to the grid or to nearby buildings. Learn about some exciting projects and new initiatives being developed.

Session 9: Public Transportation

Taking steps to reduce fossil fuel consumption and carbon pollution are ways of enhancing the creation of good local jobs that people can feel proud of. Studies show that improving public transit is a better job creator than building new and wider roads or fossil fuel infrastructure. The BC Treasury Board estimates that a $1 million transit expenditure creates 21.4 jobs in BC, compared to 7.5 jobs for the same automotive expense and only 4.5 jobs in oil and gas. Learn more about the opportunities to build and fund public transportation.

  • Eric Doherty, RPP MCIP
  • David Black, President, MoveUP

Readings: Federal government plans to use ‘climate lens’ for infrastructure funding decisions | Eric Doherty | Ricochet | December 2016

Session 10: Climate Bargaining: Greening the Workplace through Collective Bargaining – Presented by Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Respond to Climate Change

What are the opportunities for climate action in collective bargaining? What resources are already available? The Adapting Canadian Work (ACW) to respond to Climate Change research program has compiled more than 150 “greening” clauses from Canadian, UK, US and Australian collective agreements, and housed them in a publicly accessible database. This session has two goals: first, to explore the formal and informal ways that session participants are already including ‘climate bargaining’ in their work and workplaces.  Second, to assist union representatives with strategies to advance environmental issues in collective bargaining. Climate Bargaining will also benefit any worker whose workplace includes a Health and Safety Committee.

  • Carla Lipsig-Mummé, PhD. Professor, Work and Labour Studies, York University Lead Investigator, Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Respond to Climate Change

12:00pm-1:00pm LUNCH & Special Presentation: One Million Climate Jobs Campaign

Hosted by Irene Lanzinger, President, BC Federation of Labour

Session 11: Green Cities – Local Leadership for Climate Jobs

Increasingly, municipalities are leading the way on reducing GHG emissions. Through building by-laws, land use and zoning, transportation, and water policies, cities are leading the transition to a low carbon economy. This session will hear from several Metro Vancouver municipalities on how local leadership is growing the green economy and putting people to work. 

  • Andrea Reimer, Councillor, City of Vancouver
    • Presentation (PDF)
  • Craig Keating, Councillor, City of North Vancouver

Session 12: Campaigning for Success

During the 2015 Canadian election, the highly visible Canadian Veterans’ Anyone but Conservative Campaign focused on the government’s deplorable treatment of veterans. Post-election, the new government has made significant promises, including the re-opening of 9 closed Veterans Affairs offices and increased benefits for veterans.

Learn how that campaign reached the hearts and minds of voters and how you too can develop campaign strategies and craft successful messages.

  • Harvey McKinnon, Author and Principal, Harvey McKinnon & Associates

Session 13: Made in BC – Policy Solutions for a Low Carbon Economy

Both the provincial and federal governments have developed climate plans to lower GHG emissions and encourage job growth. Are these plans good enough? What does the recent unexpected result of the US election mean for BC? This session will discuss what a made-in-BC policy framework for climate and jobs could look like in the transition to low-carbon economy.

  • Caitlyn Vernon, Campaigns Director, Sierra Club of BC
  • Irene Lanzinger, President, BC Federation of Labour
  • Jessica McIlroy, Executive Director, BC Sustainable Energy Association

Session 14: Climate, Jobs and Food Security

As the second largest manufacturing industry in BC, the food production sector is a significant contributor to the economy. Food security is one of the most significant threats posed by climate change. How can BC ensure sustainable food-systems for residents that also provide good jobs for growers and producers? Join the discussion.


Session 15: Green Training for the Workplace – Presented by Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Respond to Climate Change

Adapting Canadian Workplace’s Green Education and Training program aims to train individuals in environmental literacy, work design, workplace change and environmental responsibility. ACW will present resource materials gathered in English and French from Canada, US, UK and Australia, and will show how they have been and can be used. The session will also invite brainstorming on advancing green training broadly. Participants will be better prepared to develop, lead and implement green plans in their workplaces.

2:30pm-3:00pm Plenary Conference Guest: Jonathan Wilkinson, MP & Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of the Environment

3:00pm-4:00pm Closing Plenary - Call to Action


  • Stephanie Smith, President, BC Government and Service Employees Union
  • Lisa Matthaus, Provincial Lead, Organizing for Change
  • Phillip Legge, Chair, Board of Directors, Community Savings Credit Union


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