Cleaning the environment and fighting climate change will help create good jobs in Canada, Unifor National President Jerry Dias told a Climate Summit of the Americas panel recently.
“Our long-run economic stability depends on building a sustainable relationship with nature,” Dias told a panel on Greening Transportation during the Summit.
“We need what nature provides: resources, space, land, air, and water. Especially in Canada, we understand the economic importance of our resources.”
Daniel Hoornweg from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology moderated the panel, which also included Matt Rodriquez, Secretary from the California Environmental Protection Agency, Josipa Petrunic, Executive Director and Chief Executive of the Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium and Patrick Nangle, President Chief Executive of Purolator Inc.
The Summit took place a few days after a massive Jobs, Justice and Climate march by unionists, including Unifor, environmentalists and activists through the streets of Toronto and featured speeches by actor and activist Jane Fonda and author Naomi Klein. A similar rally was also held in Vancouver.
Dias told the panel that Unifor is involved in every aspect of transportation, from building cars, planes and public transportation vehicles, to operating those vehicles to producing and distributing the fuels they use. Because of that, he said, Unifor must be part of any discussion about greening transportation.
“We are optimistic that with leadership, and a productive dialogue among all stakeholders including labour, we can make that transition in a way that strengthens the transportation economy, not weakens it,” Dias said.