A group of 150 non-profit and campaign organizations of Canada have launched a set of six principles for a just recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
“As we continue to respond to the COVID-19 health crisis and prepare to rebuild, organizations across Canada want governments to know that we cannot go back to the way things were,” the Just Recovery website states . “For years, we have witnessed the results of chronic underinvestment and inaction in the face of the ongoing, pre-existing crises of colonialism, human rights abuses, social inequity, ecological degradation, and climate change. Now, the COVID-19 crisis is forcing governments and civil society alike to reckon with the inadequacies and inequities of our systems.”
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The site adds: “This moment is a reminder that the status quo can and must be disrupted. We are standing on the threshold between the old world and the next and we must choose to build the future we want.”
The six principles call for a pandemic recovery that:
- Puts people’s health and well-being first, with no exceptions;
- Strengthens the social safety net and provides relief directly to people;
- Prioritizes the needs of workers and communities;
- Builds resilience to prevent future crises;
- Builds solidarity and equity across communities, generations, and borders;
- Upholds Indigenous rights and works in partnership with Indigenous peoples.
Participating organizations include dozens of climate, energy, and green transition organizations across the country.
“The huge collaborative effort that brought these principles to life over many weeks of rich, challenging discussions exemplifies the kind of action we expect of political leaders as we move through this crisis,” said  Climate Action Network-Canada Executive Director Catherine Abreu.
“It’s going to take a massive and diverse community of voices to encourage governments to be bold in the face of corporate lobbies, and to put people and communities first,” she added. But “we know this is a vision the majority of Canadians support, and millions of people are ready to take action.”
The news release this week that launched the site points to a recent Ekos Research survey in which 73% of Canadians said they supported a “broad transformation of our society” in response to the pandemic.
“We recognize the enormous challenge and responsibility facing governments,” said Leadnow campaigner Claire Gallagher. “We also see a critical opportunity for leaders to seize the courage required to lead us through this moment to a better world. We’ll be doing our part to ensure the people are behind them.”