The recent flood events in Toronto that have effected road and public transport, the summer heatwave, and ongoing fires in Northern Ontario and BC show that despite retorts from the Tory provincial government to erase Climate Change from government documents, Climate change needs to be addressed if we are to have a livable city. Addressing this means that we have to transition to a green and sustainable economy and one that prioritizes human needs and addresses the human costs of this transition. One of these costs is to help transition workers trained for the fossil fuel based industrial economy to retrain or provide benefits that aid them in a transition to an economy based on renewable energy and phasing out of fossil fuels.
Municipal Living Wage
This transition has to begin by meeting the economic and social needs of workers and the priority is to address the declining share of income in Etobicoke North and Ward 1. A Socialist Action resolution called for an increase in the living wage to help workers meet rising housing costs. I advocate and will mobilize for a living wage in Toronto of $20.00 per hour to help workers meet costs of living in Toronto. Any infrastructure work or other work done for the City by contactors should pay their workers at a starting living wage rate of $20.00 per hour.
Raise The Rates for Welfare and Disability
Workers are struggling to live in this city working long hours just to pay the rent but those on Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Supports Program have an even harder struggle given the recent cutr backs in the increase to social assistance rates. We need to demand that the City ask the province to roll back the cuts and implement a raise that actually would help low income on those on economic margins to live in the city and to prevent needless deaths due to homelessness. The City Council should call for OW and ODSP rates to $1500.00 for OW and $1850.00 for ODSP.
Good Jobs and Climate Justice & Green Transition.
The Doug Ford government had as one of its first acts cutting $ 100 million dollars to fix schools in need of energy retrofits and implementation of renewable technologies to address climate change such as solar panels on roofs. Socialist Action remains committed to investment in green infrastructure spending such as investments in energy retrofits in schools and other institutional infrastructure owned by the City Of Toronto. We need to invest in training for new and existing workers and Indigenous Peoples, People of Color, those on low income or precarious employment, and others who are historically marginalized to install energy saving devices and equipment. We need to implement the Good Jobs For all Charter for Election Charter for Climate Justice prioritizing continued investment in public transit such as the Finch LRT and completion of Downtown subway relief line the. The City should invest in publically owned or cooperative renewable energy projects and seek amendments to building codes to be net zero carbon emissions for new buildings by 2030
Infrastructure projects, particularly those transitioning to renewable and green technologies present an opportunity for workers and communities. The Community Benefits Framework should be employed for all infrastructure projects over $50 million undertaken by City of Toronto with binding, equitable and inclusive targets and consultation with historically disadvantaged communities and equity seeking groups.