Unifor wants changes to Ontario’s cap and trade bill
Canada’s largest union concerned about workers it represents among 30 of the 150 largest emitters.
TORONTO — Canada’s largest union representing workers in the private sector supports the Ontario Liberal government’s climate change program, but it wants to see some changes to the cap and trade bill.
Unifor, which claims more than 310,000 members nationally, will addressing the Standing Committee on General Government hearings on Bill 172 on having the tools to protect jobs “and to provide a just transition when the impact of climate change policy cannot be mitigated.”
Unifor says it has members working at 30 of the 150 largest emitters in the province.
The union’s key recommendations will include:
• A framework for imposing a carbon price border adjustment on any product impacting our Emission Intensive Trade Exposed (ELITE) sector that enters Ontario from a jurisdiction without a carbon price or with a lesser price.
• Reporting on GHG content extended to apply to cement, mined products, automobiles and auto parts, pulp and paper products or other products that are applicable to our EITE sector.
• Special consideration provided to economic sectors which must carry an extraordinary burden of change
• Make it clear that transitional credits are for the purpose of supporting employment stability and that these credits shall be provided for a period of time and with conditions which provide both a long term certainty for employers and security for workers.
• Current work producing energy should transition into work producing green energy with employers required to work with unions to develop labour adjustment plans that will ensure displaced workers benefit from good jobs in this new economy.
• Unifor proposes that “just transition” measures be explicitly referenced in Bill 172, as it was in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, as a principle informing and guiding the implementation of climate change action plans.