“No Worker Left Behind” in Transition to a Low Carbon Economy

May 8, 2021

Powerful four words, “No worker left behind”.

On May 20, 2020 a call went out for participants to work on the Senior Liberals’ Commission (SLC) Low Carbon Initiative national working group. The goal was to examine the intersection of two primary concerns of Senior Liberals – the need for quality jobs and addressing climate change.

Our team felt privileged to work within the SLC to develop a concrete proposal. Our two-fold goal was to develop a resolution aimed at moving our country smoothly forward into a low carbon future, while also addressing Climate Change. The team was composed of volunteers from British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Newfoundland.

We began the process in June via meetings on Zoom, filled with comments like “Can you hear me?” and “How did you get that background?

May 28, 2020  6 volunteers recruited with backgrounds in mechanical equipment; engineering; and plant management.
May 31  Organization and registration in the SLC Forum discussion platform.
June 2  The first virtual meeting was held to develop low carbon transition priorities.

Each of us addressed a specific area of interest that required transitioning in order to reach our goal of a low carbon future. We used the Senior Liberals’ Commission online Forum to collect and share our information.

Areas we felt were necessary to the success of the National Low Carbon Initiative were:

  • Transportation transition
  • Full spectrum of alternative energy sources
  • Training of workers without post-secondary education displaced by green initiatives
  • Government funding of training and energy source development

June 9  A virtual meeting was held to discuss preliminary information submitted by team members.
June 16  The team narrowed down the set of asks of the federal government. There was much discussion pertaining to what was needed to transition to a low carbon economy. It was decided that “no worker left behind” would necessitate training efforts as a main part of the resolution. We were tasked with developing resolutions.
June 23   Individual draft resolutions were merged into one draft.
June 23-30  Vigorous email discussions were held regarding our proposed draft resolution.
June 30  Changes were debated before the team agreed on a final resolution.
July 7  A background paper was written, reviewed, and agreed to by the team.

Boom! The magic had happened with the power of committed team members, ideas brought forward, pre-meeting research done, discussions held, disagreements, and finally consensus as we developed the proposal.

July 8  The resolution and background paper were submitted to the SLC National Policy Committee.
Aug 2020  Our resolution placed well in SLC voting but failed to reach the top 4. However, it resonated strongly in Newfoundland, where it was adopted and fast tracked.
April 10, 2021  After all our hard work, it was an honour to see the “No Worker Left Behind” in Transition to a Low Carbon Economy resolution receive 96% yes votes in the plenary session  of the Convention.

A special thanks to SLC Newfoundland Chair Thomas Kendell for presenting this resolution so successfully at the convention.