Monday, 16 December 2019
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News brief: Thursday’s town hall in Halifax will help shape far reaching plan for Green New Deal

Haze from summer 2018 Alberta wildfires. Photo Twitter / Edmonton Journal

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Two major events, both centered around the Green New Deal, are scheduled for Halifax this month.

An event scheduled for Thursday June 6  is described as a town hall, providing an opportunity to shape a manifesto that tackles the policy details of a climate justice movement for Canada.

The Halifax town hall is one of over 200 such events happening across Canada, including well attended meetings in Antigonish and Bridgewater in Nova Scotia. Stay tuned for further announcements.

A second event on June 17, also about the Green New Deal is organized by the Leap, and will feature national figures like David Suzuki and local speakers such as Ingrid Waldron, El Jones, and Tina Oh.   

I gave Lily Barraclough, one of the organizers of the town hall on Thursday, a call to find out how the two events relate and where they differ. This is her response.

We are of course dealing with the same Green New Deal movement. Our event on Thursday, the town hall, is part of some 200 town halls across Canada, led by the Pact for a Green New Deal and Our Time, which is the movement for a Green New Deal.

We organize these town halls to get input from Canadians about what they want to see in a Green New Deal policy-wise. Currently the Green New Deal rests on major principles, such as meeting the urgency and scale of the crisis based on up to date science and Indigenous knowledge and rights, and leaving no one behind in the transition into a renewable energy economy and a sustainable future. Beyond that the exact content of what the Green New Deal will contain is what is being formulated through these town halls.

The event on Thursday is to bring in folks from Halifax to provide input in what a Green New Deal for Mi’kma’ki and Halifax could look like. There will be facilitated discussions about what should and should not be included in a Green New Deal. There will also be some speakers from the community sharing what the Green New Deal is and why doing this work is important.

All the information that is gathered at the town hall will be fed into a database of all the feedback coast to coast. A group not directly associated with the organizing team is tasked with crafting a draft proposal that people can rally behind.

There is a lot of momentum behind the town halls and the Green New Deal movement. There were already over 200 town halls across the country, which is really inspiring and hopefully the movement continues to grow.

We need everyone to be a part of it. The emphasis of the Green New Deal is on leaving no one behind, and it is focused on tackling all the systems that cause climate change and racism. We can’t do that if it is just one part of the society that participates. It is speaking to a lot of people that wouldn’t normally come out to such an event.

The second event, on June 17, is part of a national tour led by the Leap which is more to encourage people to act on the Green New Deal. It’s more of a speaker-based rally and inspirational event.

We will be involved in part of the Leap event. After hearing from lots of incredible speakers, we will raise the question what we are going to do with that energy, and how to push for the federal election to be about climate change and a Green New Deal.

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