About Green Jobs BC

Green Jobs BC exists to strengthen communication and cooperation between labour and environmental organizations, in order to advance economic and environmental initiatives that: provide good green jobs; are socially equitable; are ecologically responsible; and, result in the reduction of GHG emissions.

Specific Goals:

  • •Advance policy Initiatives that result in greater investment in and public support for green and community sustaining jobs
  • •Foster learning opportunities or discussion forums between labour and environmental organizations
  • •Identify and evaluate opportunities to work with other sectors. e.g. First Nations, business, faith, social justice groups

Steering Committee and Supporters

The Green Jobs BC Steering Committee consists of:

  • • Lisa Matthaus, Organizing for Change (Co-Chair)
  • • Darryl Walker, BC Government and Services Employee Union (Co-Chair)
  • • Charley Beresford, Columbia Institute
  • • Matt Horne, Pembina Institute
  • • Mara Kerry, David Suzuki Foundation
  • • Aaron Ekman, BC Federation of Labour
  • • Lee Loftus,  International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Union – Local 118
  • • Elisabeth Lougheed-Green, Vancity
  • • Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor
  • • Bob Peart, Sierra Club

We would like to thank the following organizations for their financial support:

And we are grateful to past steering committee members Morag Carter (David Suzuki Foundation), George Heyman (Sierra Club), Jim Sinclair (BC Federation of Labour), and Caitlyn Vernon (Sierra Club) for their ongoing contributions and guidance.

In addition, the following groups were involved in our September 2010 Foundational Conference:

British Columbia and Yukon Territory Building and Construction Trades Council, Canada Green Building Council, Cascadia Green Building Council, Canadian Auto Workers, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Communications Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Columbia Institute, Canadian Office & Professional Employees Union 378, Canadian Union of Public Employees, Eco Justice, Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC, Hospital Employees Union, Health Sciences Association BC, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees 891, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 230, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Union – Local 118, T. Buck Suzuki Foundation, Union of Environment Workers – PSAC, United Steelworkers of Canada, Western Canada Wilderness Committee

Our History

On September 11, 2010 BC’s Environmental and Labour Movements held a joint Conference called Jobs, Justice, Climate. The conference brought the two sectors together to find solutions that address climate change and build green jobs.

Over 120 key leaders from both movements attended and took part in a series of 18 workshops covering a wide range of subjects such as transportation, retrofitting and manufacturing. Please see the attached Conference Report for more details.

The Keynote speaker was David Foster (Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance – a national American partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations) who is dedicated to expanding the number and quality of jobs in the green economy.

Following this successful foundational conference, GreenJobs BC was formed, bringing BC’s environmental and labour sectors together to build a BC economy that lowers GHG emissions, creates good green jobs, and helps mitigate the results of climate change.

In the past these two sectors have sometimes seemed to be working at cross purposes. Previous attempts at involving a broad range of sectors on climate issues proved too unwieldy to continue beyond the initial conference. Learning from that experience, from the beginning we focused on establishing a solid footing with two sectors that have a high degree of alignment in values. This strength will be built upon by including multiple sectors (business, First Nations, community, etc.) in the February 2012 Retrofits & Building Forum, and then September 2012 GreenJobs BC Conference.

Over the coming years, GreenJobs BC will facilitate continued dialogue between BC’s Environmental and Labour Movements, and other sectors, to find common solutions to building a greener economy in BC.