BILL NO. 108
2nd Session, 63rd General Assembly
68 Elizabeth II, 2019
Private Member's Bill
Green Jobs Act
First Reading: March 12, 2019
WHEREAS in 2007 all parties gave their support to the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act;
AND WHEREAS it is a principle of that Act that "the health of the economy, the health of the environment and the health of the people of Nova Scotia are interconnected";
AND WHEREAS the economic mobilization, social mobilization and Government investment necessary to transition to a clean economy are an unprecedented opportunity to create thousands of well-paid jobs, make our communities more affordable, liveable and clean, and improve social justice and equity and right historical wrongs;
AND WHEREAS decades of Government austerity and inaction have made it increasingly urgent that fundamental transformations take place across all sectors of the Nova Scotian economy;
AND WHEREAS the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change made clear that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is possible, can lead to economic prosperity, requires global greenhouse gas emissions to reach net-zero by 2050 and requires rapid and far-reaching government action in the next decade;
AND WHEREAS to avoid the most disastrous, disruptive and costly impacts of climate change Nova Scotia needs the world to become significantly more ambitious and effective at reducing greenhouse-gas emissions;
AND WHEREAS to achieve world-wide emissions reductions Nova Scotia must lead by example;
AND WHEREAS Nova Scotia has a long tradition of sustainable industry including in the fisheries, forestry and agriculture;
AND WHEREAS the fossil fuel economy has provided many Nova Scotians high-paying jobs and affordable living, and no Nova Scotian should be left behind in the transition from fossil fuels to a clean economy;
AND WHEREAS all such changes must take into account the need for individuals, families and communities to both survive and thrive;
AND WHEREAS much is known about ways to achieve multi-generational economic and environmental sustainability;
AND WHEREAS it remains within our grasp to achieve an effective and socially just transition to a green economy;
AND WHEREAS the process of planning for an effective and socially just transition must start immediately;
THEREFORE be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:
This Act may be cited as the Green Jobs Act.
2 The purpose of this Act is to make an ambitious economic mobilization plan for the Province that will create good green jobs, promote economic fairness and improve the quality of life enjoyed by everyday Nova Scotians, while reducing the Province's greenhouse gas emissions to at least 50% below 1990 levels by 2030, and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
3 No later than May 31, 2019, the Government shall appoint a task force to report on the steps that should be taken to transform the Provincial economy into a sustainable economy with maximized employment opportunities.
4 The task force appointed under Section 3 must be composed of 15 members, includ- ing representatives from
(a) labour organizations;
(b) business organizations;
(c) environment organizations;
(d) the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities;
(e) fisheries organizations;
(f) agriculture organizations;
(g) forestry organizations;
(h) universities and community colleges;
(i) anti-poverty organizations;
(j) women's advocacy organizations;
(k) African Nova Scotian organizations;
(l) Fédération acadienne de la Nouvelle-Écosse; and
(m) Mi'kmaq organizations,
but may not include a member of the public service.
5 The mandate of the task force is to, subject to Section 9, develop the economic mobilization and transition plan in accordance with the purpose of this Act.
6 The plan must
(a) be prepared in transparent and inclusive consultation with experts and leaders from business, labour, municipal governments, Mi'kmaq, academia, civil-society groups and communities;
(b) provide opportunities for high-income work, entrepreneurship and co-operative and public ownership;
(c) be responsive to and in accordance with social, economic, racial, regional and gender-based justice;
(d) be driven by the Government, in collaboration, co-creation and partnership with business, labour, municipal and federal governments, Mi'kmaq, research institutions and civil-society groups and communities;
(e) include recommendations respecting public investments, regulatory changes and other government action, including at the municipal level, necessary to achieve the purpose of this Act;
(f) include draft legislation implementing the recommendations of the task force; and
(g) include recommendations and draft legislation that will achieve the purpose of this Act on a shorter timeline than that set out in Section 2.
7 The minister or head of a department, office or agency created by or pursuant to the Public Service Act shall co-operate fully at the request of and with the task force established under this Act.
8 (1) On or before October 31, 2020, the report of the task force must be laid before the House, if the House is then sitting, and the Premier, or the Premier's designate, shall table the report in the House on the next sitting day.
(2) Where the House is not sitting when the report of the task force is completed, the report must be filed with the Clerk of the House, and the Premier, or the Premier's designate, shall table the report in the House within 10 days after the House next sits.
(3) Within 10 sitting days after the report of the task force is tabled in the House pursuant to subsection (1) or (2), the Government shall introduce legislation to implement the recommendations contained in the report.
9 The money required for the purpose of this Act must be paid out of money appropriated for that purpose by the Legislature.
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