Schedule & Workshops


1:00 - 2:15 pm: Land acknowledgement & Welcome, Keynote speakers with Q & A

2:15 - 3:00 pm: Workshop One

short break

3:15 - 4:00 pm: Workshop Two

4:00 - 5:00 pm: Closing panel with Youth Climate Justice activists


Each participant will be able to attend two workshops.

Indigenous Rights and Climate Conflict, facilitator: Sleydo' (Molly Wickham)

Sleydo’ (Molly Wickham) is the spokesperson for the Gidimt’en check-point on Wet’suwet’en territory. She holds the name in Cas Yikh (grizzly house) and has been living on and occupying the territory since 2014 with her husband and children. Gidimt’en check-point has been an Indigenous reoccupation site since 2018 which has been raided twice by militarized RCMP, once on January 7th 2019 and again on February 5th, 2020, as a result of grassroots resistance to the Coastal Gaslink pipeline project which would bring fracked gas from northeastern B.C to an LNG terminal near Kitimat. Sleydo’ has a masters degree in Indigenous Governance from the University of Victoria and is heavily involved in the Wet’suwet’en clan governance system.

We need to learn how to talk about green jobs, facilitator: Jane McAlevey

Jane McAlevey has spent most of her life as an organizer and negotiator. She’s fourth generation union, raised in an activist-union household. She spent the first half of her organizing life working in the community organizing and environmental justice movements and the second half in the union movement. She has led power structure analyses and strategic planning trainings for a wide range of union and community organizations and has had extensive involvement in globalization and global environmental issues. She worked at the Highlander Research and Education Center as an educator (and as Deputy Director) in her early 20’s.

McAlevey, a senior policy fellow at the University of California Berkeley’s Labor Center, argues that the climate and labor movements need to build power and do the hard work to build a credible plan for workers to have the same quality of life in a clean economy than is offered by the fossil fuel industry. Her most recent book, “A Collective Bargain: Unions, Organizing, and the Fight for Democracy,” was published in January.

Putting people power to work for the planet, facilitator: John Cartwright, Toronto & York Labour Council

In the face of the climate emergency, unions can’t sit out the fight for climate justice. We will only win a job-rich future if working people help drive the agenda – and have the power and skills to negotiate the transition to low carbon in EVERY SECTOR of the economy. There are real victories to examine as we map out this crucial work. John Cartwright has been involved at local, national and international levels in developing strategies that empower workers to be effective climate leaders in their workplaces and their communities.

John Cartwright is the President of the Toronto & York Region Labour Council, representing 220,000 union members in Canada’s largest urban centre. A carpenter by trade, John has served on a number of public board, is the National Chair of the Council of Canadians and Vice-Chair of United Way of Greater Toronto, and co-chair of the Toronto Community Benefits Network, focused on winning community benefits and equity hiring on major infrastructure projects.

Bargaining for the Climate, facilitators: James Coccola, BCGEU and Tara Ehrcke, BCTF

The urgency of climate change means that all solutions must be on the table, including the bargaining table! The labour movements toolbox of collective bargaining for worker’s rights is an opportunity to respond to the most pressing challenge of our time, while also expanding the public sector and promoting green jobs. For example, in U.S., the Green New Deal calls for a publicly funded jobs program for the just transition at the pace called for by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

In this workshop, we will explore these questions with participants:

  • How can bargaining be used to win climate demands

  • What bargaining language do we need to win to fit the level of the crisis we are in

  • How do we incorporate climate justice - addressing inequality and racial and social justice - into our bargaining goals

  • What climate goals fit a particular industry/workplace

  • How can we work across unions, sectors and with allies in the community to build the power we need to win substantive climate demands

James Coccola is an Executive Vice President of the BC Government and Service Employees' Union.

Tara Ehrcke is a teacher, activist and all around trouble maker. They are a member of the BC Teachers' Federation Committee for Action on Environmental Justice and also serve as the Climate Justice Chair for the Greater Victoria Teachers' Association.

Delivering Community Power - Reimagining Canada Post, facilitator: Kate Holowatiuk, CUPW

In 2016 the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, with a coalition of allies, launched Delivering Community Power – a visionary program for Canada Post to confront climate change, promote better access to expanded services, all by making the most of our existing public postal service network. In this workshop you will hear how CUPW members and allies leverage their strength to pressure elected officials at all levels to commit their support for tangible action on climate change, saving jobs and engaging their communities along the way.

Kate Holowatiuk is the Pacific Campaign Coordinator for Delivering Community Power, a plan to reimagine the post office. She is an executive member of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers Victoria local 850. From direct action on the work floor to community engagement, she aims to inspire others to realize and exercise their collective power.

Green investing, facilitator: Paul Finch, BCGEU

How the Canadian investment market has favoured environmentally friendly investments, and dispelling myths that fiduciary responsibility is an impediment to environmentally and socially responsible investing. Paul will outline how he divested the BCGEU’s funds from fossil fuels, achieving superior performance over the past six years.

Paul Finch is Treasurer of the BC Government and Service Employees' Union.