Learn about the Leap Manifesto on Sunday

The Cowichan Valley Chapter of the Council of Canadians will host a town hall meeting on the Leap Manifesto

The Cowichan Valley Chapter of the Council of Canadians will host a town hall meeting on the Leap Manifesto at the Duncan United Church on Sunday, Jan. 29 at 1:30 p.m.

Titled “Making the Leap: A Call for a Canada Based on Caring for the Earth and One Another”, the town hall meeting will feature a panel discussion by activists Anna Rasmussen and Howard Breen from Leap Victoria, a group that is promoting the Leap Manifesto, and Rob Douglas, councillor for the Municipality of North Cowichan. The panel will introduce the Leap Manifesto and discuss its evolution during the past year, outline what the document proposes for acting on climate change, and explore the significant job opportunities that would emerge through a transition to a more sustainable economy.

“The choice isn’t between protecting the environment or building a strong economy — you can do both,” said Rob Douglas. “The so-called greener sectors of the economy such as renewable energy, building retrofits and public transit actually create more jobs than either oil, gas or coal. If we do the transition right, we could create millions of new jobs for working people, many of the traditional blue-collar work in trades and manufacturing.”

Released shortly before the 2015 federal election, the Leap Manifesto is a political document that calls for a restructuring of the Canadian economy and a transition away from fossil fuels to a more sustainable model focused on producing renewable energy, retrofitting buildings to make them more energy efficient, and investing in public transit and high-speed rail. Other major changes called for in the Leap Manifesto include greater respect for indigenous rights, an end to unfair trade deals, increased public investments in healthcare, education and arts, a national childcare program, universal basic annual income and a more progressive taxation system where corporations and the wealthy pay a greater share.

Issued by a broad coalition of authors, artists, national leaders and activists, including filmmaker Avi Lewis and author Naomi Klein, the Leap Manifesto is now being discussed in communities across Canada.