Over 500 organizations across Canada have come together to form a “Just Recovery Alliance” and join the global movement for an equitable and green recovery from COVID-19 that focuses on the needs of people and planet.

This alliance connects community organizations, environmental groups, disability advocates, youth, unions, faith-based organizations, and more in a call to not go back to “business as usual” and to “reckon with the inadequacies and inequities of our systems.” 

Members of the Just Recovery Alliance with local connections include The Local Community Food Centre, EcoSchools Canada, Community Foundations of Canada, the Anglican Church of Canada, the United Church of Canada, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, plus many citizens’ groups with members and supporters here such as The Council of Canadians and The David Suzuki Foundation.

In June, over 50 locals participated in online “teach-ins” that introduced the movement and shared six Just Recovery Principles to prioritize people and planet first in the recovery and rebuild from the pandemic:

1. Put people’s health and wellbeing first, no exceptions.

2. Strengthen the social safety net and provide relief directly to people.

3. Prioritize the needs of workers and communities.

4. Build resilience to prevent future crises.

5. Build solidarity and equity across communities, generations, and borders.

6. Uphold Indigenous rights and work in partnership with Indigenous peoples.

The video linked above reviewing the Just Recovery Principles was put together by local artist and teacher Jenn Mezei with her art and campaign art from Corrina Keeling.

One of the local teach-in events in June featured news and updates from Stratford organizations and projects that are already very active in the broad areas of the Just Recovery principles:

  • The Local Community Food Centre works to address local food insecurity
  • The Social Research and Planning Council examines social issues in Perth and Huron Counties and has a new project focused on a universal basic income
  • Homes for Everybody is a local network of housing advocates
  • St. James Anglican Church has a learning and action group for Indigenous reconciliation
  • Tree Trust is a carbon-offset program that helps to preserve our trees
  • Cycle Stratford offers group rides and advocates for improved cycling infrastructure

Here are a few ways you can get involved in the Just Recovery movement:

  • Contact our Member of Parliament, John Nater, and sign 350 Canada’s letter to the Prime Minister and federal Cabinet Ministers responsible for Canada’s recovery plan to let them know you support a just recovery. Plans are in the works now for government initiatives to rebuild and stimulate the economy, so let’s make our voices heard for equity, health, resilience, and ambitious climate action!
  • Encourage your group, service club, or organization to officially endorse the Just Recovery principles, like The Local Community Food Centre and 500+ other organizations have done.
  • Join our e-mail list to hear about upcoming opportunities for learning and action.

    A Just Recovery future means we don’t ‘return to normal’ when normal caused masses of people and our planet to suffer. … Collectively, we are committed to a just future that puts the health and wellbeing of ALL peoples and ecosystems first, and builds a more equitable, resilient, and sustainable society.”
    ~ justrecoveryforall.ca

    Planet art from JustRecoveryForAll.ca and poster images from the 350 Just Recovery Art Kit