This afternoon, Binnu Jeyakumar, Morna Ballantyne, and Bilan Arte joined us to discuss a variety of potential changes to our economy to make sure it is functioning for working people.
Jeyakumar, coming from the Pembina Institute, spoke about the importance of a just transition and green jobs as our economy shifts away from a carbon-based one. Jeyakumar went over several initials dealing with just transitions and green jobs going over what is happening in the United States and how we can dream bigger with our ideas.
Ballantyne, the Executive Director of the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada, spoke about the importance of a national, universal childcare program to help families, women, and children. Ballantyne talked about the outcome of leaving things like childcare to market forces. With market forces, we end up with long waiting lists, childcare centres closing suddenly, lack of any public accountably or oversight of how public funds are spent, and with extremely high childcare prices. Leaving childcare to the market is not an acceptable solution.
Arte, the current Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students, spoke about the state of post-secondary in Canada, the raising amount of student debt, and potential solutions to ensure education is accessible for all. Arte was able to put a personal face to the jarring statistics of student debt and access to post-secondary education. Lastly, Arte called on participants to stand with the students’ movement to ensure access to quality public education.