Green jobs in transit and passenger rail

The continuing talks among Victoria, Translink and the Council of Mayors about new transit investments — particularly the Evergreen Line — may produce action this fall, a year after the province slammed the door on a $450 million a year expansion program in favour of a stand-pat $130 million increase.

The opportunities Canada is missing by delaying these investments and others like it are summarized in a recent paper by economist Andrew Jackson of the Canadian Labour Congress. With a national transit investment program, as proposed by the Big City Mayors, among others, we could reap tens of thousands of jobs and avert further increases in greenhouse gas emissions. But Canada, unlike many other nations, lacks a national transit strategy just as it lacks a national housing strategy.

Jackson leans heavily on this recent study by the David Suzuki Foundation and the Pembina Institute, which makes the case in greater detail, proposing carbon pricing as a funding mechanism to break the current undue reliance on fares.