Groups push green jobs - Metro US

Groups push green jobs

Alberta’s government needs to spend billions to create hundreds of thousands of green jobs in order to dig the province out of the global recession, urged the Alberta Federation of Labour and two environmental groups during Earth Day yesterday.

And if the Tory government spends the $2 billion now, 14,000 jobs can be created over the next two years, said a released report commissioned by the AFL, Greenpeace and the Sierra Club.

Those jobs could include electricians, heating and air conditioning installers, carpenters, construction operations, roofers, and industrial truck drivers by offering grants to homeowners to retrofit their homes with green technologies.

“The program would cost less than the $2 billion spent on the now cancelled natural gas rebate program in the last six years and it would provide a higher payback to homeowners,” said the report’s author, David Thompson.

The groups also want the government to spend roughly $10 million over the next seven years to improve public transit and to include a high-speed rail line between Edmonton and Calgary.

“There’s no doubt that our provincial government has become set in its ways when it comes to making policies when it comes to the economy,” said AFL president Gil McGowan.

“They’ve been complacent on their reliance on the oil and gas sector. What we’re saying with this report is to not stop being an energy province, but to be much more than that.”

The report will be submitted to the legislature later this week.

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