Hundreds of organizations have endorsed the Principles of a Just Recovery, signalling their agreement that we cannot just go back to “business as usual” following the Covid-19 pandemic. The Just Recovery initiative is dedicated to building a movement that puts people first, recognizing that “business as usual” is built on colonialism, human rights abuses, social inequity, ecological degradation, and climate change. The Covid-19 crisis is forcing governments and civil society alike to reckon with the inadequacies and inequities of our systems, and has made clear the fact that we are standing on a threshold between the old world and the potential of a new, more inclusive world. With this in mind, the Just Recovery initiative posits six principles to guide society forward towards a better tomorrow.
- Health is a human right and is interdependent with the health and wellbeing of ecological systems. Recognizing this, ensure that all policies and programs address the social, economic and environmental determinants of health and are responsive to the climate emergency, which is, in itself, a health crisis. Learn from the pandemic: develop policies and make investments that keep communities and workplaces, particularly those on the frontlines, safe.
- Focus relief efforts on people – particularly those who are structurally oppressed by existing systems. Prioritize redistributive policies and social services that meet the immediate and long-term needs of all people and eliminate social, economic, and wealth inequalities. Rebuild a single-tier immigration system with permanent resident status for all.
- Support must be distributed in a manner consistent with Indigenous sovereignty, a climate resilient economy, and worker rights, including safe and fair labour standards and a right to unionize. Improved conditions for essential service workers must be maintained beyond this crisis. Bailout packages must not encourage unqualified handouts, regulatory rollbacks, or regressive subsidies that enrich shareholders or CEOs, particularly those who take advantage of tax havens. These programs must support a just transition away from fossil fuels that creates decent work and leaves no one behind.
- We cannot recover from the current crisis by entrenching systems that will cause the next crisis. We must invest in sustainable infrastructure and build resiliency within communities, ensuring that people can access public essential services, meet their basic needs, and engage in cultural and artistic expression.
- In a globalized world, what happens to one of us matters to all of us. A Just Recovery must be guided by the principles of equity, solidarity, and sustainability across domestic and international relations. Recovery plans must honour and expand human rights, including the rights of Indigenous peoples, and advance gender equity while opposing authoritarian regimes and oppressive systems.
- A Just Recovery must uphold Indigenous Rights and include the full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples, in line with the standard of free, prior, and informed consent. Indigenous Peoples require sustained resources and investments that stimulate Indigenous economies, create healthy communities, and protect the lands and waters. Indigenous communities need investment in infrastructure, along with social and health services.
Also note that Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto is running virtually from November 26-29, 2020 so please show your support! Check out @ifwtoronto on Instagram for more information. The event is a fashion, craft and textiles festival featuring progressive indigenous-made works through four live runway shows, more than fifty marketplace exhibitors, an art exhibition, workshops and panels. It’s not to be missed!
Join the movement for a Just Recovery! Spread the word, support the campaigns, and endorse the principles. Get your youngsters involved with the Just Recovery Art Kit and do what you can while stuck at home.