JUST RECOVERY SIMCOE
Today, over 30 organizations and businesses from across Simcoe County have allied to send a message to local municipalities, provincial and federal politicians: focus on a green and just recovery for the region.
This alliance, known as Just Recovery Simcoe, is keenly aware how current issues such as COVID, systemic racism and climate change are highlighting the inherent weaknesses in how we make decisions, how we spend tax dollars and how we build our communities.
Included in the alliance are housing and poverty advocates, health advocates, labour groups, faith based groups, residents associations, environmentalists and local business owners. The alliance’s ultimate goal is to create communities that are equitable, prosperous, affordable and sustainable.
To do so, the letter recommends that councils and politicians prioritize their spending, policies and work into three broad categories: Invest in People, Invest in Communities and Invest in Nature.
Suggestions range from addressing food security and poverty to ensuring our communities are safe and accessible for all people, but especially those who are marginalized. There is also a strong focus on investing in local economies including entrepreneurs in the area as well as the region’s established industries including agriculture, tourism and low carbon jobs.
Margaret Prophet, Executive Director of the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition: “Governments will need to make a big impact with future decisions because there will be less money to go around, but more people to help. We can look at best practices from around the world to ensure that however money gets spent, it efficiently increases community health, people’s livelihoods and well being. These are what we call co-benefits - a decision that not only directly improves one aspect of our community, but also strengthens and improves community health, resilience and the local economy. However, that means we need to be looking at the root cause of problems and approach solving them more creatively and collaboratively. We can use these crises as a lesson to help better prepare for future crises and strengthen our communities”
Just Recovery Simcoe recognizes that people’s input about their community is essential to make the policy and structural changes necessary. They are asking for residents’ feedback about the types of changes you would like to see in your community through a short survey.
They have also set up a petition link where you can show your support for a green and just recovery with your local municipality and provincial representatives. Both of these actions are available at their website: www.justrecoverysimcoe.ca.