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Consultation: Sustainable Jobs

Consultation status: Closed

Opened on July 20, 2021 and closed on April 30, 2022

We have been working with a diverse cross-section of partners to ensure that the shift to net-zero emissions is done in a way that creates new opportunities and good, well-paying jobs for Canadian workers in every sector of the economy and every part of the country.

Our consultations aimed at gathering input on a federal discussion paper for comprehensive action that would include legislation to help ensure Canadian workers are equipped for success as the world transitions to net-zero by 2050.

The feedback gathered through this process will inform federal legislation on sustainable jobs, which is expected to be introduced in 2023.

What does “sustainable jobs” mean?

The term “Sustainable jobs” is understood to refer to any job that is compatible with Canada’s move towards a low carbon, and climate-resilient future.

This term “sustainable jobs” remains evergreen and has yet to be formally defined, as it continues to evolve following feedback received throughout public consultations and the preparation of sustainable jobs legislation. The Government of Canada will draw on relevant research, expertise and consultation with Canadians to further a Canadian definition. As the global shift to a 2050 net-zero future evolves, it will be important to develop a better understanding of the changing nature of the labour market and the variety of new skills and experience the net-zero economy will require.

How Can the Federal Government Support an Economy that Creates Sustainable Jobs?

The shift to a low-carbon economy requires that we take a people-centred approach to help set the conditions for the creation of sustainable jobs so that all Canadians can share in the opportunities of a global net-zero future. In line with this commitment, our work on sustainable jobs aims to:

  • Invest in opportunities to achieve net-zero emissions, including through efforts to decarbonize traditional industries;
  • Prepare Canada’s workforce to participate fully in the low-carbon economy;
  • Identify and support inclusive economic opportunities for workers in their communities, where possible; and
  • Ensure workers and their communities are part of any discussions that affect their future and their livelihoods.

This people-centred approach includes supporting Canadians and equipping them with the skills and training they need to continue to thrive while also supporting the growth of new industries and sectors in which they can find meaningful work.

How we consulted Canadians

Consultation process

  • Online discussion on the NRCan consultation platform – received over 30,000 written submissions
  • Roundtables with experts, unions and industry – 17 roundtable discussions held virtually
  • Meetings with provinces, territories and Indigenous partners


A range of partners and stakeholders participated in consultations, including:

  • Labour organizations
  • Provinces and territories
  • Indigenous organizations
  • Industry
  • Academia and experts in skills and training, as well as diversity and inclusion
  • Non-governmental organizations
  • Youth
  • Western Canada Coal Communities

Key topics

  • People-centred principles that put workers and communities at the centre of the government’s policy and decision-making processes on climate change action.
  • An Advisory Body to provide the government with advice on regional and sectoral strategies that support workers and communities.
  • Other aspects related to sustainable jobs – what’s working, what isn’t, and how do we move forward in advancing equity, diversity and inclusion as we move toward a low-carbon economy.

Next steps

Federal sustainable jobs legislation was informed by your feedback and will be released in 2023.  

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