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Climate Deal Brings Unlikely Partnership Between Oil, Industry, Environmentalists, First Nations

12/16/2015 10:10 EST | Updated 12/16/2016 05:12 EST

trudeauletter

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

As you know well, leadership often means challenging people to embrace change, even if it means uncertainty, in order to build a better future.

As the world grapples with climate change and other growing environmental problems, the global economy is transforming. Before long, the strongest economies will be those that have been rebuilt to run on clean energy, conserve resources, reduce waste, provide vibrant and healthy communities for people to live in, and preserve nature.

The world around us is changing, and Canada will either shape change or have it buffet us. We applaud the steps you have already taken to change the conversation about these choices, and to establish Canada as a voice for positive action around the world.

We are a diverse group of leaders from business, labour, aboriginal and environmental perspectives. We believe Canadians want to be masters of our destiny and take the steps needed to build an economy that grows stronger, even as we lighten our environmental impact.

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That is the aim of our Smart Prosperity initiative, and we look forward to sharing our ideas on how to strengthen the economy and accelerate environmental improvement.

These ideas will lead to greener growth that benefits all parts of Canada's economy -- from resources to clean technology -- and creates the next generation of good jobs.

They will produce the best results if embraced by political leaders at the local, provincial and national level, in a coordinated way.

"... know that our group, and many, many people across different generations, walks of life and regions of this country want to put our shoulders to the wheel too.

Favouring jobs or the planet -- or pretending we can solve environmental problems without considering how we support our way of life -- is a false choice. Evidence is all around us that we have the know-how to marry our environmental and economic values. If we embrace this new reality, we can grow our exports of cleaner resources and technologies, meet our climate commitments , and position Canada to succeed in a changing global economy; if we do not, our competitors around the world will prosper and we will fall behind.

The steps your government takes -- whether on climate policy, investing in infrastructure and skills, or supporting science and clean innovation -- all will set a tone and a pace for the country. Drawing on our diverse experiences and taking a long view of the history of this fine country, we encourage you to continue to lead with ambition ... to build on the strengths of today and lay the foundation for a stronger, cleaner tomorrow.

In doing so, know that our group, and many, many people across different generations, walks of life and regions of this country want to put our shoulders to the wheel too.

Sincerely,

Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO, The Co-operators

Dominic Barton, global managing director, Mckinsey and Company

Ross Beaty, executive chairman, Alterra Power Corp.; chairman, Pan AmericanSilver Corp.

Arlene Dickinson, CEO, Venture Communications

Stewart Elgie, professor of law & economics, University of Ottawa, chair, Sustainable Prosperity

Phil Fontaine, special advisor to the Royal Bank Of Canada; former national chief, Assembly of First Nations

Greg Kiessling, executive chairman, Bullfrog Power; president, UpCapital Ltd.

Monique Leroux, chair of the board, president and CEO, Desjardins Group

Jim Lopez, president and CEO, Tembec

John Lounds, president and CEO, Nature Conservancy of Canada

David Miller, president and CEO, WWF Canada, former Toronto mayor

Lorraine Mitchelmore, president and Canada country chair, Shell Canada; executive vice president heavy oil, Upstream Americas

Alan Nymark, former deputy minister, Environment Canada; board chair, Centre for Study of Living Standards

Ken Neumann, Canadian national director, United Steel Workers

Merrell-Ann Phare, founding executive director, Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources

Vicky Sharpe, founding president and CEO, Sustainable Development Technology Canada

Rick Smith, executive director, Broadbent Institute

Kali Taylor, founding executive, director, Student Energy

Annette Verschuren, O.C., chair and CEO, Nrstor; former president, Home Depot Canada

Galen G. Weston, president, executive chairman, Loblaw Companies Limited

Ed Whittingham, executive director, Pembina Institute