Greetings from Yellowknife! It’s getting colder, but not as cold as we always experienced. No snow. No ice on the lake. We’re witnessing a climate crisis.

World leaders have met at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP26) in Glasgow. Decisions have taken place that address this climate crisis. The outcome document, known as the Glasgow Climate Pact, calls on 197 countries to report their progress towards more climate ambition next year, at COP27, set to take place in Egypt. The outcome also firms up the global agreement to accelerate action on climate this decade.

However, COP26 President Alok Sharma struggled to hold back tears following the announcement of a last-minute change to the pact, by China and India, softening language circulated in an earlier draft about “the phase-out of unabated coal power and of inefficient subsidies for fossil fuels”. As adopted on Saturday, that language was revised to “phase down” coal use. Mr. Sharma apologized for “the way the process has unfolded” and added that he understood some delegations would be “deeply disappointed” that the stronger language had not made it into the final agreement.

What do we do here in the North? Advocate for an urgent action that combats climate crisis — hold territorial and federal governments responsible for their promises.

As we emerge from the pandemic, we need a just recovery that addresses climate crisis.

We’re strong because we’re united. Whether it’s climate action or other social justice issues in the North and across Canada, together we can take action. The work you’re doing in campaigning for workers’ rights, climate action, Indigenous sovereignty and more inspires me. There is nothing that makes me happy more than hearing from you.

I had the honour of attending and participating in several conventions over the past couple of months. I was lucky to have met members in Iqaluit during Nunavut Employees Union in-person convention. Recently, I travelled to St. John’s, Newfoundland, and Labrador, to attend Union of Safety and Justice Employees (USJE).

I had the honour of attending virtually to Union of Northern Workers and the Yukon Employees Union conventions. Congratulations to all elected officers. We look forward to working with you on issues that matter to members and their communities.

Our team at PSAC North is working tirelessly to make sure that your dues work for you. Every gain that we achieve at the bargaining table is a victory for all workers. During the week of Nov. 1 , I spoke with politicians and was interviewed by journalists following our press release and campaign supporting workers keeping Mackenzie River shipping moving. Following November 3 Conciliation, a tentative agreement was reached. I want to thank the bargaining team and congratulate PSAC/UCTE members.

In Yellowknife, I had the honour of meeting Member of Parliament representing Northwest Territories Michael McLeod. We discussed issues that matter to workers and communities across the North: Indigenous languages, health services and addressing food insecurity. I will soon be back to Whitehorse, planning my next trip to Nunavut.

Stay connected. Our union wants to hear from you.

In Solidarity,

Lorraine Rousseau

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