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About Transportation Shift

Transportation Shift is a project of the Green Resilience Project (GRP) led by Energy Mix Productions. The project took place between April 2023 – March 2024. Energy Mix Productions is a community news organisation committed to faster, deeper carbon cuts and is the co-lead of the GRP, which began as a series of community conversations hosted in 2021-22 on climate change, income insecurity and community resilience. A key takeaway of the GRP conversations is that climate change and income insecurity are deeply connected and their impacts are being felt across the country. There is an urgent need for bold policy that stands at the intersection of these issues.

In the first phase of the GRP, we heard repeatedly that transportation needs are not being equitably met across Canada. The consequences of this can range from isolation, financial hardship, or significant loss of personal time, to the inability to remain living in a community or particular location. We also heard that transportation can be redesigned to be more affordable and accessible and produce fewer emissions. So, let’s talk about it.

Transportation Shift is a series of community conversations that focused on how communities’ transportation needs are being met, what’s missing, what could be better, and how these needs interact with the transition to electric vehicles or electric mobility solutions, like e-bikes. We defined ‘community’ by geography, or it could be a community of people connected by culture, health, economic status, livelihood, identity, faith, or other factors.

Why Now?
Climate change is already having financial and physical impacts on communities across Canada, and it’s by no means the only challenge we’re facing: we’re also seeing high cost of living, suppressed wages, failing social systems, and increasing gaps between rich and poor. These challenges can cause a lot of concern about what our lives are going to look like as our community continues to change.

Electric vehicles are being promoted across Canada as a tool to help address climate change by reducing vehicle emissions. The federal government has mandated that all new light-duty cars and passenger trucks sold in Canada after 2035 be zero emissions. However, the people most affected by climate change are often least able to participate in solutions like this, due to systemic barriers.

Transportation Shift offered an opportunity for community members to discuss their transportation needs and gaps, and solutions that meet the needs of everyone in the community.

This project was funded in part by Natural Resources Canada’s Zero Emission Vehicle Awareness Initiative. We are also grateful for Iron & Earth’s additional support to Transportation Shift conversations.

While the funded portion of Transportation Shift has concluded (for now!), we encourage you to consider hosting a conversation in your own community. We have made our Transportation Shift conversation materials publicly available. These include a conversation planning guide, general tips, and a backgrounder on ZEV’s in Canada (prepared in 2023).

The Transportation Shift conversation toolkit is available here.

The following Transportation Shift partners hosted and reported on conversations about transportation issues in their own community, and the shift to electric vehicles:

Nova Scotia: Native Council of Nova Scotia

Self-governing authority for the Mi’kmaq/Aboriginal peoples residing off-reserve in Nova Scotia throughout traditional Mi’kmaq territory, with the goal of community representation and advocacy. 

Nunavut: Amautiit Nunavut Inuit Women’s Association

Not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing self-determination for Nunavut Arnait [Inuit women] in all areas of life.

Northwest Territories: Folk On The Rocks

Mission is to foster a sense of community and pride in Northwest Territories through delivering a one-of-a-kind cultural and artistic event that reflects the diversity and spirit of the north.

Northwest Territories: Home Base Yellowknife

Provides housing and support to youth in Yellowknife in order for them to achieve life-long success.

Saskatchewan: Saskatoon Poverty Reduction Partnership

A collaborative initiative to reduce poverty. The partnership is based on mutual commitment to multi-sectoral and sustainable poverty reduction in Saskatoon.

New Brunswick: Aster Group / Margaret Tusz-King

Through Aster Group Co-op, conversations were hosted by Margaret Tusz-King, a community developer, educator, executive leader and former Municipal Councillor for the Town of Sackville.

Quebec: Apathy is Boring

Charitable organization that supports and educates youth to be active and contributing citizens in Canada’s democracy.

Newfoundland and Labrador: Dan Meades

Dan Meades, currently the Provincial Coordinator of the Transition House Association in Newfoundland and Labrador, is a local voice on transportation issues. He hosted these conversations as an individual outside of his professional organization.

Manitoba: Social Planning Council of Winnipeg

SPCW is one of the oldest social justice organizations in Canada. Born out of the same turbulent times that led to the General Strike of 1919, SPCW focuses on change rather than charity to achieve the vision of a sustainable community that is caring, just and equitable. 

Funded in part by Natural Resources Canada

To learn more, please visit our Transportation Shift FAQ.