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Labour groups crash Vancouver MP’s town hall over Canada Post dispute

Union members crash Vancouver MP’s town hall over Canada Post labour dispute
It was supposed to be a town hall to discuss Canada's move to a greener economy. But as Nadia Stewart reports, the topic quickly shifted to labour legislation.

A town hall meeting on climate change was also the scene of a heated rally, where postal workers who’ve been legislated back to work confronted a Vancouver MP.

Demonstrators taking part in a national day of action, driven by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) and other labour groups, descended on a scheduled town hall in Vancouver Saturday afternoon.

James Hutt, campaign coordinator of delivering community power, said the postal service can lead the way in the push towards a greener economy.

READ MORE: Unions rally to support Kelowna postal workers legislated back to work

“By installing Canadian made solar panels, converting the fleet to electric vehicles that are union made, here in Canada over time and retrofitting the buildings,” Hutt said.

WATCH: Unions support Canada Post rally in Kelowna

Unions support Canada Post rally in Kelowna
Unions support Canada Post rally in Kelowna

“When we think about how many postal offices there are, this is actually a huge climate change plan and better than anything the Liberals have proposed.”

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Protesters say the Liberal government’s back to work legislation targeting unionized postal workers quashed all of their green ideas.

READ MORE: Members of several B.C. unions set up picket lines at Richmond Canada Post facility

Those who actually came for the town hall say more Canadians are taking climate change seriously.

“I mean, it’s inevitable. If they don’t care about it now, they’ll care about it soon enough,” Sumeet Gulati, a food and resource economics professor at the University of British Columbia (UBC), said.

WATCH: Canada Post union supporters protest outside of countries largest distribution centre

Canada Post union supporters protest outside of countries largest distribution centre
Canada Post union supporters protest outside of countries largest distribution centre

Canada’s plan includes a carbon tax and efforts to accelerate the phasing out of coal.

Liberal MP Joyce Murray—who was also confronted by protesters before heading in to the town hall—is part of Canada’s delegation to COP 24 in Poland.

READ MORE: Canada Post back-to-work legislation passed, comes into effect on Tuesday

“I would say that we are committed to meeting our climate objectives and we are doing just a whole portfolio of things,” Murray said.

Still, Carol McAusland, also a food and resource economics professor at UBC, said the Canadian government could and should be doing more.

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“We should be doing more to develop our renewable energies, more hydroelectric, more wind, knitting together our grids so that we can have solar and wind in places where the wind blows and the shines and map it into places that don’t have the same capacity,” she said.