Fighting for a just transition in the local political arena: Challenges and opportunities for reciprocal training between elected officials and residents

By Anne-Sophie Bendwell
Citizen mobilization for the energy transition in so-called Quebec has been in full swing in recent years. One of the strategies of activists is to invest local political spaces. To facilitate this strategy, we analyzed the results of a focus group that then informed a literature search on the theme. In the light of these results, we propose avenues of reflection for the reciprocal conformation of the various actors involved in local politics.

The (very) concrete utopia of Bâtiment 7: A common facing the challenges of its financial autonomy

By Sylvain A. Lefèvre and David Grant-Poitras
Bâtiment 7 is a « collective autonomy factory » located in a working-class district of Montreal. By studying the micro-politics of its financing, we examine the articulation of its issues of sustainability, accessibility and economic democratization. Structural tensions emerge in reconciling all these objectives, but so do promising social innovations. Far from being a technical detail, financial empowerment puts the common good to the test – its boundaries, its resources, the links between its members and its collective architecture.

Community development in the context of the social and environmental transition: Eight Local development processes in Quebec

By Lucie Morin, Sonia Racine, Denis Bourque, André-Anne Parent, René Lachapelle, Christian Jetté, Stéphane Grenier, Dominic Foisy, Sébastien Savard, Serigne Touba Mbacké Gueye, Geneviève Le Dorze-Cloutier, Ariane Hamel and Charlotte Goglio
In Quebec, a multitude of players work together to maintain and improve living conditions. Solid expertise has been built up in the field of community development. This collective intelligence could be put to good use in the fight against the climate crisis. Qualitative research carried out in 8 territories in Quebec aims to understand how territorial development approaches, especially those dedicated to social development, contribute to the collective efforts required to ensure the socio-ecological transition.

Justice in energy transitions

By Stephen Williams and Andréanne Doyon
As the climate crisis grows, energy systems are transitioning to renewable and sustainable alternatives. However, these transitions often lead to injustice and inequities. Transitions research must better consider justice in its analysis. Drawing from environmental and energy justice literature, we consider justice for people, communities, and the non-living in transitions research through the development of an analytical framework. The framework provides reflective practice to support distributive, procedural, and recognition justice.

Equity in climate plans: a comparison between Vancouver and Montreal

By Hélène Madénian, Sophie L. Van Neste, Andréanne Doyon and Ashley Armitage
This research focuses on the equity and justice approaches of the City of Vancouver and the City of Montreal in their climate plans, i.e. the definitions of equity and the concrete measures considered by the two cities. Identified as climate leaders, Vancouver and Montreal have targets in line with the Paris Agreement and are committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2050, and each published a new climate plan in 2020.

A just energy transition for Indigenous Peoples: From ideal deliberation to fairness in Canada and Australia

By Fabienne Rioux-Gobeil
In response to the climate crisis, renewable energy projects are being developed around the world and mostly, on Indigenous traditional territories. In countries such as Canada and Australia, the questions of Indigenous national sovereignties are still unclear and unresolved which causes complex issues of unequal power relations. About energy security, resurgence and self-determination, the energy transition could be the promise of great opportunities for Indigenous peoples. However, to benefit from renewable energy projects, they have to be in a position to fairly defend their interests.

Reciprocal training: An instrument of epistemic justice in the campaign for a just energy transition

By Laurence Brière, Guillaume Moreau, Maude Prud’homme, Isabel Orellana, Marie-Ève Marleau, Martine Chatelain and Marie-Pier Lafrance
The eco-citizen movement for an energy transition is working to transform the dominant economic-energy system with a view to social justice and respect for the environment. By collaborating with stakeholders in this mobilization as part of an action-research project, we raised the epistemic justice issues inherent in this political project, and attempted to create spaces for reciprocal training, highlighting the diversity of types of knowledge. An innovative conceptual framework for energy justice was proposed, taking into account the very concrete realities of eco-citizen struggles and initiatives.

Setting just transition milestones: Chemins de transition challenges Quebecers to envision a sustainable future

By Franck Scherrer and Jeanne Paré
For three years, the Chemins de transition initiative brought together the academic community and the driving forces of Quebec society in a forward-looking, participatory process to map out a trajectory towards more sober and resilient ways of living in the territory by 2042. This text summarizes the process, focusing on the role of social justice in the mobilization of knowledge about the future.

Sustainable housing and electric mobility programs in Quebec: Toward a trajectory of urban sprawl and growing socioeconomic inequalities

By Guillaume Lessard
Two major challenges to sustainable urbanization in North America are the environmental, social and economic impacts of urban sprawl, and the growing socio-economic inequalities associated with housing and mobility. Several government policies and programs address these issues. However, depending on how they are implemented, interventions in these sectors can lead to the reinforcement of structural and cultural barriers specific to urban sprawl, as well as the exacerbation of pre-existing socio-economic inequalities.

The discourse of ecological transition in Greater Montreal

By Ali Romdhani and René Audet
Ecological transition is a recent form of environmental discourse, the successor to sustainable development in many institutions. Transition discourse was initially conceived on an urban scale: the Transition Towns movement popularized citizen initiatives and local action. Later, in Quebec, municipal institutions took up the issue, and planning documents proliferated.
Here’s an overview of the transition discourse in Greater Montreal.

For a just and feminist ecological transition in Montreal

By Naomie Léonard, Hélène Madénian and Gabrielle Perras St-Jean
As part of its fight against climate change, taking gender into account from an intersectional perspective would enable the City of Montreal to avoid certain pitfalls, such as reproducing sexist biases and stereotypes, and exacerbating inequalities between genders and between women themselves. This text is a summary of the research that led to the publication of the Avis du Conseil des Montréalaises pour une transition écologique juste et féministe à Montréal November 2, 2022.

The local community at the heart of the ecological transition: The impact of local, citizen-based climate initiatives in Montreal

By Alexandra Nadeau
In cities, a growing number of citizens are independently setting up initiatives to tackle climate change, such as greening, urban agriculture and alternative energy projects. Using the case study of Montreal’s Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie district, this research shows that local initiatives reflect the growing power of informal collective modes of action. Through local « green » actions, citizens produce direct, concrete and simple benefits, focused on their own personal gain.

Review of a research partnership in Rosemont‒La Petite-Patrie: The challenges of sub-municipal governance for the ecological transition

Production of a summary directory in collaboration with the Borough of Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie, in Montreal, to identify the areas and methods of intervention of the administration and its partners in terms of ecological transition. The Borough makes relatively little use of prescriptive standards and criteria, or of awareness-raising and incentives, even though these mechanisms have proven their effectiveness in triggering changes in behavior.