Chancellors’ Challenge: The Green Transition

The Chancellors’ Challenge is an innovative cross-listed North American Studies and Political Science course run in cooperation with the Laurier Centre for the Study of Canada and the Laurier Library. Senior undergraduate students engaged in collaborative, student-centred learning and employed digital tools to develop online projects addressing some of the biggest issues confronting Canada today.

President & Vice-Chancellor MacLatchy’s Challenge:

The Green Transition

 

What does the transition to a green economy look like? How can Canada end its economic dependence on fossil fuels in a way that preserves our economy and doesn’t leave anyone behind?

THE TRANSITION to a green economy is an ongoing and complicated issue in Canadian politics. President and Vice-Chancellor Deborah MacLatchy applied her background in biological science to challenge students to identify solutions that balance sustainable development while maintaining economic growth.

The StoryMap project An Interprovincial Analysis of Canada’s Transition to a Green Economy is a comprehensive examination of Canada’s ongoing transition to a green and sustainable economy. Created by students Evan Cameron, Sydney Rosenberg, Harshdeep Mangat, Christopher Masschelein, and Jeevanjot Riarh, their analysis addressed the urgent need for action on climate change in Canada and highlighted the imperative of transitioning to a green economy. This includes the adoption of sustainable and environmentally friendly practices to mitigate climate change while fostering economic growth. However, the uniqueness of Canada’s federal system, characterized by two distinct levels of government – federal and provincial – along with numerous municipalities driving their own green initiatives, has made the shift to a greener economic outlook a particularly difficult transition.

To understand and navigate this complex landscape, the project explores several critical questions. It seeks to understand the role of provincial governments in either supporting or hindering the federal government’s climate efforts, and how federal and provincial levels of government in Canada have to work in tandem to address climate change effectively. The project also delves into how Canada’s federal system influences national climate efforts. It explores how this governance structure can either catalyze or complicate the nation’s transition to a green economy. The students also investigated the role of municipalities in supporting provincial or federal climate goals and demonstrate how these local entities play a vital role in implementing green initiatives, and thus contributing significantly to the national agenda.

Click here to view the StoryMap in fullscreen at KnightLab.

By addressing these questions and thoroughly exploring Canada’s transition to a green economy, the student-led digital project provides a comprehensive overview of the nation’s efforts to combat climate change, as well as providing insight on how to better uphold the expectations of international institutions. By doing so, it underscores the importance of unity and collaboration among different levels of government and emphasizes the complexities, challenges, and potential opportunities on the path to a more sustainable future.

Post by Kyle Pritchard, Digital Content Manager at the Laurier Centre for the Study of Canada and a PhD Candidate at Wilfrid Laurier University.

StoryMap by Evan CameronSydney RosenbergHarshdeep MangatChristopher Masschelein, and Jeevanjot Riarh.

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