Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola candidates discuss climate change

Environment and practical policies to address the climate crisis were hot button topics at the federal all-candidates forum in Keremeos last Wednesday night.

Conservative incumbent Dan Albas answered first when the candidates were asked what their plans are to concretely address climate change.

READ MORE: Six candidates on ballot in Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola riding

“We believe in technology, not taxes. We would actually say if you are over 40 kilotons, we will put price where you have to fix the issue or you have to invest money into a technology fund to solve the problem.”

“We believe we can come up with more solutions to fight large emissions across the country and across the globe. One of the things we need to do is embrace new technology. Not everyone is blessed with hydroelectricity. We need to clean our grid. We need to take the fight global and make sure Canadian know-how is used and jobs stay within in Canada.”

Liberal candidate Mary Ann Murphy said her party was thinking of the livelihood of Albertans when it decided to purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline in 2018 and how much Alberta has contributed to equalization payments over the years to Atlantic provinces when they suffered economic difficulties.

“Over the past three or four years, more than 150,000 Albertans have lost their jobs. They are desperate. I don’t see, how in a transition to a green economy, which is our goal, we can turn our back on Albertans and tell them they can no longer get their product to market,” she said.

READ MORE: Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola riding is battleground for Conservative and Liberal candidates, experts say

“I want to see a just transition to a green economy. More investment in science, more investment in green companies? Absolutely. But when you hear Justin Trudeau say we have to balance the economy and the environment that is what he means. I cannot look an Albertan in the eye and tell them, ‘Sorry about your 150,000 jobs, we’re turning our backs on you now.’ What I want to say is this will probably be the last pipeline in Canadian history. We are going to use all the new technology we’ve got. This pipeline was started to be built in 1950, not a few years ago. It’s already in the ground.”

NDP candidate Joan Phillip said her party would not build another pipeline and it would make a commitment to invest in renewable energy when asked about the pipeline. She said she remembers a time when she was living in North Vancouver where they could eat crabs and clams from the ocean but those times have changed since recent oil spills along the coast.

“All those little things we do collectively to reduce our carbon footprint has got to happen. As others have said, we’ve got to do it now,” Phillip said. “We’re going to invest in clean energy that will create 300,000 jobs, hold big polluters accountable. Even right down to your homes. We’re talking about retrofitting your homes to clean energy and electrified transit. We want to zero the emissions that we’ve put out.”

Robert Mellalieu of the Green Party insisted all the other parties were in “climate crisis denial.”

“Your kids are going to die unless we do something today and it doesn’t involve buying pipelines. It doesn’t involve LNG. It doesn’t involve hemp. It doesn’t involve half measures. This is Vimy Ridge. This is the Second World War. No one said, “Maybe we should talk to Hitler one more time.’ We said, ‘Let’s storm the beaches and get the damn job done.’ That’s what the Green Party is doing. Everything else is climate denial.”

Other topics discussed at the forum were immigration, temporary foreign workers, healthcare and medical costs and affordable living and MP accountability and the national park proposed by the federal government.

To report a typo, email: editor@keremeosreview.com.


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