2021 Election Debate on the Environment

362 people registered for the Peterborough Candidates debate on the Environment held on September 8, and 220 attended. This level of attendance indicates the importance that local citizens place on the environment.

All four candidates from the parties who were selected by the federal debate commission participated.

For those who missed the event live, here is the recording.

 

Questions

Here are the questions the candidates responded to. The first 4 questions were distributed to the candidates in advance. The remaining questions came from the audience before and during the meeting.

  1. Carbon draw-down

In spring 2021, the Canadian Parliament passed the Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act. This act requires binding emissions reductions targets at five-year intervals starting in 2030 and reaching net-zero by 2050. While targets are needed, concrete policies that reduce emissions are important.

What are two key policies you support that will ensure Canada sufficiently reduces emissions by 2030 and to net zero by 2050?

  1. Toxics, environmental regulations, clean air and water

The Canadian Environmental Protection Act is the overarching law to protect the health and environment of Canadians. This Act sets out regulations that prevent pollution and restrict toxic substances. The Act has not been significantly amended since it was first introduced in 1999. A Parliamentary committee released a report in 2017 with recommendations to update and improve the Act.

What are the two most important updates to CEPA that you would support?

  1. Indigenous Rights & the environment

Indigenous people have an important role in understanding and protecting our environment. In spring 2021, Parliament passed the UNDRIP Act, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Work must continue to implement this Act and advance reconciliation.

What are two key environmental policies that you support that will advance UNDRIP in Canada? 

  1. Federal role in low-carbon transition

Under our constitution, provinces are responsible for natural resources and energy.

What are the two best federal actions and/or policies you would support to facilitate a just transition to a low-carbon energy system across Canada? 

  1. We know that climate change is a global problem, what steps will your government take to compel other countries to reduce their carbon emissions?
  1. Alberta’s economy is significantly tied to fossil fuel extraction. As Canada and the world transition away from fossil fuel as the primary energy source, how will your government help Alberta and families that currently rely on the fossil fuel industry to remain economically stable?
  1. We would like to hear how your party will work toward the global biodiversity targets for 2030 including ensuring that at least 30% of important land and sea areas are conserved.
  1. How will you work to implement Indigenous-led protected areas and harvesting practices, particularly in light of the 2018 Williams Treaty Settlement in this territory?
  1. What will you party do about the expansion of BWXT and powdered Uranium processing in the heart of Peterborough, across the street from an elementary school?
  1. Would your party commit to funding a nation-wide EV charging network? Would it commit to a national EV mandate?
  1. Peterborough has declared a climate emergency. How would your party support our municipality in both mitigation and adaptation efforts?
  1. There are parallels & similarities among your platforms on climate change. If you agree, would you be willing to work together on federal-level action in a COALITION or collaborative framework for the sake of our children’s future?
  1. We know that changing our habits on a personal or individual level is not enough to combat climate change. How can we get big businesses and the very wealthy to do their share?
  1. Why is your party leader the best one to lead our country on the environment and climate change?

Supporting Organizations

  • Camp Kawartha,
  • Council of Canadians (Peterborough Chapter),
  • Federation of Ontario Cottagers Association,
  • For Our Grandchildren,
  • GreenUP,
  • Kawartha World Issues Centre
  • Peterborough Alliance for Climate Action,
  • Peterborough Youth Empowerment,
  • Rotary ECO Club,
  • Trent School of the Environment,
  • Unitarian Fellowship of Peterborough.
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