2021 Federal Election

2021 Federal Election

The SCCA co-sponsored an Environmental All-Candidates Forum with Alliance 4 Democracy (A4D) on August 30, 2021. Over 220 people tuned in from across the West Vancouver - Sea to Sky - Sunshine Coast riding.  The recording of this meeting can be viewed on our YouTube channel.

We also submitted written questions to the candidates on September 7th. We requested that candidates reply in writing by September 13th.

Expand the sections below to view the candidates responses.

 

Question 1: Forest Carbon

The BC forestry industry (including emissions from logging and forest fires) is the single largest carbon emitter in our province, releasing over 82 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. Preserving old-growth forests and restoring deforested land are the best ways to sequester large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere.

In 2021 the Supreme Court of Canada determined that the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act is “a matter  of national concern” and has “limited constitutional impact on provincial jurisdiction”. The ruling solidified the federal government’s right to impose measures to cut GHG emissions and address climate change and biodiversity loss as in the national interest.

If elected, what would you do within your Party to protect old growth forests and restore deforested lands to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate climate change impacts?

We are the only federal party with a plan to protect British Columbia’s old growth forests. We will do so by:

  • Reaching a nature agreement with the province of BC
  • Establishing a $50 million B.C. Old Growth Nature Fund
  • Working with partners to attract additional funding to further support the protection of important old growth forests; and
  • Ensuring First Nations, local communities, and workers are partners in shaping the path forward on nature protection.

We’re also planting 2 billion trees across the country, covering an area twice the size of Prince Edward Island, creating 4,300 jobs, and sequestering up to 12 MT of carbon by 2050.

Not one more “elder of the forest” should be cut down for corporate profit. I believe that our last remaining ancient forests must be preserved to protect the land and climate and the traditional practices of First Nations peoples. 

The value of these irreplaceable ecosystems for biodiversity protection, natural asset management, carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation must not be discounted or lost. The BC government has committed to protection of endangered Old Growth and a paradigm shift in BC Forest management in consultation with First Nations. Without federal government funding this shift will not happen.

That is why the NDP will invest $500 million to fund Indigenous-led land and water stewardship programs, including for old-growth forests. This is 10 times more than the Liberals have committed to spend after 6 years of inaction on this crucial issue.

As well, our $500 million Guardian Program will help create new opportunities for Indigenous leaders and support First Nations communities to move away from extraction-based practices back to stewardship based economics. And the NDP will implement a Civilian Climate Corps, a key element of a Green New Deal, that would put thousands of British Columbians to work remediating and restoring BC’s forests so that we can protect ecosystems and maintain our working forests for future generations.

You took the words out of my mouth. We need old growth forests to be part of our climate change plan, because there’s nothing that’s more effective in helping mitigate our carbon footprint. We have to stop seeing these trees as commodities, and start seeing the forests, and the ecosystems they’re part of, as an essential part of Canada’s greenhouse gas reduction. Astoundingly, after repeated promises to stop all old growth logging in BC, the provincial NDP continues to allow it and Jagmeet Singh remains silent as the trees continue to fall and those protesting this travesty continue to be arrested.

When I worked with the Queros in the Amazon rainforest, we worked together to show the Peruvian government that the trees were more valuable standing than cut, and succeeded in preserving vast tracts of this rainforest. It’s not enough – we need to preserve every old growth forest left on earth. As an MP in Ottawa, I would fight tooth and nail to make Canadian lawmakers see this.

There’s no factory we could build that could draw carbon down more effectively, and if we want to win this fight and give the planet to our children, we have to stop old growth logging immediately. They’re our tool to sustain life, not logs to be chopped down.

No response yet from Conservative Party Candidate, John Weston.

No response yet from Peoples' Party Candidate, Doug Bebb.

Question 2: Plastics Pollution

Plastic debris is estimated to kill over a million sea creatures annually. Fragments of fishing  equipment and packaging materials such as six pack rings strangle large aquatic animals. Particles of plastic are mistaken for food, blocking digestive systems and causing hormonal disruptions because they contain toxic chemicals. Microplastics in the food chain now appear in human organs and may pose a risk to our health.

The Liberal Party has promised to ban most single use plastics by the end of 2021. This is being challenged by the petroleum industry.

If elected, would your Party support the policy? What steps would your Party take to clean up the existing plastic pollution?

Plastic pollution is a problem in Canada and around the world. That’s why we’ve banned plastic checkout bags, straws, stir sticks, six-pack rings, cutlery, and food ware made from hard-to-recycle plastics. This plan also proposes improvements to recover and recycle plastic, so that it stays in our economy and out of the environment.

We’ve also banned microbeads in toiletries, and have committed $100 million in infrastructure and innovation funding to scale and commercialize made-in-Canada technologies to reuse and recycle plastics - all part of our plan to end plastic pollution by 2030.

Yes, the NDP will continue to lead on cleaning up plastic pollution. We will continue to support the policy to ban most single use plastics by the end of 2021 and improve on it. The NDP is not afraid to stand up to the petroleum industry and other powerful corporations propped up by the Liberal and Conservative governments. 

In 2018, five NDP MPs (with support from the Green caucus) tabled a Private Members M-151 NATIONAL STRATEGY TO COMBAT PLASTIC POLLUTION. The motion called on government to work with the provinces, municipalities, and indigenous communities to develop a national strategy to combat plastic pollution in and around aquatic environments, which would include the following measures:

(a) regulations aimed at reducing

     (i) plastic debris discharge from stormwater outfalls,

     (ii) industrial use of micro-plastics including, but not limited to, microbeads, nurdles, fibrous microplastics and fragments,

     (iii) consumer and industrial use of single use plastics, including, but not limited to, plastic bags, bottles, straws, tableware, polystyrene (foam), cigarette filters, and beverage containers; and

(b) permanent, dedicated, and annual funding for the

     (i) cleanup of derelict fishing gear,

     (ii) community-led projects to clean up plastics and debris on shores, banks, beaches and other aquatic peripheries,

     (iii) education and outreach campaigns on the root causes and negative environmental effects of plastic pollution in and around all bodies of water.

In December 2018, the House of Commons unanimously adopted Motion M-151, which called for a national strategy to combat plastic pollution in and around aquatic environments.

I love it when another party comes up with a great idea. YES. The Green Party and I would wholeheartedly support the ban on single-use plastics. We would add to the list, including other harmful plastics such as polystyrene.

Green policy would require that all plastic packaging be made with at least 50% recycled content by 2030, which would put the onus on manufacturers to make recycling vastly easier for consumers. We would make companies who sell synthetic fishing gear responsible for retrieval and recycling of their gear.

No response yet from Conservative Party Candidate, John Weston.

No response yet from Peoples' Party Candidate, Doug Bebb.

Question 3: Fossil Fuels

The federal government continues to subsidize and expand fossil fuel infrastructure, further adding to greenhouse gases, climate instability, and run-away climate change. This has severe adverse consequences for biodiversity.

If you are elected, what will you do to stop these destructive fossil fuel subsidies? Specifically, will you urgently work to put an immediate stop to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project and redirect the billions of dollars being spent on this pipeline expansion towards renewable energy, and conservation measures?

Our government has made great progress on eliminating fossil fuel subsidies as part of our G20 commitment to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies by 2025. With this progress, we’re now able to commit to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies by 2023. We’ll also phase out public financing of the fossil fuel sector, including from Crown corporations, consistent with our commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Our climate plan, which has been called the ‘only credible plan’ in this election by former BC Green Party leader and climate scientist Andrew Weaver, already accounts for the future emissions from TMX. That plan has Canada on track to exceed our original Paris targets, so we’ve raised our ambition to 40-45% emissions reductions by 2030.

If elected, I will do everything in my power to stop destructive fossil fuel subsidies, with the support of the federal NDP caucus. The NDP will immediately eliminate all fossil fuel subsidies. 

And yes, I will urgently work with NDP, Green and Bloc allies to put an immediate stop to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project and redirect the taxpayer dollars being spent on this project toward a Green New Deal. We are in a climate emergency and there is ZERO room for new fossil fuel infrastructure. 

The Liberals have been promising a plan to phase out public financing for the oil and gas sector and eliminate fossil fuel subsidies since 2016. Instead, they spent public money to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline - with its projected final cost of over $20 billion - and force its expansion through. 

The Liberals are trying to trick you into believing that nationalizing a fossil fuel pipeline will help us pay for climate action. But, an SFU study projected Canada will lose at least $11.9 billion if the expansion proceeds.  The Liberals have broken their promises on the issue of fossil fuels time and time again. We must stop expecting them to keep their word.

We need more NDP seats and environmental champions in government to work with our allies across the floor and hold a minority Liberal government firmly to account on this issue.

There is no good reason for the government to continue to subsidize fossil fuels. We will end fossil fuel subsidies right away, yes, put an immediate stop to the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, Woodfibre LNG, and any other new fossil fuel development, and invest that money into all the clean technology, infrastructure, and social justice programs we need to take Canada forward into a sustainable future.

If we’re serious about reaching the goals that all the leading climate scientists are telling us we need to reach by 2030 in order to have a fighting chance of keeping the planet life-sustaining, we have to act now, and we have to act fast. We have no more time, money, or patience for pipelines, LNG, old growth logging, or any of the practices that are setting our world on fire.

No response yet from Conservative Party Candidate, John Weston.

No response yet from Peoples' Party Candidate, Doug Bebb.

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