Federal election candidates in Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies fielded questions from voters during an all candidate's forum in Fort St. John on Thursday, Oct. 10. Here's what they had to say about climate change. Answers have been edited for length and clarity.
Question: "In this election campaign, climate change has come right to the forefront. We see the world making a shift away from fossil fuels more and more toward renewables. How do you see yourself and your party making that transition in this riding?" — Ken Boon, Bear Flat
Ron Vaillant, People's Party: “We believe that the private sector is the best way to develop new technology. Apple was started in a garage. You don’t have to have the government go and spend taxpayer dollars to fund a new corporation or a new initiative. We challenge the whole idea of man-made climate change.”
Bob Zimmer, Conservatives: “You wonder why the Japanese ambassador would be in Prince George to talk to a LNG conference. Everybody remembers Fukushima. They came over asking for our natural gas to supply them with energy to heat their homes, heat their water, make electricity. It’s part of a great story, to lower emissions around the world. We have lots of gas, we should be using it.”
Mavis Erickson, Liberals: “The Liberal government has gone ahead to fight climate change and put money back into the pockets of Canadians. They’ve launched the ocean protection plan, which is the single largest investment in Canadian history to protect our oceans; taking real action to ban harmful single use plastics by 2021, investing in a better public transit, supporting most renewable types of energy, and investing in energy efficient buildings, and declaring a national climate emergency.”
Catharine Kendall, Greens: “The Green Party will invoke the precautionary principle in making decisions about approvals of products, substances, projects and process where there’s a potential for irreversible harm. If there is no scientific proof of safety then approval will be withheld. The Green Party will retool society to run on non-polluting renewable energy sources, and implement a major ramp-up in renewable electricity by 2030; 100% of Canada’s electricity will come from renewable sources.”
Marcia Luccock, candidate for the NDP, did not attend the forum, and has not responded to emails.
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