Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Candidates: By the Issues – Part 1

Well, the last six weeks have surely flown by have they not? It seems like only yesterday we started this grand adventure to select our next Member of Parliament for the Royal City… And then the Prime Minister and the Opposition leaders decided that since we’re having so much fun in Guelph, Saint-Lambert and Westmount–Ville-Marie, the entire country might as well join in.

Now, to be fair, as I write this I haven’t the foggiest idea for certainty that we’re now going to the polls with the rest of Canada on October 14th , just the certainty that everyone else in the media seems to have. As a result, this article was originally scheduled to lay out four questions to all the major party candidates that dealt with the most important issues debated in this election. But with more time now, we’re doing it as a four part series.

The following are the four responses to the first question asked in my Candidate Questionnaire. Now, due to the limited space in our esteemed publication, I’m afraid I had to limit myself to only asking the top four candidates to participate, and then requesting of them to limit their responses to a maximum of 100 words for each question.

This week: Question #1: What’s the best strategy for dealing with climate change?

Tom King: The NDP has a better way for Canada and a better plan for the environment. Our strategy will lower pollution by law. In fact, Jack Layton’s Climate Change Accountability Act (Bill C-377) is the only science-based targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent, by placing an annual cap on the amount of carbon the big polluters can emit. Such a plan, advocated by the United Nations, the European Union, Senator Obama, Governor Schwarzenegger, Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and British Columbia, will help ensure Canada reaches its pollution reduction targets in the short and long-term.

Gloria Kovach: It’s important to set clear targets for reductions on greenhouse gas emissions and not look at a tax grab and think that it’s going to reduce our carbon footprint. The Conservatives have implemented the first ever Canadian plan which forces big polluters to cut their emissions, focuses on carbon capture and targets to cut air pollution by half in the next 7 years. We have increased investment in public transit. Technology plays a key part in our plan. Developing green technologies will allow us to cut our emissions while turning Canada into a leader in this rapidly growing area.  

Mike Nagy: As we have been saying for years now, the best strategy for dealing with climate change is ours. It is investing in energy efficiency and conservation first; taxing big polluters; honouring our Kyoto commitment; putting moratorium on new Tar Sands development; developing and invest in new low carbon energy sources' investing heavily in public transit including the rebuilding of Via Rail and Light Rail; giving financial incentives for new Green Collar industries and greening our auto sector. The strongest strategy is an innovative strategy. The strongest strategy is our strategy.

Frank Valeriote: The best strategy for dealing with climate change is the Green Shift. Only the Liberal plan keeps both cap-and-trade system a possibility and immediately implements a carbon tax regime that will place more money in the pockets of Canadians. Unlike the plan of other parties, the Green Shift will work immediately to bring greenhouse emissions down. Economists and environmentalists alike have praised the it as a bold and decisive strategy for tackling climate change. The Auditor General will be asked to ensure that the government does not profit from it, so accountability will be ensured.

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