Responses compiled by Amanda Smith, M.P.S.
With Election Day quickly approaching on October 21st, it’s important to understand where your local candidates stand on the issues that are important to you. When it comes to the topic of climate change, you deserve to know what actions they vow to take. We’ve reached out to every candidate in each of the five local ridings asking them one core question on climate action:
“What federal policies/actions (such as carbon pricing, electric vehicle incentives, etc.) do you think have the greatest impact in enabling greenhouse gas emission reductions?
Would you work to implement those policies and actions?”
We’ve compiled their verbatim responses to this question into a series of blog posts so you can understand exactly where they stand.
Responses from the Kitchener Centre candidates are listed below in alphabetical order by Party name. Click on a Party name to jump directly to their response:
Animal Protection Party - Ellen Papenburg
“It is very simple. If we just reduce eating animal products or even switch completely to a whole food plant-based lifestyle (a delicious and nutritious choice), we will have just as much if not more of an impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions as not driving a car. WE ALL can do this Right Now. NO regulation or even politics required.
Not only is this good for our health (which I personally can vouch for with incredible improvement of my long-time diabetes after changing my diet), it is also much nicer for the animals, and it is very good for our planet of which we have only ONE. We have No Planet B!
Other actions could include putting a stop to subsidizing fossil fuel industries and massive concentrated animal factories, and instead start planting forests and spend those monies on developing green industries and a green economy.”
Conservative Party - Stephen Woodworth
“My interest in protecting our environment led me to serve on the Environment Committee continuously during my seven years in Parliament. I expect to return to that service if re-elected, to continue working for strong, achievable multifaceted environmental policies.
Visit ARealPlan.ca to see our complete policy, which is too large for the word limit allowed here. Greenhouse gas emissions don't recognize borders. Merely reducing Canadian emissions, while merit-worthy, won't have any significant effect on climate change, which is Canadians' real concern. Here are just some of our Conservative strategies to meet the climate change challenge.
- Promoting export of Canadian clean products, like aluminum, to displace products with higher emissions profiles by, for example, expanding EDC green bond programs which finance development of emissions-reducing technologies.
- Promoting Canadian energy, like LNG, to replace dirtier foreign sources.
- Promoting the export of Canadian emission reduction technologies. With close to 3,000 coal plants, if China fitted even just their top 100 plants with Canadian carbon capture and storage, more than 300 Mt of CO2e per year will be eliminated - nearly half of what Canada's entire economy produces.
- Tax measures supporting green industries including, for example, accelerated capital cost allowance to industries which reduce emissions in other countries, and to producers who are among the least carbon-intensive in the world in their industry.
- Emissions standards for major emitters, driving Canadian businesses to the highest standards of green technology. Businesses exceeding Green Investment Standards must invest in research, development, and adoption of emissions-reducing technology. Visit ARealPlan.ca to see specifics.
- Creating a two-year Green Homes Tax Credit (GHTC) to contribute to homeowners' energy-saving renovations. Visit ARealPlan.ca to see specifics.
- Establish retrofit standards for those who undertake an environmental retrofit.
- Providing legal supports to develop a market for Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC), propelling building renovation in the long term (by using investment capital up front with owners paying back investors through energy savings).
- Establishing a voluntary net-zero ready building standard (to help create a market for cutting-edge home efficiency technology in all home price ranges.)
- Encouraging greater use of wood and low-carbon cement in construction projects.
- Establishing a Green Patent Credit to reduce the tax rate to 5% on income that is generated from green technology developed and patented in Canada.
- Leveraging up to $1 billion in new venture capital for Canadian green technology companies (building on the previous Conservative government's Venture Capital Action Plan).
- Creating a single online green technology innovators' hub that will help them identify where to find talent, information, and resources from private and public sectors.
- Negotiating regulatory changes to increase the efficiency of goods transportation at borders.
- Working with provinces, auto manufacturers, business leaders and industry experts to develop faster-charging electric vehicle batteries, increase the distances that can be travelled on a single charge, deal with the challenges of recycling used batteries, and deploy the necessary changing infrastructure to accommodate a changing fleet.”
Green Party - Mike Morrice
“I started SWR because I was frustrated with the lack of political action on climate - this is the same reason why I am now running for office.
We must respond at a scale that is appropriate to the times - this is what the science demands.
The federal government needs to respond in a manner that creates jobs, makes life more affordable, and protects our environment.
- Stricter targets: Set a target of 60 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions below 2005 levels by 2030, reaching net-zero by 2050 (double the current reduction target); set declining legal emissions limits for industries.
- Retrofit buildings across the country: Finance building retrofits and installation of renewable energy technologies such as solar and heat pumps through direct grants, zero-interest loans and repayments based on energy cost savings.
- Transitioning away from fossil fuel subsidies: Implement a major ramp-up of renewable electricity moving quickly towards 100% clean energy.
We have to start this coming election. We can no longer keep pushing back our ‘day of action’.”
Liberal Party - Raj Saini
“Earlier this year, I seconded a motion presented by my colleague Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, MP for Beaches-East York, that would commit Canada to reaching net zero emissions by 2050. The Liberal Party of Canada has made it a key component of our platform to legislate reaching that goal. This is exactly what the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change called for, and I’m proud that our party is stepping up.
It is critical that we continue moving forward, transitioning to net zero emissions. The price on pollution, introduced by our government earlier this year, will help ensure that our emissions peak and begin to decline within the next decade – a key step in reaching our long-term goals. However, this alone, while helping our emissions decrease substantially, will not be enough to reach either our 2030 or our 2050 targets. We need a broad, holistic and responsible approach to achieve that.
This transition can’t happen overnight, and while we’ve been laying the ground-work for the last four years, there is still more to do. Some sectors, such as transportation, are going to be harder to transition off fossil fuels than others. Aside from our investments in greener public transit and environmentally sustainable buildings, we’ve also expanded infrastructure needed for zero emissions vehicles. In our budget this year, we started making these vehicles more affordable, and have worked with auto manufacturers to transition the market to 100% zero emissions vehicles by 2040.
Taking action responsibly, and leaving no one behind as we move forward on these issues, is so critical given the stakes. Roughly 80% of our electricity is clean energy, and we’re working to ensure a just transition for coal workers as we close our coal power plants over the next decade and continue increasing investments in renewables. We have also committed to cutting the tax rate in half for companies creating zero emissions products, benefiting communities across Canada.
Retrofitting our buildings is another way to substantially reduce our emissions, and we’re going to help individual homeowners and landlords do just that. Our National Housing Strategy requires affordable housing projects to be environmentally sustainable. As we advance this program, we have also committed to giving all Canadians a helping hand at greening their homes with an up to 40,000.00 interest free loan to implement a variety of retrofits, from replacing drafty windows to adding solar panels!
We are committed to continuing to pursue other methods to reduce our emissions. We have to work together on this; individuals, communities, businesses, industry, and nonprofits. Something I personally want to look at is reducing our food waste, which creates 21 million tons of CO2 every year. Addressing this issue could be another component to reducing our emissions, and I look forward to bringing it up in Parliament if granted the privilege of representing our community of Kitchener Centre once again.”
NDP - Andrew Moraga
Declined to respond.
View Andrew’s platform on his website at https://andrewmoraga.ndp.ca/.
People's Party - Patrick Bernier
“The PPC and I believe that Canadians and their enterprises will find solutions though technological advancements and the increasing market demand for environmental cleanup. Emissions will improve faster and faster if we empower Canadians and businesses to make sustainable choices. If elected, I will work hard to empower Canadians, and especially the Canadians of Kitchener Centre. We vote every day with our dollars. The more dollars we retain from our work, through less taxation and a repatriation of funds, the more our daily votes will influence change. The world is a network of capable minds who have solved many obstacles, and will continue to do so; I have full confidence in our capabilities!
A People’s Party government will:
- Stop sending billions of dollars to developing countries to help them reduce their emissions.
- Abolish the Liberal government’s carbon tax and leave it to provincial governments to adopt programs to reduce emissions if they want to.
- Abolish subsidies for green technology and let private players develop profitable and efficient alternatives.
- Invest in adaptation strategies if problems arise as a result of any natural climate change.
- Prioritize implementing practical solutions to make Canada’s air, water and soil cleaner, including bringing clean drinking water to remote First Nations communities”