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Simcoe-Grey candidates weigh-in on climate change

CollingwoodToday asked local candidates what their party will do to address climate change, here are their answers
Simcoe-Greycandidates
Simcoe-Grey candidates for the federal election include: Top L-R Bren Munro (Liberal), Nick Clayton (Green), Terry Dowdall (Conservative), Lucas Gillies (NDP), bottom row l-r Adam Minatel (PPC) and Ken Stouffer (Christian Heritage Party).

CollingwoodToday.ca asked each of the federal candidates in Simcoe-Grey a series of six questions via email. The following responses were submitted by the candidates and/or their campaigns. The answers have not been checked for accuracy; they represent the candidate’s platforms and opinions. External links have been removed.

Visit collingwoodtoday.ca/canadavotes2021 for more coverage of the federal election. Voting day is Sept. 20 and advance voting starts Sept. 10.

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Q: Recently, a major scientific report warned of increasingly extreme heat waves, droughts and flooding, and a key temperature limit being broken in just over a decade. Scientists say it’s "a code red for humanity." What tangible ways will your party address climate change in the short- and long-term?

Adam Minatel, PPC: These same reports are misleading as they are not peer-reviewed, challenged openly on all platforms, and led by the same organizations who gain massive financial gain from their implementation of globalist agendas. 

Our climate is cyclical, and constantly evolving, and while Canada has led the world in many innovations to tackle our own pollution control, and utilizing scientific peer-reviewed data, to eliminate water issues and erosion affecting our landmass, other global nations are building coal factories at record speed. 

Our farmers are supporting us as we speak for them, our food supply, and the massive impositions of carbon taxes that do not get back to the general populace. 

We denounce big agriculture and genetically modified seeds that are nothing more than a cash grab with proven lowered yield, lower crop harvests and topsoil corruption.

Bren Munro, Liberal: A healthy environment goes hand in hand with a strong economy. Canadians want to see bold and decisive action to fight climate change.

The Liberal plan focuses on five key initiatives to help get people back to work while helping to fight pollution and climate change.

  • Make the places we live and gather more affordable by cutting energy waste.
  • Make clean, affordable transportation and power available in every community.
  • Continue to ensure that pollution isn’t free, and households get more money back.
  • Build Canada’s clean industrial advantage.
  • Embrace the power of nature to support healthier families and more resilient communities.

Additionally, the Liberal government announced in April of last year that Canada is enhancing our emissions reduction target to 40-45 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. Our new plan builds on this strong commitment and includes measures including:

  • Supporting 1,200 public transit projects across the country.
  • Making zero-emission vehicles more affordable and accessible.
  • Phasing out coal by 2030.
  • Banning harmful single-use plastics and microbeads.
  • Putting a price on pollution so that it’s no longer free to pollute anywhere in Canada while putting more money back into Canadian’s pockets.

Ken Stouffer, CHP: Climate alarmists say it’s “code red for humanity” and have been saying this for many decades now. Many deadlines for catastrophe have come and gone, yet here we are in the same stable climate situation that existed many decades ago. 

In the 1970s some scientists were predicting a coming ice age. The reality is, we do not have a climate emergency.  

Consider this fact – in Canada’s arctic, where it's now too cold for trees to grow, there lies a mummified forest. This forest grew there long before we were burning significant amounts of fossil fuels, yet at that time it was clearly much warmer there than it is now. Our climate has been fluctuating for thousands of years for reasons that have had nothing to do with man’s influence. 

To cry “code red” over relatively tiny temperature fluctuations is bad science. However, for those who wish to do away with nation-states and traditional values, and who wish to form a global governance system (“new world order/Great Reset”), climate, since it involves the whole earth (like a global pandemic), offers a tempting tool … invent a crisis and use the fear to gain control.

Nick Clayton, Green: The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change sixth report is a peer-reviewed meta-study of the work of hundreds of scientists across 66 countries, signed by all 195 signatories of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement (including Canada). It states that climate change is here, it is the result of “human influence,” and already having devastating effects. The heat dome over western North America this summer, for example, was statistically impossible without climate change.

The good news is that if humans can influence climate in one direction, we can also course correct. Climate action is an opportunity for economic stimulus, building resilience and health into communities, and promoting social justice.

The Green Deal is the only plan that will effectively address the climate crisis, reducing emissions 60 per cent by 2030, helping make Canada a leader in the no-carbon economy, leaving no one behind. We would begin immediately, using existing, proven, scalable solutions. 

Some practical examples of our plan include funding for home-energy-efficiency retrofits, projected to employ 800,000 in Ontario alone, building a comprehensive network of electric vehicle charging stations, building a national energy corridor between provinces, greening of electrical grids with solar and wind,  training for trades in emerging green industries, and the restoration of natural areas.

Terry Dowdall, Conservative: The Conservative Party recognizes that climate change is real and that action must be done to tackle it. Canada’s Conservatives will meet our Paris climate commitment and reduce emissions by 2030, but without the government taxing working Canadians and driving jobs and investment out of the country. 

We will work with the provinces to implement a Personal Low Carbon Savings Account. This will put a price on carbon for consumers without one penny going to the government. Canadians will be able to put their savings towards things that support a greener planet. That could mean buying a transit pass, a bicycle, or saving up and putting the money towards a new efficient furnace, energy-efficient windows or even an electric vehicle.

We will create jobs and innovation here in Canada by investing $1 billion in building out electric vehicle manufacturing in Canada, including investing in battery production, parts manufacturing, micro-mobility solutions and electric trucks. 

We will also tackle industrial emissions by proposing to the Biden administration minimum North American standards for key industrial sectors, backed up by border carbon adjustments to prevent leakage of emissions – and jobs – to countries with lower environmental and emissions standards like China.

Lucas Gillies, NDP: New Democrats have a bold action plan to address the urgent climate crisis and take real climate leadership, not just nice-sounding words. We can’t return to normal after the pandemic.  

We commit to reduce carbon emissions by 50 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030 and zero per cent by 2050. We will eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, and redirect funds to low carbon initiatives.  We want Canada to become a trailblazer in energy efficiency, clean technology and renewable energy use. 

We will invest in green infrastructure, retrofit houses for energy efficiency, improve transit and set targets to power our communities with net carbon-free electricity. We will protect 30 per cent of our land, freshwater and oceans by 2030.

The NDP commits to making First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples full and equal partners in Canada’s efforts to build a low-carbon future, including encouraging energy sustainability in remote communities and equity opportunities for renewable energy projects and Indigenous-led nature conservation and climate planning. We will work with provinces and territories on methane reduction. We will continue with carbon pricing and net-zero federal legislation. We will create a Climate Accountability Office and a Climate Emergency Committee of Cabinet to ensure a comprehensive government-wide response