Thursday brought all seven candidates running for the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo region together in the House of Learning for a debate on the environment. This was brought to us by Transition Kamloops and Kamloops Chapter of the BC Sustainable Energy Association.
All seven parties were represented including the Liberals, Conservatives, New Democratic Party and the Green party. Joining them as well were the Animal Protection Party, the Communist Party as well as the People’s Party.
This was part of the 100 debate series that happened across Canada which was initiated by Green PAC. There are 21 registered political parties across Canada, all seven that were present on Thursday are registered with elections Canada.
The candidates had 30-60 seconds to answer multiple sets of questions. This included ones that were asked nationally, locally as well as audience submitted questions. While there was no open mic audience members were able to ask questions through paper slips as well as online.
The debate was moderated by Mel Rothenburger and each candidate was provided with two wild cards to reply back to another candidate’s comments. The overall theme for the debate was focused on the environment but we saw questions around electoral reform as well as the economy.
The national questions touched on concerns around water pollution, the Canadian Environmental Project Act as well as meeting international obligations around GHG pollution. Local questions had the candidates discuss fossil fuel subsidies as well as environmental footprints of municipalities.
Some of the main themes we saw candidates address were around reforestation, creating jobs, clean energy, saving the pollinators as well as working with Indigenous communities moving forward.
“We need to ensure that instead of exporting our resources, they’re staying here,” said Kira Cheeseborough, the candidate representing the Animal Protection Party and a student of the Social Work program at TRU.
This was in response to a question about how the candidate’s parties would handle a just transition to an economy that deals with sustainability and economic growth in British Columbia.
“We need to create jobs and finished products, Canadian quality products that then we can export for a higher profit,” continued Cheeseborough to applause from the crowd.
Cheeseborough and the Animal Protection Party are not the only ones who want more jobs brought into the picture.
“The Green Party of Canada’s platform includes the proposal for a community environmental services core,” said Iain Currie, who is a father of three and a lawyer as well as the Green Party candidate.
“ [This would] fund a billion dollars for Canadian municipalities to hire youth across the country into service projects for environmental reasons.”
All the parties encourage folks to look into their party platforms and that maybe if they didn’t agree on what, something needs to change and quick.
The next federal election takes place on October 21, 2019. To make sure you are registered to vote, that your address is correct or to see more information about the candidates for your riding please visit www.elections.ca.