We asked the main federal candidates in Cowichan-Malahat-Langford for a brief description of what they would do about climate change and the environment. These are their answers, reproduced in alphabetical order by last name. The Conservative candidate Alana Delong has not answered.
Blair Herbert, Liberal Party
Liberal candidate – Blair Herbert – believes there is no issue more important than fighting climate change. The Liberals have invested more in the climate file than any party in Canada’s history and Blair will continue this work; he will be a strong voice at the table of government, not on the back benches. In only four years, the Liberals introduced +50 measures to fight climate change, including:
- putting a price on pollution;
- launching the Oceans Protection Plan (today, 14% of ocean areas are protected compared to 1% in 2015);
- working with Inuit to protect the Arctic’s last year-round sea ice, as well as the sensitive glass sponge reefs of coastal BC.
Liberals also recognize pollution is posing a serious threat to the ecological balance of the oceans and are moving towards a ban on single-use plastics by 2021. “This work must continue.” As your MP, Blair commits to:
- Establishing, legally-binding, five-year milestones to reach net-zero emissions by 2050
- Protecting 25% of Canada's land and 25% of Canada’s oceans by 2025, working towards 30% of each by 2030;
- Planting two billion trees over 10 years as part of a $3 billion effort to deploy natural climate solutions;
- Leading by example, ensuring federal buildings run on clean electricity by 2022.
Blair worries about this election. “Canada cannot go back to a Conservative government when polluting was free and environmental protections were weakened. My grandchildren are counting on me to continue this work and you can too.”
Lydia Hwitsum, Green Party
We are feeling the effects of climate change here in the Cowichan Valley and we must solve it by working together. Drought is a real problem for our fish, farmers, industry, and recreation. I am ready to use my legal training, political and advocacy experience to be a strong and effective voice in Ottawa to address the environmental issues that are top of mind. As founding co-Chair of the Cowichan Watershed Board in 2010, we created a locally driven governance structure that was necessary to address the complex environmental and economic issues. The Watershed Board has provided a decade of leadership for sustainable water management, environmental protection and enhanced quality of life. Its principles of collaboration and inclusion have been used as a model around BC and Canada
Since its beginnings, the Green Party of Canada has led policy development on ecological sustainability and environmental protection. Our plan to address the climate emergency is called Mission: Possible and can be found at greenparty.ca. It is bold and comprehensive, as the science deems necessary, aiming to reduce emissions to 60% below 2005 levels by 2030, and attain net-zero emissions by 2050. A main focus is to phase out fossil fuels, which comprise 54% of Canada’s GHG emissions, and transition fully to renewable energy, including facilitating a just transition for workers to green jobs. We can and must elect real climate leaders and create a safe, equitable future for all.
Alistair MacGregor, NDP
Climate change is the defining issue of our century and how we respond here and now will determine the survival of future generations.
As a dad, protecting our environment and tackling the climate crisis is a number one priority for me. That’s why as your Member of Parliament over the past four years, I’ve repeatedly called on the Trudeau Liberal government to take serious and urgent action on climate change.
The NDP’s Power to Change outlines a real plan to stop devastating climate change and transition to the clean-energy future. We will meet science-based reduction targets of GHG emissions, stop the Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion, and immediately end subsidies to fossil fuel companies, instead investing them in clean-energy initiatives.
Our plan will create 300,000 new green jobs. We won't leave workers and Indigenous communities behind. Our plan builds up made-in-Canada industries and supports workers in the transition to a clean-energy future.
Through my lobbying of federal government Ministers in Parliament, I helped bring over $4.08 million in joint-federal/provincial funding for work to protect the Cowichan River, and I look forward to seeing the Cowichan weir project through to completion.
My most recent bill C-431 would require the CPP Investment Board to divest from fossil fuel companies that are violating environmental rights and contributing to climate change.
I encourage you to look at my record: alistairmacgregor.org
I hope I can re-earn your vote on October 21st so I can ensure we address the climate crisis, and protect our environment.