Climate change is emerging as a hot topic during this election campaign.
Or at least it is for those candidates who believe it’s an issue.
“We believe the man-made, generated, climate crisis is a non-entity,” said Ron Vaillant, People’s Party of Canada candidate in Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies, at an all-candidates forum at UNBC Wednesday.
The response brought laughter from the crowd of about 350 people.
“When I was Grade 6 in 1970s we were taught that it was cooling, that we were going into an ice-age,” he said. “I remember them talking about it in such a way that we were almost going to die from it. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be in a school today with all of the rhetoric.”
He urged people to be a ‘truth seeker’ and find out information for themselves. He said the People’s Party of Canada won’t do anything regarding climate change or reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Liberal candidate Mavis Erickson said the party has put a price on pollution.
“Also, we’ve launched the Oceans Protection Plan which is the single largest investment in Canadian history, at $1.5 billion,” she said, adding the Liberals have moved to ban single-use plastics by 2021, investing in public transit, renewable energy, declaring a national climate emergency and phasing out coal.
Conservative candidate Bob Zimmer said the party supports protecting the environment.
“But we also support it with the understanding that we can’t kill our economy by doing that,” he said. “We can do it together.”
He said Canada can be part of a global solution by exporting green technology that helps reduce emissions in other parts of the world.
“Using natural gas as an example, we can offset some of the higher emitting forms of energy in China and (replace) some of the older generators that inefficient,” he said. “One party (the Green Party) is we need to cut all our fossil fuel development tomorrow.”
He said Canada accounts for 1.6 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and even if the country reduced emissions to zero, China would produce that amount in 21 days.
“We think we need to provide more Canada to the world,” he said. “In doing so, provide them with the LNG that need … I think the world needs more Canada, not less.”
Green Party candidate Catharine Kendall was in Fort Nelson and could not attend the debate and New Democrat candidate Marcia Luccock was also a no-show.