Climate change has been a hot-button topic around the world, especially in Canada with the federal election campaign underway.
Green Party candidate Sari Watson will join locals in front of Bancroft’s municipal office Friday as a part of the Global Climate Strike. Nine-year-old Brynn Kilpatrick is leading the charge in getting locals together for the protest.
“In my opinion, there’s no more important work than speaking out against these catastrophic environmental disasters and changes that are occurring,” Watson says. She adds that she’s inspired by what youth like Kilpatrick and 16-year-old Greta Thunberg are doing to try and protect their futures. “It’s their future we’re gambling with,” Watson says.
With party leaders speaking about climate change of the campaign trail, Watson says everyone who isn’t on board with fighting against climate change needs to wake up and join the fight. “This is the time that we really need to protect our eco-system,” she says. “If we don’t preserve the health of our planet there will be no economy or society for us to worry about.”
Her candidates in the upcoming election weighed in as well. “The science is overwhelming,” incumbent Liberal MP Mike Bossio tells My Bancroft Now. Bossio took part in Belleville’s climate protest last week. He points to the Liberals’ climate change plan saying their it has “over 50 measures, $70 billion being invested” into the fight against climate change.
“I would say to those out there that still don’t believe in climate change that if I’m wrong I leave a safer, cleaner, healthier environment for future generations, but if they’re wrong: devastation,” Bossio puts it.
“Our only issue is everyone running around with their head chopped off trying to make policy decisions,” People’s Party of Canada candidate Adam Gray says. He says his party understands that climate change is an issue, but they want to make sure that any decision made is well-thought-out and not hastily done.
He points to the Liberal government’s carbon tax plan as a bad idea. “Everyone has to drive somewhere, our country is way too big to not rely on automobiles,” he says. Gray says the PPC will look to technology as a way to combat climate change. He gives the example of B.C. who are using a “CO2 Catcher” – also known as a “Direct Air Capture” – as a tool to fight against climate change. “It sucks in the air from the outside, runs it through filters which use chemicals to pull out all the carbon which creates carbon dioxide pebbles,” he explains. He says he would be “all for” building 20 to 30 of these a year for four years. “But running around saying the world is going to end is not right, all you’re doing is scaring our children,” Gray says.
Conservative Derek Sloan also brings up the Liberals and, specifically, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “We know that Canadians are frustrated with Justin Trudeau’s lack of action, and we support Canadians’ desire for action on this important file,” he says. Sloan says his party’s plan to combat climate change focuses on green technology, not taxes.
“An Andrew Scheer government will be committed to taking the climate change fight global while putting more money in the pockets of Canadians so they can get ahead, not just get by,” Sloan says.”
The NDP’s David Tough says they are focused on climate change as well and says they want to create what he calls “green jobs.” “(We are) trying to create a transition that will create jobs for people so we can have a good transition and people don’t end up losers in the transition from a destructive economy to a green one,” he explains.
“We are committed to restricting emissions to a level that will keep global temperatures below 1.5 degrees,” Tough says, pointing out that’s what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is asking for. He says a simple way to work on that is by planting trees.
Residents from throughout North Hastings take part in the Global Climate Strike every Friday. It happens in front of the Bancroft municipal office at 11:30 AM.