Oakville North Burlington Federal Candidates Responses to Halton Region Question on Climate Change

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Due to the number of federal candidates for the Federal Riding of Oakville North Burlington, the questions that the Region of Halton asked will be broken down into each question. The first question deals with Climate Change.

Climate Change Question
Weather patterns have changed over the past few decades negatively impacting many communities including Halton Region which have seen an increase in severe weather events such as extended heat waves, torrential rain and ice storms. Without provincial and federal best practices and investment, municipalities are required to manage the social, economic, infrastructure, environmental and health-related consequences of climate change in the community, often at a very high cost. Long-term, sustainable funding is required for municipalities to improve community resilience and to reduce the severity of future climate change effects.

What would you and your government do to help municipalities adapt and respond to climate change?

Janice BestJanice Best – New Democratic Party
The NDP will invest in targeted sustainable development priorities over the next four years to tackle climate change and adapt our communities in partnership with provinces, municipalities and Indigenous governments. This funding will invest in provincial, territorial and municipal home energy programs to retrofit 50,000 homes and 15,000 apartment units to lower energy bills and create thousands of jobs ($200 million over 4 years). We will invest in the Green Municipal Fund through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to support sustainable development pilot projects, including energy efficiency, energy recovery, and transition to cleaner fuel for municipal transit ($150 million over 4 years). The NDP will also create targets for the electrification of federal vehicle fleets and strengthen Canada’s green procurement policy to reduce long-term fuel and maintenance costs, including the installation of 150 electric car charging stations on federal properties across Canada.
View all of Janice Best’s responses

clement_davidDavid Clement – Libertarian Party of Canada
Climate change is certainly an issue, and one that the Libertarian Party takes seriously. Our environmental platform involves fundamentally changing the way we deal with environmental damage, by enacting what is called environmental torts. In short, we would use property rights as a means to protect against environmental degradation, where citizens could effectively use the judicial system against those who externalize their pollution/waste.

That being said, national strategies when it comes to funding local environmental initiatives are often poorly carried out and do not deliver the same results that locally run programs do. Municipal environmental strategies need to be funded and carried out at the local level. This is especially important given the varying concerns that communities have depending on where they are situated in Canada. A Libertarian government would empower local communities to create tailored response programs that meet their specific local needs.
View all of David Clement’s responses

Pam DamoffPam Damoff – Liberal Party of Canada
The environment and climate change are foremost priorities for me and a Liberal government. To ensure a safe, clean and predictable future for next generations, a Liberal government will provide dedicated funding to invest in a broad range of projects, including but not limited to: local water and wastewater facilities, climate resilient infrastructure, clean energy, and clean-up of contaminated sites to facilitate new construction.

A Liberal government will also support efforts to prepare for changing weather patterns, such as: improved storm water systems to diminish the impact of urban floods, the reinforcement of energy systems in the face of possible ice storms, and the reinforcement of infrastructure to confront melting permafrost in our North that will impact all communities in Canada. These and other efforts will be undertaken in partnership with other orders of government and based on the best available science. Under Justin Trudeau’s leadership, Canada will boost investment in green infrastructure by nearly $6 billion over the next four years, and almost $20 billion over ten years.
View all of Pam Damoff’s responses

http://www.greenparty.ca/

http://www.greenparty.ca/

Adnan Shahbaz – Green Party of Canada
We need to combat climate change head-on by introducing programs that are targeted, realistic and proactive. Carbon pricing, Cap Fee and Dividend and polluter pays are just some of the market driven mechanisms that we can use to combat climate change. Also supporting and enhancing green energy, technology and incentivizing the transition to a post-carbon world are ways that we can be ahead of future disasters.

However, Canada is already experiencing more frequent extreme weather events, as a consequence of accelerating climate change arising from our dependence on fossil fuels. In the face of increasingly frequent disasters, Canada is unprepared to respond. Cutting federal funding for disaster assistance is not the way to meet this challenge. We need federal leadership and coordination to be able to effectively respond to future disasters. A Council of Canadian Governments will bring all levels of government together to develop a comprehensive National Strategy for Disaster Preparedness, to ensure that Canadian cities and towns are prepared to respond in the future. These life or death scenarios cannot be left to a patchwork response system.

Our federal government must ensure an emergency response system that is proactive, comprehensive and long term, one that efficiently and effectively coordinates key emergency management players at all levels of government with a wide range of stakeholders. The federal government must support collaborative and cost sharing approaches to ensure adequate funding and strengthen community capacity building and preparedness. Our federal government must return to the business of supporting comprehensive municipal, territorial, and provincial emergency preparedness plans. Such measures include providing public education and training programs; fast tracking the seismic upgrading of public buildings such as hospitals, schools, and fire halls; improving local emergency infrastructure, such as adequate tsunami warning systems, civil defense sirens and other communication systems; clear marking of emergency evacuation routes; and ensuring the means to supply essential services such as medical services, energy supplies, food and water.

We must also undertake budgetary planning for post disaster recovery. The federal government has a responsibility to provide stable and predictable funding, and lead a coordinated response to disaster assistance in Canada. In addition, all sectors need to be prepared for the impacts of a changing climate. We need, in conjunction with provinces, territories, municipalities, and Indigenous governments, to implement a comprehensive adaptation strategy to prepare our cities, agriculture, forestry, the fishery, our health care systems and all vulnerable aspects of our society to the impacts of climate change we can no longer avoid. The Green Party will invest in comprehensive response plans for flooding and other extreme weather events to bring Canadian disaster readiness up to world class standards, so we can more ably respond to the extreme weather events that are becoming more common as the climate changes.

Effie TriantafilopoulosEffie Triantafilopoulos – Conservative Party of Canada
The Conservative government is the first government in Canadian history to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs). During the previous Liberal government, GHGs rose in an uncontrolled fashion from 600 Mt in 1993 to 749 Mt in 2006. Since coming to office in 2006, the Conservative government has reduced GHGs to 726 in 2013, the most recent year reported. Conservatives will continue to reduce GHGs, through the continued rollout of a sector-by-sector regulatory approach.

Conservatives are committed to continuing to work with the Halton Region to ensure that federal funds continue to be available for municipal infrastructure. The risks presented by a warming climate require that municipal infrastructure be hardened against the increased risk of floods, ice storms and other severe weather events.

Over the last 10 years, the Conservative government has partnered with local municipalities in Halton Region and invested in hundreds of local infrastructure projects. Since 2006, an unprecedented $33 billion in federal funds has been spent on over 12,000 municipal and provincial infrastructure projects across Canada.

Nevertheless, more needs to be done. That is why, last year, the federal budget announced a record new investment of $70 billion for public infrastructure over the next decade, which includes $53 billion for municipal and provincial infrastructure projects. This funding will ensure that money is available to harden local infrastructure against the increase in extreme weather events caused by climate change.

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