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Home News NDP candidate says Conservative platform fails to address climate change

NDP candidate says Conservative platform fails to address climate change

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NDP candidate says Conservative platform fails to address climate change
NDP candidate Ken MacDougall acknowledged he’s in a tough battle to unseat Randy Hoback, but said he’s looking forward to the challenge. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

Prince Albert NDP candidate Ken MacDougall says voters want to hear more about how each party will address climate change if elected on Sept. 20, and so far, too many candidates aren’t taking that request seriously.

MacDougall said it’s the dominant issue he’s hearing about on the campaign trail, and he’s challenged Conservative incumbent Randy Hoback come out and defend his party’s platform.

“The thing that intrigues me the most is that, even with rural residents, no one is bringing up ‘carbon tax’. The first thing they’ll mention is climate change, and the disastrous effect this drought is having upon crop yields this year,” MacDougall said in a media release.

MacDougall said the Conservatives use the phrase ‘Carbon Tax’ to distract voters from climate change, which is the real issue. He said the Conservative platform doesn’t do enough to get carbon emissions under control by 2050, something parliament committed to when they passed Bill C-12 in June.

All federal parties have promised to cut emissions to below 2005 levels by 2030 in their election platforms. The Conservatives have promised to get 30 per cent below the 2005 level, while the NDP has promised to be 50 per cent below.

The NDP platform includes promises to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies and redirect those funds to low carbon projects. They also promised to ban any oil, gas and pipeline subsidies in the future.

The NDP has also promised to create and fund a Climate Accountability Office, which would provide independent oversight of the country’s efforts in reducing emissions. Part of those efforts will include creating multi-year national and regional climate budgets.

MacDougall said voters are getting sick of environmental rhetoric coming from centre-right parties, and want to see more policy proposals so they can make an informed decision on how to vote.

“What they really want is an earnest discussion on relevant issues facing them at the moment, so they can make an informed decision on how to vote,” MacDougall said.

“The NDP has a plan for addressing climate change. Mr. Hoback and his Conservatives don’t. It’s as simple as that.”

The Conservative platform includes a section called “Secure the Environment: The Conservative Plan to Combat Climate Change” which outlines the party’s plans to reduce emissions if elected.

Those plans include the creation of personal low carbon savings accounts, which Canadians would pay into every time they buy hydrocarbon-based fuel. The money in that account can be accessed for purchases that help residents live a greener life. They’ve also planned to scrap the consumer carbon tax, which the party says unfairly penalizes Canadians living in rural areas.

The Conservative platform also includes a national zero emissions vehicle mandate similar to one that was implemented in British Columbia, a plan to invest $3-billion by 2030 in natural climate solutions, and a promise to study the effects of a carbon border tariff on large emission polluters like China.

“Canada must not ignore the reality of climate change,” Conservative leader Erin O’Toole said when introducing the party’s environmental platform. “It is already impacting our ecosystem, hurting our communities, and damaging our infrastructure. Canada’s Conservatives will meet our Paris Climate Commitment, and reduce emissions by 2030 to fight climate change, and protect our environment, but we won’t do it on the backs of working Canadians, or by hurting our economy.”