Youth march for climate action at the Global Climate Strike in Duncan on September 20, 2019. Jacqueline Ronson/The Discourse Cowichan
Youth march for climate action at the Global Climate Strike in Duncan on September 20, 2019. Jacqueline Ronson/The Discourse Cowichan

How will Cowichan Valley candidates ensure that B.C. meets its climate goals?

We sent MLA candidates your election questions. Here's what we heard.
October 17, 2020

“What will you do to ensure that B.C. actually meets its climate goals?” That’s a question The Discourse heard from a resident of the Cowichan Valley riding after we launched a poll asking what you think should top the B.C. election agenda. 

Leading up to the election, we’re publishing candidates’ answers to questions from community members. You’ll find all our coverage in riding guides for Cowichan Valley, Nanaimo-North Cowichan, Nanaimo, Langford-Juan de Fuca and Esquimalt Metchosin

As of Oct. 17, The Discourse has not received a response from BC Liberal Party candidate Tanya Kaul. We’ll update the story if we get one. Here are the responses from the other candidates.

Rob Douglas, BC NDP

I believe we need to care for one another and care for our air, land and water. As a parent of two young kids, I know we need action on climate change to protect our planet now, and for future generations. I am committed to working to transition to a low-carbon economy and to tackling the impacts of climate change on the ground, including ensuring the Lake Cowichan weir is replaced and raised.

John Horgan and the BC NDP know how important it is to protect this beautiful place we call home – for right now, and for future generations. Two years ago we launched CleanBC – the most ambitious climate plan in North America. 

A big part of CleanBC is making it more affordable for people to be a part of the clean-energy economy. This will help us meet our targets. We’re making electric vehicles more affordable for more people, increasing public vehicle charging availability, and making e-bikes more affordable. 

We are investing in greener buildings and energy efficient retrofits for homeowners and businesses. By 2032, every new building constructed will be net-zero ready. 

Through our industrial incentives strategy, we will work with businesses to support their transition to new technology and electrification required for a low-carbon economy.

CleanBC currently sets a target of reducing emissions by 40 percent by 2030. To get this done, we will pass legislation requiring BC to reach net-zero by 2050, meaning there are either no harmful carbon emissions or they are offset by natural carbon sinks, carbon capture or other technologies.

Sonia Furstenau, BC Green Party

The first thing I will do is end the subsidization of fossil fuels. Projects like LNG Canada not only endanger our local environment but make it impossible to meet our climate goals.

The BC Greens know that in order to meet our climate goals we must use CleanBC as not only a climate action plan but as a catalyst towards a transitional economy and a green recovery.

We would also immediately enact the recommendations of the Emerging Economy Task Force and the Innovation Commissioner. Both of these initiatives, created through CASA due to our 2017 platform commitments, provide us with actions towards a just economy.

Reaching our climate goals is not only the right thing to do but also the economically prudent decision. The World Economic Forum reported that a green recovery can create 395 million jobs globally and over $10 trillion in economic growth. If BC becomes a real climate leader we can ensure economic prosperity for all and a sustainable environment and economy. The BC Greens will get us there. 

Further reading: 

  • The Narwhal dug into where the NDP stands on keeping its environmental promises. 
  • The Pembina Institute hosted an election forum on climate change and the economy. You can watch it here. Read the Tyee‘s coverage of that event here
  • Go straight to the source — here are links to the party platforms for the BC Liberal Party, the BC NDP and the BC Green Party.

Visit the candidates’ websites: 

How do I vote?

  • Voting day is Saturday, Oct. 24, with advance polls Oct. 15 through Oct. 21. Visit Elections BC for information on where to go and what to bring.