trees
Trees at Avatar Grove, an old growth forest just outside of Port Renfrew. (Photo by Shalu Mehta/The Discourse)

How will Esquimalt-Metchosin candidates protect forests?

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

How will you protect green spaces? That’s a question we at The Discourse heard from you after we launched a poll asking what you think should top the B.C. election agenda. Our goal is to put you in the driver’s seat of the election conversation because we believe you should guide it, not the candidates or parties.

Leading up to the election we are publishing answers to questions you sent. Today, the question is : How will you protect green spaces and forests?

As of Oct. 17, The Discourse received answers from two of the four candidates via email. BC Liberal Party candidate RJ Senko will not be responding to questions due to his full schedule, according to a spokesperson from the BC Liberal team. The Discourse reached out to Independent candidate Desta McPherson over Facebook – since no other contact information could be found – but has not heard back yet. This story will be updated if additional responses come in.

I’ll be rotating the candidates’ order of responses with each story we publish. Here are their responses. I’ve copied them directly from the emails they sent.

Mitzi Dean, BC New Democratic Party

We will do it by increasing protection of B.C.’s cherished wildlife and habitats. We will work with neighbouring jurisdictions to cooperatively develop and invest in new strategies aimed at better protecting our shared wildlife and habitat corridors. We will do it by expanding B.C.’s provincial parks and protected areas and increasing funding to  improve infrastructure and protect park ecosystems. 

We’re also working to protect more of B.C.’s old-growth forests. In collaboration with Indigenous leaders, labour, industry, and environmental groups, we will implement recommendations of the Old Growth Strategic Review to protect further old-growth stands – in addition to the 353,000 hectares we protected in September.

We need to protect this beautiful place we live right now and for future generations. Two years ago, we launched CleanBC – the most ambitious climate action plan in North America. That plan will also help protect green space and forests.

Andy MacKinnon, BC Green Party

The BC Greens will push for full implementation of the recommendations of the Old Growth Panel. We support fundamental changes in the ways B.C.’s forests are managed, changes that will generate more jobs and revenue for each cubic meter of wood cut. 

Further reading:

  • The BC Green Party platform has points on carbon neutrality, protecting and restoring forests, managing natural assets, taking back control of forests from corporations, reforming forestry management in B.C. and managing forests holistically. The party also pledges to protect old growth forests forever.
  • In the BC NDP platform, one of the commitments is to tackle climate change and protect nature with funding to protect park ecosystems and by developing new strategies to protect wildlife and habitat corridors. The party also pledges to implement recommendations of the Old Growth Strategic Review to protect old growth forests.
  • The BC Liberal platform notes a plan to “enhance our parks, wildlife and recreation spaces.” Another pledge is protect and enhance fish and wildlife and to make the province a leader in clean energy and the environment.
  • This story by The Narwhal checks in on environmental promises made by the BC NDP.
  • The Tyee also reported on where parties stand when it comes to saving old growth forests.