Steve Dyck, local Green Party candidate, made the case for a low-carbon economy during a town hall on Thursday night to a room of supporters and those curious to learn more, detailing a “Mission Possible” environment platform.
Dyck, who owns a local green energy business, emphasized that the response to climate change needs to be a bi-partisan effort, arguing that the Greens can build the bridges to bring the country together.
“Together we will create a clean energy economy that is good not just for us, but for people around the world,” Dyck said in an introductory speech, adding “our Green plan is not left, it’s not right, it is forward”.
Dyck spent the majority of a 30-minute speech focused on going over the “Mission Possible” initiative unveiled by the federal Greens in May. The document outlines 20 points that the party claims is “the only comprehensive plan to avoid climate catastrophe.”
The candidate criticized the Liberal government for approving the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion for a second time in June, the day after they voted to declare a national climate emergency in the House of Commons.
“Democracy is in a desperate state,” Dyck continued. He told a room of over 30 people that he was for “generational justice”, spelling out a toxic environment where the corporations have power over the government and those with wealth do not care about the impending effects of human-made climate change.
However, he explained that “we do need to provide hope”, and that comes through the changing of the economy and collaborative action. He called for retrofitting buildings, the building of longterm infrastructure including rail and studies into basic income.
An extensive question period followed the introductory speech.
An older woman asked Dyck what he would do as prime minister in regards to balancing the national interest and the environment. She pushed him on his stance that there would need to be consultations and that a decision would have to be made.
Dyck said that giving notice to residents of an area that will be impacted by, for example, a high-speed rail development, is important so that they have a chance to engage. He said that there would be a way to reduce environmental impact in any project.
The question has context in the struggles of the Canadian government’s energy projects, particularly pipelines, where Indigenous Peoples say they have been left out the conversation. Dyck did not mention Indigenous first nation landowners in his responses.
There were several questions tied into retrofitting and how it would tie into low-income housing. Dyck said that a Green government would utilize the federal green energy fund to subsidize upgrades to secondary apartments and the affordable housing.
He also had to take questions from a high school student who asked why the party was not reaching out to youth her age. Dyck said that his campaign team is always open to learning more about how to connect with new voters, saying “invite me, I will come.”
Dyck will be up against Liberal incumbent MP Lloyd Longfield, Conservative Dr. Ashish Sachan, New Democrat Aisha Jahangir and People’s Party of Canada candidate Mark Paralovos this fall in the local riding.
He will aim to continue the success of the local Green Party after MPP Mike Schreiner was elected last year in the provincial election.
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