It’s Almost Here – Election 2015: October 19, 2015
We encourage you to VOTE this election! To determine if you are registered to vote, to find out where to vote and to see the candidates for your electoral district visit: http://www.elections.ca/home.aspx
Vote Compass https://votecompass.cbc.ca is an educational tool developed by political scientists designed to help you explore how you fit in Canada’s political landscape. “Vote Compass promotes an informed electorate but it also channels the voice of the people.”
Learn about 14 social issues affecting Canadian communities at Canada Votes from the Social Planning Network of Ontario: http://www.spno.ca/canada-votes-2015
13 Essential Environmental Questions for Election Candidates by Andrew Reeves in Alternatives Journal: http://www.alternativesjournal.ca/policy-and-politics/13-essential-questions-election-candidates
An interesting CBC summary of why this election campaign will look very different from previous elections: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-election-2015-11-things-that-changed-since-2011-s-vote-1.3175985
Ontario Society of Professional Engineers review of party platforms: http://blog.ospe.on.ca/advocacy/ospe-monitors-party-platforms-federal-election-2015/
Conservative Party of Canada, “Policy Declaration” http://www.conservative.ca/media/documents/Policy-Declaration-Feb-2014.pdf
Green Party of Canada, “Our Vision” http://www.greenparty.ca/en/our-vision
Liberal Party of Canada, “The Plan” https://www.liberal.ca/realchange/
New Democrat Party, “The Issues” http://www.ndp.ca/issues
We encourage you to attend meet the candidate sessions and election debates and ask questions of your candidates. Here are some sample questions to ask your candidates on two key issues:
On Climate Change –
Canada is one of the world’s highest per capita emitters of greenhouse gases (emitting 14.7 tonnes per person/year) and the 10th highest global energy users per capita. In 2009, the Government of Canada committed to reducing GHG emissions to 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. But Environment Canada data indicates that we are less than halfway there. Canada’s failure to meet its promised GHG target is principally due to growing emissions from the tar sands. Scientists suggest that to remain under a 2.0°C threshold of manageable warming, much more ambitious emission reduction targets are required (Weaver et al. 2007: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2007GL031018/full). Canadian renewable energy sources, principally hydroelectric, only made up 16.6% of primary demand in 2012 and are projected to fall to 16.1% by 2035. Fossil fuels (oil, gas, and coal) made up 74.3% of primary demand in Canada in 2012, which is projected to rise to 76.8% by 2035.
- What action will your party take on climate change?
- Will you and your party halt the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure, particularly tar sands and pipeline development, including Energy East?
- Will your party support full hydrostatic testing on Enbridge’s 9B line? (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/news/what-this-federal-election-means-to-the-enbridge-line-9-pipeline-1.3198434 and more on this issue here: http://hamorg/view_article.php?id=1364).
- Will your party put a price on carbon emissions through a tax or fee in order to discourage the use of fossil fuels, encourage energy conservation, investment in low-carbon technologies, and the use of renewable forms of energy?
- Will your party prioritize energy efficiency by supporting changes to municipal building codes or offering tax incentives for people who complete home-energy retrofits?
- Will your party develop a renewable energy strategy for Canada?
On Infrastructure and Transportation –
Eighty per cent of Canadians live in major urban centres, and many of our suburbs are expanding rapidly. This growth puts added pressure on roads, services and adjacent farmland. At the same time, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities claims we need an additional $200-billion to repair existing infrastructure and fund new projects. This gap leaves us vulnerable to everything from aging bridges to extreme weather events. Canada’s transportation sector is currently a significant greenhouse gas emitter. Congestion, meanwhile, accounts for billions of dollars in lost productivity each year in regions like the Greater Toronto-Hamilton Area.
- How will your party ensure that Canada’s cities are resilient and sustainable?
- Will your party invest in a strategic development plan for mass transportation, including public transit, better fuel standards for cars made in Canada, cycling infrastructure and helping Canadians make better transportation choices?
- Will you support transferring a portion of federal taxes to municipalities for transit expansion and repairs and improvements in streets, parks, water systems, and green infrastructure.