Election 2019: How does North Okanagan-Shuswap rate climate change issues? - InfoNews

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Election 2019: How does North Okanagan-Shuswap rate climate change issues?

The University of Montreal's map.
Image Credit: umontreal.ca
October 09, 2019 - 5:30 PM

It's hard to go a day in this election without the subject of climate change dominating the political landscape.

While each party has a policy on how to deal with it, how important the issue is to voters varies considerably from community to community across the country.

According to the University of Montreal, 83 per cent of Canadians believe the planet is getting warmer, but only 60 per cent believe this is because of human activity.

The university's survey data also shows that while 83 per cent of North Okanagan- Shuswap residents believe the planet is getting warmer, 58 per cent believe it is due to human activity, a slight drop from the national average.

The numbers in the North Okanagan-Shuswap don't stray dramatically from those Canada wide, unlike some ridings.

In Green Party leader Elizabeth May riding Saanich-Gulf Islands, 69 per cent believe the world is getting warmer become of human activity, while in Fort McMurray-Cold Lake that number drops to 30 per cent.

Here in the North Okanagan-Shuswap, we hover closer to the Canadian average.

According to the survey data, the riding sits a two percentage points below the rest of the country on the statement; my province has already felt the negative effects of climate change and falls five percentage points below the national average when asked whether climate change harm you personally.

The survey data also shows support in the North Okanagan-Shuswap riding is higher than the national average when it comes to increasing taxes on carbon-based fuels. In the riding 57 per cent of people surveyed support the increase, over 54 per cent Canada wide.

With less than two weeks until the election but still plenty of time to make your mind up, we thought we'd offer you a little a bit more insight into the candidates.

So much of what we learn about candidates is from the highlight reel of accomplishments. We’d like to know a little more. Give one example of a hardship you faced in your life and how you overcame it?

Liberal Party candidate Cindy Derkaz

When I was young, our family's shoe store "Derkaz Shoes" in Salmon Arm was destroyed in a fire. Initially, the insurance company denied coverage and then the bank cancelled the store's line of credit because "the business was no longer operating".

Our family was thrown into financial chaos because we used that line of credit to buy groceries.

My parents took the big step of retaining Vernon lawyer, Neil Davidson, and soon things started to fall into place: the insurance company changed its position - we were going to be back in business.

That was when my 11-year-old self decided that I would be a small-town lawyer and help people solve their problems and to stand up to bullies. I also learned how a community comes together to help people get back on their feet.

Those lessons have shaped everything I have done in my career as a lawyer and a volunteer.

Conservative Party incumbent Mel Arnold

Like many other young families, one of the greatest hardships my family and I faced was purchasing our first home while dealing with job insecurity. Shortly after purchasing our first home, our daughter was born. The joy of that day was overshadowed by a layoff notice I received from work the same day.

Fortunately, I was able to use my previous work experience and reputation to find employment elsewhere. However, that job was out of town and was shift work which meant being away from my newborn daughter, wife and home.

Like many other Canadians that have faced trying times like these, we had to just bear down and cling to our resolve that with hope, determination and each other, we would make it through…and we did.

Close family and friends were a tremendous support to our family during this difficult time and their support helped us overcome the challenges we faced and taught us the importance of supporting the people around you.

NDP candidate Harwinder Sandhu

I had few hardships in my life, the most difficult was when my first husband got diagnosed with cancer at a very young age, I was in my late 20s then and our daughters were approximately seven years old and younger. One was less than two years old.

The worst part is that my husband was misdiagnosed for two years and I kept convincing doctors that, there is something more serious going on, it’s a long story.

After the diagnosis, we were told that Sammy (my husband) had two to three months to live and no treatment could save him as cancer was already at stage four with metastasis.

I felt like someone shot me in the chest as hearing this news was so painful that, I can still feel the pain when I think about that moment, walls of the UBC hospital were spinning for me, I felt like screaming so loud but contained my feeling as much as I could.

I felt so helpless and shattered and was hoping that this was just a scary dream. I had to take time off to look after my dying husband which put us in a big financial burden, I almost had to take a second mortgage on our house as savings were running out, I borrowed money from my MasterCard to pay the house tax and was trying to hide our financial situation from my husband as I did not want him to find out and worry about another thing.

I was stretching my pennies and amazing co-workers from Mills Memorial Hospital Terrace, collected some money, grocery store gift cards and such, I had to choose between having my extended health care benefits from work or letting them go.

This was the hardest choice again as me not being able to work and going to financial hardship I was not able to pay $575 to keep my benefits while off work and we also need the expensive medications Sammy need to use, like his analgesics, medications to stop his nausea vomiting caused by chemotherapy and other medications. After two to 12 years of battling with cancer, my first husband passed away, two days before my younger daughter’s birthday.

I was crumbled, shattered and did not want to live anymore as my hopes for the miracles were crushed again, I had to take 28 counselling sessions, had a couple of nervous breakdowns and faced some barriers from people around me.

I had to go back to work soon after my loss and I worked day and night, so many overtime shifts to get the financial stability. It took me two years to gather my strength and the courage to do what was best for myself and for my two daughters so we quietly moved to Vernon, hoping life will get better.

I am so grateful to the community in Terrace, my mom, my friends and colleagues, a police officer constable De Jong who helped us so much because these amazing people are the reason, we were able to navigate the second chapter/journey of our life.

People's Party of Canada candidate Kyle Delfing

I lost a new job on Sept. 3, 2014, I took a leap of faith and created my company with my last paycheck. No savings, no investors, no loans or lines of credit. Knowing the industry, having worked from the bottom to the top very quickly when I was younger, I found it easy to navigate and compete in the market. 

The company essentially was a pay as you grow operation. Working long days into most nights on the trucks, and then long nights into early mornings replying to emails and estimates while learning how to create my own website, while creating it.

Over the last five years, I have exploited the skills I acquired through my various careers, to grow my company and acquired new skills, which have also helped me keep campaign costs down this election.

Green Party candidate Marc Reinarz

All things in life are relative: We all face accomplishments in life as well as we do hardships. I consider myself very lucky to have faced very few personal hardships in relation to what others have faced. I’ve lost two siblings, friends and parents. All of those are natural occurrences, though very sad.

What the residential school system in Canada has put the Indigenous people through, and the ongoing misery for the people who lost loved ones among the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, puts hardship in an immeasurable perspective for me.

In my business life, which took me all over Europe, the Middle-East, Russia and the Indian Subcontinent, I tend not to speak of hardship anymore, due to the above. I encountered challenges.

I solve those situations by scrutiny, facing the issue head on and work with all involved, if applicable, to resolve the matter.

My successes were plenty and I obtained a reputation in the business. Even to the extent I was offered a function as Technical Liaison Officer at the Canadian Embassy in the Hague in 1990. I turned it down as I had committed to a task in the Middle-East with my then employer.

-This story was updated at 7:49 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9 to correct the spelling of a candidates name. 

- This story was updated at 7:38 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 10 to add the Green Party candidate's answer.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

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