UPDATE: Only the Liberal candidate sees climate change as the biggest issue facing Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola riding | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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UPDATE: Only the Liberal candidate sees climate change as the biggest issue facing Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola riding

Mary Ann Murphy
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/teammurphy.ca
October 09, 2019 - 5:30 PM

KELOWNA - Mary Ann Murphy may be out of step not only with her fellow Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola federal election candidates but also with the electorate.

When asked to identify the biggest challenge facing the riding, the Liberal candidate focused exclusively on climate change. No other candidate, including the Green Party’s Robert Mellalieu, even mentioned climate.

But, according to a Universite de Montreal survey of all federal ridings, this riding has less concern with climate change than the national average.

For example, only 42 per cent of those in the riding feel climate change will affect them personally, a full five per cent below the national average.

Asked if their province has been affected by climate change, 66 per cent said yes. That’s four per cent below the national average.

On the positive side (for Murphy), 82 per cent do believe the earth is getting warmer, which is only one per cent lower than the national average.

To see if your concerns are the same as the candidates, iNFOnews.ca asked:

What is the biggest issue you see in your riding and what, if anything, can you do about it?

Dan Albas, Conservative

We have many challenges in our riding. The current threat to the B.C. Forestry industry is a major one and has been almost completely ignored by Ottawa.

In Merritt, Princeton and West Kelowna, the largest private-sector employers are all lumber mills. The importance of these mills to the local economy cannot be overstated. This issue needs serious action both federally and provincially and a Conservative Government would take greater action.

Another major concern is the threat of invasive freshwater mussels to Okanagan Lake. On a regional level, the value of Okanagan Lake is priceless. In my view, it is one of our most critically important natural assets.

The Okanagan Basin Water Board has made a very reasonable request for annual federal funding to protect Lake Okanagan of $2 million per year.

The Trudeau Liberal Government has refused to provide this funding which I find incredibly frustrating. When the Liberals can find $12 million to help Loblaw’s buy new refrigerators and not protect Okanagan Lake, I see Mr. Trudeau’s priorities as being very wrong. This would be one of the very first issues I would bring forward under a Conservative Government.  

Robert Mellalieu, Green

This is a tough question because the riding is so extensive and diverse.

Kelowna and West Kelowna have an urgent homelessness issue – that’s
important to me and (we) would provide resources to help the cities solve the

Merritt has lost many jobs due to the lack of harvestable timber. I can’t
plant fast-growing trees, but I can help plant other business to provide
employment – ensuring a diversified economy for the future.

I am also very concerned with the invasive mussels issue. I would like to get much more involved in this crisis. I feel that not enough is being done – but I want to do proper research first.

Of course, there are many other issues, too...

Mary Ann Murphy, Liberal

Climate change has been repeatedly named as the top issue by Central Okanagan- Similkameen-Nicola residents.

Our constituents want the government to take climate change AND environmental protection seriously.

Accelerating climate change IS real, particularly as we assess the very recent UN report on the potential for rising temperatures (more acute in the Okanagan-Similkameen) and heatwaves, rising sea levels, and more floods, fires and disasters. Carbon pricing is an agreed-on, fundamental solution to damage from greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide pollution; yet, some Canadian premiers have challenged it, unsuccessfully.

But, carbon pricing is only one key step and that is why, in the last term, the Liberal government has signed the Paris Agreement, funded clean energy, implemented an Industrial Sustainable Development tax write off, developed a Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund, and declared a climate emergency.

There are numerous projects and entrepreneurs in this Riding, specifically focused on innovation and collaboration to create world-class, industry-leading products/services (e.g. building materials) as solutions and alternatives to non-environmentally friendly products with larger eco-footprints.

Building on these initiatives, I will work to connect local industry, stakeholders, and researchers with federal resources/supports to further innovations in both the green technology and clean energy sectors (e.g. solar and wind). Further, I will support the development of partnerships/collaborations between local industry/entrepreneurs and other levels of government, where possible, to address and target specific regional needs.

Jesse Regier, Libertarian

The biggest issue in every riding right now is that many feel like they are being forced to vote for the lesser evil.  The blue, orange, red and green parties all want to raise taxes, write more laws restricting people's rights and freedoms, and increase government debt through the central bank's fiat currency.

If people want their government to be accountable to the people, we need to make the government servant to the people.  Borrower is servant to the lender, and the lender is not the people, it's the central bank; an autocratic institution with complete separation of power and full control of monetary policy. Restoring the heart of democracy to making corporation we call our government in debt to the people, and only the people.

The Libertarian Party of Canada have the only member elected Statement of Policy that calls for an end to fiat currency, the income tax act, and the central bank.

Our commitment is to the protection of people's rights and freedoms, both yours and mine, so that everyone can enjoy just rule of law without the corruption of government overreach, the high cost of inflation, and the wage-chains of debt-based currency, where your money, your means of exchange, is debt.

Joan Phillip, NDP

I believe one of the biggest issues in this riding is transportation.

Because the riding is so large and spread out, people are overly dependent on their personal vehicles.

If we had a reliable, carbon-free transportation system we could get out of our cars and trucks. One remedy for this is the Hydrail.

We are looking at developing this from the US border to Kamloops which would relieve the pressure of building new bridges from Kelowna to West Kelowna, as well as Peachland's relocation of the highway.

Allan Duncan from the People’s Party and Jesse Regier of the Libertarian Party did not respond.

 - This story was updated Oct. 11, 2019 at 12:37 a.m. to include the response from the Libertarian candidate.

Image Credit: submitted/Univerite de Montreal



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