First federal Bruce-Grey Owen Sound debate focuses on climate

(Left to right) Chris Stephen, Michael Den Tandt, Alex Ruff, William Townsend, Danielle Valiquette. Bruce-Grey Owen Sound candidates debate Tuesday, September 10th, Owen Sound (photo by Kirk Scott)

Five candidates vying for the Bruce-Grey Owen Sound seat in the coming federal election all claim the high ground when it comes to a plan to deal with climate change.

Over 200 people packed the Harmony Centre in Owen Sound Tuesday night for a debate focusing on the climate, hosted by a grassroots group known as the Green New Deal Town Hall Group.

Liberal candidate Michael Den Tandt’s said his party’s plan for a carbon tax is working and voters face a choice.

“Whether to keep the climate plan that’s in place now that is working across Canada, to keep that going, to improve on it, to make it better or to turn back the clock to circa 2006, 2007 and waste another 10 years, spinning our wheels,” said Den Tandt.

Conservative candidate Alex Ruff disputed Den Tandt’s claim that the Liberal’s plan is working.

“Since the carbon tax and since the Liberal government brought in their plan, we’ve moved in the exact opposite direction of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. We have a plan that will actually get us there that is realistic and pragmatic,” said Ruff.

The NDP’s Chris Stephen said their plan is the only one that can save the planet and says it would be wise to follow the example of the indigenous Canadian community that has lived in harmony with nature for centuries.

“I want the crowd to know that I care. I have worked in waste before, I care about what happens, I’ve seen the bad side I want to see the good side and I want to be a leader and help change toward the good side,” he said.

Green Party candidate Danielle Valiquette said we must act immediately and explained the Greens have a 12 point plan to reduce carbon emission to zero by 2030.

William Townsend represents the Peoples Party of Canada in Bruce-Grey Owen Sound. He said while his party admits climate change is real, he calls the attitude of the mainstream political parties as well as the media “climate alarmism” and a kind of religion approaching a doomsday cult.

The Harmony Centre in Owen Sound was packed Tuesday night for a Bruce-Grey Owen Sound candidates debate on climate change (Kirk Scott photo)