Unifor questions candidates commitments to environment and industry

The Unifor Windsor Regional Environmental Council presents candidates responses to environmental questions, September 14, 2021. (Photo by Maureen Revait)

The Unifor Windsor Regional Environmental Council is disappointed local candidates from the Conservative Party chose to ignore their questions about environmental issues facing the region.

The council asked all local candidates about how the federal government can address environmental concerns without leaving workers and industry behind.

President of the council Richard St. Denis said it is disappointing the Conservative candidates from all three ridings chose not to respond.

“It makes it difficult for us to compare responses when they neglected to provide answers to these important environmental questions,” said St. Denis.

St. Denis said after eight days they received responses from the Liberal, NDP, and Green party candidates. The questions were not sent to any other party’s candidates other than the Conservative Party, the Liberal Party, the New Democratic Party, and the Green Party.

“Each party has made some serious commitments to support environmental sustainability with a labour perspective. The Conservatives, obviously the one being absent here,” said St. Denis.

The council highlighted that the Liberal plan includes the most details with targets and funding attached to many of its priorities.

“The Liberal plan is very extensive including a zero electric grid along with a fully costed platform supported with data to position Canada as a world leader in the global electric vehicle and battery economy. The Liberal party plans to build an end to end sustainable battery supply chain,” said St. Denis of the Liberal response.

The NDP candidates told the council it intended to create a climate accountability office to address climate issues moving forward and also includes investments in electric vehicle infrastructure throughout the country.

“Their plan also includes dealing with the crumbling infrastructure that needs to be updated to deal with the flooding in our area as well as the deteriorating Lake St. Clair break wall ,” said Vice President of the Unifor Windsor Regional Environmental Council Cary Neveu.

The council said the Green plan supports includes increasing tree coverage, the creation of a national urban park in Windsor, and other climate change targets.

“Their plans look at creating and investing in green jobs, however, seem very dependent on current businesses paying the majority share of the cost for their investment. This is concerning especially for small businesses in our community,” said Neveu.

While the Conservative Party candidates did not respond to the environmental council’s questions, Essex candidate Chris Lewis recently issued a news release addressing some of these issues.

Lewis said the Conservatives have made a committment to flood mitigation and flood protection in the area.

“Flooding is a major concern for families in the Essex-Windsor area – approximately 21,000 properties are at risk every year from flooding and that number is expected to rise,” said Lewis. “A Conservative government will be a full funding partner with the region to help put in place the necessary flood mitigation infrastructure we need to keep people safe.”

The federal election is Monday, September 20, 2021.