Today’s Poll

Nelson/Creston candidates take stands on the environment

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
May 13th, 2013

Voters go to the polls in the 40th Provincial Election is Tuesday, May 14.

It’s been quite a ride for the three Nelson/Creston candidates — incumbent Michelle Mungall of the BC NDP, Liberal Greg Garbula and Sjeng Derkx of the Green Party of BC — as the trio attended no less than nine all-candidates meetings and numerous private functions during the campaign.

Here’s the final The Nelson Daily poll question for candidates Mungall, Garbula and Derkx as the three candidate prepare see what the voters think come Tuesday.

There are a number of environmental issues of interest to the voters of the Nelson Creston riding. Two important ones are 1) the development of the Jumbo Valley with the Jumbo Glacier Resort and 2) the affects of climate change on our natural resources and biodiverstiy  (www.kootenayresilience.org). 

What do you see as the most important environmental issue in the Nelson Creston Riding and what is your party’s stand on the above issues? 

Greg Garbula, BC Liberals

The single most important environmental issue in the riding is protecting and insuring the sustainability of our water sheds. We need to make sure that the Columbia Basin Treaty is negotiated with full consultation from the people that are most affected by its impact.

The proposition of developing Jumbo is a very passionate issue for a concentrated group of people in the Nelson and Kaslo areas. As a representative of these people I think it is important to voice their concerns, however I will not use the issue for political pandering, as some others do.  The last three governments (SoCreds, NDP, and Liberals) have provided the process for the applications and approvals of the resort over the last 22 years. In a measure of fairness the government has continued the process after requests from the Regional District of East Kootenay to take on the responsibility. As your representative I would focus my concentration on the existing tourism products in our region as we already have some of the finest ski products in the world. It is important to remember that the tourism sector in our region is struggling and needs our support.

Climate change is becoming the number one cause of biodiversity loss globally.  This loss is not good for ecosystems, and therefore not good for us.  It is interesting that increasing the biodiversity of an area by conserving or restoring it – helps to reduce the effects of climate change by storing carbon.  Our environmental assessment, land reclamation and remediation laws are all concerted efforts to mitigate our effect on the environment.  Local issues like pine beetle kill and fish / wildlife population changes can in many cases be a direct result of climate change.

The science is there.  It’s a priority.  Keeping the Kootenays biodiverse and beautiful is one of my highest priorities.  I believe we can develop our economy to be in balance with our social and environmental needs.

That is true sustainability.

Michelle Mungall, BC NDP

After two decades of saying no to a mega-ski resort on Jumbo, it’s time government stood up to keep Jumbo wild. If elected, the NDP has made a strong commitment directly to Kootenay residents to keep Jumbo wild.

Climate change being a reality, we have also laid out a practical plan to reduce our province’s greenhouse gas emissions while taking a stand against the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and oil tankers on our north coast.  

The BC New Democrats will:

 – renew BC’s Climate Action Plan to meet BC’s legislated greenhouse gas emission reduction targets

– invest a portion of carbon tax revenues to enhance and expand transit service and options,

– build and rehabilitate green infrastructure, and support climate solutions in communities across BC,

– lead the call for a national energy and climate strategy,

– expand the carbon tax to include “venting” emissions from oil and gas operation,

– expand energy efficiency retrofit programs for residential and commercial buildings,

– dissolve the Pacific Carbon Trust to direct tens of millions of levies paid by hospitals, Crown corporations and post-secondary schools back to those public sector institutions to fund energy-efficiency upgrades,

– ensure that BC has rigorous environmental standards and follows best practices.

Sjeng Derkx, Green Party of BC

BC is at a crossroads. We can choose for the high employment, fast growth clean economy or we can continue down the slide of the old economy, which produces ever fewer jobs and benefits.

The ads for ‘clean burning natural gas’ show beautiful pictures of nature with a background of soft violin music, but the reality of fracking for gas is quite different. Trillions of liters of our pristine water turned into toxic sludge, drilling right through ancient aquifers which are yet to be mapped, and the site ‘C’ dam an inevitability. Our main competitor Russia, has 50 times the amount of gas we have and can get

it to Asia at a fraction of the cost we can. Fracking will not create a single job in Nelson-Creston and will set back the development of clean energy systems for decades.

We can not afford this. Still, millions of dollars from big oil and gas corporations are flowing into the coffers of the old political parties in a frenzied attempt to make a quick buck from burning up our planet. Big oil and gas will do just fine from the scheme, but the rest of us will not.

Fracking is an environmental disaster, an economic disaster and a moral disaster.

A vote for the Liberal Party is a vote for fracking.

A vote for the NDP is a vote for fracking.

A vote for the Green Party is a vote for the new, clean economy, which can create jobs and business opportunities right here in Nelson-Creston, while we can feel good about doing the right thing.

The choice is yours.

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