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Q&A - Question 1

1. Blue Dot Pledge:
Everyone in Canada should have the right to clean air and a safe, healthy environment. In early May, SENS asked all candidates to sign a pledge to uphold this right.

a) Explain why you signed or did not sign the pledge.

I signed the pledge because I agree that the law should recognize the right to a healthy environment for all people in Canada.
Further, at the Liberal Party National Convention in Halifax 2019 the following resolution was passed as a priority resolution. I supported the resolution and voted for it as my top priority.

Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights 

WHEREAS: 
1. On June 16, 2010, all Liberal Members of Parliament present in the House of Commons voted in favor of Bill C-469 (40-3), an Act to Establish a Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights, to “safeguard the right of present and future generations of Canadians to a healthy and ecologically balanced environment”; 
2. In a 2015 report, the International Institute for Sustainable Development calculated poor air quality resulted in the premature death of 7,700 Canadians and smog cost Canada $36 billion;
3. The United Nations (UN) recognizes environmental rights as a basic human right, and on March 7, 2016, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights concluded that Canada has failed to provide adequate environmental protection;
4. Tens of thousands of synthetic chemicals now contaminate our air, water, soil, food, and homes, with some of those chemicals linked to increasing incidences of certain chronic diseases;
5. New technologies are being used with few independent, peer-reviewed studies and no transparent, inclusive, in-depth discussion on possible environmental and health impacts; 
6. Experts at the Université du Québec à Montréal, the David Suzuki Foundation and stakeholders across Canada contributed to the preparation of this resolution; 
BE IT RESOLVED the Liberal Party of Canada urge the Government of Canada to enact legislation establishing a Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights, whose purpose is to ensure all Canadians have access to adequate environmental information, justice in an environmental context and effective mechanisms for participating in environmental decision-making in accordance with the provisions of Bill C-469 (40-3).

HARWINDER SANDHU

I signed pledge in a heartbeat as environment and sustainability is so close to my heart. Being a mother of 3 children I strongly support the climate action because I deeply care about their future and want to leave a healthy planet for my children and grandchildren. I am proud to share that the NDP has a bold, realistic and great plan towards the climate change, environment and sustainability. Late NDP leader Jack Layton have been the champion when it came to raise the climate crisis issue in Parliament House. Also numerous other NDP MPs like Leslie Murphy, Nathan Cullen  and list goes on have been genuinely committed toward the environment. This why I was very confident and proud to sign this pledge as I didn’t have to think twice.

KYLE DELFING

On behalf of The People’s Party of Canada (PPC) I have signed and submitted the petition. We support and endorse a clean and healthy environment for all Canadians.

MARC REINARZ

I  signed the pledge because it illustrates to others that I will first consider the human right to a healthy environment for my fellow humans. This environment encompasses the water, the air and soil with everything natural in it, under it and on it.

This pledge further acknowledges that in my capacity as Member of Parliament I will uphold this human right with everything I propose or agree to in the form of policy making.

MEL ARNOLD

Actual legal rights require legislation and some system of enforcement and recourse for people whose rights have been violated. The rights mentioned in the pledge are certainly positive notions, but we must also consider who is responsible to ensure and uphold these rights.

If a wildfire sparked by lightning strike spews smoke across the province and our right to clean air is violated, who do we turn to for recourse? The government? The police? The United Nations?

I know that around 114 of my MP colleagues have signed this pledge and I do not criticize their support in the slightest. However, it is unclear how the proposed rights can be upheld or ensured for all Canadians and perhaps these positive aspirations should be accepted for being just that.

b) Should you NOT be elected, what will you do locally to support everyone’s right to clean air and a safe, healthy environment?

First let me tell you what I would do if I AM elected: 

As your Member of Parliament (MP) I will consult with environmental organizations in North Okanagan-Shuswap to see if there is interest in joining a regular conference call with me (perhaps monthly) to keep me apprised of local environmental issues and the work being done by their organizations. I will listen and, although we may not always agree, I will take those concerns into consideration and work collaboratively and respectfully on solutions.

And if I am NOT elected, I will continue to do what I have done for the last five decades in North Okanagan-Shuswap:

I will continue to “walk the talk” when it comes to the environment. I will continue to advocate on environmental issues, drive our electric vehicles, not travel by air for vacations, donate to, and volunteer for, environmental causes and reduce, reuse, compost and recycle. I am a life-time member of Shuswap Environmental Action Society and have contributed 100s of hours of pro bono legal work on environmental issues over the decades. I am also a member of the Sustainable Environment Network Society in the North Okanagan.

HARWINDER SANDHU

Win or loose I will continue to fight for healthy environment as we all need to do our part. No one should do this just for a show or to get votes as it’s morally not right. I care because there is no planet B and we don’t have much  time left to act to save our planet. Overwhelming scientific studies have proved that, we are very close to the 6th extension of mankind if we continue to neglect this very serious crisis. I have been an advocate way before my candidacy and will be for rest of my life. I am not just  doing this for, I am also doing this for my kids and grandkids. My work and advocacy will continue till we get the concrete actions in place.

KYLE DELFING

[no answer submitted]

MARC REINARZ

Should I not be elected, this pledge means that I will uphold the commitments I signed up for in my other public functions as trustee of the two Improvement Districts I am board member of. I will continue the climate stewardship I upheld in the aforementioned functions up until now.

It will also reflect on my daily life and the actions I take privately, to ensure I do consider the pledge with every action I take and lead by example.

MEL ARNOLD

If I am not elected, I will continue my work and volunteerism as a conservationist, contributing to on-the-ground and in-the-stream work to conserve a healthy environment.

 

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