Is economic growth possible without environmental damage? Courtenay-Alberni candidates answer

Published on October 8, 2019
Vancouver Island, BC — 

How is it possible for Canada to continue to grow its economy – including the energy sector – while lessening damage to the environment?

Byron Horner, Conservative:

Climate change is real and Canada is responsible for 1.6% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions don’t recognize borders.  Canada has an environmentally responsible energy sector and growing our energy sector vs dirtier sources from countries with next to no environmental standards is a net gain for our planet. Canadian LNG gas also displaces dirtier sources like coal (50% of global emissions) as the world responsibly transitions to more sustainable energy sources.  In our www.realplan.ca we set out how promoting and exporting Canadian green technology is the best way to lessen damage to the environment and meet our international commitments.

Jonah Gowans, Liberal:

I believe the growth of the Canadian economy will begin to shift. Renewable forms of energy and new technologies are going to have to be leaders for Canada’s economy to continue to grow. This is why a re-elected Liberal government will cut clean technology companies' taxes in half, giving them an advantage and helping them grow. Also important will be the Carbon Tax. BC has had a Carbon Tax for a decade, it has helped lower emissions and BC’s economy is still growing. Canada has followed BC’s lead and I believe it will experience similar results.

Sean Wood, Green:

In 2017, there were 268,000 clean energy and 436,000 energy efficiency jobs in Canada. Projections put future careers in energy efficiency retrofits alone at 4,000,000. Transitioning to the green economy will allow Canadians to prosper while lessening damage to the environment.

The Green Party plans to establish a Canadian Sustainable Generations Fund to make critical investments in trades, apprenticeships and education required for the transition to a green economy. This will complement national infrastructure investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy production, digital upgrades, clean-tech manufacturing and emerging technologies, tourism, the creative economy, and the care economy.

Gord Johns, NDP:

Economic growth in Canada will not have meaning for Nuu-chah-nulth people, communities and businesses unless barriers are removed to their full participation. I am fighting for the creation of good jobs through local infrastructure investment to make Nuu-chah-nulth communities more livable--from roads to schools to child care centres and everything in between. Massive investment is required for safe and healthy new housing with green energy and training and employment for communities to get the job done. Major investment to protect wild salmon and restore our forests and watersheds. Transition from fossil fuels to green energy cannot be negotiable.