Five candidates took part in Monday’s debate at the Nelson United Church that focused on climate change. Photo: Tyler Harper

Kootenay-Columbia candidates debate climate change

Candidates had little original to say during the two-hour event

Kootenay-Columbia candidates would rather voters check online for their parties’ climate change policies — it turns out they don’t have much original to say about it.

A climate change debate at Nelson United Church on Monday night failed to elicit any original ideas from candidates, nor did they address local issues related to the environment.

Local topics such as wildfire mitigation, water conservation, flood and landslide risk, caribou repopulation and dwindling salmon stocks were ignored by candidates during the event.

The ongoing Columbia River Treaty negotiations? Just one candidate mentioned the talks, and only then briefly in their closing statement.

Instead, what the audience heard over two hours was five candidates going on about their party’s policies with little personal insight. Three candidates directed the audience to their websites for more information — Liberal candidate Robin Goldsbury mentioned her own site three times.

The event, organized by the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, the West Kootenay EcoSociety, the Mir Centre for Peace and Fridays for Future, got off to an awkward start.

Wayne Stetski of the NDP, Abra Brynne of the Green Party candidate and Goldsbury each had seats at a table. Rick Stewart of the People’s Party and Trev Miller of the Animal Protection Party arrived without previously notifying organizers, which led to the audience being asked to vote if Miller and Stewart should take part.

The audience voted them in, and the pair sat at chairs on either end of the table despite moderator Katherine Oldfield’s reluctance to admit them.

Conservative Party candidate Rob Morrison told organizers he was ill and could not attend. Morrison has yet to attend any election forums in Nelson.

On the opening question about a proposed end to $3.3 billion in annual fossil fuel subsidies, Stetski, Goldsbury and Brynne talked up the importance of investing in education and job transitioning for employees of the oil and gas industry.

Little also separated Stetski, Brynne and Goldsbury on the next question about the need for a non-partisan approach (they all agree working together is a good idea).

There were finally some different answers on a question about how to bring about 100 per cent renewable energy at the community level.

Stetski and Brynne spoke on the need to invest in electric vehicle infrastructure, while Brynne got a rare reaction from the crowd with a suggestion to expand passenger rail in Canada. Goldsbury meanwhile defended the Liberal record, without specifying which part of that record she was defending.

A third question asked for three ways parties can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2030, but the candidates all ignored the requested number of answers. Brynne referred the audience to the Greens’ 20-step plan (without saying what it was), Stetski said the NDP is focused on a 50 per cent reduction, and Goldsbury again referred the audience to her website.

Several questions submitted by the audience were also asked on topics such as transportation, greenhouse gas emissions and climate justice for Indigenous nations, the latter of which elicited the only negative reaction of the evening from the crowd when Stewart said he prefers to treat First Nations people the same as all other Canadians.

Miller made a point of walking back and forth in front of the candidates whenever he had the microphone and largely stuck to points on animal rights advocacy.

Stewart’s party opposes the Paris Accord and does not acknowledge the planet is facing an environmental crisis.

Student debate

Stetski, Brynne and Goldsbury also took part in a debate Tuesday morning at Trafalgar Middle School.

The trio took questions from students on topics including mental health services, how candidates got their start in politics, Justin Trudeau’s blackface scandal, wildfire mitigation and First Nations’ access to clean drinking water.

Trafalgar and Hume School students took part, and all questions were asked by students.

Related:

Candidates talk food security at Cranbrook forum

Candidates pitch visions, plans at Cranbrook election forum

Candidates field questions at Indigenous issues debate

VIDEO: Kootenay-Columbia candidates stop talking, start listening at reverse forum



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

L-R: Katherine Oldfield moderated the debate, which included candidates Trev Miller, Abra Brynne, Robin Goldsbury, Wayne Stetski and Rick Stewart. Photo: Tyler Harper

Green Party candidate Abra Brynne speaks to students Tuesday morning at Trafalgar Middle School. Photo: Tyler Harper

A student questions candidates for their thoughts on Justin Trudeau’s blackface scandal. Photo: Tyler Harper

Liberal candidate Robin Goldsbury takes a selfie with a Trafalgar student. Photo: Tyler Harper

Just Posted

Fernie loses tough battle against Kelowna

Ghostriders sit second in Eddie Mountain Division, three points behind Kimberley

Delays at railroad crossing cause for concern

About 1870 Fernie residents are temporarily isolated when the train passes through town

Kootenay-Columbia candidates attend Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce 2019 election forum

About 120 people attended the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce 2019 election forum on Oct. 16 at the Prince Charles Theatre.

Green and NDP candidates talk strategic voting at Nelson public meeting

Wayne Stetski and Abra Brynne traded ideas but made no concessions for this election

Fernie’s Tiny Home Hotel celebrates grand opening

Mayor Qualizza said many other communities have been asking about Fernie’s groundbreaking project

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Black Press Media’s polling analyst on the origins of predictive seat modelling in Canada

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Most Read