NIAGARA CENTRE | Candidates debate on topics including the mid-pen, and climate change

Niagara Centre

610 CKTB has launched its candidate debates ahead of the October 21st federal election.

Candidates from Niagara Centre talked about the issues facing Canadians ranging from the idea of a mid-pen highway to saving the environment.

Liberal incumbent Vance Badawey, Conservative candidate April Jeffs, and the NDP's Malcolm Allen joined CKTB's host Tim Denis.

One of the first issues discussed was how parties will tackle climate change following massive protests across Canada last Friday.

Allen says the Liberals pretend to 'walk the walk' but at the end of the day they won't be able to reach the targets set out in the Paris Accord, and the Liberals will forever be known as the party which bought a pipeline.

Badawey says the Liberals are making major steps to save the environment, by taxing polluters and easing the use of fossil fuels.

He repeated the Liberals' promise of getting to net zero emissions by 2050.

Jeffs says punishing people with a carbon tax is not the way to go and the Conservatives are more focused on green technology.

When it comes to infrastructure, Jeffs says you can see the infrastructure 'neglect' across Niagara Centre, pointing to the Dain City Bridge in Welland.

Badawey says the Liberals have invested $180 billion on 4800 projects across Canada and doubled the gas tax fund for local projects.

Badawey says he is working on a high speed rail project between New York City and Toronto.

Allen says without infrastructure communities will crumble and the NDP supports public transit.'

He would like to see more GO trains into Niagara, and Via Rail heading through Niagara once again.

When it comes to the idea of a mid-pen corridor by building a new highway over Lake Ontario connecting drivers to the GTA instead of using the QEW, the candidates were split.

Jeffs says there isn't a huge appetite for a very expensive highway at this point.

She says it would be a good idea to improve existing roads which connect to the QEW.

Badawey says Niagara needs to prepare for new business investment, and building a new highway to avoid QEW congestion is a great start.

Allen says it's a 'pie in the sky' idea pointing to the Red Hill, saying the idea would cost millions and millions of dollars as it drags through the court system.

He says we need to move more things by rail, instead of trucks.

Click here to listen to the full debate.

Also running in Niagara Centre are Michael Tomaino with the Green Party, Nic Bylsma with the Christian Heritage Party, and Andrew Sainz-Nieto with the People's Party of Canada.