Windsor West Candidates Pressed on Climate Issues


The environment is front and centre for the 2019 Federal Election in Windsor West.

A debate between candidates in the Windsor West riding held at the University of Windsor's downtown Armories is one of 100 Debates for the Environment held across Canada Thursday night. Green Party candidate Quin Hunt, Liberal candidate Sandra Pupatello, NDP incumbent Brian Masse and Marxist Leninist Party candidate Margaret Villamizar were in attendance.

"Extreme weather events are increasing in frequency, flooding and high water marks have become the norm, and most scientist say the world has little more than a decade to turn things around," says moderator and UWindsor Professor Jane McArthur.

McArthur then asked what key plans candidates and their party have in place to ensure Canada meets its international obligations to reduce greenhouse gas pollution?

Masse says New Democrats intend to set more aggressive targets to lower emissions and continue carbon taxing corporate polluters.

"We'd also establish a climate accountability office, one of the most important things we can do during all of these changes is start to measure whether we're having any success," says Masse. "We'd also eliminate the Fossil Fuel Subsidies that still existing; $1.5-billion is going towards fossil fuel subsidies right now."

Quinn says the Green Party wants to lower emissions by 60 per cent by 2030 and down to zero by 2050.

He says what the Greens call "Mission Possible" will transform Canada from a fossil fuel based society to nearly an entirely renewable one in only 30-years, and that means no new pipelines and a halt to any existing fossil fuel projects.

"Put together burning fossil fuels and transportation and they account for a whopping 74 per cent of Canada's emissions," says Quinn. "Based on these numbers, it's obvious the biggest thing we can do is stop burning fossil fuels, and the second is to totally revamp our entire transportation industry."

Pupatello says the Liberal Party eliminated coal when it was in power in Ontario — if elected federally — that's one of several plans Liberals will set in motion across Canada by 2030.

"That's probably the largest impact on greenhouse gas emissions, in addition, planting 2-billion trees in on the platform and that is going to have a huge benefit right here in Windsor, which is one of the most sparse areas of the country," added Pupatello.

According to McArthur, Conservative Candidate Henry Lau was unable to attend. 

Instead she relayed a statement from Lau saying the conservative plan relies on three guiding principles: green technology instead of carbon taxes, a cleaner greener natural environment, and taking the climate change fight globally.

The 2019 Federal Election kicks off on Oct. 21.