What will candidates do to address climate change in the Pontiac

Jorge Maria & Julien St-Jean

Pontiac Sept. 15, 2021 

With one week left until election day, this will be our last question to candidates in the Pontiac.

What is the significance of climate change for the Pontiac and what actions – specifically in the Pontiac – should be taken?

Gabrielle Desjardins

Bloc Québécois

After multiple inquiries, THE EQUITY did not receive a response from Gabrielle Desjardins in time for publication. 

James McNair

Canada’s Fourth Front Party

Climate change is a  great concern for the Pontiac. As the temperature continues to rise, the Southern Hemisphere will become uninhabitable, which will cause a massive, northern migration of people to Canada. As other parts of the world continue to spew greenhouse gases, the Pontiac must do its part to protect our world and community from the devastating consequences of our prior government’s lack of action. I want my daughter to grow up in a world lush with plant life. 

Our party has been working with companies that have technology, using the help of local farmers, to capture carbon and methane. We have both the vision as well as technology to bring the real change needed to stop the climate emergency in the world.  We are the new Red choice on the environment in the Pontiac.Don’t tax carbon, just capture and store the greenhouse gases.  We will take direct action and capture greenhouse gases,  other party’s think taxes will magically clean the air. 

The Direct Democracy System is online. Feel free visit the site and make any suggestion and or any actions you would like me to execute as your MP. 

Michel Gauthier

Conservative Party of Canada

Climate change affects everyone indiscriminately but there are approaches that are practically tailor-made for a region like Pontiac County. Here are a few proposals presented in the Conservative plan “Secure the Environment.” A Conservative government would invest  $3 billion between now and 2030 in natural climate solutions focused on the management of forest, crop and grazing lands and restoration of grasslands, wetlands and forests.

These solutions can have multiple benefits: not only will they help sequester carbon, but they can also provide protection for communities and additional benefits for wildlife. We will also recognize and build on the world-leading, sustainable practices of Canada’s agricultural and forestry sectors.

Geneviève Labonté-Chartrand

Free Party Canada

After multiple inquiries, THE EQUITY did not receive a response from Geneviève Labonté-Chartrand in time for publication.

Shaughn McArthur

Green Party of Canada

Canada is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world.

The effects of global warming in our own backyard have become impossible to ignore. Just this summer, we witnessed historic wildfires across Canada, devastating flooding in Yukon. Extreme drought caused crop failures in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. A heat dome in British Columbia led to the premature deaths of over 800 people. Health Canada estimates that air pollution alone costs us $120 billion per year - roughly equal to the value of our oil and gas exports, or six per cent of GDP. 

Pontiac is not immune: in 2017 and 2019 several Pontiac residents lost their homes to flooding. In 2018, we were hit by a tornado.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s “Code Red” report, released in August, is clear that climate change is making these sorts of extreme weather events more intense and frequent. It is critical that we act now to mitigate these impacts, and to adapt our communities to be able to better withstand certain climactic changes that are at this point irreversible.

We need to be launching a massive program of building retrofits, electrifying our transportation and getting more public transportation into underserved rural areas -- all of which will help families save money.

We need to be providing tools and resources to municipalities and First Nations, so that they can protect green areas in and around their towns and villages, and adapt their infrastructure. We need to be rewarding farmers and foresters for practices that restore soil and forest health, sequester carbon, and ensure that more of the value addition is done right here in Pontiac, closer to where we harvest the raw materials and where jobs are so desperately needed. 

Pontiac has all the ingredients to thrive as part of the $35 trillion global market for investments that uphold environmental, social and governance standards. This includes shovel-ready projects to use forestry by-products to produce cleaner and more affordable energy in Rapid Lake First Nation, and biomass conversion centre in MRC Pontiac.

Existing analysis points to further opportunities for Pontiac to become an important supplier of biofuels and packaging derived from agriculture by-products. What’s lacking, according to entrepreneurs and economic development organizations, is federal leadership and representation for our region to create the partnerships and put financing in place. As one CEO put it to me: “We need a deal-maker.”

Denise Giroux

New Democratic Party

While the Liberals drag their feet on climate change, Canadians have had to endure the deadly and catastrophic impacts of record heat waves, droughts, flooding and other extreme weather conditions. Communities all along the Ottawa River, including many in the Pontiac, experienced terrible flooding and tornados just a few years ago.

Extreme weather events have an impact on farmers’ ability to grow the food we need for local and urban markets, and destroy homes and livelihoods. Canada has to invest in a real transition plan away from fossil fuel reliance now. Failure to do so will mean lives lost and greater costs down the road to clean up after repeated crises.

The NDP will create a Climate Accountability Office to ensure that targets are set and met with public transport systems in rural and urban regions, residential retrofits and new social housing, as heat loss from homes is the third most important cause of CO2 in Canada. A new Climate Change Bank will get monies to important projects in Pontiac. We will increase support to municipalities so they can better adapt to climate change and mitigate against future losses. With the end of subsidies to fossil fuels, we will also be able to better support forest and wetlands preservation as these are critical to avoiding soil erosion, protecting water quality, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Sophie Chatel

Liberal Party of Canada

Climate change is the greatest long-term threat that we face as a global community, but it is also our greatest economic opportunity. As a mother, I am worried. I want to ensure a sustainable future for our children and grandchildren.

Gatineau Park offers the region incredible access to natural spaces for everyone to enjoy, encompassing ecosystems and habitats that are key to protecting our environment. It is therefore essential to protect it. That is why the Liberal candidates from the Outaouais are committed to calling for changes to the National Capital Act, in particular to increase the protection of Gatineau Park. Furthermore, the Liberal Party has committed to planting 2 billion trees across the country, to fight against climate change while creating roughly 4,300 clean jobs.

The riding of Pontiac also has substantial agricultural potential. When the Liberal Party talks about the transition to the “green economy,” agriculture emerges as an excellent example of the possibility for the government to partner with local communities to build a sustainable future. That is why we plan to increase support to farmers to develop and adopt agricultural management practices to reduce emissions, store carbon in healthy soil, and enhance resiliency. We will also work with our urban communities to promote local markets and buying local.

Our riding is vast, encompassing both rural and urban areas. So ensuring accessible and green transit solutions for all is of great importance. The Liberal government has already created a fund to build public transit in rural communities, and we plan to continue this important work. For personal vehicles, it is important to provide the people of Pontiac with green solutions: that is why we will continue to offer rebates of $5,000 for purchases of zero emission vehicles and build more charging stations across the country.

David Bruce Gottfred

People’s Party of Canada

To answer what the future climate of the Pontiac will be is not a political question, but one that can only be answered with some sort of soothsaying ability. Unfortunately, I never mastered those arts. 

I did study history however, and know that government schemes to control things that are out of their control always fail and are always costly. Whether it is human nature, markets, culture, or economies, attempts to control them ultimately do not work. There are even those that think it is possible for a government to control an endemic respiratory virus. So I can say with reasonable certainty that whatever the government of Canada or the people of the Pontiac do to try to affect change to our future climate will result in the same results as if we did nothing. But it will damage our economy and add a lot of debt.

We are already seeing the beginnings of this. ‘Carbon accounting’ has created another layer of bureaucracy to basic economic exchanges that benefit no one except the functionaries that oversee it. International pledges to ‘reduce carbon’ force industries out of our country to do the same thing in other countries. Countries that have leaders focused on more than winning the praise of activist organizations.

The People’s Party of Canada is concerned with the environment, but is not concerned with meeting arbitrary international metrics that change nothing. We have a realistic understanding of the limitations of government action. We will focus on keeping our environment clean, and developing our resources and economy in an environmentally sustainable way. That way, if the climate changes -- as it has done and always will do -- we will be prosperous enough and flexible enough to manage the transition.

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