North Okanagan-Shuswap candidates respond

What steps are you committed to taking to protect air and water quality and the food supply?

As the days count down to the 43rd federal election on Oct. 21, North Okanagan-Shuswap candidates will be answering questions of local and national concern among voters.

This week the Observer asked: What steps are you committed to taking to protect air and water quality and the food supply?

Mel Arnold

Conservative Party

We must reduce our emissions.

The Conservative environmental plan will achieve this by connecting Canadians with innovative and efficient solutions. 14,000 premature deaths each year in Canada are linked to air pollution.

Conservatives are committed to reviewing and strengthening air quality standards and regulations.

We must protect our water. The previous Conservative government created stricter standards for wastewater treatment and today we are committed to bringing an end to raw sewage being dumped in aquatic ecosystems.

Conservatives are also committed to protecting our waters by fighting the spread of aquatic invasive species including zebra mussels.

Sustainable agriculture is key to our food supply.

The Conservative plan commits to expanding agricultural practices including zero tillage and 4R Nutrient Stewardship while working with farmers to increase efficiency of fertilizers and land-use methods.

This will also help maximize carbon sequestration by agricultural land.

Kyle Delfing

People’s Party

The People’s Party of Canada will enforce the Clean Air Act and clean waterways act. The PPC has also introduced its Aboriginal policy. As part of the policy, we will work with First Nations to create the infrastructure programs required to bring clean drinking water to the communities that still don’t have it. It is time we brought our aboriginal peoples into Canadian society; clean drinking water is a great first step.

Cindy Derkaz

Liberal Party

Climate change is the biggest issue facing the planet. It impacts air and water quality (e.g., wildfire smoke, smog, floods).

We must keep up the momentum on climate Action.

I support the Liberals’ Climate Action Plan — a price on pollution, Clean Fuel Standards Act, phasing out coal-fired energy plants, banning harmful single use plastics, protecting our oceans and freshwater, investing in building retrofits, supporting renewable energy and investing in energy efficient buildings, investing in Clean Tech Businesses – including right here in North Okanagan-Shuswap, and investing in transit.

As your Member of Parliament, I will work with First Nations and municipal leaders on local solutions, including infrastructure projects such as wastewater treatment upgrades to protect water quality from failing septic systems.

I will work with local food action groups and producers to foster a sustainable local food supply and will advocate for closed-containment salmon aquaculture in British Columbia.

Marc Reinarz,

Green Party

I committed by signing the “Blue Dot Pledge” stating that, “as a Member of Parliament, I will support the recognition in law of the right to a healthy environment for all people in Canada.”

Air: I support the Green Party’s Climate and Energy policy ensuring energy security; dramatically improving energy efficiency; shifting away from dependence on fossil fuels; and promoting job growth through renewables; working with all energy suppliers to accomplish a smooth and properly planned transition to renewables.

Water: Remove chlorination from drinking water supplies; implement shift to UV and/or ozone treatment systems; apply this technology in remote regions where water treatment has not been achieved.

Food: Focus on agriculture sectors that provide for food sovereignty through subsistence and domestic commercial farming methods in keeping with green, environmentally sound principles; preserve the genetic diversity required to safeguard the future food supplies; food security for all people in Canada.

Harwinder Sandhu,


Canadians want to tackle climate change. They will do more if they have a government with the leadership to give them the tools they need to do it. We will set a target for net carbon-free electricity by 2030 and move to 100 per cent non-emitting electricity by 2050. Meeting this carbon-free electricity goal in a way that respects local communities and creates good jobs is essential. We support investments in innovative, community owned and operated clean energy projects. We have a comprehensive plan to fight climate change including zero-emissions vehicles, free public transit, banning single-use plastics, protecting at least 30 per cent of our land, freshwater and oceans by 2030. NDP will connect Canadians to farmers with initiatives like local food hubs, community supported agriculture and networks to increase the amount of food that is sold, processed, and consumed in local and regional markets.

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