Candidate for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford
Party: New Democratic Party of Canada
1. “Green” screen for federal infrastructure spending
Q: Would you support transparent “green” screening for federal infrastructure spending, in particular the objective ranking of GHG emissions reductions, so that projects proposed to receive federal tax dollars can be prioritized according to their effectiveness at supporting climate action goals?
A: The NDP absolutely supports screening of federal infrastructure spending to prioritize meeting scientific reductions targets as we outline in the Power to Change: A New Deal for Climate Action and Good Jobs.
A NDP government will create a framework for enshrining Community Benefit Agreements in federally funded infrastructure projects, to make sure that public money is put to its best possible use creating local economic opportunities and building support from local communities for climate goals. These partnerships between community, labour, governments, and employers will allow communities to define what they need out of projects whether it’s jobs, green space, or support for emissions reductions and ensure that they get it.
2. Immediate end to fossil fuel subsidies
Q: Would you support an immediate end to taxpayer subsidies for fossil fuel projects, including tax breaks and preferential exemptions from carbon pricing?
A: Yes, the NDP promised to end taxpayer subsidies for fossil fuel projects in the 2015 election and unlike the Liberals broken promise, a NDP Government will immediately end subsidies for fossil fuel projects. These subsidies are propping up oil and gas and adding to the climate crisis.
Not only will a NDP government immediately end fossil fuel subsidies, but we are committed to re- directing funds to clean energy initiatives.
3. Less spending on urban highway expansions; more on public transit
Q: Would you support shifting federal infrastructure spending away from urban highway expansions to lower- or zero-emissions transportation modes like public transit—including electrified public transit—as committed to in the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change?
A: A New Democrat government will create a permanent, direct, allocation-based funding mechanism to modernize and expand public transit in communities across Canada and ensure that federal transit funding flows with an emphasis on scaling up low carbon transit projects like zero-emissions buses and electric trains. Working with municipalities, we will provide low-cost financing to local governments in support of the electrification of transit and other municipal fleets by 2030.
A New Democrat government will also support creating high-frequency rail, taking cars off the road and expanding options for commuters, in partnership with the provinces and territories.
Additionally, to make it easier for families to afford a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) right away, a New Democrat government will provide a $5,000 federal purchase incentive, with an additional break waiving the federal sales tax for working families on ZEV purchases. Over the next few years these incentives will grow in value to $15,000 and be targeted to made-in-Canada vehicles only – giving manufacturers a powerful incentive to build ZEVs here for the long term.
4. Building efficiency upgrade tax credit
Q: Would you support giving a federal tax deduction or credit to taxpayers who retrofit their homes or places of business to use less energy or who switch from fossil fuel powered heating systems to electric heat pumps?
A: Yes, the NDP is proposing to set a target of retrofitting all housing stock in Canada by 2050, providing low-interest loans repayable through energy savings to pay for home upgrades like insulation, windows, heat pumps, and other renewable technologies.
Furthermore, we’ll improve the National Building Code to ensure that by 2030 every new building built in Canada is net-zero energy ready. Energy efficiency and sustainable building practices will be at the core of our national housing strategy, leveraging the power of federal investments to create good jobs all across the country delivering the affordable housing Canadians need.
Another key component of our plan is to require large-scale building retrofits in all sectors to reduce energy demand, create jobs, and save people money. A New Democrat government would begin by working in partnership with the provinces and territories to fund energy efficient retrofits on social housing units and government buildings, expanding outwards from there.
5. Support for municipalities to implement GHG reduction and renewable energy plans
Q: Many municipalities are showing leadership on climate action and renewable energy commitments, but they often lack the resources to make proper plans. Would you support using federal funds to support municipalities to develop and implement plans to reduce their communities’ GHG emissions and switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy?
A: Many municipalities are showing leadership on climate action and renewable energy commitments, and they need a federal government that is willing to show leadership rather than continuing to download the costs and responsibilities of tackling climate change onto the level of government with the least ability to pay for it.
A New Democrat government would use federal funds to support municipalities with their plans to reduce GHG emissions by using Community Benefit Agreements, to guarantee that public money is put to its best possible use creating local economic opportunities and building support from local communities for climate goals.
We will also invest in quality public transit and helping municipalities improve their waste management and recycling programs and work towards a zero-waste future.
6. “Green” economy transition
Q: Do you support federal policies and support for shifting Canada’s economy away from activities that cause large amounts of GHG emissions and toward a low carbon, “green” economy? If so, what priorities would you support in this area?
A: A New Democrat government will declare a climate emergency and put in place ambitious, science- based greenhouse gas reductions targets that will help stabilize the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. We will also put these targets in legislation and ensure accountability by creating an independent Climate Accountability Office to do regular audits of progress towards our climate goals.
Recognizing that putting a price on carbon is an important tool to drive greenhouse gas reductions at the source, we will continue carbon pricing, including rebates to households that fall under the federal backstop plan, while making it fairer and rolling back the breaks this Liberal government has given to big polluters.
The federal government can also model change by becoming a trail-blazer in energy efficiency, clean technologies, and renewable energy use. We will lead by example and procure from Canadian companies producing clean technology, ensure that federal buildings use renewable energy, and move the vehicle fleets of the federal government to electric by 2025, choosing made-in-Canada wherever possible.
Finally, we will stop the expansion of the trans mountain pipeline and development of new fossil fuel protects. If we fail to act now, the environmental and economic costs will be immense.