Saanich voters will have a chance next month to hear where the candidates in the federal election stand on issues surrounding the environment.
Renewable energy, green jobs, oil tankers, pipeline expansion, greenhouse gas emission reduction and the impact of climate change will be the focus of five federal candidates debates set for southern Vancouver Island starting Sept. 16 in Sooke and including dates in Victoria, Langford, Esquimalt and Sidney.
“We launched this initiative because we, our sponsors and our community feel that the federal government has a critical role in addressing climate and energy issues,” said Marion Pape, chair of the BCSEA Victoria Chapter. “Citizens have a vote and a voice, and these five debates will help ensure we elect candidates who are committed to a sustainable energy future.”
A prelude to the Oct. 19 federal election, the debates are the final phase of the B.C. Sustainable Energy Association’s year-long Energy and the Next Federal Election speaker series. The initiative is intended to make climate change a federal election issue by highlighting its impact on the economy, jobs, health care, the environment, food security and the quality of life faced by this and future generations.
The candidates in Esquimalt Saanich Sooke will square off Sept. 16 at Edward Milne Community School in Sooke and again Sept. 29 at the Esquimalt United Church.
The Victoria candidates will present their views Sept. 21 at the First Metropolitan United Church in Victoria.
St. Paul’s United Church in Sidney will play host to an Oct. 2 debate for candidates in Saanich Gulf Islands.
The debates will all run from 6:30 to 9 p.m., and are co-presented by the BCSEA Victoria Chapter with the Dogwood Initiative, two non-partisan environmental organizations. Major party candidates in each of southern Vancouver Island’s four federal ridings have received invitations.
A series of prepared questions will be asked and queries will be welcomed from the audience.