Federal election: Tracking the elected ‘climate champion’ candidates

Victoria based non-profit promoted climate champions during election

In the fight to increase climate action in Canada and to limit greenhouse gas emissions, a third-party non profit that’s partly based in Victoria focused its efforts on eight ridings during the federal election.

Non profit Leadnow created the initiative, called Cooperate for the Climate, that worked to identify candidates from across the country as climate champions based on certain criteria. That included most of the candidates in the Victoria, Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke and Saanich-Gulf Islands ridings, such as winners Laurel Collins, Randall Garrison and Elizabeth May, respectively.

READ MORE: Watch: NDP Laurel Collins wins Victoria MP riding

“We used a spreadsheet to gather data and we hired a consultant firm to create an algorithm,” said Sonia Theroux, Leadnow’s co-executive director based in Victoria.

If candidates supported all of the climate justice positions in their candidate survey, Leadnow labelled them a “climate champion.”

Twenty-seven of Leadnow’s climate champions won their seat. There are five Liberals, 18 New Democrats, three Greens and one independent (Jody-Wilson Raybould).

What Leadnow really focused on with its 3,000 volunteers, from across the country, was eight ridings where a climate champion was in a tight race against someone who was not deemed a climate champion.

They called them “battlegrounds,” Theroux explained.

“We focused our efforts, our interventions to make a difference,” she said. “In Victoria, like many ridings, we had a situation where the leading candidates were climate champions. In those cases, we didn’t get involved.”

READ ALSO: February byelection to replace Victoria councillor Laurel Collins

They did it by contacting 200,000 voters in those ridings to ensure that people concerned about our climate future got out to vote for these candidates, Theroux said.

A total 228 candidates pledged to cooperate and 200 of those pledged to meet a the standards of a Green New Deal.

In the end, 63 per cent of all voters cast ballots for a party that committed to reaching emissions targets in line with what science tells us is necessary, she added.

Five of Leadnow’s eight “battleground champions” who were elected are Wilson-Raybould in Vancouver-Granville, Taylor Bachrach (NDP) in Skeena Bulkley Valley, Daniel Blaikie (NDP) in Elmwood Transcona, Man., Lenore Zann (Liberal) in Cumberland Colchester, N.S., and Matthew Green (NDP) in Hamilton Centre, Ont. Battleground candidates that did not get in were Paul Taylor (NDP) in Ont. and two Green Party candidates, Anna Keenan and Darcie Lanthier in P.E.I.

The Liberals’ climate platform was released late in the campaign but it was progressive enough to call for a legislated framework to reach emissions targets in line with what science says is necessary in order to avert the worst of catastrophic climate change. It aligned with the NDP, Greens and the Bloc, who all proposed reductions in emissions.

Leadnow’s Cooperate for Climate campaign grew from frustration with the failure of governing parties – driven by short-term political and partisan interests – to address the climate emergency.

“We expect that Trudeau will work with these parties to stay focused on the most pressing issues of our time,” Theroux said.

reporter@oakbaynews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Small crowd gathers to watch 231-tonne stacker-reclaimer load onto barge crane

The Dynamic Beast barge crane, known for work with Johnson Street Bridge, makes a return

Saanich Peninsula Hospital Auxiliary hosts pop-up fundraiser in Sidney

Temporary store to feature unique hand made gifts, collectibles, clothing, books and more

National Drug Drop-Off month aims to reduce substance abuse by house-bound youth

Expert says there is misconception prescribed medication is safe to take

Victoria mayor wants newspaper boxes removed from downtown streets

Mayor Lisa Helps says the boxes are not needed, often filled with garbage

Esquimalt artists take to great outdoors amid coronavirus

Group invites budding, or just willing artists, to join at Saxe Point

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

Most Read