Climate change should be an election topic

B.C, Sustainable Energy Association hosting a series of debates in the Greater Victoria area

Kim Campbell was infamously quoted (or misquoted) as saying that a 47-day election was no time to discuss serious issues.

Fortunately, we are in the early days of an election campaign that is almost twice that long, and will stretch on into late October. It’s also unusual to have an election campaign during summer, when the weather is often top of mind.

So let’s have a debate about climate change. Not whether or not it exists, which has been thoroughly established. There is a worldwide scientific consensus, and every major political party accepts that it is happening, whether grudgingly or not. There is also ample anecdotal evidence in the form of temperature records that have fallen by the score across B.C. We also have the raging wildfires and water restrictions – though not as severely here as in other regions – to show us what global warming will mean for us on a local level.

Fortunately for us here in Saanich, the B.C, Sustainable Energy Association has heeded the call. The group is hosting a series of debates on the environment in the Greater Victoria area as part of its Energy and the Next Federal Election speaker series.

Voters in all three of Saanich’s federal ridings will have an opportunity to hear their candidates’ views on issues such as renewable energy, green jobs, oil tankers, pipeline expansion, greenhouse gas emission reduction and the impact of climate change.

Debates have been set for Sept. 29 at the Esquimalt United Church for candidates in Esquimalt Saanich Sooke, Sept. 21 for Victoria candidates at the First Metropolitan United Church, while Saanich Gulf Islands candidates will square off Oct. 2 at St. Paul’s United Church in Sidney.

The opposition parties may be willing to attack the government on the environment, but they are still following rather than leading the debates on energy and climate change.

As usual, it’s up to Canadians to push for the changes we need in Ottawa.