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Opinion: Green party Candidate Tara Howse on Climate Change and Energy

Green Party Candidate Tara Howse; submitted photo

With the recent evacuation alert issued for those near the Eagle Bluff wildfire, Green Party candidate Tara Howse expresses her concerns and well-wishes to those families affected and considers the role of the federal government to address the roots of these events: climate change and energy production.

“By 2030, it is estimated that there will be a 25% increase in wildfire activity in the south-western Canada region. The Insurance Bureau of Canada actively monitors increased fire activity due to extreme heat and drought, and acknowledges that climate change intensifies them.  Quantifying the total costs of disasters is difficult, as residents of Grand Forks can attest from their post-flood housing evaluations, and often these costs do not account for the social capital losses and mental health costs associated with disasters.

“We need the political will for a drastic, swift response.  In 2017, Canadian emissions increased by 8 million tonnes over the previous year.  And yet, we have governments and political platforms that continue to support subsidizing the fossil fuel industry, support of LNG projects, purchasing pipelines, and continued fracking.

"There is a realistic solution: The Green New Deal. It is a non-partisan community engagement process modelled on Roosevelt’s new deal to address the economic crisis of the Great Depression, an “all-hands-on-deck” approach. The key actions identified so far include: 1) eliminate fossil fuel subsidies and phase out fossil fuels;  2) demand that politicians take climate change seriously with  effective actions;  3) ensure a diverse set of voices are heard, through proportional representation. These directly align with my personal values and are key steps identified in the Green Party’s Mission: Possible climate action plan, and the Green Party’s 2019 platform.

“This does not mean the Green Party wants to simply “turn off the [oil] tap”. We can implement aggressive workforce transitional training programs. 

“Our local communities deal with climate change impacts, such as infrastructure requirements, first.  Instead of giving massive subsidies to large corporations for energy projects, provide those dollars to municipalities and small-to-medium businesses to create local renewable energy and adaptation projects. The result is a two-fold benefit of improving local economies and increasing our energy security.”

Tara Howse will be in Penticton for Peach Festival activities. She is hosting an Open House at the Leir House Cultural Centre in Penticton on Sunday, August 11th.  Supporters and anyone interested in learning about the Green Party platform are encouraged to drop in between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm. There will be a live DJ and refreshments by donation.