Two NDP MPs held a town hall in Cranbrook to present a key element of their party’s election platform for the upcoming federal election in October.
Incumbent Kootenay-Columbia MP Wayne Stetski was joined by NDP colleague Peter Julian, who held a discussion on the party’s ‘Green New Deal’ — a plan that was sparked by Julian tabling a motion in the House of Commons earlier this year.
The NDP plan reflects elements of the ‘New Deal’ created by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, which consisted of a series of federal programs, reforms and public investments in response to the Great Depression in the 1930s.
The Green New Deal includes public investments in renewable energy, housing retrofits, electric vehicles and transitioning to a greener economy.
The presentation at the Manual Training School in Cranbrook on Monday was one of a series of planned events in Revelstoke and Nelson this week.
“The Green New Deal town hall meetings we’re organizing here in Kootenay-Columbia will encourage the residents of the riding to share their vision for what positive change could look like under a Green New Deal,” said Stetski. “We have a climate emergency in our country. Canadians are coping with forest fires, heat waves, massive storms and catastrophic climate events. It has never been more urgent that we transition to a low-carbon economy.”
Julian noted that similar pieces of legislation are being proposed by lawmakers in governments around the world, such as the United States, France, Korea and more.
“What is designed to do is meet our obligations in terms of climate change and make sure that what we actually produce is a thriving economy,” Julian said.
The Green New Deal also stipulates respecting agreements and reconciliation with Indigenous groups, while including a broad consultation and collaboration with civil society, labour unions, worker cooperatives, academia and businesses.
Some specific plnaks of the Green New Deal include shirting to zero-emission vehicles by 2040, energy-retrofitting all housing stock by 2050, and developing net carbon-free electricity, and eventually, 100 per cent non-emitting electricty by 2050.
Both Julian and Stetski emphasized the importance of balancing the priorities of combatting climate change while also ensuring a thriving economy.