Letter to the Editor: MP Stetski responds to Conservative nominee on gas prices

I was disappointed to read the letter from the Conservative nominee for the upcoming federal election related to gas prices in the riding. Providing incomplete information does not serve the people of Kootenay-Columbia well – they deserve better and rightfully expect more from those wishing to serve in public office.

The Conservative Motion that was voted down on May 8, 2019, in the House of Commons read:

“That the House call on the government to stop raising the price of gas by clearing the way for pipelines and eliminating the carbon tax.”

Let’s break that down.

“stop raising the price of gas”

Nobody likes paying more at the gas pumps – me included. For many years the NDP have tried to get Conservative and Liberal governments to agree to appoint a Gas Ombudsperson that would have the power to take public complaints and investigate when prices go up by the same amount at the pumps overnight at every gas station in town without explanation. Neither party, both of whom have close ties to large corporations, would agree to it.

“by clearing the way for pipelines”

Recently we have been given the clear message that we need to begin transitioning away from oil and gas to a green energy economy, and that fighting climate change matters. (The key is to transition to good jobs too.) Last October the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued their Special Report on Global Warming that says we have 12 years to get serious about fighting climate change. Last week the United Nations issued a report that says 1,000,000 species of plants and animals are at risk around the world, and one of the causes is climate change. Across the world and here in Kootenay-Columbia, students are marching on Fridays, demanding that all parties take climate change seriously. So far the Conservative plan to fight climate change is…..non-existent.

“and eliminating the carbon tax.”

British Columbia has had a carbon tax in place since 2008, and our economy has often led the country in economic growth while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. I am a Vice-Chair on the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development. The Committee recently released a report Clean Growth and Climate Change: How Canada Can Lead Internationally. By far the majority of experts who testified before the Committee stated that having a price on pollution was a critical part of fighting climate change. The new federal carbon pricing does not apply to BC since we have our own tax.

In terms of how I vote in the House of Commons, I have voted against many Liberal initiatives (how did they get so far off-track?), with the Conservatives on some of their initiatives, and differently from my own party a couple of times. You can verify that by checking my voting record.

Let’s all hope as we move into election season that campaigns are based on facts and what candidates stand for, rather than misinformation and politics over principles. The people of Kootenay Columbia deserve no less!

Wayne Stetski

Member of Parliament

Kootenay-Columbia

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