by Sarah Tuck
On October 2, community groups and individuals in our riding are hosting a non-partisan all candidates debate on the environment for Leeds-Grenville, Thousand Islands & Rideau Lakes (LGTIRL).
Around the world, we are seeing dramatic shifts in technology and people’s behaviour to help address environmental problems. Here in the communities of LGTIRL, we are playing our part by adopting solar energy, retrofitting our homes and integrating energy efficiency into new homes, buying food that was raised or grown locally, composting our organic waste, and more.
But while individual action can make an important contribution to addressing problems like climate change, complex environmental challenges can’t be solved without government leadership.
Our riding’s event is part of a national effort in 100 ridings to host such debates, and to ask our candidates to tell us what they will do, if elected, to effect tangible and timely change. Public polling consistently shows support for environmental leadership has never been higher, but this kind of support doesn’t always translate into action from our elected leaders. The debate on October 2, less than three weeks before the federal election, will put candidates face-to-face with voters who want bold, urgent action on the environment.
Volunteer organizers from Transition Brockville, Sustainable North Grenville and Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada – Leeds-Grenville chapter have been working behind the scenes these last months to ensure this will be a night to remember. The riding candidates from all five political parties (Conservative, Liberal, NDP, Green and PPC) have confirmed they will be in attendance. The debate will be moderated by Brockville radio’s Bruce Wylie, a familiar voice on 104.9 JR FM.
Four set questions that cover the most pressing issues (climate change, water, wildlife conservation, pollution and toxic substances) will be asked at all “100 Debates” events nationally.
As well, high school students from across our riding have been asked to submit questions of local relevance, and two of these questions will be posed at the debate.
100 Debates – LGTIRL will be held at the Brockville Collegiate Institute auditorium, 90 Pearl St. E., Brockville, on October 2, 7-9 pm. For more information about this free public event or to volunteer to help, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.