Renewable energy, green jobs, oil tankers, pipeline expansion, greenhouse gas emission reduction and the impact of climate change on future generations will be the focus of five candidates debates set for southern Vancouver Island starting Sept. 16 in Sooke and including dates in Victoria, Sidney, Langford and Esquimalt.
A prelude to the October 19 federal election, the debates are the final phase of the BC Sustainable Energy Association’s year-long Energy and the Next Federal Election speaker series. The initiative is intended to make climate change a federal election issue by highlighting its impact on the economy, jobs, health care, the environment, food security and the quality of life faced by this and future generations.
The debate series is co-presented by the BCSEA Victoria Chapter with the Dogwood Initiative, two non-partisan environmental organizations. Major party candidates in each of southern Vancouver Island’s four federal ridings have received invitations.
Beginning with Sooke Mayor Maja Tait on Sept. 16, impartial moderators will chair the debates to ensure good dialogue and a respectful atmosphere. A series of prepared questions will be asked and additional queries will be welcomed from the audience.
“We launched this initiative because we, our sponsors and our community feel that the federal government has a critical role in addressing climate and energy issues,” said Marion Pape, Chair of the BCSEA Victoria Chapter. “Citizens have a vote and a voice, and these five debates will help ensure we elect candidates who are committed to a sustainable energy future.”
The BCSEA is dedicated to informing and empowering British Columbians around sustainable energy. The Dogwood Initiative works to inspire citizens to take back decision-making power over the air, land and water we all depend on.
Candidates from the four major parties have been invited, and so far confirmations to attend the Sooke debate have been received from Randall Garrison, Frances Litman and David Merner.
Each evening runs from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
Esquimalt Saanich Sooke
• Sept. 16, Edward Milne Community School, 6218 Sooke Rd., Sooke.
The EMCS debate is hosted by Transition Sooke and is sponsored by four local businesses concerned about environmental issues.