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Climate crisis the focus of all-candidates meeting for New Westminster-Burnaby

Virtual meeting set for Sept. 7
TMX Tim Takaro file
The climate crisis is the focus of an all-candidates meeting taking place on Sept. 7 for New Westminster-Burnaby candidates. Dr. Tim Takaro took to a tree along the Trans Mountain pipeline route to protest the project.

Three New Westminster-Burnaby candidates will be attending an online all-candidates meeting about the climate emergency.

Force of Nature, Anti-TMX Coalition, Climate Convergence, New West Walkers Caucus, New Westminster Environmental Partners and New West Hub Cycling are among the groups that are working together to host a virtual all-candidates meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 7 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Zoom.

Organizers said Green candidate David Macdonald, Liberal candidate Rozina Jaffer and NDP candidate Peter Julian have confirmed their attendance.  Conservative candidate Paige Munro declined to attend and People’s Party of Canada candidate Kevin Heide was not invited.

In an email to the Record, organizers said they didn’t invite the People's Party candidate, as they were following the same criteria as the national leaders' debate. (People’s Party leader Maxime Bernier was not invited to attend.) 

Details about the meeting can be found at (search for New Westminster All Candidates Meeting on Climate Emergency). A Zoom link will be sent to registered attendees on the event day.

The moderator will be asking the candidates some questions, and attendees will also have an opportunity to submit questions to the moderator for the candidates during the Zoom meeting.

Single-issue candidate

New Westminster-Burnaby Green candidate David Macdonald is a single-issue candidate in the Sept. 20 federal election.

In a profile submitted to the Record, Macdonald said the Green Party of Canada isn’t a single-issue party, and has 150 pages of policy in its Vision Green document, but he’s a single-issue candidate.

“It’s the climate crisis. In B.C. this year we had hundreds of sudden deaths as a result of record heat. We lost livestock, homes and thousands of acres of forest due to wildfires. If we don’t ‘pivot’ our economy away from fossil fuels right now, the climate crisis will become the climate catastrophe,” he wrote. “We must cancel the TMX pipeline. We must end all subsidies to fossil fuel industries. We must focus on renewable energy such as wind, solar, geothermal, and tidal. Your vote sends the strongest message of your concern.”

Anti-pipeline endorsements

Some anti-pipeline organizations have thrown their support behind New Westminster-Burnaby NDP candidate Peter Julian.

In a press release, Julian said he’s been endorsed by 350 Canada, a group that’s calling on federal leaders to defund the multi-billion-dollar Trans Mountain pipeline and to invest in a made-in-Canada Green New Deal that will tackle the climate crisis. He’s also been endorsed by SFU professor and retired physician Dr. Tim Takaro, who is one of the leaders of StopTMX, the group behind the lengthy treetop protest of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project that’s been taking place near the New West and Burnaby border.

Julian has vocally opposed the federal Liberal government’s decision to buy and build the Trans Mountain pipeline project.

"It's crystal clear that the Trudeau government made a bad decision in buying this pipeline and defending it to the hilt,” he said in a news release. “It's a project that undermines our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It's a project that doesn't create sustainable jobs; it puts our environment, our municipalities and our communities at risk. No matter what the Liberals say, this project is a money pit that does not reflect our commitment to clean energy just transition to a low-carbon future.”


Follow Theresa McManus on Twitter @TheresaMcManus