Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe

The following questionnaire was submitted to all candidates running in New Brunswick’s 10 federal ridings. Candidates had two weeks to complete the questionnaire and submit their responses. Candidates were asked to limit their response to 200 words.

Climate

  1. Scientists say we need to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 80 cent of 1990 levels by 2050 to avoid catastrophic climate change. What is your party’s 2050 GHG reduction target and how will you achieve it?

Conservative — Robert Goguen: No response.

Liberal — Ginette Petitpas Taylor: No response.

NDP — Luc LeBlanc:  New Democrats believe climate change is a clear and present danger to all Canadians. We have a multi-pronged approach to helping fight climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We will re-introduce Jack Layton’s Climate Change Accountability Act to ensure that Canada meets its long-term target of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions to a level 80% below that of 1990 by the year 2050, and 34% below 1990 for the 2025/30 period.

Green — Luc Melanson: The reduction target  the Green Party is proposing, is to virtually eliminate the use of fossil fuels by mid-century, 40% reduction below 2005 levels by 2025.  But  I think concentrating on how to reach those targets is a much more important discussion.  It is estimated that we waste half of the energy we use, and the cheapest energy is the energy you save.  So across the country the Green Party will continue to develop and support retrofitting of all of our housing stock and built infrastructure.  That will not only save enormous amounts of energy, it will produce lots of employment.  The Federal and Provincial governments have been subsidizing the oil and gas industry with a billion dollars a year, and we think that should end right now.   Elizabeth May will be going to the Paris Conference to push the parties to produce a climate action plan that will actually reduce GHGs instead of just paying lip service to the concept.

 

  1. Many leading economists and policy institutions say putting a price on carbon is an effective way to reduce the pollution causing climate change. Will your party put a price on carbon?

Conservative — Robert Goguen: No response.

Liberal — Ginette Petitpas Taylor: No response.

NDP — Luc LeBlanc:  An NDP government will work with provinces and territories to put a price on carbon and reduce emissions. We will prepare a pan-Canadian cap-and-trade system, which will establish hard emissions limits for Canada’s biggest polluters to ensure companies pay their environmental bills and to create an incentive for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We will ensure that provincial and territorial governments can opt out of the federal plan if they have carbon pricing plans that meet or exceed federal goals. We’ll help provinces and territories co-ordinate efforts and integrate within a harmonized pan-Canadian system, and we’ll advance an integrated continental cap-and-trade system that ensures a level economic playing field for North American businesses.

Green — Luc Melanson: We have a carbon pricing mechanism called Carbon Fee and Dividend.  All carbon will be priced at source, whether coming out of the ground or across the border.  This is a revenue-neutral program, because the money raised will be sent annually as a dividend to all citizens over the age of 18.

 

  1. This December, world governments will attend the United Nations’ international climate conference to establish a legally-binding and universal agreement on climate action. This is an opportunity for Canada to play an influential role in global environmental affairs. What commitments does your party propose we announce in Paris to move us quickly to a low-carbon economy?

Conservative — Robert Goguen: No response.

Liberal — Ginette Petitpas Taylor: No response.

NDP — Luc LeBlanc:  Tom Mulcair will restore Canada’s international environmental credibility – as one of his first duties as Prime Minister, Tom will attend COP21 with targets and a plan to meet them. We will support green climate finance, based on the outcomes of the negotiations. We will also facilitate Canadians’ participation in the COP, and we’ll include Opposition Critics and Civil Society Groups on the official delegation to COP21.

Green — Luc Melanson: Elizabeth May has been at every Climate Conference since they began. ( Last year she had to go as a delegate from one of the South Sea Islands because the Conservative government wouldn’t take her with the Canadian delegation.)   Green MPs work across Party lines to get work accomplished, and she will work tirelessly with any others who are determined to come away from Paris with an agreement that will bind us all to strong targets.  Canada needs to step up and play a constructive role in this vital struggle.

 

  1. Burning coal to produce electricity is the single largest source of carbon pollution in N.B. Ontario recently phased out coal. Will your party support a phase-out of coal in N.B.?

Conservative — Robert Goguen: No response.

Liberal — Ginette Petitpas Taylor: No response.

NDP — Luc LeBlanc:  We will support all provincial and territorial efforts to transition to a fossil fuel free future.

Green — Luc Melanson: As I said above, we waste half the energy we produce.  We won’t need coal for energy if we make the other changes that will cut energy waste.  We would certainly work to phase out the use of coal across the country.

 

Energy

 

  1. Investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency and other green technologies will create jobs and reduce the pollution causing climate change. Will your party commit to increasing investments in energy efficiency programming and renewable energy generation?

Conservative — Robert Goguen: No response.

Liberal — Ginette Petitpas Taylor: No response.

NDP — Luc LeBlanc:  We will invest in targeted sustainable development priorities over the next four years to tackle climate change and adapt our communities in partnership with provinces, municipalities and Indigenous governments. And an NDP Government will make it easier for Canadians and businesses to invest in a cleaner future for Canada.

Green — Luc Melanson: The Green Party is absolutely committed to investments in renewable energy production and energy efficiency  promotion.  One of the ways to do that, as they are beginning to do in Nova Scotia, is to introduce Community Development Investment Funds that can be used in local community development like wind farms and local food production.

 

  1. Many Canadians and organizations are concerned the National Energy Board has become a biased regulator that isn’t making decisions in the best interest of all Canadians. Will your party commit to reviewing and amending the NEB process to make it fair and easy for communities and members of the public to provide input?

Conservative — Robert Goguen: No response.

Liberal — Ginette Petitpas Taylor: No response.

NDP — Luc LeBlanc:  The changes the Harper Government made to the mandate of the NEB when it repealed the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act have removed Environment Canada from most project reviews, and have given Cabinet an override provision that allows them to make political decisions on energy projects – all behind closed doors, making the entire process meaningless.

Green — Luc Melanson: Right now the NEB is made up of directors who have come from the oil and gas industry.  It is unconscionable that the regulator is made up of lobbyists for the industry it is supposed to regulate!   The NEB needs to be turned into a real regulator, directed by independent scientists who have the  mandate in mind, which is to make decisions for the benefit of the public and the environment, not for industry.  Hearings should be open and scrutinized, funding should be make available as needed to produce submissions, and social license needs to be taken into account for any project.

 

  1. Many Canadians and organizations feel the National Energy Board’s project review process is flawed because it does not consider the upstream greenhouse gas impacts associated with energy projects. Will your party ensure upstream greenhouse gas emissions are considered in all project reviews undertaken by the National Energy Board?

Conservative — Robert Goguen: No response.

Liberal — Ginette Petitpas Taylor: No response.

NDP — Luc LeBlanc:  The Conservative government has systematically dismantled the federal environmental assessment process, and has seriously restricted public input into major project reviews. As a result, a rigorous and credible federal environmental assessment just isn’t possible. A New Democratic government will work with provinces, industry and with indigenous and other communities to revamp the federal environmental review process for the approval of major resource infrastructure such as pipelines. We will ensure that reviews are meaningful and account for a project’s impact on our climate, and that it will not conflict with our new international obligation to reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. We will also end the Conservatives’ arbitrary limits on public participation in decision making, which is one of the most important aspects of environmental assessment. We will increase the protection of communities and our environment by implementing strengthened safety standards. The federal government must also honour its legal duty to consult and accommodate First Nations. Only through a strong project review process – with sustainability at its core – can we ensure that proposals are safe for Canadians and our environment before moving forward.

Green — Luc Melanson: The NEB should consider the total impact of projects, both on the ground and the GGEs of the final product.  These figures need to be part of our reduction targets.

 

  1. Both Ontario and Quebec have pursued independent provincial examinations of TransCanada’s proposed Energy East Pipeline. Will your party encourage the government of New Brunswick to conduct an independent Environmental Impact Assessment of the Energy East proposal in N.B.?

Conservative — Robert Goguen: No response.

Liberal — Ginette Petitpas Taylor: No response.

NDP — Luc LeBlanc:  We would encourage any province to conduct its own review, but there has also got to be a robust federal review, which is not possible under the current regime.

Green — Luc Melanson: The New Brunswick government has the responsibility to protect the health and well being of its citizens.  It is imperative that the government conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment of the pipeline project, and give all citizens a chance to contribute their voices.  Ramming this project through without adequate consultation will only lead to more conflict and anger.  The Liberals were elected in reaction to a Conservative government that didn’t listen to peoples’ concerns.  I hope they learned something.

 

  1. TransCanada’s Energy East Pipeline is one of several port expansion or shipping projects currently being proposed that would bring significantly more supertankers into the Bay of Fundy. Will your party give a mandate to Fisheries and Oceans Canada to do an assessment of marine traffic noise in the Bay of Fundy in order to determine existing impacts on marine mammals and determine tipping points of noise that would increase impacts on marine mammals in the Bay of Fundy?

Conservative — Robert Goguen: No response.

Liberal — Ginette Petitpas Taylor: No response.

NDP — Luc LeBlanc:  This would be part of an environmental assessment that would have to be conducted before an NDP government allowed this project to proceed.

Green — Luc Melanson: The Green Party is firmly against the building of the Energy East Pipeline.  The certainty of spills (think Kalamazoo, the Nexen spill in  Northern Alberta), and the increase in total GGEs the additional fossil fuel use will produce are just two reasons why this project must not go ahead.  It will not be good for New Brunswick, it’s a flow-through project and will bring very little economic benefit to this province.  It is a scheme by the oil and gas companies to triple oil sands production–how can anyone interested in lowering greenhouse gas emissions promote pipelines anywhere?

 

Nature and the environment

 

  1. Recent years have seen many of Canada’s environmental laws weakened or repealed. Will your party restore or strengthen the Fisheries Act, the Navigable Waters Protection Act, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, and the Species At Risk Act?

Conservative — Robert Goguen: No response.

Liberal — Ginette Petitpas Taylor: No response.

NDP — Luc LeBlanc:   In the last ten years, the Conservatives have dismantled the laws protecting our air, land and water. They’ve hidden their attacks in budget bills, targeting the Navigable Waters Protection Action, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and the Fisheries Act. They’ve muzzled or fired scientists working on environmental research. And they’ve handed billions in subsidies to their friends in the fossil fuel industry. New democrats will protect our natural environment for future generations and reverse Stephen Harper’s damaging changes to environmental protection laws. We will update and strengthen environmental assessments. We will affirm Government’s strong role in environmental protection and assessment, ensure and support public participation in decision making, incorporate cumulative effects, regional assessments, and greenhouse gas impacts for all major projects and ensure that the Crown’s duty to consult Indigenous peoples in the environmental assessment process is upheld, and that their meaningful participation is facilitated. WE will undo damage to science and environmental protections, and restore protection to Canada’s lakes and rivers by reversing changes made to the Navigable Waters Protection Act in omnibus Budgets 2012, and we will restore habitat protection and other provisions of the Fisheries Act.

Green — Luc Melanson: All those Acts need to be restored and strengthened.

 

  1. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) recently classified glyphosate as a probable cancer-causing agent. In 2001, Quebec replaced the use of herbicides in its public forest with thinning crews of men and women working in the woods. Will your party require Health Canada to ban glyphosate for silvicultural treatments in Canada’s public forests?

Conservative — Robert Goguen: No response.

Liberal — Ginette Petitpas Taylor: No response.

NDP — Luc LeBlanc:  The Pest Management Regulatory Agency under Health Canada approves pesticides for use in Canada. All pesticides have inherent hazards, as well as benefits when used in prescribed circumstances. Science cannot say glyphosate, or any other pesticide designed to kill a biological organism, is safe. Scientific evidence is immensely broader than the toxicological (laboratory animal) risk assessment on which the PMRA primarily relies. The PMRA has not developed a systematic process to incorporate epidemiology, studying humans in the real world, in risk assessment. In fact, until recently the PMRA has actually not even had an epidemiologist on staff. The NDP would look at conducting a review of the approvals process, and of the approval of glyphosate, taking into consideration the epidemiological risks, evaluating the availability of alternatives, and operationalizing the precautionary principle.

Green — Luc Melanson: Glyphosate needs to be banned by Health Canada.  And herbicides we thought were banned, I have seen lately in stores to be purchased off the shelf by anyone.  Who is enforcing regulations?  We need regulations, but we also need enforcement capacity, which has also been lost at both Federal and Provincial levels.

 

  1. Business leaders, commercial and recreational fishing associations, scientists, lawyers and environmentalists called on the federal government to not pass the Aquaculture Activities Regulations, stressing they would reduce oversight of the aquaculture industry and increase access to highly toxic pesticides for use in the ocean. Would your party repeal or amend the Aquaculture Activities Regulations to increase enforcement and oversight and limit access to toxic pesticides?

Conservative — Robert Goguen: No response.

Liberal — Ginette Petitpas Taylor: No response.

NDP — Luc LeBlanc:  The changes to the Fisheries Act made by the Conservative government have stripped the key protections from the law – New Democrats will reverse these changes. And the deposit of deleterious substances in fish bearing waters was, and should be, illegal. We must take steps towards achieving a balanced approach to a sustainable industry in our rural and coastal communities. It is very important that we commit to protecting the environment and traditional fisheries as they further develop the aquaculture industry. That include strengthening the monitoring and enforcement mechanisms of the industry.

Green — Luc Melanson: The Green Party is firmly opposed to widespread pesticide use.  Current aquaculture practices have led to dead zones beneath the cages, contamination and the death of lobster populations in the Bay of Fundy, wild salmon losses, and unsustainable use of the ocean’s resources through making fish food for the cages.  We need, again, enforcement of rules prohibiting use of such chemicals, for without enforcement, regulation is only a screen.

 

  1. In the past, Canada’s support for public science and science funding was the envy of many developed nations. Will your party commit to increasing support for public science and restoring science funding to Environment Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans?

Conservative — Robert Goguen: No response.

Liberal — Ginette Petitpas Taylor: No response.

NDP — Luc LeBlanc:  Tom Mulcair and the NDP will restore the voice of scientists in Canada.  We will create a Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister headed by a Chief Science Advisor to ensure that our government always has access to the best possible scientific advice from experts in all fields. We will immediately move to restore the mandatory long form census and provide the necessary funding to ensure it can be included in the 2016 census. We will put an end to the Conservatives’ policy of muzzling scientists and ensure that Canada’s leading experts are freely available to speak to the media and to publish their findings. We will implement the NDP’s comprehensive plan to promote the voice of scientist’s in Ottawa as laid out in M-453 to promote scientific integrity. We will work to re-establish scientific capacity in government departments, including Environment Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. We will establish the Office of the Parliamentary Science Officer as per Bill C-558 to ensure that parliamentarians have the best possible access to science-based analysis.

Green — Luc Melanson: The Green Party will work hard to restore an independent  scientific community in Canada.  The closing of research facilities, and the destruction of publicly funded research materials has been one of the biggest black marks against the Conservative government.  Scientists need to be able to publish their work independently, the public needs full access through the media to the work done by scientists.

 

  1. Water is a special resource in that it crosses provincial and federal boundaries, presenting unique challenges for those responsible for the health of our rivers and waterways.  Does your party support the development of a national water strategy?

Conservative — Robert Goguen: No response.

Liberal — Ginette Petitpas Taylor: No response.

NDP — Luc LeBlanc:  In the last ten years, the Conservatives have dismantled the laws protecting our air, land and especially our water. They’ve hidden their attacks in budget bills, targeting the Navigable Waters Protection Act, the Environmental Assessment Act, the Species at Risk Act, and the Fisheries Act. Under their changes, Canada went from protecting over 2.5 million lakes and rivers to only parts of 159. And they have failed to address contaminated sites, protect fish stocks, and introduce legislation to protect water from bulk exports, or enact drinking water standards. The NDP believe this is unacceptable. We will introduce a federal Safe Drinking Water Act to support provinces and municipalities in their efforts to keep the drinking water of all Canadians safe. We will introduce legislation banning the bulk export of water across international boundaries. We will establish and implement a Pan-Canadian Plan for Water, in collaboration with the provinces, territories and Indigenous governments, and in consultation with the public to address water quality and quantity across jurisdictions, and which considers the impacts of climate change on current and future water resources, and we will restore legal protections for water that were stripped away by the Conservatives.

Green — Luc Melanson: For the past 10 years, the Federal government has refused to work with the Provinces on anything much; water policy is an area that needs all levels of government to work together, and the Green Party is committed to working across Party lines to develop a water strategy that will protect one of our most precious natural resources.

 

  1. Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) are an important tool for evaluating proposed policies, programs or projects with an eye toward minimizing the negative health impacts and maximizing the positive health impacts. Will your party include an HIA as a requirement of all Environmental Impact Assessments?

Conservative — Robert Goguen: No response.

Liberal — Ginette Petitpas Taylor: No response.

NDP — Luc LeBlanc:  We would review Environmental Impact Assessments in line with modernizing them and ensuring that all relevant impacts are considered. Currently, Regulatory Impact Assessment Statements include, on occasion, health effects in consideration, but this should be made consistent across the board.

Green —Luc Melanson: We need to increase the number of EIA’s that are done on projects, instead of exempting them, and HIAs are also a good  idea.  Our Provincial Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eilish Cleary, has stated that fracking, for instance, would have a negative health effect on the community; if she hadn’t stood up to say that, it would not have been part of the discussion.  We have so many thoughts on the negative health consequences of these projects, the idea that we should be looking for projects with positive health impacts is a great one!

 

  1. Families and food service industries are becoming more concerned about where and how their food is grown and processed. Will your party increase investments in the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food’s buy local and local food initiatives?

Conservative — Robert Goguen: No response.

Liberal — Ginette Petitpas Taylor: No response.

NDP — Luc LeBlanc: Everybody eats. New Democrats understand that food matters, from farm to factory to fork. Working with the provinces and territories, we need to improve access to healthy food for every Canadian, ensure sustainable agricultural communities and resources, and promote Canadian food here at home and around the world. Canada is without a comprehensive food policy—lagging behind other industrial countries in the OECD, like England and Australia. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food has raised serious concerns about food security in Aboriginal communities and the lack of a coordinated food strategy in Canada. More than 2 million Canadians are at risk of going hungry, compromising our families, our health care system and our children’s potential. New Democrats have a vision for our food system–one that connects Canadians from farm to fork. We need to look at the whole picture and bring an integrated approach to federal policy that connects agriculture, rural development, health and income security. It can be done. We want to see a thriving agricultural sector. Agriculture and food are major drivers of the Canadian economy, nourishing our population and providing one out of eight jobs. Today’s farmers are modern farmers, and they need to be linked to cutting-edge research and market information. Our rural communities need investment and infrastructure, and to be linked to growing urban markets. We also need to make sure that agricultural development is sustainable and protects critical watersheds and natural environments. Ensuring that Canadians have healthy, affordable food is a national priority. Focusing on healthy food now means a healthier population down the road. Our vision of a pan-Canadian food strategy ensures that everyone eats well, that our agricultural communities are sustainable for generations to come, and that Canadian products find growing markets at home and abroad.

Green — Luc Melanson: Promoting local food production, processing and consumption would not only give us healthier food, it would keep those dollars circulating in our communities.  And provide work for the increasing number of young people who want to see real solutions to our problems of unemployment and poverty.