As noted by Rita Bijons’ feature “An Opportunity to Build Environmental Leadership” (Toronto Field Naturalist, September 2019), the first week of October will be a critical period for environmentalists preparing for the upcoming federal election. During this time, over 100 non-partisan all-candidate debates on the environment and climate will take place in ridings across Canada. In addition to questions raised by attendees, four common questions have already been sent to parties represented in Parliament, one each on climate change, water, wilderness conservation, and pollution. Debates will be recorded and shared online, allowing candidates’ answers to be compared nationally.
As of September 12th, six debates have been organized in Toronto:
- Beaches-East York (Oct 3, 6-8pm)
- Davenport (Oct 3, 5-7pm)
- Eglinton-Lawrence (Oct 2, 7-9pm)
- Parkdale-High Park (Oct 2, 7:30-9:30pm)
- Toronto-St.Paul’s (Oct 3, 7-9pm)
- University-Rosedale (Oct 3, 7-9pm)
For debates outside of Toronto, or if you wish to check for any additional local debates that may be announced in the coming weeks, check the List of Debates on 100debates.ca.
This is a truly amazing opportunity for each of us to encourage and support greater environmental leadership in the next Parliament. Head to your local debate and ask the tough questions. Take note of the policy ideas and commitments you hear expressed by the candidates. Share what you’ve learned around the dinner table, water cooler, and social media so that others know who stands for what. And after the election, hold Parliament accountable for promises made.