Vancouver Quadra had the first all-candidates forum at Ryerson United Church this afternoon on the environment.
Kris’ focus was on reminding the audience that a vote for the Liberals, NDP, or Conservatives, is a vote for tankers and pipelines along our coast. Even if the candidates’ values are in opposition to those things, their decisions are determined by their party leaders, since they are subject to party discipline in the form whipped votes.
Kris promises to vote against new pipelines and tankers in the Burrard Inlet and along our coast, and he is the only party candidate who can make that promise, because the Green Party is backing him.
The Conservative candidate was absent from the debate, but there was a great audience turn out. Kris was able to mention the Green Party’s Climate Change Plan, how we’re missing out on the clean-tech revolution, we need to restore federal science capacity, fix the Fisheries Act and Navigable Waters Protection Act, and how we need to repair our relationship with First Nations and resolve the inequality, to name just a few of the topics covered.
As expected, someone asked a question about the anti-terrorism C-51 legislation, reminding us that Joyce Murray was the voice of support for the Liberals on this bill. Joyce responded by mentioning how this bill was intended to fix issues with the original Anti-Terrorism Act, saying that since the Internet had changed, security measures had to be brought up to date. Mrs. Murray mentioned that the Liberals had a list of amendments for the bill, and that it will need oversight.
Kris joined the conversation to remind the audience that it was the Liberals who initiated this surveillance culture around the time of Christmas 2001 by pushing through the original Anti-Terrorism Act, which set the foundation for further erosion of Canadian civil liberties. It was the Liberals that demonstrated how easy it is to push through an omnibus surveillance bill while leveraging the fear of a tragedy, that of 9/11. Neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives have provided any evidence as to how any of these surveillance bills make us safer, when in fact they seem to be mostly used to prey on the vulnerable, such as First Nations groups (as Mr. Andrews initially highlighted, and Kris reinforced), peaceful protestors, activists, and advocates. Bill C-51 is an example of the Conservatives following the Liberal style of forcing omnibus bills through after a tragedy, and there is every reason to believe that this trend will continue to worsen.
As we make hard decisions on who to vote for in this election, there is no other party candidate in Vancouver Quadra other than Kris Constable who will promise to vote against pipeline and tankers on our coast. Kris commits to working to repeal Bill C-51 and the surveillance culture laws that violate our Charter of Rights & Freedoms and that make us less safe. Kris will also work to pass a law ending all whipped votes, which would allow other candidates to actually represent the constituents if elected. Finally, Kris would work with all of the interested parties on bringing in Electoral Reform with Proportional Representation, so the phenomenon of majority governments being voted in with a minority of the votes will finally stop.
Back to the topic of the day, here you can read Kris and the Green Party’s plan for Addressing the Challenge of the Climate Crisis. Thanks to everyone who made it out on this wet Sunday, and we look forward to seeing you at more debates and forums in the future.