MP Report: More town hall meetings for Cannings

Richard Cannings is the MP for the South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding.

Earlier this month I hosted a town hall meeting in Rossland to let the public present their ideas about how Canada should tackle climate change.

Almost 100 concerned citizens attended the meeting and I was impressed at the range of ideas.

It’s clear why many citizens are worried about Canada’s plans regarding climate action.  Canada pledged to cut emissions in Kyoto in 1997 and did nothing. We downgraded our pledges in Copenhagen in 2009 and did nothing. Last fall we sent a large delegation to the Paris climate summit and talked boldly of keeping global temperature increase below 1.5 Celsius, but the Liberal government is still using the weak targets of the previous government, which will ensure a temperature increase of 3 to 4 Celsius, and the government still doesn’t have a plan to reach even them.

The overwhelming consensus at the Rossland town hall meeting was that we must have science-based, enforceable emissions targets to meet the goals we agreed to in Paris.

How can we reach those targets? The audience had plenty of good ideas. Several people pointed out that solar panels are getting cheaper every year, and with the advent of new battery technology and affordable electric cars, the idea of gassing up your car from the solar array on your roof is no longer a fantasy. One participant mentioned that eating less meat—even eating one vegetarian meal per week — could have a significant effect on our carbon footprint.

However, to really succeed, participants agreed that governments must take the lead. We must stop subsidizing the fossil fuel industry and start providing meaningful incentives for the shift to renewable energy. We need to ensure that new trade agreements support climate action, not hinder it. And we have to act boldly, quickly and fairly to put a price on carbon. As vice-chair of the House of Commons Natural Resources Committee, I heard testimony from a number of oil and gas industry executives over the past six months, and they all stated that a price on carbon— preferably a carbon tax — was needed in Canada.

Several of the provinces have already put a price on carbon or have plans to do so. The federal government must ensure that these actions meet the minimum standards for our climate action pledges, and ensure that similar actions are taken in provinces and territories without carbon pricing.

Concerns around competition with the steadily decreasing number of countries without carbon pricing can be dealt with using border adjustments, and issues around regions or sectors that are unfairly impacted can be covered by any number of dividend systems. But we must send a strong market signal to every individual, agency, or corporation that creating a heavy carbon footprint will be expensive.

I will be holding another town hall meeting on climate action in Penticton on Aug. 15 (7 p.m., library auditorium). I hope to see you there, but if you can’t make it, remember you can always reach me at Richard.Cannings@parl.gc.ca.

Richard Cannings is the MP for the South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding.

Just Posted

Summerland cidery Millionaires' Row is hosting a Father's Day car and art show. (Facebook)
Vintage cars, art and cider for Father’s Day

Summerland’s Millionaires’ Row Cider Co. is hosting the car and art show

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

James Miller, the managing editor at the Penticton Herald, has been voted in for Jake Kimberley’s vacated council seat. (Submitted)
James Miller elected as Penticton city councillor

Penticton also voted yes to allowing up to 25 years for a Skaha Marina contract

The Eyes of the Tigers on the 2021 Beer Run on June 19. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton Beer Runners take trip around local beaches and brews

Over 160 people signed up to come back after the 2020 run was cancelled

There was high voter turnout for the first of three advance voting days for the Penticton city by-election.
Penticton city by-election general voting day is today, June 19

737 voters on June 9 in comparison to 2018 general election, which had 1,001 on first day

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Starting in 2022, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is extending dog control to the entire Electoral Area D. (Stock photo)
Dog control bylaw passes in Shuswap area despite ‘threatening’ emails

CSRD board extending full dog control in Electoral Area D starting next year

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read