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Kitchener South-Hespler – Local Candidates on Environmental Policy

By: Amanda Smith, M.P.S.

October 17th, 2019

Kitchener South-Hespler

Responses compiled by Amanda Smith, M.P.S. 

With Election Day quickly approaching on October 21st, it’s important to understand where your local candidates stand on the issues that are important to you. When it comes to the topic of climate change, you deserve to know what actions they vow to take. We’ve reached out to every candidate in each of the five local ridings asking them one core question on climate action:

“What federal policies/actions (such as carbon pricing, electric vehicle incentives, etc.) do you think have the greatest impact in enabling greenhouse gas emission reductions? 

Would you work to implement those policies and actions?”

We’ve compiled their verbatim responses to this question into a series of blog posts so you can understand exactly where they stand.

Responses from the Kitchener South-Hespler candidates are listed below in alphabetical order by Party name. Click on a Party name to jump directly to their response:

Conservative Party

Green Party

Liberal Party


People’s Party of Canada


Conservative Party – Alan Keeso

Candidate did not respond.

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Green Party David Weber

“A very large component to GHG emissions are the fossil fuels that are used to heat our homes and commercial spaces. We know that builders like Gatto and Reids have recently started building specialty homes that are 77% more energy efficient than code requires. This allows them to be easier to cool in the summer and are misers to heat in cold weather. Solar panels and batteries can put these residences as net zero carbon buildings. Waterloo has a commercial building boasting the same net zero carbon footprint. The Green plan to strengthen code so that all new buildings are compliant to these high standards and putting a workforce to retrofitting existing homes and structures to bring up their efficiencies can get us out of natural gas for heating all of these buildings. This would make a huge impact in reducing our GHG emissions in an ongoing basis for all Canadians.

Another serious issue is fossil fuel transportation. While we encourage creation of a National Transportation Strategy that electrifies and builds out more efficient and accessible mass transportation, the shift of our current automotive focus from gasoline to electric power is an undertaking that we must support. I suggest that current EV incentives help reimburse some funds to only those that are wealthy enough to be able to pay for a more expensive electric vehicle. I would recommend that energy savings loans would be a better way to move forward. For example, anyone purchasing a new gasoline powered vehicle would expect to pay approximately $20 000 for it. Presuming that is all they can afford, a $5 000 rebate on a $35,000 EV vehicle is not helpful. Rather than giving any rebates to the wealthier, it would be better to replace that plan with one that the government gives a loan at 0% interest for any amount above the first $20,000 for anyone purchasing an electric vehicle. The money saved in operating it would normally be several hundred dollars per month.  If the savings were what was used to pay the loan back, more buyers could do their part to have a better vehicle and reduce their carbon footprint, while the government cost would only be the interest required to carry that loan for the purchaser. It would be cheaper for the government and make EV’s more accessible to anyone that would be in the market for a new vehicle. After the loan is paid, imagine your operating costs at 20% that of operating an internal combustion engine vehicle.

Retrofits and building better new homes and new commercial structures along with all transportation to be electrified and powered by renewable energy, utilizing cost effective and doable measures, will get us to where we need to be in reducing our carbon footprint to net zero. To do this, we must elect officials with the political will to see them accomplished. I give you my commitment to this endeavor.

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Liberal Party – Marwan Tabbara

Candidate did not respond.

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NDP – Wasai Rahimi

The NDP has a strong commitment to environmental initiatives; climate change is the single greatest issue effecting Canada and the world. The NDP has committed to protecting our land and water, redirecting subsidies from oil and gas companies into green initiatives, expanding access to public transit, retrofitting older buildings to be energy efficient (and ensuring all new builds are efficient), and ensuring large corporations are held accountable for any pollution they generate. Most importantly, the Federal government needs to work closely with other nations, we are all in this together and we cannot achieve enough alone. We hope all these policies can make a difference to reduce CO2 emissions and redirect our current path towards climate diaster.

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People’s Party – Joseph Todd

Candidate did not respond.

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