Delta and Surrey MPs host climate change townhall

Local MPs Carla Qualtrough and Randeep Saral spoke with area residents to hear their concerns about climate change and ideas on how to fix.

Delta and Surrey residents voiced their thoughts about the impact climate change has had on their lives and what steps the federal government ought to take to fight it at a townhall meeting at Surrey's L.A. Matheson Secondary on Aug. 29.

Local MPs were on hand this week to hear North Delta and Surrey residents’ concerns about the environment and ideas on how to combat climate change.

Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities and MP for Delta Carla Qualtrough co-hosted the climate change townhall meeting with Surrey Centre MP Randeep Sarai at Surrey’s L.A. Matheson Secondary on Aug. 29. Feedback received during the consultation will be put into a report that will be made available on Environment Canada’s website and feed into the government’s consideration of the issue.

The federal government is launching the largest series of consultations in Canadian history as people across the country are being asked what their vision is for the environment and how best to target climate change.

“It’s the first time ever that the government has had this many consultations in every single riding from coast to coast,” Sarai said.

The goal of the consultations is to give Canadians the opportunity to help shape Canada’s approach to climate change and to contribute to Canada’s plans to promote cleaner growth. Local discussions include how the Port of Vancouver tackles its environmental assessment reviews.

“As much as we need to do it [prevent climate change] we need to do it well because this is a once in a lifetime chance for us to get this right,” Qualtrough said.

Attendees were asked a variety of questions, from how they have been personally impacted by climate change, to what solutions they thought were most

effective in reducing greenhouse gases. Residents raised concerns about the effect cli- mate change has on their health and immediate environment, suggesting Canada needs to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and reliance on fossil fuels by creating new tech jobs, making public transportation more easily accessible, strengthen- ing environmental processes, and using renewable energy sources such as solar power.

Half of emissions that are destroying our environment are caused by oil and gas. George Shipley of North Delta had several suggestions for how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including increasing the price of fossil fuels. He pointed to how Europe’s price of fuel is twice that of North America, but their carbon footprint is one half of what it is in North America.

Anyone interested in weighing in about climate change can visit etstalkclimateaction.ca/ideas.