Iain Currie, Green Party of Canada

Iain Currie, Green Party of Canada

Election 2021 Q&A: Iain Currie, Green Party

The Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo candidates answer the Free Press’ questionnaire

What will you do specifically for rural communities?

We are proposing to put in place supports for local agriculture to create food security and shorten supply chains. Specifically, I will push for federal funding for an abattoir for the northern part of this riding. We will push for immediate and significant investments in clean energy to support a national energy grid. Many, if not most of those projects, will be in rural communities, and I commit to working with you to bring these investments to this riding. This is not just an essential part of the fight against climate change but is also a way to build resilience into rural economies and move away from the boom-and-bust cycle of resource extraction.

How do you plan to prepare our rural communities for future wildfires, flooding and other natural disasters?

Rural communities are most at risk for climate-change-caused natural disasters, and the federal government needs to assist the provinces in funding mitigation efforts to reduce the impact before these events happen. The Green Party is proposing a $1 billion Community and Environment Services Corps, to enable local communities to hire youth to work on projects such as forest fuel reduction in the spring before the fire season starts.

How will you ensure health care specialists are available locally to rural residents?

Since health care is a provincial jurisdiction, a federal MP is limited in terms of the influence he or she can have on how health care money is spent between rural and urban areas. Having said that, as your MP I would be working to make our communities more attractive to young healthcare professionals.

How will you address issues with childcare in rural areas?

The Green Party supports universal childcare and increasing federal funding until this goal is achieved. I will advocate with the province to fund childcare in rural areas of this riding and also ensure that federally funded clean energy projects include childcare spaces as part of the approval process.

How will you ensure affordable housing in rural communities, especially for seniors and those on fixed incomes?

The federal government needs to create incentives to spur the creation of purpose-built rental housing, particularly for rural communities. While housing is a provincial jurisdiction, we are facing an affordability crisis, and the federal government needs to re-engage.

What do you intend to do to get people back to work during and after COVID-19?

Federal investment in the transition to a green economy comes with tremendous job-creation opportunities. Such things as green energy projects, retrofitting existing buildings, and fire-proofing our forests will enable us to put people to work immediately in good stable jobs.

What commitments will you make to addressing climate change locally and nationwide?

Addressing climate change will be my first priority. I will push to end the multi-billion dollar subsidies to oil and gas companies, and instead invest in local projects to create a resilient, sustainable economy. I will lead the transition to a post-fossil-fuel economy, starting immediately. The Green Party is the only party committed to setting and meeting the targets that are ambitious enough to achieve Canada’s Paris Agreement obligations.

How will you address Truth and Reconciliation with First Nations?

We need to start honouring the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Commission, including transparently reporting on the steps taken to address each of their recommendations, and moving with greater urgency to meet them all. The federal government also needs to immediately end its appeal in the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society case. While these are only first steps, they are necessary to prove to Indigenous Canadians that we take reconciliation seriously.

In the North Thompson, what are your plans regarding bringing natural gas into the corridor?

I will work hard to bring clean energy projects to the North Thomspon and throughout the riding. We have to transition away from oil and gas.

What will you do to remove inter-provincial trade ticketing barriers?

This is a provincial jurisdiction so a federal MP has limited influence here, other than to push for more cooperation between provinces. The Green Party has proposed a council of Canadian governments.


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