A woman casts her vote for the federal election in a polling station on Toronto's Ward Island on Monday May 2, 2011. A discussion paper prepared for Elections Canada suggests the use of "bots" on social media to spread disinformation, amplify political messages or disparage others could be monitored and regulated in the same way as automated phone messages during federal campaigns.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

LETTER: Questions to ask yourself before the election

Okanagan resident urging voters to consider climate

The Oct. 21 federal election is fast approaching. I hope that voters will take the time to really look at what is at stake in this election, and ask themselves some very serious questions, before dropping their ballot in the ballot box.

I am a wife, a mother, a hiker and avid outdoorsperson. I want to leave a habitable world for my daughter and future generations. I want the planet to be able to support the plants and animals and all the wonders of the world that I have had the privilege to explore in my lifetime. I am one of a majority of Canadians that care about addressing climate change and leaving a safer, more prosperous society for our children, grandchildren and those yet to be born.

When did the simple concept of leaving the planet a better place for our kids become a partisan issue?

The rest of the world is already transitioning to a clean, green energy economy and doing so at a rapid pace. Canada should be too if we want to provide stable jobs, a diversified economy and a livable climate.

We can no longer rely on business as usual which creates jobs by continuing to rip and ship our raw materials and resources to other countries. These resources are contributing to the climate crisis and our resources are finite.

Ask yourself: Do you want Canada to hold global warming to no more than 1.5 C to avoid triggering runaway heating and climate catastrophe or not? Do you feel prepared to deal with the chaos that will result if we continue on with business as usual? Are you prepared to tell your children and grandchildren how you voted on this critical issue? Do you feel that our government was showing leadership when it passed a resolution one day declaring that we are in a climate emergency and the next day purchased a pipeline (project) that will enable the expansion of bitumen mining in Northern Alberta and growth in Canada’s climate changing pollution?

The pipeline makes no economic sense and has not turned a profit in any month since it was purchased, once you factor in the interest payments on the debt. This is not treating the climate crisis as an emergency. Time is running out on this kind of political double speak. It shows me that our current political system often puts party above universal progress and majorities in Parliament over leadership.

“If we fail, all our achievements and progress have been for nothing and all that will remain of our political leaders’ legacy will be the greatest failure of human history. And they will be remembered as the greatest villains of all time, because they have chosen not to listen and not to act.” Greta Thunberg, speech to the European Economic and Society Committee. Feb. 2019 Greta also said, “Our house is on fire. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is……”

I expect our elected officials in all levels of government to prioritize bold climate action. Inaction is too deadly, too costly, and simply unjust.

Jane Weixl


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