Federal election candidates in Calgary debate energy, environment

As Canadians get ready to head to the polls in exactly three weeks, the Calgary Eyeopener held its first candidate debate focusing on energy and the environment. Liberal candidate Matt Grant, the NDP's Jillian Ratti and Michelle Rempel of the Conservatives.

Liberal, NDP and Conservative candidates in hotseat for the first of the Calgary Eyeopener debates

As Canadians get ready to head to the polls in exactly three weeks, the Calgary Eyeopener held its first candidate debate focusing on energy and the environment.

In the hotseat are Liberal candidate Matt Grant, the NDP's Jillian Ratti and Michelle Rempel of the Conservatives. Here are some of the most memorable quotes from the debate.

Matt Grant, Liberal candidate, Calgary Confederation

  • "Forty thousand people have lost jobs in the oil and gas sector in this province alone in the last year. We need to break off the status quo … we're offside what the U.S. is doing on climate change and the prime minister hasn't been the diplomat necessary, has damaged relationships with premiers and First Nations people and environmentalists. That's why we haven't got pipelines built. And that's why, even if we get the price of oil back to where it used to be, we still have widespread systemic issues to getting our resources to market."
  • "If we get a good process in place, we restore credibility on the environmental assessment side, we do something about climate change, [then] we have a regulatory environment in which things like Energy East [and] Kinder Morgan can get built. But we need to make sure that Canadians have confidence in that process. And we need to make sure that once we get to tidewater, once we get to the Gulf of Mexico, from a pipeline perspective, we have customers waiting on the other side of the line and we have people ready to buy that product. I'm personally supportive of making sure we get our resources to market."

Jillian Ratti, NDP candidate, Calgary Centre

  • "This government has failed to [protect oil and gas jobs and] to diversify our economy. They had no 'Plan B.' We are only a 'Plan A' province and country.… We need to diversify our economy. We need to think about new energy.…  Energy is not just oil and gas. It is sun, it is wind.... The NDP did just come out recently with their carbon cap and trade system, including targets. The targets are specifically a 34 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, and that is an aggressive but realistic goal, and far more significant than anything that Conservatives have had to offer here."
  • "It comes down to collaboration. I don't have all the answers for how we get our product to market.... We need to collaborate, we need to build an environmental framework that Canadians have trust in and that the international environment has trust in as well. No country is going to want to buy our product if we can't prove to them that we're doing something real about climate change."

Michelle Rempel, Conservative candidate, Calgary Nose Hill

  • "It has been under our government's tenure that we've seen a 5.1 per cent reduction of GHG emissions since 2005 while the economy grew by 10.6 per cent. This is through measures like our light duty passenger regulations [and coal fire regulations]. This is why we've set a tangible target of a 30 per cent reduction from 2005 levels by 2030."

  • "[The left] wants this to be a good-versus-evil debate, rather than one based on fact and science, and our government has pursued the opposite approach."
  • "We've committed over $1.2 billion to climate change mitigation and adaptation. We stand for an international agreement, which would see all major emitters be committed to binding targets for GHG emissions. The Kyoto Protocol did not do that. It omitted emitters like China, Brazil and the U.S. We've been entering a partnership with the U.S. on energy and the environment so that we're not committing to unilateral action that would reduce the ability of Canada's energy sector and our economy to perform."


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