Abbotsford MP Ed Fast meets with Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidate John Hirst at Hirst’s campaign office before leaving for some door knocking last month. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

Conservatives talk environment and leadership on doorsteps in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Former cabinet minister Ed Fast campaigns with candidate John Hirst

Conservative candidate John Hirst recently did some door knocking joined on doorsteps by a former cabinet minister.

The Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidate Hirst and Abbotsford MP and former minister of international trade Ed Fast campaigned together last month, talking with voters about leadership and other election issues.

Fast is the environmental critic for the Conservative Party, and suggested that whereas “the Liberal plan has failed,” his party has a “real plan” for the environment.

“By every single measure, Canada’s falling further and further behind in meeting its Paris targets,” Fast said.

He said the Liberal Party’s approach relies on carbon pricing, but the Conservatives don’t think a government can tax its way to a clean environment. He said the solution is to “rapidly scale up” tech development – carbon capture, for example – that can be implemented not only in Canada, but in other countries with “much more intense” emissions.

“Our plan … is shifting the focus from increasing the tax burden on Canadians to speeding up the development of technology and shifting our focus to what’s happening globally, because greenhouse gas emissions are a global challenge, they’re not just Canada’s,” Fast said.

He suggested that whether it’s the environment or other files, Canadians are being presented with a choice between Justin Trudeau’s Liberals and Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives.

“It’s not going to be the Green Party, it’s not going to be the NDP, they’ve all said that they’re going to be supporting Justin Trudeau,” Fast said.

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He said people he talks to are “incredibly disappointed” with Trudeau’s performance as prime minister and want change.

“I think Canadians are getting a pretty good feeling that they’re not getting ahead,” said Fast. “Some Canadians get ahead, but the average, hard-working family is not getting ahead and they’re going to look for an option and that option is our Conservative Party.”

Other candidates include Bob Chamberlin, NDP; Jennifer Clarke, People’s Party of Canada; Michelle Corfield, Liberals; Paul Manly, Green Party; Brian Marlatt, Progressive Canadian Party; James Chumsa, Communist Party; Geoff Stoneman, independent; and Echo White, independent.

The federal election is Oct. 21 and advance voting is Oct. 11-14. For information about where to vote, visit http://elections.ca.

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