Editorial: Election rules must not preclude climate debate

Climate change has to be a talking point leading up to Oct. 21 federal election

It’s up to voters to ultimately decide, when we cast our ballots this fall, which election issues were most important.

And no matter what Elections Canada is saying about third-party messaging around climate change, that has to be a talking point leading up to Oct. 21.

All parties should have a plank in their platform for how they are going to deal with climate change – it’s a necessary part of budgeting and planning for the future. That’s why Elections Canada’s warning to environmental groups that speaking up about climate change could be considered partisan advertising was so confusing.

While the Liberals, Conservatives, Greens, NDP and the People’s Party of Canada are all, to some extent, addressing environmental issues in their platforms, Maxime Bernier, leader of the PPC, has expressed doubts about the legitimacy of some of the climate science. According to Elections Canada, that one dissenting voice means that any group promoting climate change as an issue could be considered partisan.

Environmental issues – like health care, education, etc. – are something Canadians might agree or disagree about, whether there’s an election happening or not. We hope Elections Canada’s chill on advocates being able to speak up on the environment is enforced with a dose of common sense.

Of course we need rules around election advertising – it’s necessary to keep the playing field level, put the brakes on U.S.-style attack ads, guard against corruption and generally keep politicians and third parties honest about who’s supporting who.

But partisan politics are only one aspect of a greater responsibility and urgency to address climate change. We hope it’s not just a platform plank, but something this election is fought over.

RELATED: Environment groups warned saying climate change is real could be seen as partisan

Just Posted

Nanaimo high school students cut class to attend climate action rally

Extinction Rebellion Nanaimo rally raises awareness, demands action against climate change

Public meeting will explore ideas to battle addiction and crime in Nanaimo

Organizers call for treatment centres, accountability for crimes, citizens’ task force

VIU students empowered to ‘shift the vote’ this election

VIU Students’ Union, B.C. Federation of Students launch ‘Our Time is Now’ campaign

Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidates ‘disappointed’ with prime minister over blackface

Situation a ‘nightmare’ for Trudeau and the Liberals, says VIU professor

RDN transit committee recommends keeping bus loop at Port Drive until summer

Regional District of Nanaimo board to debate recommendation Oct. 22

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Beefs & Bouquets, Sept. 19

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Nanaimo athletes earn gold, silver, bronze at 55-Plus B.C. Games

Huge contingent of local participants competed in largest-ever 55-Plus B.C. Games in Kelowna

Nanaimo beekeepers take down nest of giant hornets

One nest eradicated at Robins Park, but there are still Asian giant hornets around

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

Most Read