People want practical solutions when it comes to the environment.

That’s what North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney says. 

She says the two Green New Deal town hall meetings in Courtenay and Powell River were well-attended. In both meetings, she says what she and Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns heard was that people wanted more practical action. 

“We had some really good conversations in the community about what’s happening to the environment and climate change, and how we’re going to address that,” Blaney said.

“The conversation was quite robust around practical solutions and how do we actually make sure that funding comes down to a local community and makes a difference.”

She says that in those meetings, constituents wanted the government to have strong targets.

“We need to ensure that there are strong targets, that when we look at those targets that we ensure that not only everyday Canadians but also some of those big corporations are actually having to fill their commitments.” 

She says that currently, big polluters are actually given the chance to keep polluting. Blaney says this is something constituents want to see changed. 

“There was also a lot of discussion about the subsidies that the federal government is giving to the oil and gas sector, and that we want to see those stopped and we want to see those (funds) invested more locally.”

Blaney says there are many local organizations and businesses throughout the riding trying to make a difference environmentally but can’t do much due to the lack of federal support. 

“People are just feeling very strongly that the environment is changing, and we don’t need anyone to prove it. But we want to see actual action and we want to see it in our local communities.”

Blaney also emphasized that the motion for the Green New Deal is only a framework for now, but she says they’ll have another opportunity to flesh it out and turn it into action.