Elections underway in Québec and New Brunswick
Election Day is coming to New Brunswick and Québec. In New Brunswick, people will go to the polls on September 24. In Québec, voting day is set for October 1.
While in both provinces the early days have focused primarily on issues such as health and education, there have been announcements and platform agenda items from the various political parties that would be of interest to CPA members in Québec and New Brunswick.
In Québec, for example, the Liberal Party has promised to spend an additional $2.9 billion by 2023 on sustainable mobility. They support the existing cap-and-trade system designed to reduce greenhouse gases.
The Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) supports international greenhouse gas reduction targets and would promote "technological innovations” to ensure their achievement.
The Parti Québécois would ban all new fossil fuel projects and existing projects would be subject to stricter oversight. The PQ would also instruct the Caisse de dépôt, Québec''s pension fund, to divest from fossil fuel exploration, production and pipeline companies’ exploration.
Québec solidaire proposes more sustainable waste management, including prohibiting the use of certain toxic products. They would institute a "polluter pays" policy when it comes to waste. They would also introduce a program with the goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 85% in the next 30 years.
In terms of voter support, an August 27 poll showed the CAQ in the lead with 34.2%, the Liberals in second with 28.3%, the PQ with the support of 19% and Québec solidaire having 13% in support.
Meanwhile, in New Brunswick, promises around energy and the environment are beginning to emerge.
On August 29, Liberal Leader Premier Brian Gallant committed that a re-elected Liberal government will freeze power rates for residential and business customers for four years. Gallant also promised that the Liberals would add a new ministerial position in cabinet – Minister Responsible for Red Tape Reduction.
On August 27, Progressive Conservative Leader Blaine Higgs announced that if elected, a PC government would join Ontario and Saskatchewan in opposing the federal carbon tax. He also promised to refund any carbon tax imposed by the federal government on New Brunswickers through tax relief.
The CPA will examine the election results in New Brunswick and Québec in the October newsletter.