Native candidates focus on social media regulation and local weather change

With just a few days to go before election day, candidates are pleading at Chatham-Kent-Leamington Riding why they deserve your vote.

The Ridgetown Independent reached out to candidates from the Liberal Party, the Conservative Party, the New Democratic Party, the People’s Party of Canada and the Greens to ask them about their plans on important issues. Questions included whether the government should regulate social media to prevent fake news and misinformation, and whether the government should increase environmental regulations for businesses to reduce carbon emissions.

Mark Vercouteren, the Greens candidate, said it was important that there was a system in place to ensure there were no fake accounts spreading lies and misinformation.

“Freedom of expression is important, but the spread of misinformation has shown that life is not only ruined, it is even ended,” said Vercouteren.

Dave Epp, the Conservative Party candidate, said in a democratic society that abuse of power and authority can and should be exposed without fear of retaliation.

“The Conservatives of Canada are helping to create a level playing field between major overseas streaming services and Canadian broadcasters, and advocate for Canadian arts and culture,” said Epp. “A Conservative government would do this without undermining the fundamental rights and freedoms of Canadians.”

Liberal Party candidate Greg Hetherington believes in freedom of expression but believes that people should not be able to misinformation and spread hate speech. He added that too many peer children are being embarrassed on social media sites, leading to psychological stress and an increase in suicides.

“As a media owner, I see the effects of fake news and propaganda on the Internet,” said Hetherington. “Too often people think they are reading information from a credible source, but instead it is misinformation. Second, we have a serious problem with our children when it comes to social media. “

Dan Gelinas, the NDP candidate, echoed Hetherington’s testimony, pointing out that there is already a system in place with the CRTC to handle all fake news and misinformation complaints.

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“The NDP supports factual and responsible journalism, and we do not want to stifle freedom of expression under any circumstances,” said Gelinas. “We need to address these cuts in the CRTC and support more recruitment and better funding in their efforts to combat fake news and misinformation.”

However, not all candidates agree.

People’s Party of Canada candidate Liz Vallee said government control over any media platform was dangerous. She added that the Liberals are trying to pass a new censorship law which they describe as “extremely dangerous”. She said it would eliminate people’s right to freedom of expression and expression.

“Social media websites are privately owned and not publicly funded,” said Vallee. “There are already laws in place to deal with issues such as defamation, defamation and content that could encourage violence. Any government regulation that goes beyond what already exists should focus on preventing unjustified censorship and ensuring non-discriminatory and equal access to social media platforms. “

On the question of whether or not the government should increase environmental regulations on businesses to reduce carbon emissions, Vallee said the short answer is no.

“The long answer is that the government, which is more bureaucratic and taxing, is not going to innovate that reduces carbon emissions,” said Vallee, who added that Canada has some of the toughest environmental laws in the world.

“What we’ve seen with companies is that they are often sent into markets that don’t have these regulations. So we pollute even more without really fixing anything and stifling our ability to develop better technologies, ”added the PPC candidate. “Usually it is not the case that the government can regulate itself out of a problem.”

However, Hetherington believes Canada needs to be a leader on climate change.

“It’s much easier to challenge other countries (like China and India) to change that are big polluters.”

The Liberal Party candidate said farmers are a good example.

“I believe that helping our farmers with a discount to grow thousands of acres of crops that eat carbon and produce oxygen should be a consideration for our next climate policy. Climate change is the greatest story of the century. We have to address it for our grandchildren and ourselves. “

According to Gelinas, the NDP supports regulations already in place and is committed to cutting emissions in half to meet the 1.5-degree target set by scientists to prevent future disasters. He added that the NDP government would create hundreds of thousands of jobs by investing in clean energy, electric vehicles for mass transit and zero-emission cars.

He noted that Canada, as a member of the G7, is the only country whose emissions have increased since the Paris Agreement, adding that Canada has never achieved a single emissions reduction target.

“Tightening corporate environmental regulations by making polluters pay their fair share of the emissions avoided is a first step in reducing carbon emissions,” said Gelinas.

Epp said his party also has a plan to combat climate change.

“The Conservatives of Canada have a serious plan to fight climate change that will allow us to meet our goals and reduce emissions by 2030 while lifting Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax,” said Epp.

He added that the Conservatives see the most efficient way to reduce emissions is to use pricing mechanisms – but not one where the government pocketed the money.

Canada’s Conservatives are the only party with a plan to protect the environment, secure jobs and secure the future, according to Epp.

“We will fight climate change and protect the environment, but we will not do this on the back of hard-working Canadians or harm our economy,” said Epp. “Instead of sending your money to Ottawa, low-carbon savings accounts help Canadians adopt greener lifestyles while also allowing them to choose what works best for them and their families.”

Vercouteren believes climate change is getting worse and should be taken seriously.

“Our region is affected by the problems of climate change and it will take a lot of money to fix it. We need to make more efforts not only to fix these problems, but also to build an economy that works with the environment and local businesses, ”said Vercouteren.

According to the Greens candidate, the pandemic has proven Canada can build a green economy.

“By enabling more work from home, we have reduced the need to commute and given people in our area better job opportunities. With more public transport, we not only reduce our carbon footprint, but also help seniors in our area who cannot drive, ”said Vercouteren.

He added that his party could help build a business in the area that would add value to the products farmers produce, create jobs, reduce shipping and offer more local produce.

“The flooding problems in our region can be reduced by increasing tree growth and wetlands, which also reduces our carbon footprint. We can make changes that not only help the environment, but also improve our standard of living and become healthier, ”said Vercouteren.

The 2021 federal election will take place on Monday, September 20th. Further information can be found at

Bird Bouchard, local journalism reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News

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