• Jules-Pierre Malartre

Vaudreuil-Soulanges NDP candidate talks energy

PHOTO BY JULES-PIERRE MALARTRE Vaudreuil-Soulanges NDP MP Jamie Nicholls, accompanied by his wife Amanda MacDonald and baby daughter Penelope, during the press conference in Jack Layton Park in Hudson August 7.

Accompanied by his wife and newborn baby daughter, NDP MP Jamie Nicholls met with local media in Jack Layton Park August 7 where he gave a short address, saying he would like to conduct a respectful campaign without resorting to misleading attacks. “This is the type of campaign I led in 2011, and I will continue to use this type of campaign. I think after a decade of the Harper government, people have had enough of political cynicism fed with misleading publicity and attacks.”

Nicholls went on to say the NDP’s priority was to transition toward renewable energy. “I originally invited you to the Carillon Dam (in Pointe Fortune) to demonstrate our capacity to transition toward renewable energy. We can do it, but it’s been 20 years, and we don’t have a policy that promotes and prioritizes renewable energy.” Nicholls added the NDP wants to create a partnership between the federal, provincial and municipals governments and the First Nations that will foster a vision for the future that promotes renewable energy and protection of the environment.

Nicholls said the transition toward renewable energy would also create quality jobs. He quoted NDP leader Thomas Mulcair during last week’s debate as saying that “Canada had missed the boat with the Harper government” when it came to global economy opportunities offered by renewal energy and that Canada needed to get onboard in order to promote quality jobs and the middle class.

When asked how the NDP planned to reconcile the current focus on fossil fuel and pipelines with the party’s intention to transition toward renewable energy, Nicholls said the rigorous environmental assessment process needed was not in place right now. “Mr. Harper, in 2012, took away environmental controls from the assessment of pipeline projects. We’ve reached the point where we can’t approve any pipeline project because we don’t have a credible environmental assessment process.”

Nicholls added that the NDP would put in place both a plan for the transition to renewable energy and a credible environmental assessment process while working with their municipal and provincial partners and with the First Nations to see if the pipeline projects are viable.

When asked about the state of readiness of the NDP’s plan to address the two ongoing pipeline projects in the region, namely the impending flow reversal on Enbridge’s line 9B pipeline and the proposed TransCanada Energy East pipeline, should the party win the election in October, Nicholls again said those pipeline projects could not be approved in the absence of a credible environmental assessment process, and that the NDP’s first step would be to put in place such a process. “As it stands right now, both of those projects are still not fully functional, and according to what I understand, they shouldn’t be until that credible environmental assessment process is in place. That’s going to be our first priority, getting that back in place, and repairing the damage that Stephen Harper has done to that process.”

When asked about the timetable for putting in place an environmental assessment process and renewable energy transition plan, Nicholls answered that it would be the priority of Mulcair as prime minister to take care of that within the first year of his term.

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