A total of 22 questions including the controversy on the burning of rail ties and if elected would they stop it, was asked at Thursday’s all candidates forum at the Williams Lake and District Chamber luncheon.
Cariboo-Chilcotin Green Party candidate Rita Giesbrecht says there are environmental implications.
“If the air can be controlled, the ash is still slated to be piled up in the side of the Fraser River in a containment area that’s already vastly exceeded its parameters, and the ash that is planned to be deposited there is considerably more toxic than what it had been before.”
Giesbrecht says the burning of rail ties for power or even the burning of wood fiber for power is part of an insufficient and dirty energy spectrum overall and that it’s time to be move into clean technology energy generation.
She said in her closing statement that it’s time to do politics in a different way and that if we don’t, we will stay locked in the same tired old paradigms that we have been since 1952.
Although rebuttals were not allowed, incumbent Liberal Candidate Donna Barnett argued in her allotted 60 seconds to answer the question on rail ties, that the decision at the end of the day is made by a statutory decision-maker.
“So the question is would you do anything to stop the burning of rail ties to shut Atlantic Power down even if the science says it’s okay. This decision is not a decision of a politician.”
Barnett says the statutory decision makers make their decisions based on science and that as long as there are no environmental hazards it will move forward.
NDP Candidate Sally Watson says the burning of rail ties is excess energy that we do not need and that it amazes her that the government has not found a way to deal with independent power projects to make sure that we’re not over paying for power.
The NDP according to Watson who said in her opening comments that it’s time for a new government, will bring in sustainable jobs, put money into education and healthcare, and create 96,000 jobs in construction.
Barnett says now, however, says now is not the time for change and that we need strong, stable representation for the Cariboo-Chilcotin which she is proud to say that she has delivered over the last many years.
She says one of the biggest issues facing the Cariboo Chilcotin is land use.