Peterborough-Kawartha candidates to debate environment and climate change on May 12

Debate will be livestreamed on YouTube, public can submit questions in advance

The audience at Trent University during a debate on the environment involving Peterborough-Kawartha candidates in the 2019 federal election. The provincial election debate on the environment and climate change on May 12, 2022 will be livestreamed on YouTube. (Photo courtesy of For Our Grandchildren)
The audience at Trent University during a debate on the environment involving Peterborough-Kawartha candidates in the 2019 federal election. The provincial election debate on the environment and climate change on May 12, 2022 will be livestreamed on YouTube. (Photo courtesy of For Our Grandchildren)

Peterborough-Kawartha candidates in the upcoming provincial election will be debating environment and climate change on Thursday evening (May 12), with the debate livestreamed on YouTube.

The debate organizers — For Our Grandchildren (4RG), Peterborough GreenUP, Kawartha World Issues Centre, the Federation of Ontario Cottagers Association, and youth activists — invited candidates from the four parties that won seats in the last provincial election, and all the candidates have confirmed their attendance: incumbent Dave Smith of the Conservatives, Greg Dempsey of the Liberals, Jen Deck of the NDP, and Robert Gibson of the Greens.

The Peterborough debate is one of the 100 Debates on the Environment being held across the province by non-profit environmental group GreenPAC.

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“Climate change is one of the top issues this election, as voters head to the polls on June 2nd,” reads a media release from Peterborough GreenUP, one of the local organizers of the debate. “Making an informed vote about climate action plans in this election is crucial to establishing a strong plan to combat the climate crisis and securing our collective future.”

“The latest reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that the time to take action against climate change is ‘now or never.’ In Ontario, development and urban expansion are putting natural spaces and human well-being at risk and continuing to exacerbate climate change.”

“2021 demonstrated what the future holds if no action is taken to address the climate crisis, including heat waves, fires, and floods in Ontario and across Canada. Other provincial issues that are sure to be top of mind for voters this election, including health care and education, are inextricably linked to climate change.”

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The candidates will debate live from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Trent Symons Campus Student Centre, with in-person attendance limited to organizers and the media. The public can watch the debate live on the 4RG Meets YouTube channel at youtube.com/channel/UCY7bbdtylxSHozPrAHJ-NFA.

During the debate, organizers will posing a series of written questions candidates will receive in advance, followed by questions submitted by the public.

Members of the public who want to register to submit a question can do so at forms.gle/v3oSJeseXgmRSiyZ6.

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This is the second debate this week involving Peterborough-Kawartha candidates for the provincial election. On Tuesday night (May 10) from 6 to 8 p.m., the Peterborough and the Kawarthas Chamber of Commerce is hosting a debate on business-related issues.

Six local candidates — incumbent Dave Smith of the Conservatives, Greg Dempsey of the Liberals, Jen Deck of the NDP, Robert Gibson of the Greens, Tom Marazzo of the Ontario Party, and Dylan Smith of the None Of The Above Party— will debate at the Lakefield Legion, with the debate livestreamed on the Chamber’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/c/PeterboroughKawarthaChamber.

Questions for the candidates can be submitted in advance on the Chamber’s website at peterboroughchamber.ca/provincialelection2022.html.