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100 Debates on the Environment

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Sep 30, 2019

Category: UNB Fredericton , myUNB

On Thursday, Oct. 3, a national initiative to hold non-partisan, all-candidates debates on the environment in 100 ridings across Canada will take place at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton.

The debate will be moderated by Dr. Donald Wright, professor and acting chair of UNB Fredericton’s department of political science. Invited candidates for the Fredericton riding include: Matt DeCourcey, MP and Liberal Party candidate; Jenica Atwin, Green Party of Canada candidate; Jason Paull, People's Party of Canada candidate; and Andrea Johnson, Conservative Party candidate.

100 Debates is an event organized by GreenPAC, a non-partisan non-profit organization that works to build environmental leadership in politics. Fredericton’s debate is organized in partnership with UNB Sustainability, UNB Fredericton’s faculties of arts and forestry and environmental management, Nature NB and the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.

Severe flooding over the last few years has made many New Brunswickers aware of the very real effects of climate change, according to organizers. Additionally, public polling consistently shows that support for environmental leadership has never been higher. They say that this kind of support doesn’t always translate into action from our elected leaders.

The debate on Oct. 3, three weeks before the federal election, will put candidates face-to-face with voters who want action on the environment.

During the debate, candidates will be challenged to put their best ideas forward about how they plan to engage Canadians regarding various environmentally focused issues, such as climate change and clean water. The goal of the event is to generate enough attention to directly impact voter and party priorities, as well as influence public policy.

“The faculty of arts has an important role to play in fostering opportunities for political engagement in our community,” says Tabatha Armstrong, student engagement, communications and research support officer for UNB Fredericton’s faculty of arts. “We are very glad to be partnering with colleagues in UNB Sustainability and Forestry & Environmental Management, as well as Nature NB and the Conservation Council to host this public debate.”

“The future health of our environment affects all of us, and we want to hear each candidate present their best ideas for prioritizing nature and leading us into a sustainable future,” says Emma McIntyre, director of engagement at Nature NB. “We're excited to give New Brunswick voters the opportunity to hear directly from their candidates about the important environmental issues that will shape the future of our community, our province and our country.”

The event will be held on Oct. 3 from 7 to 9 p.m. in Room 215 of the Kinesiology Building, located at 90 MacKay Dr, UNB Fredericton.

Media contact: Angie Deveau

Photo credit: Dani Landry