Leaders battle over jobs, pipelines, fighter jets

Pipeline policies put NDP's Tom Mulcair, Conservatives' Stephen Harper on defensive in first federal election debate

Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau

Federal party leaders squared off in their first TV debate Thursday, a mostly polite two-hour exchange of views on the economy, environment and military action overseas.

The environment segment was most focused on B.C., where Prime Minister Stephen Harper was pressed on stalled pipeline proposals to the west and east coasts as well as to the U.S. Harper said low world prices for energy make it the only sector that is under-performing, while the rest of the economy is growing.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May urged NDP leader Thomas Mulcair to oppose the twinning of the TransMountain oil pipeline from Alberta to its Burnaby terminal. Mulcair stuck to his position that he will await a federal environmental review.

Harper noted that Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has opposed capital cost allowances for liquefied natural gas investors, weakening the case for new gas pipelines. He said the government approved the Northern Gateway pipeline proposed to run to Kitimat, with more than 200 conditions because “that’s how the system works.”

Trudeau and Harper sparred over greenhouse gas emission efforts, with Harper noting he moved ahead on curbing coal power plant emissions three years before U.S. President Barack Obama.

Harper agreed that approval of the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta to southern U.S. refineries will likely have to wait for Obama to leave office next year.

May said Harper is nowhere near meeting his own commitment to curb emissions, as forest fires rage and extreme weather increases all year around.

The debate moderator, Maclean’s magazine columnist Paul Wells, asked Harper if he owes Canadians an apology for appointing since-suspended senators Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau. Harper did not apologize, saying the provinces need a consensus to reform the senate through elections as he proposed, or to abolish it.

[watch debate here]

Mulcair and Trudeau oppose the current bombing missions against Islamic State terrorist targets in Syria and Iraq. Mulcair said he would support military action sanctioned by the United Nations or under Canada’s NATO commitments.

Harper said the deployment of six fighter jets with special forces support is what Canada’s allies want to do, and Islamic State is a “nerve centre” for a global movement that has targeted Canada specifically.

 

Just Posted

West Kelowna to hire eight more firefighters

The city looks to solve what they are calling a critical shortage of firefighters

Kelowna RCMP look to reunite stamp collection with owner

The stamp collection was handed to RCMP in Oct.

Kelowna RCMP search for speed-slowing cut out

The cut out of Const. Warren Ning has been allegedly taken from A.S. Matheson Elementary School

Battling winter blues, depression and SAD after the holidays

Kick the blues on ‘Blue Monday’ that is supposedly the most depressing day of the year

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

Man charged in 7-Eleven fire in Shuswap granted bail

Accused facing arson charges released with 23 conditions including a 7 p.m. curfew

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Most Read