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As Mary Ann Murphy has gone knocking on doors around the vast riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, she's hearing more about one issue than any other. Climate Change. She says people are worried.
"It's what I call an eco-anxiety," said Murphy, "of another summer of smoke-filled skies." She said she's not surprised. "Look what we've lived through. We know melts, we know droughts, we know floods, fires. What haven't we experienced in the past four years," she observed. But what can we do about the issue? There, Murphy said, people are less certain. But many talk about what we have to lose here. "Sometimes they say 'I'm not a climate scientist, I don't know, but I know it's our critical issue. We're so dependent on our lake, our beautiful environment here for things like tourism. We must do something."
Murphy agrees with her constituents, saying more action is needed. "I think all of us have to respond to the voices of the youth," she said. And she added that taxing carbon is the solution. "We have oil companies around the world, asking their governments in the United States and in England to impose a carbon tax.
Murphy, born and raised in Alberta, brushes off any suggestion that her party's acquisition of the Trans Mountain pipeline conflicts with a green agenda.
"This is a time for the rest of the country to take a look at Alberta, the 150 thousand people who have lost jobs in that sector," she said. "There has to be a just, green transition. And that oil is going to find its way to market either by rail or by pipeline."
Murphy points out the Liberal commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050. "This is going to take a little time," she concedes.
Murphy is a professor at UBC Okanagan. He has political experience working for several deputy ministers in Ontario and she also worked at the United Nations in Vienna.
Voters go to the polls October 21.
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