Questions to ask a candidate

If you are concerned about the trajectory the world is currently in and want to make sure your candidate has an appropriate grasp of the issue as well as policies that tackle the challenges of climate change, we prepared some questions that you might want to ask your candidate if you meet them.

We also prepared answers that we think you should be looking for, if you think more action should be taken in the specific area.

Note:  The Alberta Narratives Project (ANP)   gives great suggestions for communicating about climate change and energy with diverse audiences in language that is civil and  brings us together. Please see the Alberta Narratives Project section below on formatting personal, inclusive, positive, future directed questions.  Some of the questions have been formatted based on their suggestions.
You may also wish to add a personal expression of concern and how you have been personally affected.  The Pembina ‘Energy Policy Leadership in Alberta’ report and the Alberta Narratives Project have informed the development of these example questions.

  1. How will your party support innovation in technology that will drive GHG emission reductions? If there is confusion, examples include: energy efficiency, methane reduction in oil and gas extraction, etc.
  2. What is your party’s vision for Alberta’s electricity generation in 10 years, 20 years? responses: supporting solar and wind uptake in communities, helping remote communities transition from diesel, etc.
  3. What strategies will your party put in place to help businesses and homeowners reduce their energy consumption costs? positive examples include: legislated building codes to move towards net-zero building emissions, support for energy-efficiency programs, creation of targets.
  4. What will your party do to reduce emissions from the oil and gas sector so that Canada’s climate change commitments can be met, while ensuring the industry remains viable on the international stage? responses: need regulatory action to enforce a cap on emissions and reduce methane emissions.
  5. What steps will your party take to make low-GHG emission travel easy and affordable for Albertans? Responses: looking for investments in transit, support for cycling and zero-or-low emission vehicle infrastructure (charging stations), targets, programs, and regulations related to vehicle emissions.
  6. How will your party support communities and workers affected by Alberta’s phase-out of coal power generations? responses: need commitment to continued phase-out of coal, transition programs for workers to clean energy sector, etc
  7. How will your party support reductions in GHG emissions through land use? responses: support establishment of conservation areas, support emission reductions in agriculture
  8. I’ve seen reports on the significant build up in oil and gas liabilities, such as orphaned gas wells and the tailings from the oilsands mining; these could end up costing the Alberta government and taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars, and causing major harm to the environment. How is your party going to ensure that there is transparent information available for the public about such liabilities, and how are you going to ensure that environmental liabilities are secured? (More Background: The Narwhal, ALDP)
  9. Nineteen out of twenty economists agree – putting a meaningful price on carbon pollution is an extremely important tool if we’re to avoid dangerous climate change. What is your party doing to price carbon pollution?” Responses: support price on carbon pollution.
  10. What is your party’s energy policy vision to keep Alberta prosperous in the a 21st century world that is moving towards reducing carbon pollution?
  11. I’m very concerned about our changing climate.  Whichever party wins the election, I think we need to take steps to reduce our GHG emissions.  What steps will your party take to reduce carbon pollution?
  12. I look forward to a future where Alberta has a strong  and sustainable economy based on renewable energy, where Albertans are employed and thriving, and where our ecosystems are thriving. Does your party support this vision of the future? If so, what will your party do in the next  4 years that will move us in that direction?
  13. Alberta has certainly benefited from the hard work of oil and gas sector, but Alberta is rich in other resources, too – including sun, wind, small scale hydro – that power new forms of renewable energy. What will your party do to promote energy diversity that keeps Alberta prosperous?
  14. Albertans are capable and creative people.  We have a track record of expertise, innovation and entrepreneurialism in the oil and gas sector and we are seeing those same traits now in the renewable energy sector.
    1. How will your party lead Alberta into a prosperous and bright energy future that includes diversification of energy sources, innovation and more use of renewables?
    2. How will your party lead Alberta into a sustainable and thriving, low carbon energy future?
  15. I recognize that the economy of Alberta, and even all of Canada, has prospered because of the hard work of the oil and gas industry.  I also see that the climate is changing and that worries me very much.
    1. What will your party do to help all Albertans to move forward towards a future that is good for all of us and where the emission of GHGs is greatly reduced?
    2. What will your party do to diversify our  economy and our energy sources towards the use of more renewables that produce less GHGs?  How are you going to ensure that we diversify and at the same time ensure quality jobs for Albertans?
  16. I think we can all agree that the climate IS changing.  Albertans are already experiencing impacts from climate change, such as major floods and fires. How will your party help Albertans prepare for and mitigate these impacts? responses – there could be a wide range…anything that deals with fires management (proactive), flood mitigation, water management for times of drought, etc.