BC Liberal candidate Duck Paterson has clarified his stance on climate change after media reports suggested he is opposed to climate science.
“My views on climate change haven’t changed. I still believe that climate change is a very large issue facing the whole world,” he said. “Human activity is a contributing factor, and we need to address it.”
At the February 4, 2020 meeting of council, Paterson, along with Councillors Amanda Jacobson, Rob Johnson, and Trisha McKay voted against an amendment presented by Councillor Marsh Stevens stating “The overwhelming consensus is that human activities are causing climate change.”
Paterson pushed for the motion to say human activities were “contributing” to climate change – rather than the primary cause.
“I wasn’t opposed to the motion. I was opposed to the ammendment that said humans are the only cause of climate change. That – to me – is just not true,” he said.
After the amendment was defeated, Town Council voted unanimously in favour of the motion which resolved that the Town of Ladysmith “has adopted and will continue to adopt plans, bylaws, policies and spending that: facilitate the smoothest possible socio-economic transition to a low carbon community; mitigate the carbon footprint of the Town and its citizens; and adapt/build public assets to withstand and/or overcome the effects of climate change.”
Throughout his campaign for MLA, Paterson has said that the enviroment and the economy need to work ‘hand-in-hand’.
“Even climate change takes money,” he said. “You can’t expect businesses to absorb all the costs.”
Various local governments in the Nanaimo-North Cowichan region have declared climate emergencies in the face of the global climate crisis. Paterson said he does not believe the world is currently in a climate emergency.
When asked if the world would be in a climate emergency if actions are not taken today to adress climate change, Paterson said ‘definitely’.
“I believe we need to address climate change,” he said. “I believe and our party believes we need to address it as well as making the economy stable.”