Following our introduction last week by Dr. Jason Thistlethwaite, this post covers the responses of the candidates in the Waterloo Riding. All candidates from the four leading parties were invited to participate and the responses we received are listed below in alphabetical order. The next post will be a wrap up by our Executive Director, Tova Davidson, posted on Monday October 12, 2015.

Peter Braid,

Conservative Party of Canada, Waterloo

Green technology presents enormous potential for both our environment and our economy, and Waterloo Region has a decided advantage. With our educated and highly-skilled workforce and our entrepreneurial focus, this community has the opportunity to be a world leader in this field.

Our innovation ecosystem is a proven model that nurtures ideas, and supports and mentors start-ups that go on to become international success stories. This model has shown to be effective across a number of sectors including wireless communications, medical technology, and sustainable development.

The Conservative government has been a strong partner through every stage, helping to fund innovative research, supporting business incubators and accelerators, and increasing access to venture capital.

In addition, we have lowered business taxes, cut red tape and expanded international markets, creating the right conditions for overall business growth and prosperity.

Specifically with regards to environmental companies, the Conservative government is investing through Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), helping entrepreneurs bring clean tech innovations to market.  We know these innovative companies will help us achieve our environmental goals, while creating jobs and strengthening our economy.

A re-elected Conservative government will continue on this path, building on our economic strengths and bolstering our innovation potential, and I believe our community can lead the way.  I will continue to work with local stakeholders to promote sustainable innovation, and ensure that the Government of Canada continues to be a strong partner.

Diane Freeman,

New Democratic Party of Canada, Waterloo

New Democrats believe the right to a clean and healthy environment should be extended to all Canadians and to all Canadian businesses.

An NDP government would provide needed leadership and work across all levels of government, with provinces and with municipalities, on long-term decision-making for our green economy.

We know that failing to get Canada’s emissions under control hurts our competitiveness in the global economy and it means we’re missing opportunities to grow green business and jobs. The NDP will restore Canada’s environmental credibility at home and around the world.

As we have done in the past two Parliaments, the NDP will introduce legislation that enshrines the right of Canadians to a clean and healthy environment, measures that align well with businesses that understand the reality of climate change. New Democrats will support businesses with a green agenda by:

  • Introducing a financing mechanism to allow Canadians to safely invest up to $4.5 billion in renewable energy and clean technology – a sector expected to hit $3 trillion in 2020 – as part of the NDP plan to tackle climate change.
  • Eliminating the Conservatives’ billion-dollar subsidies to the fossil fuel industry which will allow us to kick-start our clean energy sector making Canada a global market leader in sustainable businesses.
  • Starting Tom’s bold urban agenda that will provide stable, predictable investments in public transit to help Canadian cities contribute to reduced emissions. As Environment Minister in Quebec, Tom Mulcair didn’t just talk about climate change: he lowered emissions each and every year.

The NDP will cut the small business tax rate from 11 to 9 percent over the first two years of our mandate. Fully implemented, this will cut small business taxes by nearly 20 percent and save small business owners across Canada an approximate $1.2 billion each year. We’ll put more money back in the hands of almost 700,000 small businesses, and we’ll do it right away.

Bardish Chagger

Liberal Party of Canada, Waterloo

Canada must be a leader in green technology, both because it is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy and because it is essential to help us meet our climate change goals.

Waterloo is Canada’s technology leader and green technologies are a tremendous opportunity for our community. The Liberal Party has a detailed and ambitious plan to create thousands of green jobs and is committed to partnering with the provinces to set real, binding goals for carbon emissions.

Instead of the austerity favoured by Harper and Mulcair, a Liberal government will invest nearly $6 billion over the next four years and almost $20 billion over ten years in green infrastructure including transit, water treatment, and energy efficiency. We will change our tax code to make Canada the most competitive tax jurisdiction for investments in research and manufacturing of clean technology and will phase out subsidies for the fossil fuel industry. The Canada Green Investment Bond will support renewable energy projects across the country.

Sadly, for five straight years under Harper, Canada was named the “Fossil of the Year” for worst record on climate change by the Climate Action Network. This shameful record must change and Canada must once again take a leadership role on the environment. The Liberal Party has a specific costed plan that will leverage tech and manufacturing hubs like Waterloo to make Canada a leader in green technology and in the fight against climate change.

Please visit for more information about our Liberal plan.