WaterWealth issues its report card for Chilliwack candidates

Advocacy organization The WaterWealth Project has released a report card of Chilliwack and Chilliwack-Hope candidates in this election.

Local advocacy organization The WaterWealth Project has released a report card of Chilliwack and Chilliwack-Hope candidates in this election, scoring their performance on their commitment to water, accountability to the community, response to environmental threats, and proposed solutions.

In the Chilliwack riding, the NDP and the Green Party candidates came away with the highest scores, at A-. The B.C. Excalibur Party and the Conservatives received Bs, and the Liberal candidate came in dead last, with a D grade.

In the Chilliwack-Hope riding, the NDP received an A-, the Conservative candidate a B-, and the Liberals another D.

“After a careful evaluation of candidate positions and party platforms by our advisory committee, the NDP and Green Party came out on top,” said WaterWealth campaign director Sheila Muxlow. “Chilliwack Conservative candidate Chad Eros also shows promise, and took the time to research and promote successful watershed governance models from other regions. Water, however, is notably absent from the B.C. Conservative platform.”

The Liberals’ record of failing to recognize environmental concerns served them poorly in the evaluation, according to Muxlow.

“The fact that (Liberal candidate for Chilliwack-Hope Laurie) Throness was not able to commit to water as a priority, and the overall failure by both Liberal candidates to recognize the deficiencies in the B.C. Treaty Process and our environmental assessment regime, left them with the lowest grade. Other concerns relate to the Liberals’ promotion of natural gas fracking as a source of future green jobs and their willingness to keep decision-making authority on pipelines vested in Ottawa.”

The Excalibur Party scored at the middle of the pack in recognition of its values of freshwater protection, but the party “lacks concrete and actionable steps forward,” said Muxlow.

The WaterWealth Project campaigns for 100 per cent local control of community waterways, and has urged candidates to sign a declaration committing to this goal.

For the report card, the organization evaluated candidates through a questionnaire, through transcripts of an all-candidates’ debate organized by WaterWealth, and through party platforms.

The detailed score sheet for the report card is available online.