What is Conservative Adrian Papara afraid of?

A federal by-election is just around the corner in the riding of Ottawa-Vanier, slated for April 3. We at Ecology Ottawa thought this was a great occasion to hold an all-candidates' debate on the environment. The debate, on March 31 from 7pm to 9pm, will show the people of Ottawa where the parties stand on critical issues like climate change, pipelines, greenspace protection and active transportation.

We put out an invitation to the four major parties and received confirmation from all candidates - except for one. For some reason, the Conservatives' Adrian Papara has said he will not attend the debate.

You can click here to RSVP for the debate - to hear from the candidates who have taken time out of their busy schedules to discuss environmental issues in a public forum. You can help encourage Mr. Papara to change his mind and attend this debate by writing him a letter, phoning his office at 613-701-0109, or tweeting at him.

Every election is an opportunity to hear candidates express their values and articulate their vision for the future of their riding, their city, their province or their country. When it comes to local environmental issues, the federal government plays a critical role. In Ottawa's case, it provides funding on major infrastructure projects like LRT and storm sewer upgrades, sets country-wide climate targets that determine local action, governs the Greenbelt, and makes decisions on energy projects like the proposed Energy East pipeline.

All are welcome from any riding, since the discussion will focus on party policy. This debate is being jointly organized by Ecology Ottawa along with the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ottawa, who sent out initial candidate invitations, as well as Citizens for Public Justice and the Lowertown Community Association.

The voters of Ottawa-Vanier deserve to know what candidates think before they go to the polls in April. We hope you can take time out of your busy schedule to hear from the Green, NDP and Liberal candidates by RSVPing today. We also encourage you to let Mr. Papara know that his presence at the environment debate is important by writing him, phoning him (613-701-0109) or tweeting at him today.

We look forward to seeing you at the debate!

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