Terry Lake. (Black Press Media files)

Trudeau’s action plan on climate change brings B.C. politician out of retirement

Terry Lake, a former B.C. health minister, is running for federal office in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo

Justin Trudeau and the Liberal party’s action plan on climate change has brought one former British Columbia politician out of retirement and back into the arena.

At his nomination event Tuesday night for the riding of Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, Terry Lake, a former B.C. health minister, described to the prime minister the conditions the area faces every summer with the wildfires.

“It is like a war zone here, prime minister, in the summer,” he said. “People leave so they can breathe clean air.”

Lake said locals are worried because they suffer physically and mentally due to the raging wildfires.

“And that’s what brought me off the sidelines,” he said. “It was your and your government’s commitment on taking action on climate change.”

With B.C. expected to be a key battleground in October’s federal election, Lake is considered a high-profile candidate for the Liberals in the province.

He called climate change a “ballot question” and a “threat to our communities and our families.”

The October federal election is going to come down to a “stark choice” between the Conservatives and the Liberal party, he said.

Lake didn’t seek re-election for the B.C. Liberals in the last provincial election after serving three terms in the legislature.

He has spent the past two years as vice-president of corporate and social responsibility at Quebec-based marijuana company Hydropothecary Corp.

He said he will take a leave of absence beginning in early fall.

Nearly three-quarters of the riding’s population is centred in Kamloops, where Lake, a veterinarian, also served as a city councillor and later mayor before jumping into provincial politics in 2009.

As the province’s health minister, Lake oversaw the declaration of a public health emergency amid the deadly fentanyl crisis. He has been urging more research on the effects of marijuana on opioid addictions. Before he was appointed health minister, he served as minister of the environment.

Lake also touched on the fentanyl overdose crisis that is affecting the country.

While the situation in B.C. is improving, he said it is getting worse in Ontario where the Conservative government cut public health funds and closed down overdose protection sites.

“The thing that concerns me most of the possibility of an Andrew Scheer government is the complete abdication of responsibilities such as action on climate change and helping Canadians deal with opioid epidemic,” he said.

“They somehow think that is personal responsibility. They don’t understand the challenges that people face.”

Trudeau told the crowd of supporters that the Liberal government has given Canadians confidence to face the future by investing in education, skills training, families and the future.

“The reality is in 2015 we put forward a very different vision than the Conservative government had for this country,” the prime minister said.

“We said the way to grow the economy, the way to help people is not to give tax benefits and advantages to the wealthiest in the hope that it trickles down.”

Lake said the Liberal party has the pulse of the people and stands for things they need such as action on climate change while developing the economy in a way that doesn’t strand the resources.

“That gets us to a lower carbon future,” he said. ”That’s pragmatic and that makes sense to me.”

READ MORE: Bank of Canada identifies climate change as important economic weak spot

READ MORE: Carfentanil, an opioid more toxic than fentanyl, linked to more deaths in B.C.

Hina Alam, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Duncan city council declares climate change emergency

“I think sometimes it’s important to start with identifying the fact that something’s real.”

Andrea Rondeau column: Second chance for dogs in Duncan bylaw a good idea

I’m not usually timid around animals, big or small.

Drivesmart column: Electronic monitoring pilot projects already underway

Our current system of trying to change driver behaviour largely consists of traffic tickets

Robert Barron column: Hats off to humanitarian workers

Saurazas didn’t seem to be fazed very much by the peril she was exposed to

Cowichan Valley jazz graduate wins prestigious scholarship

Bassist Brock Meades and drummer Graham Villette get $2,000 Fraser MacPherson Scholarship

Duncan Grande Parade draws a crowd

Entries old and new enjoyed by a big audience

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read