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

Letter: Spouse of Shuswap first responder shares challenges, gratitude

One in three first responders suffer in silence, resources available to help them and their families

Water quality advisory issued for Sunnybrae water system

Not a boil-water advisory but users urged to take precaution

Uptown Tim Hortons intersection in Salmon Arm bumped from traffic circle plan

Shuswap Street and 10th Avenue SW, Kal Tire at 5th Avenue and 10th Street SW now top priorities

Next for Salmon Arm underpass: build new tracks to avoid construction area

‘Pretty big area’ of downtown to be affected, city staff hope to keep impact to a minimum

Shuswap fire departments gear up for annual toy and food drives

Donation-gathering event very important for Eagle Valley Community Support Society

VIDEO: ‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford’s 2019 Word of the Year

Other words on the shortlist included ‘extinction,’ ‘climate denial’ and ‘eco-anxiety’

Penticton RCMP do not intend to review sexual assault stats

Eleven out of 29 sexual assault cases in Penticton were deemed unfounded in 2018

Algae bloom killing farmed fish on Vancouver Island’s West Coast

DFO says four Cermaq Canada salmon farms affected, fish not infectious

Three cops investigated in connection to ex-Vancouver detective’s sexual misconduct

Fisher was convicted in 2018 after pleading guilty to kissing two young women who were witnesses in a criminal case

Violence response procedures updated for B.C. schools, police

ERASE program expands to target gangs, bullying of students

A pawsitive ending: Missing puppy found after nine-day search in Chilliwack

Pit bull Frankie ran from dog sitter booked through app

Man gets 18 months jail for dealing heroin, fentanyl in Vernon

Sung Hwan Choi, 23, found guilty of trafficking drugs from Lower Mainland in May 2019

Kelowna to host 2021 Tim Hortons Brier

The last time Kelowna hosted the tournament was in 1968

Most Read