The five candidates vying for your vote presented their party's platforms and debated a number of topics at last night's Kenora and District Chamber of Commerce All Candidate Debate.

The crowd at Seven Generations Education Institute heard the candidate's debate on five topics including the climate crisis.

"Climate change is most certainly real and is a serious threat to our region and our country," said Incumbent Conservative candidate Eric Melillo.

"A Conservative government will invest in innovative technologies, including $5 billion for carbon capture, storage, and utilization, and $1 billion each for electric vehicle capacity and building the deployment of hydrogen vehicles," added Melillo, noting that the effects of climate change can be seen in the region pointing to our shorter, milder winters and the forest fires that are increasing in severity and frequency.

Craig Martin, the People's Party of Canada candidate, says his party doesn't deny that the climate is changing but is against what he called "climate change alarmist."

"The first thing we want to do to change [the] climate, as affirmed by our leader, is to start a firefighting core in the Canadian Armed Forces. We want to bring air support and ground support and create a firefighting core that can put out, out-of-control fires, all across the country," stressed Martin.

This year, the region experienced the worst forest fire season in living memory. 1180 fires burned over 700,000 hectares, mostly in the northwest region of the province.

"What the Liberal government is going to do for this region immediately is hire 1,000 new firefighters," said David Bruno, the Liberal Party candidate.

"Is this a solution? No, this is not a solution. We're mitigating it," added Bruno noting that a re-elected Liberal government would invest $8 billion to accelerate the green jobs and green industries strategy.

NDP candidate Janine Seymour says we can't talk enough about climate change in the region.

"Right now we even have reserves, including mine, who [are] attempting to shelter other evacuees. We're not set up to do this. The reason why we're not set up to do this is because this should not be happening," stressed Seymour.

Remi Rheault of the Green Party says his party aims to reduce carbon emissions by 60 per cent from the 2005 levels by 2030.

"It can be done. Anything you can do with fossil fuels and anything you can do right now, can be done with alternative energies," said Rheault noting that Sweden is currently producing steel without using coal.

Other debated topics included mental health supports, senior care, homelessness, and Bill C-15.

Advanced poles open today across the country ahead of the September 20 election.